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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)

  • sloth says:

    another O/T sorry…im trying to book tickets on LNER for 26/10…that day and the sunday are both not available yet. anyone know why? is it because its the end of the half term? thanks

    • Andrew MS says:

      My experience of not being able to buy advance tickets has been down to planned engineering works on the line but looking at network rail website, the only disruption planned 26/27 October on LNER is between Perth and Inverness. You could always call LNER for an update?

    • Sandra says:

      I find quite often with LNER that when advance bookings open up Sun, and sometimes Sat, are not always bookable straight away & I agree it seems to be mainly because planned engineering work schedules aren’t finalised. Sometimes I also think it is due to whatever else may be on too – quite often if there’s rugby at Twickenham the outbound trains are available to book immediately but not the return. Not sure if that’s because LNER want to look at outbound demand before setting return fares knowing demand will be high (or maybe I’m just cynical)!

      • lady London says:

        Wow. You are clever @Sandra. I would never have thought of that reasoning on the part of the train company, but I think you might be right.

    • Craig says:

      +1 for planned engineering works and timetable not released to LNER by Network Rail. I set an alert which didn’t trigger until 2 days after the tickets went on sale. I wasn’t impressed, I’d advise to check every day, I think it was 6 weeks before travel when the availability opened.

    • sloth says:

      yes i was hoping to get the lner to inverness…guess ill just have to keep checking then and hope the engineering works dont happen

  • AJA says:

    O/T I had an email from BA yesterday saying they have manually registered me for the BA double Avios promotion.:-)

    This is after I spent a while on the phone to BA Silver line last Saturday when I couldn’t register online.

    So for those of you still not able to register online either call or email BAEC.

  • roberto says:

    WAAAYYYY OT :- Gatwick M23/M25 traffic was a mare last night, if you’re travelling tonight leave a little extra time

  • AndyK says:

    OT. Do you get any points for adding the first supp card to Business Gold?

  • Rich says:

    O/T IHG “Earn 100% more points on your next stay” offer from a couple of months ago. Anyone had success / failure with getting double bonus points?

    Terms said book by 4/9, stay by 4/10. IHG now quoting those same terms back at me and insisting that the stay needed take place between those dates – which is not what the T&Cs say. I stayed in Aug.

    I’m on my sixth reply to the email and losing the will to live…

    • Matt says:

      Oh dear. A fight ahead, then. I also stayed in August but was waiting until end of next week to chase. Has anyone had points credited already?

  • LaserBeams says:

    O/T – applied for Amex Plat for Business because of the 60,000 MR points offer that Rob highlighted through a referral, but the application was rejected as “the decision is based upon review of an existing and/or previous account(s) that you held with us”.
    I haven’t had an MR-earning card in the last 6 months nor ever a Business card.
    Is this Amex looking into whether applicants have a history of churning?

  • Harry T says:

    Anyone had luck using Amex to pay council tax at the Post Office? My local council says you can settle your council tax bill at Post Offices and I know they normally take Amex.

    • Shoestring says:

      can’t be done at the Post Office counter

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, didn’t realise that. Will try coop…

        • Shoestring says:

          Some mixed convenience stores & POs have a Paypoint till, my closest PO does but they turned off Amex – my closest Amex Paypoint is now a Texaco

    • Anna says:

      PayPal?

      • xcalx says:

        What is the fee for paypal transfers to family using an Amex card. I know it’s free from a bank account but can’t find the fee for Amex or CC

        Thanks.

        • Rob says:

          Thought it was all free now if you select ‘friends and family’?

          • xcalx says:

            It states F and F transfer are free if paid direct from bank account. I have searched high and low for the Amex CC fees to transfer to F and F. Unless I am over thinking this and these are free too.

          • Rob says:

            It’s all free. We’ve asked everyone to send the money for the HFP dinner as ‘friends and family’ and it has all arrived with no deductions.

          • Waddle says:

            F&F fees are also zero for Amex but PayPal and Amex are very strict on doing this. The occasional payment is fine but reports around that Amex and/or PayPal quickly shut you down if it is a large amount or recurring thing.

  • Nick M says:

    OT – Hertz Rewards

    I have 2489 points expiring in November… is there anything I can do to make use of them or keep these alive?

    I have no need to hire a car in the UK before then. We will be in Malta in a few weeks and could potentially hire a car for a couple of days – but hadn’t really planned to do so especially given hassle of child seats (plus doesn’t look like I can use points for this).

    • Rash says:

      There was a way to transfer them to IHG points, think that option is no longer there. Only other way is do a one day hire at Malta maybe and don’t drive it from the location? Ask them to close the car with 1 mile on it when you go to there…

    • Charlieface says:

      Five Star get free 2nd driver so you could sell the points to someone else.

    • AndyGWP says:

      I can’t take credit (apols – I can’t remember who told me this), but when I queried this last time, I was advised the following, which worked when I tried it (though I didn’t follow through with the transfer just yet) – will do soon though as unlikely I’ll be able to extend my points:

      Go to Hertz.com, login first (important!) then manually change region to United States. Click your name, use my points and Exchange appears. Airlines convert to 500 points, IHG and Marriott are worth 1000 points. Transfers are in increments of 600 (so 3100 you have is worth 5000 Marriott or 5000 IHG points).

    • Lady London says:

      Maybe do a booking for much further ahead? If you are paying mixed cash and points, what happens is that they take your points, and pro rata the number of days your points will buy on that booking against the total number of days, and assign your points a “voucher” value of the pro rata days you’re paying for. I suspect the booking might even be changeable (but check when you make it in case the rules have changed).

      Beware Hertz has sneakily changed the rules for using these a few times… they haven’t even informed their own agents when they’ve done it or published the rules changes.
      The amount you have is very close to getting you a “free” week’s hire in a lot of places.
      If you use for less than a week you pay much, much for per day for them, effectively.

      The points cost of a day’s hire is different according to whether it’s a day or weekend, and there are different cost scales varying by region/country.

      • Nick M says:

        Yes thank you – they could potentially be quite valuable, so I don’t want to waste them if I can help it, but would prefer to keep at least some value from them and I no current plans when we’d need a car