Friday, May 16, 2014

Saving Big On Hotel Reservations Using HotelClub

Of the last few revenue hotel bookings I've made, all of them have been through HotelClub. Less than a year ago, I hadn't even heard of the name HotelClub, much less trusted them enough to attempt an actual booking. Now, they have quickly become my go-to source for non-reward advanced reservations.

So what is HotelClub, and why am I raving about it? First off, I am not earning any commission or kickback for promoting the site, I simply find their service to be ridiculously rewarding. The premise is fairly straightforward: you earn a rebate for every hotel booking you make, starting with your very first reservation. There are three member tiers in all, each with an increasing rebate percentage:
  • Silver Club Member: Upon signing up, you are automatically a Silver Club Member. Silver Club Members receive a 4% rebate on their first and second confirmed bookings.
  • Gold Club Member: You will become a Gold Club Member when you have made at least 2 confirmed bookings within the last 24 months from today. Gold Club Members earn a 5% rebate on on their third, fourth, fifth and sixth confirmed bookings.
  • Platinum Club Member: You will become a Platinum Club Member when you have made at least 6 confirmed bookings within the last 24 months from today. Platinum Club Members earn a 7% rebate on their seventh and subsequent confirmed bookings.
Rebates are given in the form of HotelClub credits, which can be used on any future bookings. I found there to be virtually no limitations on the use of these credits, and they become available immediately after being deposited into your account. Credits do expire if there is no account activity (revenue and/or reward booking) within 24 months. If you cancel a booking that includes the use of credits, the credits will return to your account with the original expiration date.

Despite the "club" moniker, signing up is just as easy as any other travel booking website. The only requirements are a minimum age of 18 years, an email, and a password. Of course, you can fill out your profile more thoroughly after joining, but that is completely optional.

The only major downside to HotelClub is the noticeable deficiency in worldwide coverage. And even in cities where HotelClub does have a presence, there is a substantial lack of variety and selection when compared to the larger OTAs. My assumption is that HotelClub only works with properties that provide them the biggest affiliate kickback in order to maintain their generous rewards program.

Stacking With TopCashBack

The single most important reason why I love HotelClub, however, is the additional 14% cashback you can earn by clicking through the TopCashBack portal. If you've never used TopCashBack before, it's one of the many commission-based shopping portals that passes on its referral earnings to members. They are also one of the largest, with partners in just about every category of e-commerce.

By always accessing the HotelClub website through TopCashBack, you can stack the 14% cashback on top of the standard member rewards you already earn through HotelClub. This means that if you sign up for HotelClub today, you can automatically start earning a whopping 18% off your first booking. If you are a Platinum Club Member, you will be earning 21% off each and every reservation!

Of course, I would always do some comparison shopping on Kayak or other sites before pulling the trigger, since HotelClub isn't guaranteed to have the lowest rates online. However, even if their rates are incrementally higher, I would still book with HotelClub since the rebate and cashback combined often far outweigh any difference in price.

One last word of warning about TopCashBack: if you use an online coupon code that is not authorized by TopCashBack for your HotelClub booking, you may not receive the 14% cashback. So do not try stacking this already awesome deal with even more coupon codes you found online!

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