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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’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

Orbitz: $359

Expedia: $359 $436

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.

Sign Up to Redeem $100 in Travel Credit Register to Hear About Promotions via Email


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Disclosure: Sears Vacations requested we put their website to the test. All opinions are our own. 


  1. Love it! I’m working on a post for Sears too! It’s a pretty awesome concept honestly! Never going to complain about saving $$$

    • It’s a great concept – was happy to set my normal skepticism to the side for this one. The discounts are awesome!

  2. I’m in the process of planning a trip to Paris, these tips are going to help tremendously!

    • Glad we could help Juliette :) Have a great time in Paris!

  3. whole heatedly Thank you for giving out valuable information

    • We are happy to help :) Happy travels!

  4. Thanks for the detailed breakdown. It’s sometimes tricky trying to figure out how to get the most out of some sites, especially when they don’t provide that level of detail for you upfront.

    • You’re welcome Steve – yes, a lot of the time we’ve found it’s hard to find that detailed breakdown, and especially for search engines, people don’t really leave reviews like they do with experiences or hotel stays. Feel free to touch base if you have any questions :)

      Happy travels!

  5. Thank you for sharing tips with us! Definitely, I will try to use this search engine for the next travelling <3

    • You’re welcome Linh – glad we could introduce you :) Happy travels!

  6. I have uses some hotel search engines before, especially Agoda. However, after reading your sharing, I am really impressed by the benefits that Sears Vacations bring to us. I definitely use it regularly in the near future!

    • Hotel search engines are great, we haven’t booked a hotel directly in a while now :) But yes, have been super impressed with the benefits of Sears Vacations, so I can’t see us using anything else!

  7. Now this looks interesting. Do you know if this works if you are based in Europe?

    • Absolutely – available for everyone all over the world :)

  8. Wow. Never even heard of Sears and will look into this. Great review and got me convinced to checking them out. Even though I like to go budget, budget, if I can get a good deal on something more upmarket then I am gained :)

    • Glad we could introduce you :) That’s the great thing about Sears Vacations discounts – you might find you can get a mid range hotel for the regular rate of a budget hotel and enjoy the upgrade :D!

  9. This is really useful. I am from the UK and I just thought Sears was a store for some reason. I will sign up to this today, I am always looking for new ways to get deals and travel credit for my travels ! Thank you

    • I believe there may be a store of the same name somewhere in the USA – department store or something :) Enjoy the Sears Vacations discounts … Let us know what you think!

  10. It does sound like a great site, who can argue with saving money? I’ll check it out next time I’m booking. At the moment I usually use as I like not having to pay upfront and being able to cancel close in to departure but am happy to switch if there’s somewhere like Sears offering better discounts!

    • You’ll never find me arguing with saving money :D We like for not having to pay upfront too, and those reservations have the benefit of cancellation period, where Sears Vacations bookings are non refundable. But if you’re sure of your travel plans, the savings is great :)

      Happy travels!

  11. Sears vacations promises to offer better discounts compared to the other hotel search engines. I would like to have a look at it and see how much we could save in Asian countries. It is interesting to note that subscribing to their newsletters is also a good way of earning points or grabbing offers as these newsletters could have some wonderful offers.

    • We have been focusing mainly on North America since having discovered Sears Vacations, so definitely let us know what your experience is if you’re using them throughout Asia.

      Yes, definitely sign up for the newsletter, I find that this is a great idea with any company you frequently use as you hear about information, specials and discounts first :)

  12. That sounds really smart. I would have assumed it was just for Americans, but it sounds from your post as if it’s a World Wide scheme so I am off to check

    • It’s worldwide :) Enjoy the discounts!

  13. Hey Megan! I just bookmarked this! I will surely try this! I need this! I hope it’ll work for me. Thank you.

    • Glad we could help :) Enjoy the discounts!

  14. I have been using or Agoda for majority of my bookings. Will definitely check it out. But it looks like there are some rules around max travel credit. Will check them out for sure.

    • We used both and Agoda before we heard about Sears Vacations too, but have definitely found cheaper rates now. Yes, each hotel has a different level of credits you can use, so you can’t choose to apply everything at once, the point being to reduce the retail margin which is usually charged above the cost of the room :)

      Happy travels! Let us know if you have any questions as you explore the platform.

  15. Savings…always up to cutting costs wherever possible. I have to admit, I’ve never heard of Sears Vacations before, but the $100 in travel credits is worth checking out. I’m definitely going to check them out and see what I come up with…keep you posted:)

    • Glad we could introduce you Rosemary, yes, the $100 in travel credits when you sign up is reason enough to jump over, and then I’ve found it doesn’t take much convincing to stick around – the discounts are genuinely great!

      Let us know how you go :)

  16. Wow! What an awesome post. I am a huge Kayak fan and I have found that most booking sites do give you the same price. I am planning a couple of trips as we speak and I am about to check out Sears Vacations. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Thanks Melody :) Yes, the majority of booking sites are exactly the same, there’s not much room to move with hotel prices when a third party jumps into the mix. Definitely check out Sears Vacations – love their inventive approach to bring the prices down! Let us know what you think :)

  17. 300,000 listings is a huge number, and I actually quite like the business model for Sears Vacations. The $100 credit on sign-up is great and that in itself could be a reason to try them out.

    Do they also have an app already Meg?

    • We love the inventive approach to their business model too :) And yes, they’ve done really well at achieving a selection of hotels which can compete with the other more mainstream search engines out there.

      I believe it’s just the online platform for now, though I’ll reach out to my contact and find out :)

  18. Oh new travel toy! I always like to see if new websites can save us money. So keen to try this one out for our next adventure and try save some pennies.

    • It’s fun discovering new sites which save you! Let us know what you think of Sears Vacations :)

  19. Interesting. I tend to travel on a low budget and this looks like very helpful tool.

    • Sears Vacations is perfect if you’re traveling on a budget :) Let us know what you think!

  20. I had never heard of the Sears Vacations search engine – but if it currently leading the pack for savings when booking hotels, I’m happy to start using it! Every little bit helps and I love knowing that I’ve got then best deal possible when I make a booking!

    • Glad we could introduce you, yes it’s definitely leading the way in terms of offering the cheapest prices – and as you said, every savings counts!

  21. A new hotel booking site with an interesting concept. On the whole if they save us money it is fine. I did find some room for improvement. For example If I want to look for hotels in Tokyo , Japan , I can’t do it. It just gives you a list of all resorts in Japan. That too just 4! Same for Australia or India. I guess it probably works best for US with some more time to go for rest of the world.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the country / city filters Nisha – we’ve been focusing our travels on North America since having discovered Sears Vacations, so haven’t run into this issue, but as you said it’s probably something which may take time to expand throughout the rest of the world :)

  22. I will compare this to my work for our summer trip. I never heard of Sears Vacation, but I’m willing to try it- even if the real Sears is about to close down.

    • Glad we could introduce you :) Yes, I heard that Sears the department store was closing down – was my go to when I lived in the US! Sears Vacations though should be sticking around :D

  23. Wow–that’s amazing you can save so much with Sears Vacations! I will definitely be checking it out. The credit concept is really great, and I like the screenshots with price comparisons–it really shows how much you are actually saving. Thanks for sharing!

    • The savings are crazy right! Yes, I thought the price comparison was best illustrated through screenshots, I’m glad this helped :) Happy travels! Enjoy the Sears Vacations discounts!

  24. Wow, this is really cool. I m gonna have to try this out. I m gonna sign up right away.

    • Enjoy the savings!

  25. God job on the cheap hotels in this post, I am aware so many folks who get seriously overwhelmed when planning to travel just because they don’t know where to eat. So I am going to ensure I send this to them. Cheers!

    • Thanks Celine – Sears Vacations is a great way to find cheap hotels without getting overwhelmed :) Happy travels!

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