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 with Booking.com that I’ve secured for Going Awesome Places readers. It’s a deep discount referral that you’ll only find here. No special code required.
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.
DOES IT STILL WORK?
Updated September 2018
All good things come to an end! Sadly the referral program is over and I’d like to thank everyone for participating and making excellent use of the $40 off.
If you’re still curious about how it used to work, I’m keeping the rest up for archive purposes.
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. 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
When booking, just make sure you check off the box that says “Use card specified above”:
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 a large pop up box that looks like this:
Another way you can tell whether your referral link is working is to look at the bottom right corner. You’ll see the gift-box icon there if you’re still eligible for the referral bonus.
After you book, your confirmation page on the Booking.com site in your browser, scroll down and you’ll see something like this where they re-iterate the steps you need to follow. I admit it’s a little complicated but trust me it’s worth it:
The Step By Step
I still get a lot of questions about how to exactly do this so why don’t I just write down each step in bullet form to make it (hopefully) crystal clear.
- Click on my Booking.com referral bonus link.
- Find the hotel you’re interested in.
- Create a brand new account when it asks whether you have an account or not
- On the last step of booking, it’ll ask you for your credit card details. Enter a card and check off the box to say that you want to use this card for the referral refund
- Go to your profile and under the credit card section, add a Visa or Mastercard (doesn’t have to be what you used to reserve your hotel) and again check off the box to confirm that you want to use this as your refund credit card
- Stay at your hotel
- Refund should be processed within 2-4 weeks and it’ll show up on your statement as if you refunded a purchase on the credit card you designated
Redeeming your money
After your trip, you MIGHT get an e-mail that looks like this. The thing is, it’s not consistent. They used to include this in the email once upon a time but I haven’t seen it recently. If you don’t see something like this in your booking confirmation email, don’t fret.
Don’t miss this critical step:
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.
Now if you clicked on the “To get your reward, you’ll need to provide us with a credit card” checkbox (first screenshot in the post) when you made your booking, you should be good here but otherwise, you need to make sure you follow this step.
What’s interesting about Booking.com’s approach here is that they give you the option of returning your refund back on a card that could be different from the one that you used to book. Primarily, this solves their problem of not being able to 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.
I remember there used to be a 500 limit. Is that still the case?
A: Because of the huge success of this promotion through Going Awesome Places, they’ve lifted the 500 cap and can be used used an unlimited amount of time as long as it’s with a brand new Booking.com account.
Can I break up my multi-night booking into separate bookings and can I do it all on one account?
A: Booking.com is 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.
HUNGRY FOR MORE DEALS?
Before you go, make sure you head over to the Deals page which has lots more discounts and promos for things like flights, travel gear, car rentals, hotels, and much MUCH more.