Free Membership to Club1 Hotels — Now Available With a Points Program

Apr 27, 2019

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Since I write about travel basically every single day, I’m 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 (on fancier stays)? 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? There simply isn’t one single best hotel booking site for all situations, but there are a few sites that I recommend checking to quickly get a handle on the best prices.

One of the hotel booking sites that I sometimes check and have recommended as a resource for the last few years is Club1 Hotels. Club1 Hotels has access to more than 1 million hotels around the world, and while they do not always have the best price or offer the best booking solution  — sometimes they do. That’s not new information, but now the company also has its own points program to add to the mix and that sweetens the overall deal a bit.

How Club1 Hotels Offers Discounts on Hotels

Club1 Hotels has a partnership with hotels to sell their excess room inventory behind the safety (and secrecy) of a membership paywall of sorts. This allows them to potentially offer 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 I’ve found Club1 Hotels to have the lowest available price at some of the Hyatt all-inclusive properties, including the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, which we personally loved during our last visit.

Hyatt Ziva Cancun Kids Club (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

In doing a quick search for values on Club1 Hotels, we found a good deal on The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. Checking dates in July, the Club1 Hotels price for an ocean view room with two double beds and balcony was $319.78 per night versus Ritz-Carlton’s own member rate of $454 per night for the same room. Expedia’s nightly rate for the same room on the same dates was $463.

Club1 Hotels
An example of the discounts offered by Club1 Hotels at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun.

What Does a Membership Cost?

The retail price of a one-year base Club1 Hotels membership is listed at $99, but they are offering new TPG Family readers one year of membership for free.

Not only is the yearlong membership free with this offer, but anyone who joins with our TPG Family link is eligible to receive a subscription to the electronic version of Business Traveler Magazine.

And don’t worry — the one-year membership does not auto renew or auto bill. It really is a year for free with no strings attached.

For those who like Disney like I do, know that Club1 Hotels even has access to Disney World Resorts — and yes, they are sometimes cheaper via Club1 Hotels than booking through Disney (though likely not during Disney sales). I haven’t booked a Disney Resort through Club1 Hotels, so I 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.

There are booking fees when using Club1 Hotels, so be sure you are comparing apples to apples by comparing all-in prices from different sites.

Look for Non-Points Luxury Resorts, Cruises 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, Club1 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.

Likewise, you can also book cruises at the site with options ranging from Disney Cruise Line to MSC to Norwegian to Celebrity to Oceania, Viking, Seabourn, Silversea and others.

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

When to Skip Club1 Hotels

While we do make a little bit of money if you decide to sign up for a free membership with Club1 Hotels using our link, this is not a Club1 Hotels infomercial. There are certainly times and reasons to not use Club1 Hotels. For example, if you need to earn or use hotel elite status perks, that’s not the time to use the site. In those cases, book directly with the hotel chain. There are also times when Club1 Hotels won’t have the hotel you want or it will cost more than booking direct (though they do have a Best Rate Guarantee we’ll get to in a minute). While it is better than it was a few years ago, I also find the Club1 site to be a little clunky at times.

Club1 Hotels Best Rate Guarantee

While no site always has the best rates, Club1 Hotels does have a Best Rate Guarantee. If you spot a lower rate at the same hotel with the same room type more than seven days before arrival, Club1 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.

Earn Points With ClubOne Rewards

Now you can earn ClubOne points to your savings at a rate of 5 points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals, cruises, flight and activity bookings. When you get 1,000 points, you can redeem them for $10 off future Club 1 Hotel bookings. This translates to 5% back in rewards to use on future bookings. That’s not as rich as the 10% to 20% you can get with Hotels.com, but it’s certainly a start.

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 my mind, Club1 Hotels should be on the list of sites to check (here and some other tools, too). They aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but with a free one-year membership, they are worth a look.

Featured image of Keemala Tent Pool Villa courtesy of Club1 Hotels.

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