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The 8 best hotel booking apps every traveler should download

Aug. 24, 2022
11 min read
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We all wish we had plenty of time to research and book the perfect hotel, but that’s not always the case.

Fortunately, mobile apps can be a quick and convenient way to research and reserve your next hotel stay, especially when you’re constantly on the move. If your travel plans have been disrupted or you need a last-minute room, hotel apps can really save the day. You might even get access to exclusive discounts or perks, such as keyless entry or in-app room requests, as well as fast checkout and folio review.

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Before you even think about planning your next trip, download some of these hotel booking apps so you can research, book and manage reservations while on the go.

Related: The best hotel credit cards

Hotels.com

screenshot of hotels.com app

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This app allows users to make bookings and view and modify current reservations. You can also use the app to access rewards status and activity (you get one night free for every 10 reservations booked and completed).

Booking reward nights on the website incurs a $5 charge, but this fee won’t show up on reward bookings made via the app.

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The app also offers a bunch of money-saving features like "Deals for Tonight," which unlocks special savings for last-minute reservations in the area you're searching. Also, be on the lookout for secret prices, shown as "Your Secret Price," on certain hotel listings within the app. These "specially negotiated" rates can save you up to 40% if you use the app, sign up for Hotels.com Rewards or subscribe to the company's emails.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Marriott Bonvoy

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The Marriott Bonvoy app is relatively straightforward and makes it a breeze to book a last-minute Marriott stay with cash or points. Simply open the app, tap "Book" and start searching. If you've already created a Marriott Bonvoy account, all of your information, including saved payment options, will be there waiting to expedite your booking process.

In the app, it's also easy to modify reservations, check balances, see elite qualifying nights and check for free night certificates. Once you click on an already reserved trip, you can quickly see all the amenities the property offers, as well as recommended activities and excursions.

The app clearly shows available promotions and points expiration dates. If any of your reservations are missing, the "Find a Reservation" feature can help. Mobile check-in allows users to notify the hotel of their arrival time and receive a notification when the room is ready. The mobile key option offers keyless entry (where available).

At many hotels, travelers can even use the app to communicate with the front desk and request services such as late checkout, extra towels or a dental kit.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play

HotelTonight

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The HotelTonight app has always been a TPG staff favorite, thanks to its ease of use during spontaneous travels. HotelTonight allows you to book great deals at a range of hotels on the same day (or up to 100 days out in some markets). The best savings will usually be found with last-minute bookings where hotels are trying to fill unsold rooms. If you're trying to book really, really last minute, some hotels on this app let you book until 2 a.m.

Available hotel rooms are siloed into categories like basic, luxe, hip, solid, charming and high-roller so you can get a feel for the style of the property. The app works hard to give you the best last-minute rates, and it's simple to choose a property thanks to the app's easily accessible reviews and photos. Take advantage of the Daily Drop feature, where you swipe to find a personalized deal with a special price only valid for 15 minutes after unlocked.

HT Perks is the app’s tiered loyalty program. You can progress video game-style through the different levels by reaching specific spending thresholds on the app. You'll also move forward for hitting different "achievements" milestones (such as booking in five different states) which will help you gain access to cheaper rates and credits for future bookings. Plus, your status never expires, so you can only move up, never back down.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Hilton Honors

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Hilton’s app has one specific feature that stands out from many other hotel booking apps: the “choose your room" feature. When checking into select properties via the app, you can actually see a map of the hotel layout and tap on the room you’d like to have. This can be especially helpful if you want a high-floor room, prefer to be near the elevator or want a specific view of the ocean, for example. You can also sometimes preorder your favorite pillow type or request snacks and beverages (at an added cost) before arrival using the app. Checking out with a single tap makes your journey home a little less hectic, too. Besides these extras, you can book and manage your trips on the app, as well as view your points balance and elite status.

One feature we love at TPG is the app’s digital key feature, which allows guests to skip the front desk visit and head straight to the room (that you hopefully selected!) instead. Also in the app, guests can call Lyfts directly to the hotel or connect to the room to control the TV, lighting and temperature.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Booking.com

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Booking.com is one of the most popular websites for reserving hotels and vacation rentals, and its app is just as useful. In addition to its inventory of 28 million properties worldwide, you'll have access to all past, current and future trips offline. (Plus, the app shows the address of hotels in the local language, which can be extremely helpful when showing a taxi driver your address in a foreign country.) With so many available properties, the app is ideal for booking accommodations in more obscure locations. The interface makes it easy to see what’s included in your reservation (great for avoiding pesky resort fees) and if you can cancel without a penalty. Cheaper rates are typically available if you prepay.

Most properties have several reviews on the app, making it easy to see the pros and cons of each property. The so-called Genius loyalty program gives members discounts at many properties around the world, as well as perks such as welcome drinks, free airport transportation and late checkout. Your Genius level and benefits are visible in the profile section of the app.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

IHG One Rewards

APP STORE

After IHG totally revamped its rewards program, it updated its app to reflect the changes to the program for the 11 million people who signed up after the launch.

Within the refreshed app, travelers can quickly search for and book rooms across IHG brands like Kimpton, Holiday Inn, InterContinental and Six Senses. Users can search for hotels they've never stayed at before or use the Quick Book feature to snag a room at a favorite property.

Members can also check their account standing to see how many points they've earned (and then use those points to book). They'll also be able to see how they've progressed through the program's various tiers and see how close they are to a Milestone Reward. The app also offers modern-age touches like digital check-in and checkout, the chance to sign up for special offers and the option to see how many points you earned for past stays.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

World of Hyatt

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Travelers can book more than 900 Hyatt hotels on the World of Hyatt app; they can also manage current trips. Best of all, travelers can use the app to make requests right to the room. TPG reporter Zach Griff used his Hyatt app to request additional amenities during two previous stays. “Both were fulfilled shortly after I submitted them,” he said. “The app lets you track the progress of the request, so no need to guess if a phone agent heard you correctly.”

The app also features Hyatt Mobile Entry, which is the hotel’s version of keyless access to a room (only available at select properties); you'll also have the option to check in via the app and skip the lobby line. Guests can use the app to connect to Chromecast at certain hotels or enjoy a moment of Zen by using the integrated Headspace portion of the app to meditate after a long day of travel.

You can easily track your points progression and elite status in the app, as well as view the benefits of your status. You can use the app to set your room preferences to specific categories — such as a high-floor or accessible room — or upgrade your room. The app makes it simple to contact Hyatt, with options to call the member line, view regional numbers, tweet to or Facebook message the Hyatt Concierge.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Expedia

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Those looking for steeply discounted hotel bookings should use the Expedia app. It comes with exclusive deals you may not find when booking on its website. This includes deals up to 40% off as well as the app-only Expedia Rewards rate of 2 points per dollar.

The account section of the app shows your rewards activity, as well as how close you are to unlocking elite status. When booking, you have the choice to apply your Expedia Rewards points with the swipe of a button.

Besides the ability to book more than 500,000 properties, you can also reserve flights, car rentals, tours and vacation packages from your phone. When reserving hotels, the app states the payment terms (if you’re able to book now and pay later or cancel up until a certain date). It also displays a map of the hotel’s location and other important details such as hotel amenities and photos.

Your bookings are available for viewing offline, and all hotel addresses are translated into the local language for easier arrival.

Download for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Additional reporting by Tanner Saunders.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Rewards

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Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.