Once the usual price and amenities comparison was done and we selected a hotel, my wife tried to work her usual magic:
Check Multiple Reservation Systems
- Call Reservation Line: Most large hotel chains will direct you to their national reservation line. This is a good place to start, but shouldnâ€™t be your final stop.
- Call Direct : We found that we can sometimes get a better rate by calling the hotel directly. My wife will commonly call and tell them she has already talked to the national reservation line, and ask if they have any better offers.
- Online Reservation: Occasionally hotels will offer a special online only rate. Bring up the hotel’s website, type in the information about your stay, and see if you can score a deal.
Most of the time the rates are identical, but taking a few minutes to compare all three can sometimes save significant dollars.
Ask About Membership Discounts
- AAA: I can’t say I’ve ever come across a hotel that doesnâ€™t offer a discount for AAA members.
- Costco: There are some hotels that now give discounted rates to Costco members. I found out about purely by accident when a reservation clerk asked me if I was a Costco member. It never hurts to ask!
- Corporate Rate: Some hotels have agreements with major corporations providing discounted rates. I work for one such company. Sometimes it saves me some cash, sometimes it doesn’t.
Call Again, and Again, and Again
None of the usual methods had produced any savings, which disappointed my wife. She is used to finding some way to save us some money when traveling. On a whim, she called again and started asking questions about different rooms, trying to find a different room type that might be cheaper that would work for us. During that conversation, my wife mentioned her surprise that they didn’t offer a corporate discount. The reservation clerk replied that one wasn’t showing up, which was surprised him as well. He suggested she keep calling, as one may show up in the system.
My wife called back every few days, each time mentioning why she was calling AND how many times she called. On the third phone call she hit the jackpot. The reservation clerk said that a corporate rate for my company DID show up in the system.
Did a new rate really appear, or were they just tired of my wife calling? I’ll never know, but it worked.
My wife thinks of the original quoted price of a hotel room as a starting point, but negotiable. She’ll work every angle she can think of to save money on a hotel room. After finally getting a discount on our room, she booked a room with the discounted rate. She hung up the phone, looked at me knowing exactly what I was going to ask.
I just saved us 20% on the room and smiled.
Do you just accept the first quoted rate for a hotel room? Do you have any other methods that can help save money on hotel rooms?