OpenTable quietly limited discounts on Kayak hotel bookings

Sep 7, 2019

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In January, we reported that a new partnership between OpenTable and Kayak would allow customers to use OpenTable Dining Points toward discounts on hotel stays. 

At the time, both brands publicly stated customers could save up to $200 per reservation on hotel stays booked via a dedicated Kayak portal using OpenTable points.

It appears, however, that the maximum discount has been capped at $80 total per reservation — 40% of the original maximum discount promised. Both Kayak’s and OpenTable’s announcements have been updated to reflect the new discount range of $20 to $80 per reservation, although third-party sites still retain the original verbiage.

Allowing consumers to apply OpenTable Dining Points toward hotel stays was a clever way for OpenTable to drive customers back to its restaurant reservation platform. In the highly competitive space, OpenTable has had to fight for space against new competitors such as Resy, Quandoo and even Yelp’s proprietary reservation platform.

Since both OpenTable and Kayak are owned by parent company Booking Holdings, Inc., it made a lot of sense for the brands to offer perks that wouldn’t put revenue into a competitor’s pocket. But it’s very likely the brands began losing too much revenue under the original discount model, since many no-frills budget hotels can be reserved for less than $200 per night. This would explain why the company, which also owns Booking.com, Agoda, Priceline and Rentalcars.com, would scale back the cash total on each discount allowed per reservation.

And though the rate of redemption remains the same, OpenTable and Kayak now offer travelers slightly different redemption options. Originally, OpenTable Dining Points could be applied to each reservation in 1,000-, 2,000-, 5,000- or 10,000-point increments. Now, customers can choose to apply anywhere between 1,000 and 4,000 points for each reservation. Every batch of 1,000 OpenTable Dining Points is equivalent to $20 off.

Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy.

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