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Hotels.com Rewards adds an avoidable £4 reward booking fee

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Hotels.com Rewards emailed its UK members yesterday to announce a £4 booking fee when you redeem your ‘free’ nights from 27th November.

This did not come as a surprise, since a similar fee was announced for US and Continental European members a few weeks.  If anything, I’m not sure why the company waited so long.

The £4 booking fee is waived if you book your reward night via the Hotels.com app.  This makes little sense and throws doubt on the claims that this change is needed to ensure the viability of the programme.  It would also, logistically, have been easier to deduct £4 from the value of your free night.

Hotels.com adds £4 redemption fee on rewards

I am a big fan of Hotels.com Rewards – I am typing this in a Kempinski hotel booked via Hotels.com – but the rewards scheme has never been entirely ‘free’.  Certain special offers run by the company are only valid if you agree to waive your right to reward night credit, for example.  You also do not earn reward night credit on the night you book using your free night voucher so it is best saved for somewhere where the value covers most of the cost.

(Comments below corrected my earlier statement – if you use the voucher on a multi-night stay you DO get credit for the other nights.)

There is no reason why this change should make Hotels.com Rewards less attractive.  You can avoid the fee as long as you have a smartphone, and in any event a £4 fee to redeem a free night probably worth £75+ is not a disaster.  It remains a scheme that I think makes a lot of sense for people who only do a modest number of hotel stays per year and do not have elite status.

A full-length article on why I like Hotels.com Rewards so much is here.  You can learn more about how the rewards scheme works on its website here.

You may also find this April 2020 article on proposed changes to Hotels.com Rewards worth a read.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (158)

  • Shoestring says:

    My first £50 Post Office foreign currency prepaid Mastercard just arrived in the post, nice quick service – 2 days. Headline £15 discount for me – but after slightly worse exchange rate than Worldremit and possible £1.50 ATM charge, I’ll clear a free tenner+. Might be better than that if my wife can simply pay a foreign bill online. Dropped down to headline £10 discount today so if you’re interested, keep an eye on the 2 reward sites, I’m sure £15 will be on offer again soon.

    • pablo says:

      It was possible to empty FairFX cards through revolut. I wonder if the post office card would allow that saving the €2 ATM fee.

  • Clive says:

    I have some orphan hotel points to use;

    Wyndham – 3740
    Melia – 2000
    Radisson – 7683

    Any suggestions?