Are you planning on making a hotel booking and looking for a deal? Sure you could price comparison shop, or you could play the long game and collect points or get a free stay after 10 bookings but let’s be honest, that takes forever. If you just want straight up savings without complicated steps or extreme limitations, you’re going to want to pay attention to this offer that I’ve secured for Going Awesome Places readers.
Pretty much free money
For the past little while, I’ve been working with Booking.com to get a special referral generated so that you can benefit from the hotel bookings you’re already making.
THE “HOW MANY IS LEFT” TRACKER
Update 11/17/17 – There are no referrals left as of 1:57 PM EST
Special note: Only one booking is allowed via referral per account. To take advantage of this multiple times, just create multiple accounts or get your friends/family you’re travelling with to create an account and book using the special link.
Here’s how it works. On your next hotel booking, use this referral link for Booking.com and grab a hotel anywhere. Complete the stay there and once it’s done, $40 CAD (or equivalent in your currency) will be refunded back into your credit card.
Yes this basically means you save $40 CAD off of your hotel and you get the money after you’ve stayed there. If you think about it, if you find a $80 hotel, that’s 50% off!
There has to be a catch…
Honestly there isn’t much of one there. If you look at the T&C, the ones you need to pay attention are:
- To be eligible, the booking itself needs to be greater than $80 CAD
- You must create an account on Booking.com (that’s the only way you get the money refunded back to your credit card)
- Refunds can only go back on Visa and MasterCard
- Only one booking via referral per account
If you can call it a catch, there’s only 500 uses of this so while it lasts (this is different from what’s in the T&C but that’s what Booking and I have agreed to).
When booking, just make sure you check off this box:
Don’t forget price matching
I get it, Booking.com doesn’t always have the cheapest price. That’s why they have their “Rate guarantee” program which is essentially price matching. So if you REALLY want to maximize this, find a cheaper rate elsewhere, book with Booking.com and price-match. You get the cheapest price plus an additional $40 off.
Now go forth and save money on your hotels!Share this insanely hot hotel deal with your friends and familyClick To Tweet
How do I know if it worked?
When you click on the referral link and land on Booking.com, you’ll see this banner at the bottom of the page.
Redeeming your money
After your trip, you might get an e-mail that looks like this (doesn’t seem consistent). This means you’ll get your money soon.
Even before that though, you need to make sure that in your Booking.com profile, you’ve added either a Visa or MasterCard (although they do recommend Visa) and set it to “Use this card for my cash reward” box when you save it. Only then will Booking know where to refund the money back to. It doesn’t necessarily return it back to the card you booked with. The reason is that they can’t process refunds to Amex but you can pay with one.
I’ve been getting a number of questions so I thought I’d summarize a few of them for clarity:
Do I have to pre-pay for the hotel or is it okay to pay at the hotel?
A: Yes totally okay to pay at the hotel. All that Booking.com cares about is that you complete your stay. However you pay is up to you.
There’s a 500 limit. If I book a hotel in the future and the limit is hit before my stay, will I not get the refund?
A: The 500 limit will only affect anyone that tries to make a new booking after it is hit. Anyone that makes a booking before the limit is safe. So in a matter of speaking, it has nothing to do with the date of stay but rather whether you booked before the limit or after. If you booked before the limit is hit, you’re good to go.
Can I break up my multi-night booking into separate bookings and can I do it all on one account?
A: I just found out from Booking.com that they’re only honouring one referral bonus per account. That being said, if you really wanted to get $40 off per night’s hotel, you could create new accounts for each one. It’s a bit of work but could be well worth the effort.
I’ve completed my stay but I still haven’t received anything yet.
A: First, you want to make sure that in your Booking.com account profile, add either a Visa or MasterCard to your profile and designate this as “Use this card for my cash rewards”. Note that MasterCard seems to be slower so I’d recommend using a Visa.
From my experience, they are slow but they’ve always come through for me. So first, wait a week before getting concerned because there’s processing time between the hotel -> Booking.com -> refunding your credit card.
Worst case, call Booking.com to ask what’s up. I’d do this at maybe the 2 week mark.
Looking for more travel deals? Make sure you head over to the Deals page!