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This is a slightly odd deal and I’m not at all confident it will last very long – so use it while you can!
You may or may not have heard of US hotel chain ‘La Quinta’. It actually has a lot of properties, but they don’t tend to be particularly ‘aspirational’ and so don’t get a lot of coverage in the travel/points/miles world.
La Quinta has a loyalty programme, La Quinta Returns, which similarly hasn’t had a lot of attention, but that might well change now…
US blog DealsWeLike just posted about an absolutely fascinating ‘hack’ that effectively allows you to book all sorts of hotels (not La Quinta!) at a very significant discount.
There are essentially just two things you need to know:
You can buy La Quinta Returns Points for £9.00 ($11.00) per 1,000 (you can purchase up to 40,000 Points each year, and purchases can take up to 24 hours to process).
You can use La Quinta Points to pay for all sorts of hotels on the site they’ve put together with Pointshound here.
The ‘hack’ is that the number of Points required to book hotels on that site is often pretty low, which means buying the Points and then using them to book a hotel can be considerably cheaper than booking the same hotel in any other way.
Let’s look at some examples so you can see what I’m babbling about:
IHG’s Intercontinental Hotel in Malta costs £97.00 on Monday 14th November on all the usual booking sites.
The La Quinta booking site only requires 7,025 Points though, which you can purchase for ~£63.00. That’s a 35% discount!
The Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport is £90.00 for Saturday 10th December
or 6,500 La Quinta Points, which you can buy for about £58.50 – another 35% saving!
Moving away from IHG properties, let’s look at the Sheraton Park Lane in London for the same date. The SPG ‘member exclusive’ rate (cheapest available) is £276.00
but the La Quinta booking site only wants 23,250 Points, which you can buy for about £210.00. That works out as a 25% discount even off the SPG members only rate!
or 15,850 La Quinta Points, which cost about £143.00 – that’s a staggering 42%+ discount!
These deals go on and on. They are available all over the world, apply to Club rooms and Suites just as much as standard rooms, and boutique hotels just as much as chain ones. In fact, boutique hotels (which tend not to have significant loyalty programmes) might well be where you can find the best value as you’re not giving up Points by booking with a third party. 4* and 5* hotels seemed to be where the most obvious discounts were, but that was just my impression rather than anything hugely scientific.
Not every hotel will be cheaper so always shop around, and I would only advise doing this if you have an immediate use for the Points, as it does seem more generous than it was likely intended to be and so might not last very long!