When hotel rates drop after a traveler reserves a room, travelers can collect the savings thanks to a couple of little-known websites with significant followings.
DreamCheaper, based in Germany, and Tingo, based in the US, will track rates after a reservation. If either one finds a better deal, it rebooks the room at the new, lower rate on the traveler’s behalf.
Here’s the backstory: After booking a hotel, travelers seldom check back to see if the hotel later has a sale. That can be a lost opportunity. When a traveler books a reservation that’s refundable, he or she merely has to cancel the older reservation and rebook at the new lower rate.
Hotel rates used to be boringly stable, rarely changing at the last minute. But hotels are increasingly dropping rates at the eleventh hour to fill vacancies. The cause is a rising usage of reservations software that can raise and drop hundreds of rates round-the-clock — something that would have been impractical in the past for a hotel clerk to do manually. So rates increasingly go up and down like the stock market.
But travelers often lack the time to track all the rate changes. That’s why a couple of new price-tracking websites have debuted, to catch any sales on a traveler’s hotel room that happen after he or she books but before they arrive.
DreamCheaper asks a traveler to forward their confirmation email so that it can start tracking rate changes. If a rate drops, it will alert the traveler and rebook the room – minus a 20% cut of the savings.
Tingo expects the traveler to book their hotel through it in the first place, and its rates may not always be the highest available on the internet. It then tracks the prices automatically, and sends refunds electronically to a customer’s credit card without any fee.
Using either website, a traveler still receives the typical hotel-based loyalty points and credits if he or she is a member of a hotel’s rewards program.