People often wonder how to travel as much as I do, yet not have money pouring out so fast that I'm in debt up to my eyes. The formula isn't a secret, it's just not well advertised. We all know by now I use points and miles to get extremely low cost trips around the world, but often I need to pay for hotels. Using the tools at your disposal can and just did cut my hotel price in half.
I've spoken about the advantages of keeping the high end Citi Prestige card around in your wallet. Even after the announcement from Citi that many features are going away, it still remains my travel go to card for now. The big reason for that is the 4th night free benefit. If you book a hotel through Citi's Concierge service, they will refund you the cost of the 4th night. That means that for any stay 4 nights or longer, you'll get 1 of those nights back. Staying for 8 nights? Do a mid week hotel switch and get 2 nights free, as they don't allow you to use it twice on a single stay.
Additionally, the card benefit can be paired with promotional pricing from hotels, and I just did that on my stay in South Africa. The hotel I'm staying at is running a promotion to stay 3 nights and get the 4th night free. Even though both the hotel and Citi promise the 4th night free, they can still be combined. Booking at the hotel reduces the daily price across the board instead of refunding a single day. That means that you still pay for four nights, but the cost is reduced on all of them equal to the cost of the 4th night.
Citi will then take the overall price of the stay, average it for a per day cost and refund 1 days worth of charges. That means this is almost like staying for 4 nights and only paying for 2. Almost a half price deal, it's not exactly 50% since the Citi benefit kicks in on the reduced rate, but it is close to a half price deal.
This is the trick, look for the deals hotels make available. Hotels are trying to drive traffic to their properties and will offer these great promotions. Combining promotions can give huge returns in pricing.
These companies are giving majorly reduced prices on high end hotels, might as well take advantage of those deals if you can. This is hoe I do it, combine offers and deals as much as possible to get massive price reductions, it lets me stay at high end hotels for no more than I would pay at a Holiday Inn.
Grab a great credit card, find some great deal and travel the world... you won't regret it!