One of the best discount rates for hotels in the USA and Canada can be the Starwood Pay Your Birth Year Rate. The Birth Year rate has a set rate for the first night and then the option to stay a second night, and at some hotels a third night paying the room rate based on your birth year.
Example: My 1960 birth year date means I can book the second and third nights at a hotel for $60 per night.
A Barb DeLollis article last year on Hotel Check In in USA Today stated persons in the age group born between 1969 and 1972 use this rate the most.
Starwood Birth Year Rate general terms
- First night rate for Birth Year is BAR flexible cancellation rate.
- Most participating hotels only offer this rate for weekends with Thursday or Friday check-in.
- These rates are not offered at St. Regis brand and many other high-priced Starwood properties.
- These rates have flexible cancellation policy with no penalty. This is a big advantage over 3rd night free rates. Starwood 3rd night free rates require prepayment and 100% cancellation penalty.
- Many participating hotels limit the Birth Year rate to a two-night stay.
- Many hotels offer upgraded rooms (some hotels require a Birth Year surcharge if an upgraded category room is selected – see Sheraton Universal Hotel example in this post).
- You must be at least 18 years old to book the Birth Year rate. You can’t book a room in the name of your 5 year old for a $5 room rate.
- Birth Year rate terms prohibit booking consecutive stays with this rate.
- Rate is valid through December 31, 2012.
- Advance reservations are required and may be made online or by calling 877-782-0108 and mentioning Promotion Code NBR.
- ***Some participating hotels add $100 to the Birth Year rate. For example my $60 rate is $160 per night for the second and third nights at these select hotels.***Hotels that charge $100 + your birth year for your second and third night include:
- Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis
- Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel
- The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont
- The Fairfax at Embassy Row, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Washington, D.C.
- The Liberty Hotel, Boston
- The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel
- The New York Helmsley Hotel
- The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida
- The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant
- W Atlanta – Midtown
- W Atlanta – Buckhead
- W Chicago – City Center
- W Chicago – Lakeshore
- W Dallas – Victory
- W Fort Lauderdale
- W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island
Starwood Birth Year Rate Analysis
Sheraton Universal Hotel is in Universal City, California near Universal Studios theme park.
I have not been to Sheraton Universal Hotel, but I did see the hotel while touring Universal Studios last April. The building on the right in the distance is the Sheraton Universal seen from the escalators at Universal Studios park.
Thursday, October 11 – Sunday, October 14, 2012
Room Rates: King Bed Corner Room
- AARP Rate = $174 = $604.14 after 15.5% tax for 3-night stay.
- AAA Rate = $228.65 = $792.63 after tax.
- Best Flexible Rate = $269 = $932.43 after tax.
- Birth Year Rate = $289 + Birth Year rate for 2nd and 3rd nights = $289 + $60 + $60 = $472.40 after tax.
My birth year rate of $60 brings the three night stay at the Sheraton Universal to almost half the rate of the Flexible Rate and saves over $300 on the AAA rate.
This is one of the few times when there is a significantly better rate discount for being an AARP member compared to AAA rate.
The Birth Year rate is going to be a huge rate discount regardless of your age at this hotel during these dates since the second and third night of your stay will be under $95 per night.
Sheraton Universal Room Rates: Club Floor with Club Lounge Access for breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres.
- AARP Rate = $191.25 = $663.03 after tax for 3-night stay.
- AAA Rate = $245.65 = $851.55
- Best Flexible Rate = $289 = $1,001.73
- Birth Year Rate = $309 + Birth Year rate for 2nd and 3rd nights. A $40 BirthYear surcharge is added to 2nd and 3rd nights for Club Lounge upgrade. = $509 + 15.5% tax = $587.90 after tax.
The Club Room reservation using the Birth Year rate requires an additional $40 per night upgrade fee. In my case this raises the rate for the second and third nights from $60 per night to $100 per night.
Birth Year Rate of $588 for a 3-night stay saves $264 compared to AAA rate of $852.
The Birth Year rate only saves $75 compared to AARP rate for the Sheraton Universal Club Lounge. This is an anomaly for this specific rate analysis since most hotels will not offer such a deep AARP rate discount.
The Manhattan at Times Square, New York
November 23-26, 2012 King Bed
- Prepaid (100% cancellation penalty) = $253 = $879.84
- AAA or AARP Rate = $271 = $943.92
- Best Flexible Rate = $319 = $1,108.65
- Birth Year Rate = $319 + Birth Year rate for 2nd and 3rd nights. A $100 BirthYear surcharge is added to 2nd and 3rd nights at this hotel. $319 + $160 + $160 = $639 = $743.75 after tax.
- Birth Year rate saves $200 on a 3-night stay compared to AAA/AARP rates with same terms for cancellation with no penalty and also saves $136 or $45 per night compared to the preapid nonrefundable rate for this hotel.
- This hotel is more in line with most hotel’s rates giving the same discount for AAA and AARP membership.
Loyalty Traveler post link: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/09/02/starwood-pay-your-birth-year-rate-analysis/
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.