Let’s be honest, it’s a claim that most hotel search engines make, that their prices are the lowest you’ll find anywhere else online. But to date it hasn’t really mattered which search engine you choose – from the Booking.com’s to Agoda and Expedia, it’s much of a muchness, and you usually end up paying the same price.
This is because there’s very little room for hotel search engines to undercut each other; each hotel has an online login and sets their own price. The search engine then gets a small % of the booking, around 10% of the rate. And there are so many websites competing with each other that they’re usually all offering the lowest price.
So when we hear that a hotel search engine claims to offer better prices than other third party booking sites, I’m skeptical. It would take a fresh and creative approach to the established business model to be able to offer big enough savings to pull people away from their already bookmarked sites.
But a company called Sears Vacations has done just that; come up with an original approach which will noticeably save you the most.
Sears Vacations: The Hotel Search Engine Which Saves You the Most
You can hover over these (or any image) to quickly pin it!
How Does it Work?
With over 300,000 resorts and hotels available to choose from, Sears Vacations is just like any other hotel search engine. Except for its prices. It offers some of the best hotel rates I’ve seen in a long time. And this is because of travel savings credits.
Savings Credits are a form of payment that you can use to discount the cost of your vacation. They’re like rewards points in a way, which you can accumulate, however which allow you to buy down the retail margin dollar-for-dollar to make your cruises, hotels, and resorts even more affordable.
You need to create an account and be logged in to see the discounted rates (membership is free). And when you sign up for a free account you’re awarded $100 in travel credits straight away. You can earn additional credits with every car rental and airfare you book through the site, and if you sign up to their email list, they’re often giving promotional credit away (for instance, last week they sent out an email blast with a code for $200 in travel credits if you spent them within 72 hours).
Each hotel offers a different discount with these Travel Credits, and the point is to reduce the retail margin. So for instance you can’t spend all your credits in the one transaction to get a hotel for free. But many hotels offer deep discounts, and we found hotels which would accept up to $200 off a stay.
Applying the Same Search for The Roosevelt Hotel, NYC, June 6 2017.
Sears Vacations: $159 with Travel Credits Applied
Too Good to Be True?
So Sears Vacations are offering free memberships, free travel savings credits, and deeply discounted hotel rates? You’re probably wondering what the catch is because it sounds too good to be true.
But it’s pretty straightforward logic on their part. For a start, you can accumulate travel savings credits by booking car rentals and airfares with your Sears Vacations account, so we’re assuming the goal is to become the one stop shop for all your travel needs. And they’re probably happy breaking even on hotels if they can sell larger purchases like airfares.
And secondly, if you don’t have enough travel savings credits, you can upgrade to a paid premium membership, which is really how Sears makes most of their money. As you can see you don’t need to upgrade to have awesome benefits, but the option is there for access to further benefits and credits if you choose.
So they win because they get your business over a plethora of other competing sites. And you win because you get deeply discounted hotel rates, far cheaper than any other search engine or site. It’s win / win.
Tips for Using Sears Vacations
⇨ You need to create an account and be logged in to see the discounted rates (membership is free). You can still use the site as a non member, but you won’t see any discounted prices.
⇨ The rates are displayed in USD. You can do a quick conversion by pulling up Google in a new tab and searching “Convert *Price* USD to *Your currency*”
⇨ Bookings are non refundable, so make sure your travel plans are set in stone. If you do need assistance, they have great customer support, and are very responsive to queries via social media.
⇨ If you need more than $100 in Travel credits to make your booking you will need to upgrade your membership or catch the promotions that are offered via email.
⇨ If you find a cheaper price on a hotel room within 24 hours of having made your booking, Sears Vacations will match the price.
What to Do Before Your Next Vacation
➲ SIGN UP for a Sears Vacations account to redeem your initial $100 in savings credits. Click here.
➲ For your next trip, book your airfare and car rentals through Sears Vacations to accumulate additional savings credits and get a discount on hotels.
➲ Be on the look out for email promotions for additional earning opportunities with great offers on cruises, hotels, resorts and more. Sign up to their email list by clicking here.
As long as you have Travel Savings Credits in your Sears Vacations account, you will never have to pay retail prices again. And this doesn’t just apply to hotels, you can use your travel credits to discount the price on cruises and resort stays too.
WE RECOMMEND THESE PRODUCTS FOR THE PLANE: CLICK PHOTO ↓
SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓
If You Liked This Post You May Also Like:
Disclosure: Sears Vacations requested we put their website to the test. All opinions are our own.