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14 Secret Hotel Discounts You Didn’t Know Existed

SmarterTravel

There’s nothing better than staying at a nice hotel—except, of course, if you get that hotel for an amazing deal. There are a lot of discounts that hotels offer travelers, including some you may not have heard of. This guide can help you find a great discount on your next hotel room.  

How Do You Know What Discounts are Offered by a Hotel?

You can find the most common discounts listed on the hotel’s website, but you may also want to try a good old-fashioned call to the hotel. An online travel agency can’t book some of these discounts, and the lesser-known discounts may be hard to find even on the hotel’s website. A desk clerk can tell you what discount options the hotel has and book a room for you on the spot. 

Some of the most common discounts you may have heard of include:

  • Loyalty program discounts
  • Student discounts
  • Military discounts
  • First responder, government worker, and frontline worker discounts
  • Retail membership discounts
  • AAA

A few less common sources of discounts you shouldn’t forget to ask about include:

  • Travel agent discounts
  • Your insurance company, bank, or credit union
  • Professional associations
  • Senior/AARP discounts
  • University discounts
  • Hospital stay 
  • Corporate 
  • Attraction
  • Extended stay

Loyalty Programs

You’d be surprised at the deals offered to members of a hotel chain’s loyalty program. Early bird discounts, deals on new hotels, package deals, and other unique discounts are frequently offered to loyalty members. If you find yourself wanting to stay at a property of one of these hotel chains, signing up for the loyalty program can show you some deals you may not have been aware of. 

If you want to look at these deals, here are some of the top loyalty programs for your perusal, including:

Student Discounts

If you’ve taken a class recently, you might want to look into what student discounts are available. Student discount site UniDays, for example, shows discounts on hotels.com for up to 40 percent off and VRBO vacation rentals for 20 percent off.

Discounts for Military, Government, First Responder, and Frontline Workers 

Your occupation may qualify you for a discount. While many people think of firefighters, police officers, teachers, and members of the armed forces as eligible for discounts, there are many others that qualify as well. Everyone from lifeguards, groundskeepers, secretaries, and umpires could qualify for the government worker discount. 

Some of the discounts available include: 

  • 30 percent off hotels under the Caesar Hotel Group
  • 20 percent off Wyndham Hotel Group properties
  • 15 percent off Hilton all-inclusive properties
  • 15 percent off Hyatt all-inclusive properties
  • 15 percent off Panama Jack Resorts
  • 10 percent off Hotels.com bookings
  • 10 percent off Hotwire Hot Rate Hotels

Membership Retailer Discounts (Costco, Sam’s Club, BJs)

Your favorite wholesale club has hotel discounts worth checking out. 

Take a look at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel, for example, where you’d save more than $100 by booking through Sam’s Club vs. an online travel agency like Expedia.

AAA 

You’ve probably heard of this discount, but if you forget to ask for it, you could be paying 25 percent more than you should. American Automobile Association (AAA) has discounts at preferred hotel chains Best Western, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and MGM Resorts. Discounts range from 5 to 25 percent off. Members may also have access to perks such as free breakfast, free parking, and loyalty program extras. 

Travel Agent Discounts 

Travel agents can have access to better deals on a hotel, especially high-end properties. They’re also able to access certain perks for a customer. It’s definitely worth calling your favorite travel agent to see how they can help. 

Your Insurance Company, Bank, or Credit Union

Would it surprise you to know that you may have access to a discount through your insurance company, credit union, or bank? It’s less common than other avenues already listed, but is worth looking for. USAA members, for example, can save up to 25 percent off on hotels. 

Professional Associations (Think APA, NEA, AFT, and More) 

Your professional association may have a great discount worked out with a hotel chain. The American Psychological Association (APA), for example, reports their members can receive up to 40 percent savings at more than 2400 resort condo properties in 90 countries.

Senior Travel & AARP

If you’re approaching your golden years, don’t forget to ask about a senior discount, which is often one of the best out there. Additionally, AARP members receive an extra 10 percent off hotel stays booked at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Choice Hotels when booking through the AARP Travel Center.

University Discounts 

If you need a hotel room near a university for dropping off kids at college, attending a graduation or a conference, be sure to ask the hotel if they have a university discount. 

Hospital Stay Discounts 

If you need to stay at a hotel for a nearby hospital visit, be sure to ask if they have a hospital stay rate. Your medical provider may also have information about preferred hotels with discounted rates.  

Corporate Rates

Hotels have relationships with many large businesses, and often a negotiated discount. If you work for one of these companies (or are a consultant, a guest, or provide services for them in some way), you should be able to take advantage of the corporate rate. 

Attraction Discounts 

If you’re staying at a hotel near a popular attraction like Disneyland, Universal Studios, Legoland, or Seaworld, you’ll want to ask if the hotel has an attraction discount. Often, hotels are partnered with nearby attractions and can offer lower rates for travelers coming to visit. You may even be able to score discount tickets to your attraction, too.

Extended Stay Rates

If you need to stay for a week or longer, ask if there is a discount for an extended stay. Many hotels offer a discount for long-term stays, including Marriott, Choice Hotels, Extended Stay America, Hyatt, and more. 

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