Always Bill Things to Your Hotel Room to Earn More Points

I didn’t used to be good at this, and to be honest was a huge “violator” of this concept up until the last few years. In recognition of my guilty-ness, I wanted to pass along one of the most helpful tips I’ve learned in order to earn more points while you stay in hotels.

It’s pretty much inevitable at some point that you’re going to eat when you’re staying at a hotel, or purchasing some sort of hotel service. Whether it’s breakfast (assuming you’re not an elite with free breakfast), some sort of upgrade, mini bar charges, laundry service, etc. all of those charges add up.

I used to be fairly neurotic wanting to charge each of these on my credit card, itemizing each and removing it off of my hotel bill. BIG MISTAKE. When you utilize a service that’s going to get charged for, bill it to your hotel room.

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Here’s Why

Assuming you stay at a hotel with a loyalty scheme, and you’re a member of that program, your final room charges, less taxes and fees will accumulate points in that specific program. Easy enough. BUT, when you charge meals, services and other oddities to your room, they’ll also show up on your final bill, thus earning you even more points when you pay the bill in one lump charge. You’ll also earn any elite bonuses or credit card category bonuses on the charges, too.

Even cooler is that if you’re covering the stay with cash back points, or points via a credit card such as the Barclaycard Arrival+ World Elite MasterCard (which you can use points to cover charged travel purchases), you’re able to then cover those expenses you otherwise would have charged to another credit card and would have had to pay off.

So, let’s say for simplicity sake that I charge $100 in food and beverage to my Hyatt (this is just an example; you can do this with any other major chain) bill at check-out:

  • I’ll earn 100 points for the charges, flat out.
  • I’ll earn 500 points for the charges if I use a Hyatt Visa to pay for the bill.
  • I’ll earn a 30% bonus for the charges if I’m a Diamond member. 15% if I’m a Platinum member.
  • If I have a cash back or similar card, I can cover the full amount, instead of having to pay separately for food which otherwise might not show up as a travel expense, depending on how the restaurant is coded.

Here are some ideas on things you can charge to your room. Be creative:

  • All food and beverage in the hotel, including room service.
  • Entertainment or event tickets, too. If you talk to the concierge and want to attend a show, have him or her book it for you and bill it to your room. Easy, free points.
  • Laundry services.
  • In room movies or entertainment.
  • In room mini-bar consumption.
  • Spa treatments or other well-being services.
  • Cabana access, or poolside amenities.
  • Club access.

I’l be honest and say that there have been many times where I’ve been debating eating out or eating in the hotel, and I’ll choose the hotel option just to earn the extra points.

So, never pay for things as much as you can outside of your room bill. Charge it there, and you’ll earn some points you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.

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