Hotel Reservations Websites Prices Vary by 50% for Same Dates

Here is another warning about thinking most hotel reservations site pricing is all the same, including a hotel’s own website. I also wrote about the difficulty in getting the “best rate” in my previous post about Starwood Hotels (SPG).

I just booked a hotel for a short trip to Las Vegas. There are dozens of hotels within a half mile of the Strip but I decided on Bally’s because it had the best prices considering it’s location and mid-level accommodations, and Bally’s doesn’t charge a resort fee like so many other properties, which can add up to $10-20 per night extra on top of the room charge. Even though I had narrowed my hotel choice to Bally’s, I found a huge variety of prices online for the same type of room. I was pricing a king, non-smoking in the South Tower for February 25 & 26. Here’s what I found searching the same day on various websites:

Travelocity.com
Feb. 25–$38
Feb. 26–$34

Hotels.com
Feb. 25–$38
Feb. 26–$34

Mycheapvegas.com
Feb. 25–$35
Feb. 26–$28
Ironically, by clicking a different offer on the same website, the prices were $40 and $31 respectively.

Ballyslasvegas.com
–After joining Bally’s Total Rewards Program (free sign up), I used my membership number to login before filling out the reservations form.
Feb. 25–$40
Feb. 26–$35

–I logged out and did not use my Total Rewards membership number before filling out the reservation form BUT I entered a 15OFF promo code I was able to find on Bally’s website. (When I tried to use this code with my membership number it said the code was not available.) However, without the membership number the code worked find.
Feb. 25–$30.60
Feb. 26–$27.20

–The “best rate available” without any promo code really did end up being the best rate.
Feb. 25–$27 THE WINNER
Feb. 26–$24 THE WINNER
I was able to get this same rate going through Cheapovegas as well.

I find it ironic and sad the worst rate of all is for members of their Total Rewards Program which is supposed to give customers added benefits and special credit for money spent at Bally’s worldwide. Even though this exercise only saves me $24 for a two day trip it represents a savings of 50% or staying an extra night free. More importantly, it’s a lesson that no matter how much you are going to spend per night, if you truly do want to get the “best rate” it’s worth a little research to save money.

 

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