Jul092011

Higher rate codes negate Embassy Suites Gas Card value

40 Embassy Suites hotels have a gas card offer for summer travel. Gas card value ranges from $10 per night to $50 per stay.

The only reason I am writing about this offer is due to an email I received from a PR person representing Embassy Suites after my post on Four Points, Aloft, Element offering a $40 gas card for a two night stay. She provided a list of 40 participating Embassy Suites hotels offering the gas card promotion; approximately 20% of the chain.

After an hour analyzing this offer at numerous hotels, I have to say that this is basically a 1-key offer. Most hotels will charge a higher rate over Best Available. Most hotels I checked required a higher rate that completely negates the value of the gas card.

Why pay $25 more per night for a $25 gas card? After hotel taxes, the higher rate ends up being more than the value of the gas card for most hotels I checked.

Value-added package rates are hotel rates I find most annoying. Generally the value-added component for meals, spa credit, or a tour offer is negated by the higher rate code. Aside from extended parking rates, I rarely find a good value offer with value-added packages, unless you were already planning to have a spa treatment or golf or dine during your hotel stay.

I read a Cornell Hospitality Research report a couple of years ago that encouraged hotel revenue managers to create bundled packages as a method for getting higher rates out of travelers who would be unlikely to compare the cost of the package components.

The Embassy Suites gas card seems to be one of these offers designed to steer guests into paying a higher room rate.

There are some hotels where this gas card rate might work out to be a $5 to $10 gas card value per hotel night. But my general advice is not to waste too much time on this offer.

I did.

Loyalty Traveler 1-key offer.

Arizona 

  • Phoenix-Scottsdale, AZ: $50 Gas Gift Card per stay (applies even if stay is just one night) 
  • Tucson-Paloma, AZ: $50 Gas Gift Card for two-night stay for any weekend
  • Phoenix North, AZ: $25 Gas Gift Card per night
  • Flagstaff, AZ: $20 Gas Gift Card per night 

California

  • Walnut Creek, CA : $20 Gas Gift Card per night
  • Temecula, CA: $15 Gas Gift Card per two-night stay
  • Lompoc, CA: $10 Gas Gift Card per night (Limit, up to three nights)
  • San Luis Obispo, CA: $10 Gas Gift Card per night (Limit, up to three nights)

 SoCal Cluster (18 hotels): $10 Gas Gift Card per night (Limit, up to three nights)

Colorado 

  • Denver International Airport, CO: $15 per night (Limit, up to three nights)
  • Denver Tech Center, CO: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay

Georgia 

  • Alpharetta, GA: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay 

Massachusetts 

  • Boston Logan Airport, MA: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay 

Nevada 

  • Las Vegas Convention Center, NV: $25 Gas Gift Card per night
  • Las Vegas, NV: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay 

North Carolina

  • Charlotte: $25 Gas Gift Card per night (max: 2)  

Ohio 

  • Cleveland Rockside, OH: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay
  • Columbus Dublin, OH: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay 

Texas

  • Dallas Park Central, TX: $50 Gas Gift Card per two-night stay
  • Dallas Galleria, TX: $20 Gas Gift Card per night
  • Houston – Energy Corridor, TX: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay
  • San Antonio Downtown Riverwalk, TX: $25 Gas Gift Card per stay 

Washington 

  • Seattle – Bellevue, WA: $25 Gas Gift Card per night 
  • Seattle-North Lynnwood, WA: $20 Gas Gift Card per night

Embassy Suites $10 Gas Card Rate at Valencia is $62.45 more than AAA

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. and BTW, the starwood gas card offer was just as bad if not even worse. the rates on the hotels i checked were up to $65/night more expensive, so $130 more for a $40 gas card. Who thinks up these things?

  2. I got into a lengthy discussion about the shamefulness of the promo at the Flagstaff location. The particular weekend I was there it would have worked out to $5 in my favor after two nights but other weekends were the opposite. Just ridiculous.

  3. One should also note that the four-house California (Northern) are mostly places that one do NOT want to stop. And one of them even wanted a two-night stay? They must be kidding! I’ll bit ehe bullet and drive on past. They were never a go-to brand for road trips in the first place. Nono computo on this one. -C.

  4. I have come to this conclusion that 95% of times, bundling in the US market is designed to attract either stupid or lazy people who just can’t or don’t care to check if the price of the bundle is more than the sum of its component.

    You think since you are buying several products from the same company, they should be willing to give you a better price?! Wrong, they take it as a sign that you are lazy to search and therefore charge you a premium for giving you the convenience of bundle. Example: not even once I have seen a flight+hotel package that can beat the price of getting the air and hotel separately. Remember you pay per person for package and based on a two person reservation, that means you are paying twice for the same hotel room.

  5. @marble – I have to disagree about the flight-hotel package. Since Expedia allows you to book a flight and a hotel package for as little as one hotel night to accompany the flight, there are some good deals to be found, particularly for Las Vegas trips.

    I occasionally find that an air-hotel package drops the cost of flying from Monterey (typically $100+ more than SJC or SFO) to the same price as the other airports.

    The value typically drops as more hotel nights are added.

  6. May be I haven’t had much luck with packages!
    Of course I remember the last year expedia.ca super deal, but I think Vegas should be considered an exception, because you can often find hotels there close to free anyway!

  7. Sometimes, the gas card packages have an advantage, they are refundable. The Doubletree Schaumburg, Chicago always has a Gas card package which is typically $25 higher than the advance purchase rate. And I always book the package, because I am getting a refundable rate for the price of a non-refundable rate.

  8. I believe the hotels do this because many of the travelers are using company credit cards for their expenses. It is a way to get a perk and charge it to the company. Whether this is ethical or not is another question.

Comments are closed.