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- Booking Martinique: My Experience With Citi Prestige Concierge and 4th Night Free Benefit
Ever since I got my Citi Prestige card, I’m finding I have a lot more paid hotel stays. Which means:
- It’ll be easier to earn and maintain hotel elite status (at Hilton)
- I want to get the best possible price on every day
For my upcoming trip to Japan, the hotel rates were pretty high because of cherry blossom season. I booked anyway in hopes the prices would drop. But I didn’t know how to track it except to check manually on the hotel site every day, which sucks because it’s time-consuming.
- Link: TripBAM
Points & Pixie Dust wrote about TripBAM way back in 2013, but I haven’t seen it discusses lately.
TripBAM is a service that scans a specific hotel, or a general area, and lets you know when to book at the best possible rate.
I wanted to track price drops at the Hilton Tokyo, so I specified that hotel.
TripBAM scans the hotel you select (or the area you want) for lower prices every day, and emails you when it finds a lower rate.
I set my search to alert me if the price fell by even $5 per night. Because for a 4-night stay, $20 is $20.
That was on February 24. I converted from Japanese Yen as best as I could – you can only enter rate changes in US dollars. So I was a little concerned if they’d even find anything.
On February 27, they emailed:
So I guess the conversion wasn’t as issue.
Now, you can put a card on file and have them book your hotel for you. Or you can opt to get an email notification and book it yourself. I chose the latter option.
TripBAM doesn’t take into account any promotions or discounts offered for AAA, AARP, elite status, etc. So, even better, I found Hilton had a discount, too – an extra ~$40 off per night, or ~$160 for 4 nights.
But note, the publicly available rate TripBAM sent me was displayed on the Hilton website. So their info was accurate.
I called Hilton and switched my room rate without any issue – and with the same confirmation number Citi gave me when the booked at the higher rate.
I’m not sure how or if this will affect my 4th night free benefit – but I guess I’ll find out!
Anyhoozers, TripBAM is free to use. So if you have a stay coming up and you suspect the price might drop by even a little, it’s worth it to plug in your info and see if they can find you a lower price.
All told, they saved me about ~$200 (and I’ll still get the 4th night free [hopefully]).
- Link: Tingo
Tingo is a similar site. But the biggest change is that you book your hotel through them (they’re a TripAdvisor company).
I don’t like this because you won’t get elite status benefits and credit when you book through an OTA. And I’d rather book through Citi to get the 4th night free.
However, if you want to stay at a boutique hotel where status doesn’t matter anyway, this is a really hands-off way to track prices. Although in that scenario, I’d rather use hotels.com and get a portal bonus.
I mention it for completeness, and recommend sticking with TripBAM because it tracks the price for you without any monetary commitment.
I’m all about saving money, especially now that paid stays are outpacing my award stays. That’s an ironic side effect of having Citi Prestige – the increase in paid stays. Too bad for Hyatt, because I haven’t sent them extra business this year.
If you have a paid stay coming up, and you suspect the price will drop – even by $5 a night – let TripBAM monitor it for you.
Their email alerts were timely. And it ended up saving me a nice chunk of change.
Considering the service is free, there’s absolutely no reason to leave money on the table.
I hadn’t heard it mentioned much recently, so wanted to share, especially because it worked so well, and quickly. Plug in your info and see if you can get a better deal.
Have you heard of TripBAM before? Has it saved you money on a paid stay?
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.