How I Got a Cheaper Hotel Stay By Re-Checking the Rate

Yesterday I checked into a Sheraton to not only add additional nights to their current free-weekend night promotion, but also to add nights to the Platinum challenge, which I am currently completing.

I had booked this hotel several weeks ago, in anticipating of needing the night, and found the lowest rate to be for AAA members at around $135.

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Interestingly, prior to heading over to the hotel yesterday, I re-checked the SPG app to see if there were any other hotels in the area with cheaper rates.

Funny enough, there was – and it was at the hotel I was planning on staying at. They were still offering prepaid rates at $105 per night, vs. the usual $129, saving me about $25…not bad.

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I found it odd that the pre-paid rate was still being offered since usually this is for bookings well in advance where the traveler is committed to staying at the property without an option to cancel or refund. I’ve rarely, if ever, seen that option at day of check-in, since, in essence, that would totally go agains the pre-paid rate. But, because I had every intention on staying at the hotel, this made perfect sense for me, and I took the opportunity as it came.

How I Changed the Rate

Of course, I still had an original reservation at the $135 rate, which I needed to get rid of. Essentially I had two options here:

  • Make the new cheaper reservation on the app, and have the hotel cancel my previous reservation once I checked in.
  • Hold off on making a new reservation and have them adjust the rate on my currently booked reservation.

I did the latter in this case, though there was a risk the pre-paid rate could disappear from the website, making my effort useless. Luckily, it was still there by the time I checked in and the hotel staff were able to match that rate for me, though not without equal confusion as they didn’t understand why there was a pre-paid rate still listed either…

Lesson learned: Re-check your rates on day of check-in. While this may have been a glitch, you may be able to find lower prices for your rooms, or a circumstance which will allow you moving to a lower rate. It can’t hurt.

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