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To find a cheap hotel near me with the least amount of effort, here are the tips I’ve found work best.
I’ve used these tips to save money on both last-minute trips and when booking well in advance.
And, these tips work whether your goal is to book a 5-star hotel or if you just want a bed to sleep on.
#1. Find The Lowest Rate with Priceline or Hotwire
The easiest way to find cheap hotel rooms fast is through:
- Priceline’s Name Your Own Price
- Priceline’s Express Deals
- Or, Hotwire
Priceline has a minimum guest rating for hotels on the site. For example, a 4-star hotel must have a 7.0 rating or higher. With Hotwire, you can see the TripAdivsor ratings before booking.
If you want to find the best deal, here’s a simple process:
- Step #1: Head to Priceline’s Name Your Own Price and search for a hotel. Choose the specific area and star level for your stay. Then, scroll down to see the specific median retail price of hotels in your area.
- Step #2: Next, compare the median price to Hotwire and Priceline’s Express Deals.
- Step #3: Using Priceline’s Name Your Own Price, bid at least 10% lower than the lowest price you saw on either Hotwire or Express Deals. If it’s a longer stay or you’re not booking last minute, start your bid at 25% lower.
For example, say I want to stay in Chicago for one-night at a minimum 4-star hotel on the Magnificent Mile.
I’d go to Priceline’s Name Your Own Price and see that the median price is $128 a night.
I’d then head to Hotwire and search for a hotel in Chicago on the Magnificent Mile.
Here I found a 4.5 star hotel for $90 a night.
At Priceline’s Express Deals, I find a deal for $87 a night.
From here, I’d go back to Priceline’s Name Your Own Price and bid $80.
If the bid is rejected, I’d either add an area (which allows me to bid again) or wait 24 hours.
If I don’t have 24-hours, I’d then book through Priceline’s Express Deals.
The lowest price on Kayak I found for a 4-star hotel was $149, so this is quite the savings.
#2. Use A Cash Back Site To Book Your Hotel
Not only can you get a great deal on a hotel using Priceline and Hotwire, by using a cash back site, you can also get up to 10% back in what you pay.
And for hotel stays, this adds up to big savings.
There are dozens of cash back sites. The favorite of The Ways to Wealth readers is Swagbucks.
Swagbucks (See our Swagbucks review) shares with you the referral fee they get from a site like Priceline.
The amount you get back depends on the site you use and any current promotions they have running.
For example, as I write this, you can get up to 10% cash back with Priceline.
And again, you don’t pay a penny more.
Once you sign up, you simply start your search at Swagbucks.
#3. Book Last Minute with Miles
My second favorite strategy to book cheap hotel rooms are credit card rewards.
There are a few options when booking hotels with credit card rewards.
First, and the easiest, is to use a program that gives you statement credit for travel expenses.
One of my favorite cards right now is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
This card comes with a bonus of 100,000 points after spending $20,000 within the first 12 months or 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first three months.
You can use the Priceline hacks above to book a hotel room on the cheap. Then, as long as you earned the bonus for spending $3,000 within the first three months, you can get a statement credit up to $500.
Other options for booking with credit card rewards are to use the credit card program’s travel portal (e.g. Chase Ultimate Rewards) or transfer points to a hotel program (e.g. Hyatt, Hilton).
While more complex, these two methods can come in handy when:
- You have a lot of points, you’re not sure what to do with
- You get a benefit like the 5th night free or room upgrades with a certain card
- You’re booking higher-end hotel rooms
To learn more about redeeming credit card points for free travel, check out this in-depth guide to travel hacking.
#4. Call the Hotel the Directly to Negotiate Rate
Hotel rooms pay a fee to sites like Priceline and Hotwire anytime a hotel is booked.
As such, they would much rather you book directly with them.
For best results, call the hotels you believe to be on Hotwire or Priceline, as you know upfront they’re willing to negotiate.
#5. Find Last Minute Deals using HotelTonight
HotelsTonight is an app worth having on your phone, especially if you find yourself constantly typing in Cheap Hotels Near Me into Google.
The catch with HotelsTonight is that it is a last minute deal site.
I’ve found the rates a bit higher than Priceline and Hotwire, which makes sense because you can see the hotel.
But, rates at hotel tonight are typically cheaper than Kayak.
As such, it’s a good bet if you want to know the hotel you’re staying at.
#6. Don’t Forget About Airbnb
You can use Airbnb’s “Instant Book” (use this link to get $40 off your first booking) to book rooms last minute.
It’s also a wise choice to go with a Superhost.
A superhost has at least a 4.8 rating, a 90% response rate inside of 24 hours, and most important, 0 cancellations.
#7. Check Groupon
Groupon Getaways is known to have some of the best deals on travel. They even have a last-minute travel section, for those looking for a room tonight.
While you can get a great deal, Groupon does limit the dates you can book.
The best way to search for hotels is typing in hotels into the search car, with your location:
Avoid scrolling through the Getaway Collections because a lot of these are for other destinations.
#8. Get Price Alerts
If you have more than a few days before booking your hotel, use Kayak’s Price Alerts to let you know when there’s a lower rate available.
While you can use Kayak to book your hotel when you’ve learned that the price has dropped, you can also use a drop in price to negotiate a lower rate you may have already booked.
#9. Look into an AAA Membership
Booking through an AAA membership. can save you 5% to 20% on many hotel rooms.
If you’re a member already, make sure to download the app on your phone, which allows you to search for hotels near you.
If not and you travel a lot, you may want to consider a membership, as the savings can add up.
One tip is to use the search engine GoSeek, which allows you to compare the price of a hotel when using discounts like AAA, coupons, military rates, and more.
#10. Use TripAdvisor to Find Small Hotels
Most small hotel chains don’t rely on sites like Priceline and Hotwire. Some simply can’t afford it and others don’t need too.
And if you type in “Hotels Near Me” into Google small hotels often don’t come up because the number of reviews, which larger hotels have a lot of, determines who shows first.
The best place to find the smaller independent hotels is through TripAdvisor.
Best Ways To Find Cheap Hotels (Near Me)
As you can see, to get the beat deal, avoid searching for “cheap hotels near me.”
Instead, use the hacks above to get the best possible deal.