Don’t Always Trust a Sale to Save You Money

I  received an e-mail message yesterday from TravelPony which was titled “Half Off Hotels – Email Exclusive.”

That headline sure grabbed my attention. I opened the e-mail message and read the following:

We are the fastest growing travel site today because we don’t spend tons of money on marketing like those Big Sites. Instead, we give our members special deals on hotels – up to 45% off!

All we ask is that you tell your friends about the TravelPony. It’s simple – we pay you instead of big advertisers! And you and your friends get special prices on awesome hotels.

Save even more this weekend – just enter discount code FIVEMORE at checkout to get an additional 5% discount.

Wow, I thought to myself. I am in the middle of searching for some hotel rooms which I need to book for upcoming trips. I need to check out this sale.

After clicking on the link in the e-mail message, I decided to search for a hotel property in the Philippines at the official Internet web site of TravelPony; and right at the top is a banner informing you as to how much time remains to take advantage of that extra five percent discount — as well as the claim in large letters informing that I can save up to 50 percent off all hotels.

That was not the wording of the title of the e-mail message I received — but I digress.

One particular hotel property at which I looked was the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Casino Manila.

This is a screen shot of the total cost of the hotel room if I booked through TravelPony.

This is a screen shot of the total cost of the hotel room if I booked through TravelPony.

This is a screen shot of the total cost of the hotel room if I booked through the official Internet web site of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

This is a screen shot of the total cost of the hotel room if I booked through the official Internet web site of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

I decided to compare what TravelPony was offering versus what was being offered at the official Internet web site of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The room rate offered by TravelPony was $3.42 more than that from Hyatt.

To be fair, I have Platinum elite level status in the Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program, so the base room rate using My Elite Rate was $129.00. The advance purchase base rate was $137.00; and the daily base rate was $161.00.

Assuming I used the advance purchase rate instead, the total cost of the room for the night would be $167.66 — $6.46 more than what was offered by TravelPony.

Either way, it ain’t no “half off.”

I am not trying to discredit TravelPony, as there seem to be many people who enjoy significant discounts from that particular Internet web site. I may eventually be one of those people if and when I find the right deal. The example with this particular Hyatt hotel property may very well be an anomaly; and I have not booked the room yet — nor is it absolutely certain that I will reserve it…

…but if you have elite level status in a particular frequent guest loyalty program, you may not be saving money on what seems like a good sale. Likewise — whether or not the hotel property is part of a lodging chain — you might want to check for discounts, promotions or packages which offer more value for your money at the official Internet web site of the hotel property itself.

Additionally, other Internet web sites — such as Orbitz and Hotels.com — offer loyalty programs where you can save money on hotel room rates as well which could add up to more savings than what TravelPony could offer.

Unfortunately, there is no one simple, consistent and easy way of which I know where you can always take advantage of bargains and deals for hotel room rates; and the competition for your business is fierce. Shop around — and check regularly with “bloggers” such as Deals We Like here at BoardingArea; and The Deal Mommy over at First2Board.

In the meantime, I hope that you can take advantage of this “half off hotel sale” — available until September 1, 2014 at 00:01 in the morning Central Daylight Time — offered by TravelPony where you can use the promotion code FIVEMORE to apply the discount to your hotel room rate. The discount may not be combined with any other promotion.

Other terms and conditions apply.

One thought on “Don’t Always Trust a Sale to Save You Money”

  1. Travel Dude says:

    A frequent problem with Air Canada “sales” or “%off” discounts

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