Trip to Chicago booked and review of hotelclub.com

I’ve been wanting to go to Chicago for a weekend for quite a while now, and finally the opportunity presented itself. With the recent news of the demise of Ted, I felt like a trip to the windy city was in order while “he” still served Chicago, so I look at it as a funeral of sorts, to celebrate the life of Ted, everyone’s favorite non-human not-so-feline friend. On top of that hotelclub.com offered to comp my room at the InterContinental Chicago (story and review to follow shortly), so all I spent was the $179 that my flight cost me after a $100 e-cert (the most I’ve spent on a flight in six months).

Now, on to the story/review. I get emails frequently from companies that want mentions of their product, and while I always respond and state my views (I try to be constructive), I very rarely feature them since I don’t think they present much of a benefit to my readers. While hotelclub.com made me a very attractive offer to comp my room, I wouldn’t be talking about them if I didn’t really think they were worth checking out.

When it comes to hotels I’m pretty naive, and I always assume the cheapest rate can be found on the hotel’s website directly, so it has always been one-stop shopping for me. I was planning a trip to Peru (which I haven’t been able to actually plan yet since LAN and AA are having partner award problems), and the one hotel I was interested in was the Doubletree in Lima, since I’m loyal to Hilton and Priority Club, and that was the only reasonable option. I decided to check out hotelclub.com and I was shocked to see that they offered a rate that’s $40/night cheaper than Hilton.com. I tried out a few other hotels, and for the most part hotelclub.com came out either really close or cheaper than the hotel directly.

The added benefit you get with hotelclub.com is their own loyalty program, whereby you earn 4% of the total cash value of your stay towards a future booking. Those amounts can go up if you book more frequently with them, to either 5% or 6%. There are even referral bonuses, which reward referrers (ahem, if anyone wants a referrer, please email me;)). 

Lastly, and something that’s very important to me, it appears as if I’ll get full elite benefits for the stay. I was able to use a buy one get one free certificate for the second night of my stay at the InterContinental, despite booking through hotelclub.com. I’ll be sure to write a trip report about my journey, since I heard the InterContinental Chicago is great with upgrades.

While they might not always come out cheaper, I’m very impressed as a whole. When they come out cheaper it’s a no brainer as far as I’m concerned, and when they’re only a couple of dollars more it can still be worth it thanks to their own loyalty program.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I’ve also seen that prices can vary depending on the site. So the hotel’s direct website isn’t always the best price. You just have to be careful to read the terms like the cancellation policy that can change by hotel. It probably has to do with how hotels hand out rooms to booking consolidators.
    HotelClub says its a wholly owned subsidiary of Orbitz, so it looks like you would always book on hotelclub over orbitz to make sure you got the points.

  2. I’ve booked with their Asia affiliate, Asiahotels.com, and their rates are competitive (sometimes a few dollars lower or higher than other engines).

    Best thing is that their incentive program also works with Hotelclub too.

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