Save money on your next trip and help the hotel industry at the same time

Apr 11, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s no secret that the travel industry is hurting right now — from major hotel brands and airlines to small tour operators and rental property owners. The government did sign a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, billions of which go toward helping travel companies pay employees’ salaries.

But in a statement to USA Today, the American Hotel and Lodging Association cited a limitation in to how these funds will help individual hotels. There is a provision that limits a Small Business Administration loan to 250% of the average monthly payroll, which according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, “will not allow a business owner to meet both payroll and debt service obligations beyond an estimated four to eight weeks.”

For more travel news and advice, sign up for our daily newsletter.

A few different campaigns to help the hotel industry have popped up over the past few weeks, including a few similar programs that help out travelers in the long-term, too.

Buy Now, Stay Later hotel “gift cards”

The Buy Now, Stay Later initiative is an industrywide program for independent hotels worldwide. Travelers purchase hotel bonds now in increments of $100. After at least 60 days, you can then book a stay at a $150 value for every $100 spent. Essentially, you’re giving the hotel a short-term loan, and in return, you’re getting added value on your future booking as interest, of sorts.

The initiative is meant to help hotels support their staff and prevent layoffs. The program does have a website that lists out the current participating hotels, but you purchase your bond directly through the hotel — not through a third-party.

Right now, the list of participating hotels is limited, with several new additions coming soon. But among the initial participants are notable locations, including LondonHouse Chicago, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. The Buy Now, Stay Later website does have a form for interested hotel owners to request more information about joining the initiative.

Related reading: What you can do to give back during the coronavirus outbreak 

Porter & Sail “Hotel Credits”

The travel app Porter & Sail has launched a new online Hotel Credit store. It’s essentially a gift card that you’re purchasing at a discount to use for hotel stays later. Within 24-72 hours from purchase, you’ll receive a digital voucher that you can use directly with the hotel at a later date (though you will have to book over the phone since it is a special deal).

Related reading: 30 essential travel apps every traveler should download

The current list of participating hotels is a bit more extensive than the Buy Now, Pay Later program, but it’s still on the small side. There are some great options, though, including Akyra Thonglor Bangkok (which is part of the Hyatt partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World).

You can purchase these hotel credits at varying rates per hotel. For example, the Akyra Thonglor Bangkok is offering a $300 hotel credit for $200, or a $150 credit for $120. The hotel credits can be used for booking rooms, dining at eligible on-site restaurants and occasionally even for shopping at some property facilities.

Each participating hotel offers its own set of terms and conditions for the credits, including expiration dates. So far, all of the credits are valid through at least the end of 2021.

You do pay for the hotel credits through Porter & Sail (which may affect how the purchase codes on your statement), but all proceeds go to the hotels to keep staff employed. Porter & Sail is not taking any fees.

Related reading: You can support coronavirus relief efforts — and earn points and miles 

Bottom line

While no one should be traveling right now unless absolutely necessary, many of us travel enthusiasts have already started looking ahead to where we might go once travel safely resumes. These programs offer a way for you to both help independent hotels continue paying their staff while also saving money on a trip down the line.

Featured image courtesy of the Akrya Thonglor Bangkok. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.