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The Guestbook is the newest premium hotel booking site that offers rewards for booking through its platform. The site is great for instant gratification, but doesn’t offer the same value as other hotel booking programs. Here’s a rundown of pros and cons for booking through The Guestbook.
Values of The Guestbook
Instant gratification rewards: Unlike many hotel loyalty programs where you have to accumulate stays over time and wait until you reach a certain threshold to actually get a free night, The Guestbook gives you 5% cash back right away after your stay or 10% worth of “Trip Cash” for your next reservation through the site. The instant reward gives a nice little buzz for booking through the site.
You can get 5% cash back from your hotel stay in the form of a PayPal credit, Visa e-gift card or gift card to retailers like Amazon and Target. The site is great because it gives you money back in your pocket right away, anyway you want it.
If you travel a lot to one particular region, the 10% “Trip Cash” option gives you an automatic discount on your next booking at one of the boutique hotels in The Guestbook’s portfolio within 30 miles of where you originally earned the 10% bonus. It’s a great value if you travel to a particular city or region several times a year, and could save you the cost of a night or two. (Read below for drawbacks to Trip Cash.)
Double dipping of points: If you use a credit card like Chase Sapphire ReserveSM where you automatically earn 3x points on all your travel-related purchases, you can benefit from points double dipping. You’ll get the rewards for the money you spend with Chase plus the 5% back at The Guestbook. That can actually be a rather high rate of return on your travel dollar, and the money can add up fast.
Downsides of The Guestbook
Drawback to Trip Cash: Trip Cash must be redeemed at a hotel less than 30 miles away from the hotel where you originally earned it. So, if you booked a hotel at the Hotel Director in Santiago, Chile, you’ll have to stay there again or at another one of hotels on The Guestbook to actually take advantage of this benefit. Plus, it must cover at least the value of one night’s stay. This means it’s only valuable if your last stay had a significant price tag – you’d need to spend about $1,000 for a 10% value of $100 to cover one night at a relatively inexpensive boutique hotel. If you don’t spend a lot of time in a city where you’re traveling, the Trip Cash feature is pretty useless.
Expensive, limited hotel options: The hotels are boutique, independent and hip. But they are also limited and rather expensive. So, if you like looking for a great deal, or a cheap nights stay you may not find it here. Additionally, there are only a few hotels available in each destination so your choices are limited. Most of the hotels listed do not have loyalty programs themselves so your opportunity to earn free points for your stays are very limited, if not nonexistant.
Overall, we can see some of the allure of the site, and we always welcome another way to save on travel. More competition in the market leads to better rewards overall, and can take the playing field to a new level. That said, most of us here at Point Savvy will probably stick with the likes of our tried and true hotel loyalty programs like SPG and Marriott. Even though it takes a while to earn some free stuff, we still feel that the overall value proposition and loyalty that it builds with a hotel chain is well worth it in the end.
Have you used The Guestbook, or do you have an opinion that you would like to share? Please do so below. We welcome your comments and insights.
Chase Sapphire ReserveSM
- New! Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,500 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre√®
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Balance Transfer Fee