Booking a room online vs. with the hotel

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When booking a room, what is the true difference in price between going through an app or website versus contacting the hotel directly? (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) When booking a room, what is the true difference in price between going through an app or website versus contacting the hotel directly? (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Remember, hotels keep most of their luxury rooms and amenity packages for themselves, that means they will make these rooms available only to customers who book through them. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Remember, hotels keep most of their luxury rooms and amenity packages for themselves, that means they will make these rooms available only to customers who book through them. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Lastly, many apps and third-party websites charge booking fees. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Lastly, many apps and third-party websites charge booking fees. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

When booking a room, what is the true difference in price between going through an app or website versus contacting the hotel directly?

The answer is not simple, but interesting.

[SPECIAL SECTION: CBS 5 This Morning]

Here's when it's cheaper to book in an app versus booking over the phone.

Apps/website:

  • If you are booking last minute
  • Agree to a mystery deal
  • If you are into non-cancelable reservations

With the hotel:

  • Want to use your points
  • Bigger room
  • Package deal
  • Earn points with hotel

This isn't always the case, however. Some of the bookings have their own rewards systems like Expedia and hotels.com. You can earn free hotel nights if you book through those apps.

Keep in mind, for the most part, reward systems through hotels tend to be better and have more perks. 

Holiday Inn, has been documented as one of the best hotels to save money on upgraded rooms and amenities. 

[RELATED: Which is better: A travel agent or book it yourself]

Remember, hotels keep most of their luxury rooms and amenity packages for themselves, that means they will make these rooms available only to customers who book through them. Sometimes, upgrading the room choice on an app is not worth it.

Lastly, many apps and third-party websites charge booking fees. That makes any savings you think you're getting pointless. 

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