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No points for booking through 3rd party?
A combination of a question and a gripe.
When you book my flights through third parties like Expedia or chase ultimate rewards portal, you still get the airline’s frequent flier points. But if you book a hotel through this mechanism, it seems you forfeit hotel points. This seems to be the case with Marriott/Starwood and Hilton, and probably more chains too.
I can understand hotels wanting you to book directly with them, but (as was the case for me), there was no availability on the hotel’s website (Hilton). At other times, third parties may have lower rates than the hotel site (which, by the way, claims to have the lowest rate). My point is, even if you book through a third party, you are still choosing the particular hotel, and are staying at that hotel no differently than had you done so booking directly. So it seems disingenuous of the hotel to want your business and loyalty but not reward you points for said loyalty.
Any thoughts, and is there any way to avoid this– especially when booking directly through the hotel site is not an option?
I’m not aware of a way to avoid this and unfortunately, it’s pretty standard with most chains. In his recent review of the new benefits of the Capital One card, Ben even mentions that though one benefit is extra points through Hotels.com that he rarely books through them because of the lack of loyalty points and status credit.
Hi, Adi. I agree with what’s already been said, there really is no way to avoid this. I personally will only use a site like Rocketmiles/Expedia when I’m at a point where loyalty is a non-factor. For instance, towards the end of the year when I’ve already qualified for Marriott status (and they don’t roll over elite credits anymore). Or, sometimes I stay at a La Quinta on the road because they are all 100% pet-friendly and don’t have any hidden pet fees. Their loyalty program is relatively useless to me, so I’ll take the cheaper Expedia rate or Rocketmiles bonus, instead.
In regards to the why:
The third party booking sites get paid a commission for each reservation they make. So, the major hotels have to make a conscious business decision on how much they can spend on marketing. Their loyalty programs are some of the best marketing plans, but the third party sites also play a role. So, in order to support the cost of working with the third party sites, the hotels have to cut something. Pretty much all the major ones decide to cut loyalty. When you earn loyalty points from Marriott/Hilton/etc., that does have an actual cost to the hotel.
Considering a site like Expedia made over $600 million operating income (not revenue!), last year… I’d say the system is working 😮
That’s all just my understanding of the whole process. I have no inside information, so anyone please feel free to correct me!