Frequent travelers know that nearly every hotel chain now guarantees that you’ll find the lowest “published” rate on their own branded websites.
The “best rate guarantees” usually offer to pay the difference (and toss in some other bennies) if you find a lower rate elsewhere.
But the operative word in those guarantees is “published.”
These days, there are all kinds of hidden or unpublished rates available, but who has time to poke around looking for these? Not me!
GoSeek.com is a month-old website that sniffs out and aggregates these bargains and posts them online.
These unpublished discounts rates are coupons, mobile rates, AAA rates, senior rates, rates that you’d normally only find at paid membership clubs. Some of the rates are “subscriber rates” which require a free login to view, and are technically not published or publicly available.
GoSeek says that it offers lower rates on more than half the hotels you’d find on a typical metasearch site– with a savings of 20% or more.
We took a quick scan and did find some good deals. Let’s look at Tues April 7 – Thurs April 9 in New York City. The site produced multiple results, but here are two that I really liked– with a savings of $40 and $52 per night at two very nice hotels. And when I checked the individual hotel websites, I could not find these “coupon rates.”
Update: Major chain properties are in on this, too. I was even able to find a $70 discount for the popular, brand new Park Hyatt as well as several Best Western, Hilton, Marriott, Starwood and IHG properties.
So based on this quick look, GoSeek.com does seem to be able to find lower rates.
But what about getting those cherished loyalty points? We asked GoSeek and here’s what they had to say about that:
This is a complicated answer, and amounts to “sometimes”. You get hotel loyalty points when booking AAA and Senior rates. You get OTA loyalty points (e.g., Expedia or Orbitz) when booking a mobile rate. You get OTA loyalty points sometimes when booking a rate with a coupon. Two examples: On Cheaptickets you do. On Hotels.com you don’t. And you shouldn’t be getting hotel loyalty points for OTA bookings with coupons, ever. And you never get points – OTA or Hotel loyalty program – when booking a subscriber rate.
GoSeek is based in the Bay Area and headed up by Clem Bason, who was once president of Hotwire.com.
Would you use a site like this? Please leave your comments below.
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