Here are 7 easy ways to stay at a luxury hotel for less:
1. Book a room with Dreamcheaper
After you book a refundable room, check out DreamCheaper.com. This website tracks the price of the hotel room – when the room price falls, it will rebook the room at the cheaper price and cancel your old reservation.
You don’t need to do anything besides wait for the site to capture the lowest price point. The potential discount is highly variable – you might end up saving $30 or even $300! It all depends on how low the price happens to fall. Still, it does mean you can nab a discount on even a five-star hotel.
2. Plan for a range of travel dates
If possible, plan to travel during a range of different dates (or just plan so far ahead that you can experiment with different times). Hotel prices in each city follow their own price cycles. In New York City, cheaper rates tend to be available in July, whereas Paris tends to have lower rates in January. Avoid December if you can, as it tends to be expensive everywhere, plus there are hordes of tourists.
But don’t take our word for it – experiment with various booking sites and see for yourself. You should also sign up for notifications from sites like “The Luxe Nomad” that updates you on flash discounts from top hotels when they occur.
3. Get room discounts with credit cards and air miles
Some hotels accept frequent flyer miles just like airlines do! If you have a lot of miles to let go of, use them to redeem overnight stays. For example, Citi Miles earned from the Citi PremierMiles Card can be redeemed for Asia Miles, which you can then use to book accommodations anywhere in the world. According to the Asia Miles website, an overnight stay at a Bali resort in July starts at 17,750 Asia Miles.
If you can’t wait til you’ve earned enough points for a free room, you can use still use your points for free WiFi, free breakfast, or free additional guests. Either way, you save quite a bit of money.
You should also check if your air miles credit card offers hotel discounts. For instance, cardmembers get access to the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, which grants them preferential rates, VIP status, and free room upgrades.
As an alternative, check if you have a concierge service on your existing credit card. If you do, call them to help you find a good luxury hotel rate. The concierge service has significant bargaining power, as they may refer hundreds of guests to the hotel on a regular basis.
Related: 8 Ways To Prevent Credit Card Fraud When You’re Overseas
4. Get a bundled package
If you are already booking a flight on sites like Expedia, check out how much it would cost to add a hotel. When accommodations or rental cars are added, the site may “bundle” them and give you a discount. This may be cheaper than booking a hotel on other travel sites.
5. Never use the room phone except to call reception
If you must use the telephone in the room, check the prices first. Rates for your room’s landline can easily go up to $12 a minute, which means you can easily be charged $180 for a 15-minute call to your friend. Yes, it’s even more expensive than wi-fi, and there’s no logical reason for the pricing and no good reason to be using it.
6. Purchase a prepaid SIM card with unlimited data instead of wifi
Prices for hotel wi-fi can be exorbitant: in North America and many parts of Asia, fees can be up to $50 a day, and in Europe high-end hotels may charge up to $30 a day.
It’s just a frustrating fact of higher-end accommodations that they still charge for WiFi, unlike their cheaper counterparts. Before you pay for it, check the prices of prepaid sim cards, particularly those with unlimited data. If you can tether your laptop to your mobile (or you have a tablet that uses a sim card), it may be cheaper than paying the hotel rate. If you don’t need to be online much, consider ducking into a WiFi-enabled cafe or mall when you need to send the occasional e-mail.
7. Join the hotel’s loyalty programme
Most four and five-star hotels will have loyalty programmes. For chain hotels, these programmes will extend to many different countries. It’s an even better deal than online bookings – the key is to ensure you use the same hotel(s), and often.
Beyond the stated benefits, many hotels will even give you little bonuses when they become available. This means you’re more likely to get a more spacious room, or a room with a better view. The biggest benefit is, of course, savings. If you are part of the loyalty program, you will often get the lowest rates right off the bat.
Related: 17 Must-Know Travel Hacks To Save Cash And Get The Most Out Of Your Trip
Related: 5 Singapore Hotels With Rooftop Pools Your Kids Will Love
Text: Ryan Ong / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew
This article first appeared on SingSaver.com.sg, Singapore’s #1 financial comparison platform for credit cards and personal loans.