Everyone is always talking about the ways to get good rates on hotels – using points, looking at websites like KAYAK, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Expedia, etc. However there’s one tried and true method that’s been working for over 100 years…
I know, I know…I’m much more of a “text message” person too. But if you’re new to the points & miles game and don’t have enough points for a stay, or maybe you’re not into P&M at all and are just looking for decent discounts, you never know what you might get if you call them.
I don’t mean to call LaQuinta’s, Courtyard’s or Hyatt’s 800 number – they’ll just give you the company line or tell you to look at their website. I mean call the front desk of the hotel you want to stay at.
Before you call, know what you’re getting into – do some research online and learn what room rates are going for on the website, and what discounts they normally give (i.e. AAA, AARP, military, etc.). And then try these:
- When you get the front desk on the phone, ask if they have any specials going on.
- The front desk clerk should be able to tell you how many reservations they have for whatever dates you’re looking at and if it’s not super full, the branch might give you a better rate to ensure your reservation.
- If the rate isn’t better than what you found online, tell them, and ask if they can beat that rate.
- Also ask what the corporate rate is – they may give that to you, if you ask, even if you’re not there for business.
- If you’re a member of that hotel brand’s reward club, mention it – or if you’re not, ask about signing up – it might lower the rate even more (and even if not, it usually gives you free or discounted stuff during your stay).
If the price the hotel’s front desk offer isn’t as good as what you’ve found online, you’ve already done your research for the best price, so you can go ahead and make your reservation online.
- And then when you get to the hotel, tell the hotel clerk what rate you received and ask if they can do any better. If they can’t, see if you can get a room upgrade instead.
Granted, none of these might work. But you never know when calling the hotel might work for you. So it could be worth a shot.
** Feature Image PC: Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary