How to save 20% on Hotels

How to save up to 20% on Hotels EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

When you travel a lot, staying in hotels becomes a big part of your expenses. In the course of our travels, though, we’ve come across many ways to save money on hotels and I’m now going to share with you our killer combination to save up to 20% on every single stay!

I’ve run the numbers and apart from some deals that float around on sites like (mostly for Asian destinations) this particular method of saving on Hotels cannot be beaten! I’ve tried everything from coupons to hotel comparison engines and over the years, this method has come out to be my top go-to process for hotels savings.

To put it simply, when you book a hotel using this method, you will get a certain percentage of your cash back after a while, and you will be able to get the rest back as rewards.

So here’s how this works: we use a combination of, a cashback website, and two rewards programs. If you feel that are more expensive than other booking engines, my experience has been that they normally include all the relevant taxes, etc. in their prices and this is why their prices may seem higher at first. But if you look at prices on other websites (like carefully, the prices are usually the same across the board.

Given that this can be consistently done over a long period of time, it’s a no brainer for a long term traveler or even a frequent traveler of any type!


1. Sign up for the welcome rewards program

It’s free! They will give you one night free for every ten nights you stay through them. This immediately converts into a 10% reward since your reward night is an average of the 10 nights that you spend in a hotel through them. Rewards Program Rewards Program


2. Sign up for

It’s also free! PouringPounds, a UK based cash back website, will give you up to 7.5% in cash back for every booking you make through them on The regular cash back rate is 6% but they often run specials every other month where they offer up to 7.5% cash back.


3. Use a rewards credit card

When you pay for your hotel bookings. Our cards give us about 2.5% on every purchase as a reward, but other cards can give you up to 3%!


In total, using the combination of the above three methods, we’re able to save up to 20% on every hotel booking we make. None of the programs above require any minimum stays or qualifying dates. You can also pay in any currency you like on and it will not matter! Your hotel would need to be a part of the Welcome Rewards program, but most hotels are a part of that program these days.

The Pouring Pounds Homepage

The Pouring Pounds Homepage

Let me explain how all of this comes together with an example. We’re going to Austin. So, I load up and go to their homepage. I log in, click on Travel, Hotels, and then on That’s it. I’ve now clicked THROUGH to

Pouring Pounds Hotels Page

Don't be misled by Expedia, when you click through they offer just 4.5% on Hotel stays


At this point, I do a regular search for a hotel in Austin on my dates. I get a number of results and filter them to my preferences. When I’ve finally narrowed it down to a hotel I want to book, I click on Book to complete my booking. Before I book, I make sure I log into my account so that I’m sure to rack up some Welcome Rewards for this stay.

Finally, I use my rewards credit card to pay for the hotel booking.

So here’s what happens next. When I pay with my credit card, I will immediately get 2.5% back as part of my credit cards rewards program. This will usually show up on my next statement.

Once I check out of the hotel, I will rack up Welcome Rewards for every night that I stayed. This amounts to a 10% value. So after 10 nights of $100 each, I’ll get one night of $100 for free, $100 back on a $1000 spend amounts to 10%.

After a few days, pouring pounds will send me an email saying that my cashback has tracked. This will then start reflecting in my Pouring Pounds account balance as Pending. It will take a few more weeks for to confirm the cash back with them but eventually, I’ll see the 7.5% balance as confirmed and ready to withdraw from my Pouring Pounds account. Whenever I want, I can request them to send a Paypal payment and I’ll get my money in 2-3 days.


And that’s all there is to it! When you break it down, this is a really simple way to save big! We’ve been consistently saving up to 20% on hotels by using the above method. There are no minimum spend requirements, blackout dates, or other limitations to this method. It’s been a pretty great way for us to keep traveling over the years without going over budget.

Subscribe to the Backpack ME Newsletter

Tips, fun stuff, and TONS of inspiration! Straight to your inbox!


  • Joey Says

    Hey A&Z!

    Just found your awesome blog. Have to comment, here. I understand you are a fan of sustainable travel. so why not book directly with the hotels and ask for a 20% discount? This way, the hotel still gets 80%. If you book through the booking site and cashback service, the booking site also cuts not a small commission, can be as high as 25% (with

    Find more information on how to stay in hotels for longer for less in British tech journalist Paul Carr’s easy and entertaining book,

    On a slightly separate note, I haven’t found more general ‘accommodation tips’ on your blog. Sure, when you are on a ‘tour or excursion, tourist mode’ you go with regular accommodation/booking options like everyone else. But most digital nomads settle for a few months at a time. What are your tips for accommodation for such circumstances? That would be an interesting post for your readers.

    • Zara Says

      Hi Joey,

      For longer stays we suggest short term rentals. We usually make our bookings via Airbnb, even though we’ve been noticing in the last couple of years how the prices have been going up. Still, we’ve realized that even prices on Airbnb are negotiable. We often get around 20% discount, as long as we have the time to do a little back and forward with the host to negotiate.

      If you are new to Airbnb, you can sign up with our invite code and get $35 off your first booking! :)

  • A fantastic post, thanks so much! I’d not heard of Pouring Pounds before but will certainly check it out as a way to save money on our travels :)

  • Ravi Says

    I made several bookings thru and its website said the same about 1 night free for every 10 booked. however, despite writing them, they did not respond and did not credit my stay. Also u have not mentioned that they sometime offer special 8% discount if booking is done immediately which I did only to find that after the booking was done and payment was made, the note says I am not entitled to 1 night free scheme if I availed cash discount. Something they shud have said first but made it appear that the 8% discount for QUICIK BOOKING was over and above the 10days=1day free scheme.

    • Zara Says

      Hi Ravi,
      Just like with many other services, when using you cannot avail 2 promotions at a time. Even though they have promos all the time, we always use the free night. If every 10 nights you get 1 free night, that represents the same value as a 10% discount. Their other promotions never reach a 10% discount, so you might as well stick with this one! Hope things are clearer for next time! :)

  • carlos Says

    We are from Happy Low Cost.
    Which credit card reward do you recommend us?

    Thanks! Very interesting information!

  • Pushpesh Says

    Worth trying Wyndham rewards , it’s a reward system covers all major low budget hotels (or can say motels) across US . I think it may work internationally .

  • Jake Says

    Great tips. But where can I get a 2.5% cash back credit card?

    • Ashray Says

      Depends on what products are available in your country. These cards are available fairly easily in the US, UK, Europe, India, etc.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to Backpack ME