For traveling dads, sometimes convenience wins the day. Unless you travel regularly for business, it can be tough to stay loyal to a single hotel chain. Or maybe you don’t want to jump through the hoops necessary. Or even if you have loyalty, there may be that city where you have no options to your preferred loyalty chain.
A few weekends ago my wife and I took a weekend trip to New York City without the kids. I booked the trip using Bonwi, a new website that offers easy to use rebates for hotel stays. I’ve tried hotels.com in the past for similar situations, but I’ve never been able to redeem those rewards because they always expire before I stay 10 nights!
Here’s how to get simple, easy to redeem hotel rebates with Bonwi.
How Bonwi works
Bonwi operates with a very straightforward concept. You book a hotel on a prepaid rate and receive a certain number of points in return. I find it simplest to just think of it as a rebate.
Each point you earn from Bonwi is worth 1 cent redeemed toward a future hotel stay or car rental. That’s it! To top if off, the points expire in generous timeframes, unlike the short expiration times on other sites. You even get 1,500 points (aka $15) just for signing up.
Finding a good deal
As a traveling dad, one of my goals is to travel as cheaply as possible. So it’s important to compare the price you’re getting from Bonwi to the prices you can get elsewhere. For example, for our stay in hotel, we paid $529 with Bonwi and received a rebate of 14,108 points ($141.08). The same hotel booked on Hilton’s website cost about $500, but with the Bonwi rebate I still came out ahead.
Unfortunately I forgot to take screenshots for my NY trip so I created a dummy booking to show this in action. I searched for a room for two adults in Charlotte between March 10-12. As you can see, the Marriott City Center costs $465 total (I love how the site shows the total including tax so you don’t have to worry about it later). With a rebate of 10,795 points ($107.95) the total cost of the hotel equals $357.05, provided you redeem the points you earn!
Don’t ignore lower cost options
You actually can find better deals that return less points. For example, the Extended Stay Charlotte Airport costs $224 all in, with a rebate of 5,441 points ($54.41) for a total cost of $169.59. As you can see, that hotel costs $218.95 all in on the Extended Stay America website, so you’re coming out way ahead (provided you want to stay at Extended Stay America!).
So if you want to dive deep, you can find some really good deals. Of course, if simplicity is your thing, just find a hotel with a good enough price for you – it’s all about finding what works best for your family.
Redeeming your points
Once you’ve earned your points, it’s time for the fun part – redeeming! Like I said, one of the beauties of Bonwi is its simplicity. Every point you’ve earned equals one cent towards a flight, hotel, or car. That’s right, you can even book flights with Bonwi points.
If you want to redeem your points for hotels, you can simply choose “points” instead of money when you search hotel prices. The site automatically converts the hotel prices into points at the rate of one cent per point.
For flights, you can just use Bonwi’s flight search function. I double checked the prices Bonwi offered vs. those I could find on other websites like Kayak – they were about $6 more expensive on Bonwi for some reason (when converted to cash equivalent), at least for the flights I searched.
Note if you are redeeming points you need to have enough for at least 50% of the purchase price – the rest you can cover with a credit card by buying points at a rate of one cent per point.
Other redemption options
If you don’t want to redeem your points for travel, you also have the option of redeeming for gift cards. As long as you have at least 10,000 points, you can redeem for gift cards in $100 increments (again, 1 cent per point). Merchants include Amazon, Apple, Staples, Target, and many more.
Calculating my savings
Just to put a monetary value on things, I calculated that I saved this much.
Hotel stay: $529 (cost through Bonwi) – $500 (cost if I had bought from Hilton) – $141 (value of Bonwi points earned) = -$112 or $112 saved.
Airline redemption: $112 (points applied to flight) – $6 (how much flight cost extra when redeeming Bonwi points) = $96 savings
So, I saved about $96 on a $529 hotel stay – a rebate of almost 20%! Not bad.
Obviously, you don’t need to go through all the math I went through, I just wanted to show the actual value of my savings in numbers. Like I said at the top, the value in Bonwi lies in its simplicity. Book hotel, earn Bonwi points, redeem for 1 cent per point. You’ll be saving money and traveling more before you know it!