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Hotel Tonight is a hotel booking app for iPhone and Android, that often finds deeply discounted room rates. TPG Managing Editor Eric used it to find a last-minute room at the Standard High Line in New York last month, and the app currently partners with hotels all over the US in major cities like New York, but also other destinations such as Napa, Lake Tahoe, Charleston, Jacksonville and dozens of others. It also has the major Canadian cities covered as well as resort destinations in Mexico including Cabo and Cancun plus about two dozen cities in Europe.
The one downside – and what made it really about last-minute hotel bookings – was that you had to wait until noon in the time zone of the city you want to book a hotel room in because that was when the app updates with last-minute availability from its partner properties. However, Hotel Tonight has just announced that starting today (November 21), you can now book rooms starting at 9:00am. Though it’s only 3 extra hours, that can make a big difference if hotel rooms are tight or there’s a big convention or something in the town where you’re booking, and means you don’t have to spend all morning sitting on pins and needles.
Though discounts can vary, I usually find Hotel Tonight gets you about $100 off the going rate at other Online Travel Agencies and even from hotels’ own sites. That could be a discount big enough to forego earning points and elite credit for some, though the app is also good for booking properties that don’t have a loyalty program, or whose loyalty program you rarely use, so you can get the discount instead. Plus, remember, you can always earn bonus points by paying with a credit card that earns a bonus on travel like the Sapphire Preferred‘s 2.14X points per $1, or using the Barclaycard Arrival so that not only do you earn 2X miles per $1 (on every purchase), but you can redeem your miles towards a statement credit on the travel category purchase at the best rate of 1 cent per mile and get a 10% miles refund since it’s a travel purchase.
I like the app personally because it has an easy-to-navigate interface, as well as a map feature so you can compare hotel locations, and an info tab with short write ups on each property and Hotel Tonight user ratings, and you can even put your own pictures into an album for your own review.
Will this change my overall hotel strategy? No, but it definitely makes Hotel Tonight a more convenient option.