People love Hotels.com! I’ve always viewed them as a mid-tier player. The hotel line up is great, the pictures are up to snuff and the details available in each listing are extensive. I just always seem to find a better deal on other sites. So when the Hotels.com Refer a Friend promotion came to my attention I was skeptical.
Hotels.com Refer a Friend (or Cousin) Promotion
Then there is my beautiful cousin JB. She asked me to check out some deals for her end of June/beginning of July trip to Seattle and Portland. I checked my usual travel resources and nobody had anything that really blew me away. I can usually find something great in pretty much any big city for 33% to 60% off the mainstream website prices. It’s a gift people—just sayin.
I was breaking out in a sweat when I gave in and opened the Hotels.com site. To my surprise Hotels.com had a seemingly pretty decent deal. The Hotels.com Refer a Friend program lets you send a $40 off coupon ($300 minimum purchase) to a friend just by inputting their email address. Your friend gets $40 off now and, theoretically, you get $40 off when your friend books a room. So JB now has a beautiful Hotels.com coupon in her inbox.
Captain Obvious Did Not Design This Promotion
The logic behind the Hotels.com coupon structure seems incredibly dim witted. Why wouldn’t I just have my friend send me a $40 coupon (to a separate email address if necessary) immediately—no purchase necessary. Unless, of course, the Advocate (or referrer) can bundle his/her $40 coupons if more than one friend makes a purchase. From all of the restrictions, provisos and quid pro quos in the offer, I highly doubt fhat. However, the Advocate can receive and use up to 10 coupons. On the other hand, the Friend can only use one. Unless the Friend becomes an Advocate—oy vey, I have a headache.
The Friend coupon is can be booked from 6/1 to 7/31, 2015. Travel must be completed by August 31, 2015. The Advocate coupon can be booked from 6/1 to 10/31, 2015. Travel must be completed by November 30, 2015. Remember, you will only receive a coupon if your friend books through the link in the email (or Facebook). In other words, if they copy/paste the coupon code and go directly to Hotels.com you get nothing. If your friend has previously booked on Hotels.com or signed up for the Hotels.com newsletter, you get nothing. If your friend works in the travel industry, you get nothing. If your friend is not a U.S. citizen, you get nothing.
Is this the most generous coupon program I have seen? Not even close. Hotels Tonight first booking bonuses are much more generous–$30 off a $100 purchase (try HT30 or RMN30), $50 off a $200 purchase (try HT50 or RMN50). See my Hotels Tonight deals article. However, Hotels Tonight offers a much more limited selection of hotels and you really can’t book more than 1o days in advance.
So my dear cousin, check out the deals on Hotels.com and book yourself a wonderful room near Pike Place Market in Seattle or anywhere on the east side of Portlandia. Psst…if your a bit of gambler read my I Love Hotwire and you Should Love it Too article, and you could run away with a great Hotwire deal. Either way have a beautiful trip!!