Here, at Milescop, we live and breathe reward points. 2x points, 3x points, 2500 bonus points per night, 5000 bonus points for 2 stays, etc., are the kind of topics we discuss during our coffee breaks. (Sounds terrible, I know.)
However, there are times when you don’t care about points or loyalty. All you are looking at is staying a few nights at a property. Could be because you are meeting someone already staying at that property. Or it’s conveniently located. Or it’s running an offer or something.
It makes complete sense. Why bother about a new loyalty program for just one stay? Instead, what you should be looking at is to save as much as you can on the stay.
Here are some of our favorite hotel booking sites to get the best rates.
Agoda has been my go-to site for booking non-loyalty hotels for a long time.
You get good rates, a good cancellation policy, and at the same time an opportunity to earn miles on every hotel booking. (Can’t help it. Miles and points are in our DNA.)
I generally find the rates good here and have contacted support a few times as well and it all went smooth.
Booking.com is one of the most popular services for booking hotels online. The site has become a leader in the industry and has a huge selection of properties worldwide.
You have to be a little careful about booking apartments on the site though. If the same host has multiple apartments, the pictures might not be of the property you are booking. I have experienced this personally in Prague and since the description of the room booked was correct, we couldn’t do much about it.
3. Your credit card company
If you hold an American Express or any other premium credit card, your credit card company would have a travel desk or a concierge service.
You would be surprised at the deals they can get you at times. It’s worth checking out, at least.
Expedia might be one of the oldest but you can still find some amazing deals for hotels on it.
It’s always worth a search.
5. Hotel’s Website.
If the hotel happens to belong to a known chain of hotels, it will most likely have a ‘Best Rate Guarantee’.
The way ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ works differ from hotel to hotel. However, more or less it states that if you book a hotel directly with them and then find a cheaper deal, they would either match it or they would discount it even further for you.
You can also try a status match to get even more benefits during the stay.
6. Skyscanner Hotels
Yes, our favorite flight search tool now searches for hotels also. Just like flight search, Skyscanner hotel search is also a meta-search.
What that means is that you don’t really make a booking on Skyscanner, but it searches several travel booking sites for you.
This works fine to compare prices but at times there are also promotions running on the respective sites that you won’t see here.
7. Hotels Combined
HotelsCombined is another very old, very popular meta-search engine for hotels. It also powers several smaller hotel booking sites.
What makes Hotels Combined unique is that it searches across more number of sites than probably any other hotel search engine out there.