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Why it's important to keep tabs on your hotel bookings

April 14, 2022
4 min read
Why it's important to keep tabs on your hotel bookings
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Many travelers know that it's important to routinely check your flight reservations to avoid surprises. An airline could have changed your seat, aircraft or departure time without letting you know.

What you might not realize, however, is that it's equally important to keep an eye on your upcoming hotel bookings. I recently experienced this when a hotel changed my nightly rate after I booked.

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I recently had a reservation for the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I booked my stay through the hotel and the reservation immediately showed up on my Hilton Honors account. I also had a confirmation email that listed the details of my stay. This was a flexible booking, so my card wouldn't be charged until check-in, but my rate was locked in.

A few days later, I went back to my account to reconfirm my reservation details and noticed the rate listed was over $100 higher than I had originally booked. I didn't make changes to my stay, so my first instinct was to see if anything else had changed, like the dates, room type or the number of guests — but they didn't. The only thing that changed was the rate.

My next step was to call Hilton's reservations line.

The representative was as confused as I was, because they saw my original stay details and that I didn't request any changes. Upon further investigation, they discovered that the property adjusted the rate from its end.

The agent from Hilton corporate didn't have the power to revert the change but was ultimately able to create a new reservation with the original rate. But that's not the point. The problem is that the hotel changed my booking without notifying me. In this case, not routinely checking my reservation details could have been quite costly.

Related: Walked from a hotel? Here's how much compensation you're owed

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(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

It's not just the rate that could change either. For example, I've had hotels change my room type before without letting me know.

This is generally a good thing: When a hotel changes your room type, it's usually upgrading you. But as I also experienced, it could be because the hotel is quietly downgrading you to a less desirable room type.

The Hilton Playa del Carmen tried moving me back to a lower category room after I was automatically upgraded to a larger room due to my elite status. Hilton has confirmed that hotels cannot rescind upgrades once confirmed and communicated to guests. If I hadn't kept tabs on this reservation, I might have never noticed that I was upgraded and later downgraded.

Related: Tips to get the hotel room upgrades you deserve

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Finally, a hotel might cancel your reservation altogether without notifying you. This was a major issue earlier in the pandemic when many hotels closed their doors but is still common with brand-new properties that aren't ready to open yet.

Again, hotels should notify you if they cancel your reservation, but you should do your due diligence to be sure.

Related: What to do if your hotel shuts down during — or right before — your stay

Bottom line

When you book a room at a hotel, you agree to pay a published rate in exchange for the stated accommodations.

Like any business, hotels should honor that agreement. However, there are times when they might need to make changes, such as if there was a mistake rate or if the hotel isn't operating.

Hotels are expected to notify guests of such changes, but they don't always do so. It's important to track your reservations to catch modifications before it is too late to do something about them. Printing or saving your confirmations can go a long way toward resolving surprise changes.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
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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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees