Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
After attending a destination wedding in Barbados, David Charles was able to stay an extra night for free thanks to a Hotels.com booking bonus.
Name: David Charles Age: 43 Occupation: Strategy director Home: New York Loyalty program: Hotels.com Rewards
Hotel: Beach View Barbados in Bridgetown, Barbados Dates of stay: Aug. 20 - 22, 2017 (one paid night, one free night) What kind of room? Suite
Q: What amenities did you take advantage of?
A: I used the pool and parking on premises.
Q: Did you travel alone or with someone?
A: I traveled alone but met friends in Barbados staying in the same hotel for a destination wedding.
The loyalty program
Q: What loyalty program did you use to get a free stay?
A: Hotels.com Rewards.
Q: How long were you a member at that time?
A: Three years.
Q: How long were you planning/saving for this stay?
A: A couple of months.
Q: What's your favorite perk of this program?
A: Members get one free night for every 10 stays and it’s not limited to a single hotel chain.
Redemption and booking
Q: Did you take advantage of promotions while earning points for this trip?
Q: Where did you book?
A: On the Hotels.com website.
Q: How much did this cost?
A: I stayed 10 nights to collect one free night.
Q: Did you book in conjunction with a promotion or deal?
Q: Any surprises or hassles?
What's your next travel rewards goal?
A: I have one free night booked at a Lake Placid hotel for an industry conference. I’m not a hotel rewards maximizer mainly because I often stay at Airbnb and HomeAway properties, and don’t want to feel compelled the stay at a particular chain in order to earn stays. I am more loyal to airlines though, always flying Oneworld to maximize miles earned for the American Airlines AAdvantage program.
Photo via David Charles.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: How I flew for free: Miles to the rescue for a family emergency How I flew for free: Round trip NYC to India using Chase Ultimate Rewards How I flew business class to Bangkok with my family for free