Your complete guide to Club 1 Hotels — including free Gold Rewards subscription for TPG readers

Apr 1, 2021

Since we write about travel basically every single day here at TPG, we’re often asked which is the best website to use if you want to save money on hotel bookings. The truth is, there isn’t one “best” site. There are different answers for different situations: Do you have access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts perks? Do you need to earn/use elite status perks? How far in advance are you booking? Is it last minute? Where are you going? Which credit cards do you have? Are you sure you aren’t using points or free night certificates?

In short, there simply isn’t one, single hotel booking site for all situations — but there are a few sites that we recommend checking to quickly get a handle on the best prices.

One of the hotel booking sites we’ve utilized as a resource for the last few years is Club 1 Hotels. Club 1 Hotels offers access to wholesale rates at more than 1.5 million hotels around the world, and the site can offer as much as 60% off published prices. And to sweeten the deal even more, the company has its own loyalty points program to add to the mix — along with a special offer for a free, one-year Gold Rewards subscription, just for TPG readers who join through this link.

Let’s dive into Club 1 Hotels to see how the site may fit into your post-pandemic travel plans.

In This Post

How Club 1 Hotels offers discounts on hotels

Club 1 Hotels is a leading travel company with the world’s largest collection of members-only wholesale hotel rates and direct contracts that are not available to the public. This allows the site to offer its users steeper discounts than other online travel agency sites in certain situations.

While the only way to see what’s available is to check for yourself, at times we’ve found Club 1 Hotels to have the lowest available price at some of the Hyatt all-inclusive properties, including the Hyatt Ziva Cancun — which comes highly recommended from TPG’s Summer Hull.

In doing a quick search for values on Club 1 Hotels, we found a good deal on the Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. Checking dates in July, the Club 1 Hotels price for an ocean view room with two beds was $236.23 per night versus Ritz-Carlton’s own member rate of $490 per night for the same room. That’s a pretty steep discount if you’re just looking for a great price without the perks of Marriott status or the opportunity to earn Bonvoy points.

Ritz Carlton Cancun (Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)

What does a subscription cost?

Club 1 Hotels has recently removed its previous paid membership requirement, so now anyone can easily register and access savings — all while still earning ClubONE loyalty points. But if you’d like to earn more points and utilize other features such as concierge service and airport lounge subscription, you have the following options to upgrade your membership:

  • $149 per year Annual Concierge Service Subscription: In addition to a personalized concierge service, users can also choose either 5% back in ClubONE points on every hotel booking or the Best Rate Guarantee on every hotel booking, all year.
  • $149 per year Gold Loyalty Subscription: Users will earn 5 ClubONE points for every $1 USD spent on hotels, resorts and car rental bookings — and TPG readers can sign-up for a one-year Gold membership at this link.
  • $199 per year Platinum Loyalty Subscription: Users will earn 10 ClubONE points for every $1 USD spent on hotels, resort and car rental bookings.
  • $79 per year Airport Lounge Subscription upgrade: Users who choose to upgrade to an airport lounge subscription will have access to over 1,200 lounges in 500 cities across 140 countries. This category of upgrade also comes with a $30 credit for large-luggage shipping worldwide from LuggageFree.

Note that we currently have a special offer just for TPG Readers to receive a complimentary Gold-level subscription when registering for a new account. Existing members can use this link to receive the complimentary upgrade.

If you decide not to get a paid subscription, you will still earn 2 ClubONE loyalty points for every $1 USD spent — which can be used for future bookings on the site.

(Photo by Caitie McCabe/Walt Disney World Resort)

For those who like Disney like, know that Club 1 Hotels even has access to Disney World Resorts — and yes, they are sometimes cheaper via Club 1 Hotels than booking through Disney. We haven’t personally booked a Disney Resort through Club 1 Hotels, so we can’t speak to the process of linking the booking to your My Disney Experience, but it is worth checking to see if you might be able to save a few dollars on your next Disney Resort booking. Plus, Club 1 Hotels offers discounts on Disney theme park tickets, attractions and more.

Related: 11 changes to expect at Disney World in 2021

There are booking fees when using Club 1 Hotels, so be sure you’re comparing apples to apples by looking at the all-in prices at checkout from different sites.

Look for non-points luxury resorts, home rentals and rental cars

If you have your heart set on a hotel/resort stay at a property that isn’t part of a points program, Club 1 Hotels could be your conduit to savings. For example, you’ll find properties from high-end hoteliers like Aman, Four Seasons, Belmond, Mandarin Oriental, Six Senses, Shangri-La and others.

Screenshot courtesy of Club 1 Hotels

Club 1 also has a database of over 175,000 serviced apartments, homes, villas and other residences in some of the world’s most popular destinations. Depending on your travel plans, this could be a great alternative to other vacation-rental sites.

Finally, if you’re in the market for a rental car, sort options from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, Sixt and others.

Related: 11 common rental car mistakes — and how to avoid them

When to skip Club 1 Hotels

There are certainly times and reasons to not use Club 1 Hotels. For example, if you need to earn credit toward elite status or want to utilize the perks of existing hotel elite status, that’s not the time to use the site. In those cases, book directly with the hotel chain.

There are also times when Club 1 Hotels won’t have the hotel you want, or it will cost more than booking directly (though they do have a Best Rate Guarantee — which we’ll get to in a minute).

Nevertheless, it always makes sense to investigate the booking options for your travel dates to see if Club 1 Hotels will fit your plans.

Club 1 Hotels Best Rate Guarantee

While no site always has the best rates, Club 1 Hotels does have a Best Rate Guarantee. If you spot a lower rate at the same hotel with the same room type (refundable and non-refundable) up to one day prior to arrival, Club 1 Hotels will beat that rate with the following discounts:

  • $10 per night savings at 3-star hotels up to $20
  • $15 per night savings at 4-star hotels up to $45
  • $20 per night savings at 5-star hotels up to $60 or up to $100 on reservations of $900+

To make a Best Rate Guarantee claim, email memberservices@club1hotels.com, and they state they will confirm your booking the same day.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Club 1 Hotels website is better than it was a few years ago. We can definitely see that they’ve made a lot of improvements and added some new features to enhance the user experience.

Bottom line

Finding the best deals in travel is about having lots of different tools at your disposal. One of those tools is having a list of websites to check when you need to book a hotel with cash, and in out mind, Club 1 Hotels should be on the list of sites to check (here are some other tools). They aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but with a free one-year Gold Rewards subscription, they are certainly worth a look.

Summer Hull contributed to this post.

Featured image of Atlantic Hotel Fort Lauderdale courtesy of Club 1 Hotels.