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Hotels want consumers to book stays on their own branded websites. That way, the hotels pay no commission, as they would if the booking was made through an online travel agency like Travelocity. And while you’re on their site, they can sell you related products and services. And all that happens without the distraction of competing rates and offers from competing hotel brands.
That, of course, is one reason the hotels in most cases don’t award frequent-stay points for bookings made on OTA sites. It’s an extra incentive they hold in reserve for travelers booking direct.
Booking apps for smartphones are the latest distribution wrinkle, giving the hotels another way to encourage travelers to deal direct with travel suppliers.
But the apps have a long way to go to saturate the market. Hence this bonus from Hilton.
Through December 31, HHonors members can earn a 1,000-point bonus each time they book a Hilton stay with the company’s new booking app for the iPhone.
Qualifying stays must be completed by December 31, 2014.
The app is available free from the Apple iTunes store.
Deal or No Deal
By itself, this isn’t enough of an incentive to be a difference-maker.
Still, it’s a pretty hefty bonus just for using the iPhone booking app. And combining it with other Hilton promotions (double or triple points are on offer through the end of September) could make for a solid reason to choose Hilton over competing brands.
In any case, if you plan to stay at a Hilton and have an iPhone, it’s certainly worth taking the time to load the app, use it, and enjoy the extra points.
Reader Reality Check
Do you book your stays on the hotels’ websites, or through an OTA?
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