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A few weeks ago I wrote about the hotel booking site TravelPony.com where you can get $85 off your first hotel reservation of $200+ ($35 credit by signing up using a referral link and $50 credit by using discount code KATE50). While getting $85 off a hotel reservation is great, I did some research to see if this was a marketing gimmick or if hotel prices were in fact cheaper. Note: Promo code KATE50 has expired.
My family has a trip planned to Florida and prior to this promotion I was looking at the hotel B Ocean in Ft. Lauderdale Beach. A friend of mine was able to get me the friends and family rate there of $199/night + tax (a friend of a friend really). I was torn on whether or not to stay there or to just use my Starwood points and stay at the Westin down the street.
When looking into TravelPony.com, I saw that B Ocean was offering a rate of $195/night. This was much cheaper then the rate through B Ocean directly and slightly less then the friends and family rate I had access to. We are looking at a two night stay, so I of course opened an account in my husbands name so we could book two separate two night reservations and fully utilize the referral credits and $50 off code. Since I referred him and booked the first reservation under his name, I also got an additional $25 to use towards the reservation! If someone signs up through your referral link you will get a $25 credit.
So ultimately I spent $130 on the first night and $111 on the second night. This total of $242 includes all taxes and is almost the same price I would have paid for just one night through the friends and family rate ($199 + $24ish in taxes). If I didn’t have the friends and family rate option, it would have saved me even more money, even before the credits and discounts taken into consideration!
Of course though there are some disadvantages when booking with this 3rd party site:
- I am not able to select my room type. Some hotels will state 1 king or 2 doubles, for example, but this particular hotel has nothing listed.
- When booking two separate reservations there is a chance I’ll have to move rooms. However, calling the hotel far in advance and having them link the reservation should ensure I will be able to stay in the same room for my entire stay.
- While this hotel is not part of a loyalty program, if it was there is no guarantee that I’d earn the points. When booking through a 3rd party site, many hotel chains do not credit you with the points for your stay. Of course many slip through the system, but as a rule of thumb do not assume you’ll get the points. This also affects stays and nights towards status, if status is something you are going after.
Overall, I am liking this site. Of course, not all hotels were cheaper then the best available rate on the hotel site itself, so I strongly encourage doing your own due diligence to ensure you are booking the best possible rate. Do not solely trust the rates listed for the other booking sites on Travel Pony.
If you are interested signing up, here is my referral link which will get you $35 (no minimum amount needed to apply the credit). As always, thanks for supporting the blog, but please feel free to leave your link as well in the comments section!