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Booking.com and cashback sites: a warning

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  • jj

    For independent hotels. it can superficially seem very attractive to book via Booking.com and claim cash back via Topcashback or the BA shopping portal.

    But beware…things are not what they seem. I’m about to book an independent boutique hotel in the Dolomites, and here are the flexible rates for my dates:

    – Direct with the hotel: £1,489 (paid in Euros)
    – Booking.com via Topcashback or BA Shopping Portal: £1,628 (again, payable in Euros) with 3% cashback or 8 Avios/£
    – Booking.com in a new private browser window: £1,477

    Going direct to Booking.com rather than through a portal reduces the price by 9.2%, far more than the value of the cashback or Avios. I’ve noticed this several times before, and Hotels.com sometimes plays the same trick. It’s not always the case, but it often is. On this occasion, I will be booking direct – I have no desire to line the pockets of dishonest charlatans unless I can share in their ill-gotten gains.

    So beware. Always check the price in a private window before using a cashback portal.

    gustavo

    I’d add to that checking their mobile app as well. With Expedia you find different prices across devices. You could also check using your mobile browser cause I have seen different prices there as well.

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