Can You Pay Hotel With Cash – You’re traveling right? Yes, most of us do. And like most of us, you probably want to find a way to reduce costs as much as possible. A place worth checking out? Hotels and their “lowest rate guarantee”.
You see, a hotel would rather you book directly through their website than through a third party website like Expedia or Priceline. How? Because if you book a room through someone else’s site, the hotel has to pay a fee to the website to work for them, and this adds up to a decent amount of money. Because of this, the hotel’s official website usually has the lowest prices. But sometimes they don’t. And if you track down a lower rate and inform the hotel, the hotel will always give you the lower rate,
Can You Pay Hotel With Cash
Let’s take a hypothetical vacation in Vegas. I chose Las Vegas because almost all major hotels allow you to cancel your reservations up to three days prior to arrival for a full refund, but always check the fine print!
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Say you want to stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. So after a little research you learn that the Cosmopolitan is part of the Marriott hotel system. Marriott has a Best Rate Guarantee (called “Look No Further”) which states that if you find a lower rate on a third-party website, they will honor the lower rate and
So before you book at the Cosmopolitan, check to see if you can find a lower nightly rate. If you can, book the Cosmopolitan through Marriott’s website, submit Marriott’s lowest rate “Look No Further” offer through the online inquiry form, and see if your trip can be hundreds less dollars.
So do a few minutes of research and find out if the hotel you’re looking for is guaranteed to have the lowest rate. If they do, there’s a good chance you’ll spend more money on the things that matter on your vacation, rather than where you sleep at night. Many or all of the products shown here are from our partners who pay us. This may affect the products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this has no influence on our ratings. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and how to find us.
Among the most vexing questions for rewards travel enthusiasts: Should you pay for your next vacation with cash or points?
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And sometimes there is a third option: paying with a combination of currencies (points or miles, as well as good money).
The third combo option is becoming more common in the travel industry. In fact, JetBlue announced a new Cash + Points redemption option this summer, which allows members to book flights using a combination of real money and TrueBlue points. Delta also has a Miles + Cash program, and almost every major hotel brand offers Points + Cash options.
The choices seem distracting. When is it better to book a hotel with points? When is it better to book with cash? When is it better to book with cash + points? This way you will know which option is best for you.
The caveat: Points and miles are fictitious currencies with no formal value (and their values can fluctuate wildly based on factors such as location and date of stay). As such, it analyzed more than 2,500 real-world data points from US-based airline and hotel loyalty programs to derive a comprehensive rating of loyalty program points. Find out how much your hotel or airline points and miles are worth here.
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Once you have an established amount of what your loyalty rewards are worth, all that’s left is a simple calculation:
If X is less than the value of your cash reservation, you can get better value by paying in points. If you’re just looking for airline tickets, we’ve created a flight miles calculator to do the work for you.
It’s less if you want to book with a combination of cash and points, but don’t worry:
(Number of points required for joint booking * points value) + Cash portion of booking = Y
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If Y costs less than booking with cash, it’s usually a good idea to use your points, you’re getting good value.
Here’s an example: If your choice is to pay $500 for a room or $200 plus 25,000 points. What’s the best deal? Let’s say these hotel points are worth 1 cent each.
$450 is less than $500, making this example of a combination of cash and points booking a good deal.
We ran the numbers on some real hotel examples, selected five cities across the country and estimated the cost of a four-night stay during the week of Thanksgiving 2020 (Nov. 25-29). We looked at similarly priced hotels in each city from Hilton and Hyatt, and here’s what we found (prices include taxes and fees). In the data below, you will see entries color-coded in green indicating the best booking option for that specific hotel and red indicating the worst (most expensive) option.
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Some rooms are best booked with cash, while others are best booked with points. However, in all of the Hyatt examples above, the cash + points option isn’t necessarily the best value.
Like Hyatt, some Hilton rooms are better booked with cash, while others are better with points (although there isn’t much alignment with Hyatt in terms of city). But again, paying with cash + points isn’t really the best.
Booking with a combination of cash and points is almost never the best overall value based on pure numbers, but that doesn’t mean paying with cash and points is a bad idea. The advantage of booking with a combination goes beyond numbers.
Let’s say you run the numbers and booking with points is the “best value”. But what if you don’t have enough points? In most of the scenarios described above, booking with cash + points is the second best value after booking with all points. Surely, you will get a better return by paying all the points. But if you can’t do that, you can do the next best thing by using cash + points.
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Booking with points (or cash + points) is good for people who are afraid to sit on a currency that is not backed by anything. In fact, many point enthusiasts will tell you to keep a balance in your bank account, but keep a balance in your loyalty program account. How?
Depreciation of points: There’s not much stopping Hilton from raising hotel rates on a whim. There’s no stopping Wyndham Rewards from becoming a hyperinflation hotel.
Loyalty programs reserve the right to lower their established fees at any time without notice. This is called depreciation, and it means that your points will almost always become less valuable over time. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, spend — don’t accumulate — those points.
Bankruptcies, takeovers or mergers can reduce your point values: if the company you’ve rewarded for loyalty goes bankrupt, then there’s also the possibility that your points will be worthless. Sometimes, when hotel chains or airlines are acquired by another hotel or airline (through a merger, sale, or bankruptcy), your points are automatically transferred to the new loyalty program, but that is not a you guarantee. And even if your points carry over, they may not be worth as much as they used to be.
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Sitting on a pile of dots might be fun, but it’s not all it seems. Sure, you probably have enough miles for a business-class seat on Japan Airlines from New York to Tokyo, but frequent flyer miles won’t do you much good if your travel plans this year have changed. from going to the Olympics to traveling on the road. in an RV.
And maybe your focus this year is on one thing, like keeping up with your mortgage payments or covering moving costs. While it’s a better “deal” to pay with cash, it’s better to save money for higher priority purchases and use some reservation points.
A cash reserve could be useful in an emergency, or perhaps prove more valuable than all the airline miles in the world, as the coronavirus has changed much of Americans’ spending habits.
From a math standpoint, it’s usually a problem if you get better value from booking travel with cash than points, but it’s almost never the best value to book with a combination. in cash + points. That said, there are more factors to consider than pure financial value.
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Especially as the coronavirus disrupts travel plans, it can make sense to save money, even if the numbers don’t tilt in favor of paying with points.
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