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Hotels.com removes its £4 reward booking fee

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We are big fans of Hotels.com Rewards at Head for Points, believing that it is the ideal hotel reward scheme for anyone who doesn’t stay enough nights to bother with hotel reward schemes.

This HfP article explains why we like Hotels.com Rewards.

For every 10 nights you book, you get a free night valued at the average pre-tax price you paid. You earn multiple stamps towards free nights when you book multiple rooms, and you earn even if you book rooms for other people.

When you redeem, you can use your credit against virtually any room, irrespective of cost. You can pay the difference if the room costs more than your free night credit.

The only niggle is that, in late 2019, Hotels.com introduced a £4 redemption fee if you spent your free night voucher via their website.

Bookings via the Hotels.com app were free, but not on the website.

This move made absolutely no sense:

  • the money raised was trivial
  • it forced members to jump through a hoop by downloading the app to save £4
  • it made Hotels.com look cheap

Very quietly, the £4 fee seems to have disappeared. Reader Geoff flagged this with me last week, and having done a dummy redemption booking myself I can confirm his findings. The references to the £4 fee have not been removed from the Hotels.com Rewards FAQ but, regardless, it seems to have gone.

This is a positive move, although we are still expecting substantial changes to Hotels.com Rewards next year as it merges with Expedia Rewards and eBookers BONUS+.

You can find out more about Hotels.com Rewards on its website here.


Hotel offers update – November 2021:

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

Want to buy hotel points? There is currently a special offer running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 7th December), Marriott Bonvoy (45% bonus to 8th December) and World of Hyatt (30% discount, equivalent to a 43% bonus, to 30th December).

Comments (15)

  • Fly1A says:

    ?pre-tax cost of rooms at hotels.com, not post tax?

  • CarpalTravel says:

    Never quite understood the reason behind the hotels.com redemption fee, figured it was to reduce people booking via referral sites where they might still earn points or cash whilst making the booking. I have noticed that the prices on their site vary depending on whether you use their app or the access the site via a web link. You do need to be quite careful with them.

    • Alex J says:

      That could be it – or some senior stakeholder needed to demonstrate higher app usage/download growth for one reason or another. Lots of digital product decisions don’t make sense to the end users but are the results of internal politics, or contradictory/competing KPIs across different teams. This is partially why Google’s suite of products is a bit of a mess.

      • Duncan says:

        I assumed the goal was to get the app deployed on peoples phones so they had a very quick and easy way of booking hotels on the go – if they need a hotel, they know they can just open the app. Removes friction for future bookings, making it the front-of-mind default for people. At least I assume that’s the theory.

      • Rob says:

        Welcome to the world of business ….

  • N says:

    Karhoo’s back?

    They were around a few years ago. They got into a habit of handing out 3 £25 vouchers each weekend for months on end.

    This, predictably, meant they ended up going bust.

    • Ed says:

      ‘Twas the summer of free taxis. I remember it fondly.

      • CF Frost says:

        I’m sure you will be aware of the way to secure black cabs at a 38% discount (factoring in the miles earned). Fight Club rules prevents an explanation.

  • Mike says:

    I do hope the hotels.com 10% loyalty scheme remains post the Expedia shakeup – it is a really generous scheme that attracts me to book with hotels.com all the time

  • Matarredondaaa says:

    Bookings,com seem to have a similar scheme.
    I didn’t realise I had something called a wallet until I went to pay for a hotel and a message flagged up to say I could pay for it via my wallet
    A pleasant surprise as this was a particular hotel I use which never appears in hotels.com.

    • tony says:

      Where’s that wallet? on the booking.com app?

      They do have some crazy differential prices mind. I looked via the BA estore, on my laptop then at the website on my mobile and got three different prices for the same hotel, ranging from £170 to £275…

  • Jeremy says:

    When I try to link my Virgin Red app to Flying Clun, I get a ‘request blocked’ message. Anyone else had this?

  • Simon Schus says:

    Hi all.

    You may all already know this, I did not.

    Apparently the Qantas LHR T3 Lounge reopens at some point December. Per the Qantas webpage:

    “ Until our lounges in London and Los Angeles reopen in December, eligible Qantas customers will be able to visit the British Airways T3”

    Source: https://www.qantas.com/us/en/coronavirus/inflight-and-airport-services.html#lounges

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