Author Topic: Hotel Deals - Canada  (Read 825 times)

mayodt

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Hotel Deals - Canada
« on: March 11, 2018, 08:24:23 AM »
Hey Guys,

I was wondering if there is anywhere I can read up on the best hotel deals in Canada. I just took on a new job and I will be travelling a lot more and my employer allows me to book my own rooms and reimburses me. So, I feel like this is an opportunity to get some "free" hotel deals. So I know of the three ways of getting "free" money below, but which one is the best?

1. I use Tangerine credit card so I can get 2% cashback on the "hotel-motel" category, but I found out this week that does not include booking sites (e.g. expedia, hotels.com, kayak, etc.), so I would have to book directly with the hotel to get this perk.

2. I can get the deals from the booking sites if I ignore #1. For example, hotels.com will give a free night after paying for 10 paid nights (Assuming ~$120 hotels per night I guess I get a "return" of about $12 each time I stay, this is better than the 2% I would believe).

3. Major hotel chains themselves offer deals, I believe most are points for free nights. Maybe I can combine this with #2 and get the best "return"?

Has anybody looked into these deals before? Any idea what the best course of action is?

Thanks in advance!

snacky

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Re: Hotel Deals - Canada
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 09:20:45 AM »
I have used priceline's express deals and been very satisfied. they usually cost around half what a normal stay at the hotels would be. The only catch is that you don't get to choose where you stay.

mayodt

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Re: Hotel Deals - Canada
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 09:53:09 AM »
I have used priceline's express deals and been very satisfied. they usually cost around half what a normal stay at the hotels would be. The only catch is that you don't get to choose where you stay.

How does priceline work? I've never heard of this before. I just looked online and it looks the same as expedia or kayak or hotels.com that I've used in the past. Where is this bidding feature where you don't get to choose the location?

mayodt

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Re: Hotel Deals - Canada
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 09:54:10 AM »
Oh it's the "express deal", you choose the stars of the hotel and the general area, I see now.

okits

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Re: Hotel Deals - Canada
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 08:49:30 PM »
You're not really looking for "hotel deals", you are looking to maximize your personal benefit from work travel.

The first question is, what types of travel rewards would your employer be okay with?  Hotel chain loyalty points and credit card rewards are generally accepted, but will they feel like you are booking rooms in a way that is to their detriment if you're using "buy-10-get-1-free" programs or getting a kickback?  (It doesn't matter if what you are doing costs them more money or not, it matters how they perceive it.)

I would find the best credit card deal (Tangerine, or a travel-targeted card that gives you extra points for travel bookings), see which chains give a rebate through Ebates.ca (if you think your employer would be okay with this), and join that chain's loyalty program.  I prefer booking direct with hotels as they perceive you as being primarily their customer, not the booking site's (middle man).  I think the service (if you have a request or problem) and potential for upgrades are better if you book direct with the hotel chain.

Jouer

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Re: Hotel Deals - Canada
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 09:14:11 AM »
For work travel, do not use booking sites. Book directly through the hotel. In fact, most hotels will match prices except in extreme cases.
Join a hotel chain loyalty (points) program and get their credit card to double your points. Always book with that chain and card. (Starwood is the best I've seen though I think Best Western is very good as well)
Rack up those points for free hotel stays for your vacations.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Hotel Deals - Canada
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 03:08:08 PM »
You're not really looking for "hotel deals", you are looking to maximize your personal benefit from work travel.

The first question is, what types of travel rewards would your employer be okay with?  Hotel chain loyalty points and credit card rewards are generally accepted, but will they feel like you are booking rooms in a way that is to their detriment if you're using "buy-10-get-1-free" programs or getting a kickback?  (It doesn't matter if what you are doing costs them more money or not, it matters how they perceive it.)

I would find the best credit card deal (Tangerine, or a travel-targeted card that gives you extra points for travel bookings), see which chains give a rebate through Ebates.ca (if you think your employer would be okay with this), and join that chain's loyalty program.  I prefer booking direct with hotels as they perceive you as being primarily their customer, not the booking site's (middle man).  I think the service (if you have a request or problem) and potential for upgrades are better if you book direct with the hotel chain.
+1  Do NOT use priceline or other online bookings, you want hotel points. I get regular free hotel rooms by booking directly, about 10 stays or less gets a room. I also reimburse points for gift cards, I received $400 from Home depot a year ago, sometimes you get too many points and cash is better. Years ago I used points for flights to Europe, you always get the best value when you use the points that way. Cashing them out is the lowest return.

I usually pay the same or lower as what people pay on priceline, I'm guaranteed lowest price by the terms of the loyalty cards. That's how you sell the card to the employer, they also receive cheaper initial bills because of the loyalty card; everyone wins. Its not a secret the hotels do it this way, many companies know exactly what the major travellers are doing and why. Most hotels are well versed in the points game and cater to business travellers, they know how to appease employers.

I like Best Western rewards and Wyndham hotel chain rewards. Wyndham is a multi chain point system with a lot of available hotels in random places. As a heavy traveller I get  rewards that are usually worth 5-15% of the hotel cost, depending on where I'm at in the loyalty program. Plus the Credit Card points, those pay off huge at 2-3%. Plus free room upgrades and other perks that are hard to quantify (free cookies at some places, others have given free food or drinks), they don't treat you as well when you book online, I tried it a couple times for personal travel.