Looking for a deal on hotels? Discounts on stays may seem pretty elusive and for the most part you’d be right as hotel chains and online travel agencies don’t dish out coupon codes. That said, there is something called hotel corporate codes. These are special codes you can enter when booking at hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriott that can yield big savings.
There are a few things you need to know before using them so it’s worth diving into these corporate hotel rates. Who has them? Is it safe to use them? How much discount can you get from them? Are they worth it?
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Who Are Hotel Corporate Codes For
So why do these exist in the first place?
Many companies have a large workforce that travel frequently – think sales people, executives, and also consultants and contractors they might hire. To make things more economical, many of these organizations will negotiate special rates for their staff and a hotel corporate code is born.
The discounts companies receive depends on a number of factors including but in general these are meant to be cheaper than the lowest publicly available rates. Of course, not all codes are equal. Large companies like IBM have more power to negotiate better discounts versus a small business.
Not all codes are equal.
Another thing to know is that when these corporate codes are created, there are conditions tied to them. Some can be used for business use only while some allow for personal travel as well. Some company rates only apply during weekdays and some might only work in certain regions (i.e. North America instead of global).
How Good Are The Hotel Corporate Rates?
This is a big fat “it depends” kind of answer.
You’d assume that using hotel corporate codes should result in bigger savings than what the public can get. And yes, this is the case in most cases however the reality is that since the actual discounted rates and conditions aren’t released publicly, it’s really hard to know the exact formula used to calculate the rates.
When you use your corporate code, you might find that it only applies to some brands of a chain or it might only work in Europe but not North America. The discounted corporate rates might also seem like they fluctuate from property to property with no rhyme or reason.
As a result, the public promotions can result in a better rate than the corporate codes.
TIP: Always compare prices between the lowest available price without a code and with a code.
How To Find The Codes?
Most companies that have corporate codes will have them listed somewhere whether it be some sort of internal document, wiki, SharePoint, or pinned on a Slack channel somewhere. If anything, you can always ask HR to find out if hotel corporate codes exist.
If you don’t work for a company that has access to special corporate hotel rates, you’ll find it on pages such as this one so you’re in the right place.
How Do You Use Hotel Corporate Codes?
Once you have the code, it’s really just a matter of going to the hotel chain’s website, and finding their respective field where you can enter a corporate code/account.
Every hotel chain looks different but somewhere along the way, the online booking page should show that the corporate code has been applied.
Is It Safe To Use Hotel Corporate Codes?
There are two sides to this.
1) If you’re an employee, contractor, or associate connected to the company the code is designated for, then by all means, use the code freely.
2) If you’re not affiliated to a company, technically you’re not supposed to. Can you? Yes, there’s nothing stopping you but this definitely falls into one of those grey areas.
The big fat warning I’ll put here is that there is some risk in using hotel corporate codes if you don’t work for that particular company.
Officially, all check-in staff are supposed to ask for proof of eligibility. There’s typically no official documentation listed but this usually comes in the form of business cards, work badge, or work e-mail address ([email protected]) where they can send confirmation to.
Unofficially, not all staff check for ID especially between hotel chains. Hilton for instance is much more strict typically versus Marriott.
The risk? If you can’t provide proof, they can charge you the walk-in rate which is usually a lot more expensive than if you just booked a room online or on the app beforehand. You also couldn’t really walk away because at this point you’d be passed the cancellation deadline.
As a generalization, I will say that there is a higher chance of you getting your ID checked at a hotel for using a corporate code than a car rental.
How do you mitigate this risk? Let’s just say you can get a little creative but here are a few ideas:
- Say that you’re a consultant working for the company in question and that you were given this code by your client.
- Check-in online and take advantage of digital keys through the app if possible.
Hotel Corporate Code Listing
Instead of listing every single code, it makes more sense to break things up by hotel chain. So far, we’ve covered hotel corporate codes for Hilton and Marriott.
Do you research. There are a lot of hotel corporate codes out there but the amount of the discount varies and properties where it works really requires you to check manually.
Remember to compare the rate you’re seeing with the official promotions offered by the hotel chain. Many times, the public deals are better than the corporate code rates.
Finally, be aware of the risks associated to using corporate hotel rates. You may be asked for ID and so if you don’t belong to that company, you need to have a game plan in place if they do.
Frequently asked questions
If you are affiliate with the company that the corporate code is intended, you can freely use the code. If you’re the general public, you can try to use them but tread carefully as they may ask for identification. Some hotel chains are more diligent in checking than others, and some cases it’s about luck so my recommendation is to always have a fall back or reason why you’re using the code.
Not necessarily as there are situations where publicly available promotions may trump discounts you can get from hotel corporate codes. However, there are certainly really good corporate codes for Hilton and Marriott that you should try.
Each corporate code is designed to work in a specific way and without the exact breakdown, most of time it will require some testing to figure out which codes work out best for the property you’re interested in booking.
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Would love your thoughts about using hotel corporate codes. Do you have success stories? What about failures?