Just a week ago I wrote about the “buy 10 get 1 free” loyalty program that Hotels.com offers, which can actually be pretty great for leisure travelers. I value chain hotels’ points, since they allow for redemption at some aspirational properties. Having hotel statuses also mean free upgrades, free breakfast, etc., so I try to stay with a chain hotel when possible (and reasonable). However, for those stays at independent hotels, I have found myself taking advantage of the Hotels.com Rewards.
But what if you are more spontaneous? Hotel Tonight, or rather, “HotelTonight,” is an app that lets you book last-minute hotels in selected cities. The hotel maintains a website, but you have to make all bookings through the app. Contrary to what the name suggests, you can actually book up to 1 week ahead of time, for up to a 5-day stay. The app will even track rates of the hotels if you are booking “in advance.”
Hotel Tonight just launched their own loyalty program, called HT Perks. The program comes in three levels, based on lifetime spending with them:
- Level 1 – $100 Spend
- Extra-discounted rates (8 – 12% off standard rates, according to Hotel Tonight)
- Level 2 – $750 Spend
- Extra 5% discount off Level 1 rates
- Special offers and surprises
- Level 3 – $5,000 Spend
- Extra 10% discount off Level 1 rates
- “Better” offers and surprises than Level 2
- Dedicated VIP support line
The levels actually don’t seem very hard to achieve, and I think they set them up pretty nicely. Level 1 can more or less be achieved by staying just one night, and even the highest level require only about ~30 – 40 nights. By not requiring annual stays or spending, there is also some flexibility.
Assuming Hotel Tonight didn’t jack up the standard rates, this is actually a pretty generous program. According to them, the discounted rates for Level 1 users are about 8 – 12% off standard rates. That means once you qualify for Level 3, you are basically earning about a 18 – 20% off their standard rates, which is pretty decent. Of course, I’d argue that like most loyalty program, you are still not immune to devaluation, since they can easily increase the standard rates without you even knowing.
Still, for those who are spontaneous or might have to plan last-minute, HotelTonight is a good app for booking hotels to begin with. HT Perks should sweeten the deal even further. As always, I recommend shopping around to see whether they are truly offering the best rates out there, since hotels often offer exclusive rates online or to members.
There is no sign-up required for joining HT Perks—simply book the nights through your account and HotelTonight will automatically track your stays.