Is Rewards worth it? Our Review

Last Updated on 21 December 2022 by Dan

Hello everyone! In my previous post on my tips of how I research and book a great value holiday, I had flagged the Rewards loyalty scheme as being particularly of note for how generous it is. With this in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate a full post to review the Rewards scheme to highlight why that is and what you can get from it!

(Note: We may receive a small commission for referring you using our links, but it won’t affect the service you receive and per our editorial policy, we always write honestly about what we review, no matter if we get paid or not).

How does Hotels.Com Rewards work?

The Rewards loyalty scheme consistent of 2 main structures:

A “Free night’s stay” after 10 nights.

The Rewards loyalty scheme works of the basis of a stamp system, similar to your average coffee loyalty scheme. For every night you book into a hotel using, that equates to one stamp.

Each stamp is made at the value of the price you have paid for that night’s stay. Once you’ve hit 10 stamps, you get a “free night’s stay” on your next booking with which is a deduction off a booking of the average price of the 10 nights.

That works out as a very generous deal. Let’s illustrate it with an example just to make it crystal clear:

  • I stay 5 nights in a hotel at £200 a night
  • I then stay 5 nights in a hotel at £100 a night.
  • As the average of my 10 nights would be a stay at £150 a night, I can redeem a voucher for £150.

Effectively, this equates to a 10% return on your holiday bookings – absolutely worth grabbing onto!

Below I am demonstrating how your stamps are recorded and the average cost shown post booking:

How stamps are collected and reviewed in Rewards

Membership Loyalty Tier Benefits

Should you collect multiple stamps over the course of a membership year, you’ll move up though the Hotels.Com loyalty tiers which contains some further additional benefits depending on the level you’re at. These are more “nice to have” benefits than the outright savings in the stamp system above.

Basic Hotels.Com Rewards

Applies until reaching the point of collecting 9 stamps:

  • Offers access to the stamp system as per the above.
  • Offers discounts via signing up through “secret prices” – these are simple discounts when booking your trip.

Hotels.Com Rewards Silver

After collecting 10 Rewards stamps, you’ll qualify for Rewards Silver. This brings some additional benefits:

  • For “VIP Access” properties only you may get an extra, which is hotel dependent. (These are rarely worth getting too excited about but they’re nice little extras like a bottle of wine on arrival, or a late checkout being provided as standard).
  • Price Guarantee Plus. This is a really good perk but most people won’t put in the legwork to take full advantage – if you book somewhere and then find the same hotel cheaper either on or another site at a later date, they’ll refund you the different.
  • Priority Customer Service – you’ll get prioritised for any issues when contacting Hotels.Com

Hotels.Com Rewards Gold

Obtaining Hotels.Com Rewards Gold requires you to be a seriously regular customer, racking up over 30 stamps in a year. If you manage to achieve this, you’ll get the following additional rewards:

  • A free room upgrade (if available) at VIP Access hotels only.
  • Early check in where available at VIP Access hotels only.
  • A guaranteed late check out of 2 hours at VIP Access hotels only.
  • For Avis customers an upgrade to Preferred Plus Avis Membership when you link accounts.

Full details of the Tier system can be found at this page on the website.

How long is a membership year with

A membership year is one calendar year from the date you opened your account.

This picture shows how your membership tier status, stamps earned and expiry date get tracked:

Showing how Reward TIer status is shown within rewards as part of our review.

What is a VIP Access Hotel with Hotels.Com?

It’s a selection of properties (fairly extensive) which have a preferred status and business partnership with Hotels.Com.

I’ve enclosed an example picture below which shows how to identify this in your search results you’ll see that next to the hotel name, there’s a little black circle with “VIP” which identifies these so look out for that.

Demonstrating how VIP Access Hotels are shown in rewards.

How Do I sign up to Rewards?

If you sign up to a account you’ll be invited to opt in to Rewards at that time – otherwise simply go to the Rewards home page and select to opt in there.

Are there any disadvantages with rewards?

No, but we would note one thing that can potentially limit the benefit you get from a reward and is worth keeping in mind as it’s something that can catch you out:

  • If you book your Reward Night for a room which is cheaper than the average price of the 10 nights used to get your voucher, the difference is simply forfeit.
  • (If your Reward night is more expensive, you’ll get the full value of the voucher and just pay the difference).

Is Hotels.Com Rewards worth it?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Absolutely it is Hotels.Com Rewards is one most generous rewards schemes I’ve seen full stop, let alone for holidays.

On a premium product where you can end up spending fairly large amounts, a 10% bonus is well worth claiming and as such we think it’s worth prioritising Hotels.Com even where there may be a small price premium, so long as you are certain you will use the voucher.

The membership tier benefits are also a nice touch – but given most of them are small and limited to VIP Access properties, we wouldn’t go out of our way to achieve a status. If you do make it to Silver, it’s absolutely worth seeing if you can get your holiday a bit cheaper though!.

I’ve covered some additional FAQ’s on Hotels.Com rewards below.

Do I earn Rewards stamps at all properties?

In your search results there will be a tick or cross next to each property saying if you will earn a stamp for staying at this property. (I actually haven’t seen one yet where you don’t!)

Do Hotels.Com Rewards stamps expire?

Your stamps will expire if you don’t make any booking within the 12 month period following you earning your previous stamp. Earn another and the clock simply restarts.

Is Hotels.Com Rewards free?

Yes absolutely and there’s no ongoing cost – although you obviously have to pay to book rooms and use your stamps to see real advantage from it!

Hotels.Com Vs. Expedia

A side note that is actually part of the Expedia Group and so offers very similar results to looking directly with Expedia. However slightly weirdly the two brands don’t have the same loyalty scheme, and it’s why we favour of the two – even if we think Expedia’s design is a bit nicer and more user friendly.

Any questions?

Have you any questions about Hotels.Com rewards or have questions for us on the scheme? Just leave us a note in the comments below. We’d also love to hear about your travel adventures if you’ve done well out of the programme!

And that’s it!

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