Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a few days away and the travel deals have been rolling in. Just this week I wrote about Hyatt and Starwood’s promotions where Starwood is offering up to 35% off and Hyatt is offering up to 25% off. But are the promotions really as good as they are perceived to be?
Let’s take Hyatt’s promotion for example. I picked a random weekend in February in NYC to compare prices.
The Andaz 5th Avenue is offering a rate of $230 for a King Bed. It s a non-refundable rate so no cancelations allowed. The same exact room, however, is also available at the AAA rate. With this rate, however, you are allowed to cancel with no penalty 48 hours in advance. The cancelation policy will differ per hotel, but most will allow some sort of cancelation as the check in date approaches.
Unless you are not eligible for the AAA rate, there is absolutely no reason to book the Hyatt Holiday Rate which is the Black Friday/Cyber Monday special. I checked a bunch of hotels and the holiday rate seemed to match the AAA rate on all of them. You can check the Hyatt Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale here.
I then went to compare the Starwood promotion to other rates available. Starwood is advertising this sale as “The Biggest Sale of the Year!”. I checked the same random weekend in February for rates at the Westin Grand Central.
Both the Cyber Monday sale and AAA Hot Deal rate is exactly the same. And both are non-refundable. The regular AAA is only $8 more and allows full cancellations a day prior to check in.
Although there is even another AAA rate which gives you a $20 Starbucks gift card. If you are a Starbucks drinker this is actually a cheaper rate then Starwood’s “Biggest Sale of the Year!” At a $177 rate minus a $20 gift card, you are actually only paying $157 for the hotel room which is $2 less then the current sale. And this rate also has the lenient cancelation policy. For the most part, the Cyber Monday rates are the same as the AAA rate. And for possibly just a few more bucks you can get a fully refundable rate. You can check the Starwood Black Friday / Cyber Monday rates here.
While not everyone is eligible for AAA rates, it is a very popular rate code that many folks have access to. With the hotels I checked I didn’t find any great deal of the century, but I would still check all rates for your desired hotel and dates as you never know.