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Make a Membership Rewards Account | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


The author in London.
Coren Feldman

  • When I travel, I often stay at hotel chains with rewards programs that include members-only rates.
  • In many cases, all you need is your email address to make a free membership account.
  • This hack has saved me hundreds of dollars on hotels over the years.

While booking a Holiday Inn for a wedding in 2018, I stumbled upon a travel hack that continues to save me money with nearly every hotel reservation.

I wanted to see if late checkout was an option, and I found that it was offered as a perk to IHG One Rewards members, a rewards program for the InterContinental Hotels Group, which also includes hotel chains such as Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, and Staybridge Suites. While regular checkout at Holiday Inns is usually 11 a.m. or 12 p.m., IHG One Rewards members can check out as late as 2 p.m., subject to availability. 

I assumed that such a membership came with some kind of fee, but all I needed to do was make a free online account with my email address. That account also gave me access to lower member-exclusive rates when booked directly through Holiday Inn’s website.

I didn’t just get to sleep in — I saved money, too.

Now, I always check if hotels have free membership programs offering lower rates or other perks

I saved 15% on my reservation by making a free membership account on the hotel’s website.
Talia Lakritz/Insider

Oftentimes they do, and it’s paid off. 

When I visited the UK earlier this year, I made a free membership account on the website of the Tavistock Hotel, a branch of Imperial London Hotels. I was shocked when that simple step shaved 15% off the cost of my reservation, bringing the total from £561.18 to £477. I opted to spend a bit extra by adding the hotel’s full English breakfast buffet to my stay, and it still cost less than it would have if I hadn’t become a member.

I’ve found that most hotels advertise member-only rates directly on their booking pages, making it easy to tell if they offer this promotion. If it’s not mentioned there, a quick online search for the hotel’s name coupled with “membership rewards program” usually does the trick.

These days, I never book a hotel without first checking if I can make a free account for discounts or perks. As far as I can tell, there’s really no catch. I haven’t gotten spammed with emails or junk mail, and I haven’t been charged any additional fees.

This hack probably won’t work for those who prefer smaller, independently owned hotels, since, in my experience, these rewards programs are often offered through larger hotel chains. However, I personally enjoy the predictability of staying with the same hotel company across different locations. My partner jokes that we’re a “Holiday Inn household.”

The discounts offered through membership accounts don’t always make a significant difference in my travel budget. But even if it only saves $10, that’s $10 more that I can spend on a souvenir or sweet treat during my travels.

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