Disclosure:  I am compensated by the links below if you use them to book and complete a stay or purchase a gift card.  Should you use these links, I appreciate your support.

Just a quick deal to pass on. Hotels.com is offering 5% off “select hotels” when you book by January 25 and travel by March 1. The discount isn’t automatic – you need to enter coupon code AF5OFFJAN15 at checkout.

While 5% isn’t a huge discount, I’m posting this because the “select” group of hotels doesn’t appear to be too limited.  I checked some random dates on the Park Hyatt Aviara and found the coupon to work, so long as I went with the prepaid rate.  It appears for this promotion that bookings paid at the hotel are excluded.  Still, if your travel plans are firm, it’s 5% back in your pocket, offsetting some taxes in the process.  Keep reading for a better idea, though, especially if you like the prospect of saving money AND not using my affiliate link!

When you book through 3rd party sites, most hotel chains no longer allow you to accrue elite qualifying activity.  Most chains will still provide you with elite benefits for the stay, but that can be hit or miss, with the reasoning being that the hotel chain is paying a commission on the sale.

If your plans include a Hyatt stay, a good option is to price at Hotels.com using the coupon, but using that price to request a Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim and then booking directly with them, provided that the Hotels.com discounted rate is lower.  Should the BRG claim be successful, you’re suddenly looking at the Hotels.com rate minus 5% and then further discounted by the BRG 20%.  Hyatt BRG requests don’t always come through, but it’s worth a try, as the savings can be significant and it’s within the parameters of the program.

For more info on the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee, I’ve previously written about it here.  If you already know what you’re doing, here’s a handy link to the claim page.

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