Photo: Flickr via chrispitality
A new site called Tingo is offering what might be the easiest way for consumers to book the lowest possible rate on hotel stays.The site uses the same technique used by other hotel and airfare booking sites to refund customers if their rates drop – except Tingo does all the work for you.
Here’s how it works:
On Tingo, you’ll find hotels listed with a “Money Back” icon, which indicates they’re on board with Tingo’s refund policy (95% of their hotel inventory participates).
Once you book, Tingo takes care of tracking the hotel’s rates. No matter how many times the price drops before your reservation, the site will automatically rebook your stay and refund the difference to your account.
“travellers could have saved millions last year had there been a simple system in place that automatically rebooked their rooms,” said Smarter Travel Media General Manager David Krauter. “And that’s what Tingo does, by taking the gamble out of booking and refunding travellers’ money when rates drop.”
And unlike a slew of so-called “priceback guarantees” offered by airlines and airfare aggregators, there isn’t
a cap on how much you can be refunded, and there are basically no hoops to jump through.Most airlines will issue refunds only if another customer books an identical trip (same number of travellers, aircraft, flight time, destination, etc.) at a lower rate. With Tingo, you’ll get cash back as soon as the hotel drops the price.
Refunds are issued all the way up to the hotel’s deadline for cancellations, Krauter added. The average refund so far has been about $36, but the site recently sent $519 back to one consumer who’d originally paid $1,243 for a stay in Las Vegas.
Before you book, don’t forget to check out the most affordable cities for hotel stays.