Why Hotel Hustle Will Make Your Life Easier

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Your current situation: You heard that there are two Hilton cards with lucrative limited time (through May 31) sign up bonuses– the Hilton Honors American Express Card with 80,000 Honors points, and the Hilton Honors Surpass Credit Card from American Express with 100,000. To reap the extra benefits from these offers, you got both cards and have at least 195k Honors points headed your way after meeting the combined $5,000 minimum spending requirement for both Amex cards. Pretty awesome.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

But you haven’t redeemed many hotel rewards before and are a little intimidated about where to begin. Allow me to introduce you to Hotel Hustle.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 2.17.07 PMThe Hotel Hustle search tool by Wandering Aramean can help you get the most out of the following hotel rewards programs:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Club Carlson
  • Hilton Honors
  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • La Quinta Rewards
  • Le Club Accor
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Wyndham Rewards

What Hotel Hustle Does

You input the city where you want a hotel as well as the range of dates you want to stay.

The search results will equip you with the following data points to help you make the best use of your reward points on the highest value redemptions:

  • Major chain hotels in the city that you specify
  • Award rooms available at those hotels
  • Cost of hotel night in the hotel’s award currency
  • Cost of hotel night in cash
  • The value of using your reward points on that hotel night (cents per point)

How to Use Hotel Hustle

Step 1: Initiate the search.

Input the city, zip code, or nearby airport of where you would like to book a hotel, as well as the date range of when you want to stay.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 2.56.47 PM

The search results of hotels with award nights available will display on a map, color coded by hotel chain. On the right side of the map will be the details of each map pinpoint with the hotel name, the cash price, the points price, the cash + points price (if that’s an option), how many cents per point you’re getting, and a star rating called Hustle Hotness that represents how good of a value that specific redemption is (based on the previous info as well as how much Wandering Aramean values the reward point).

Note that all hotels in the chains listed on the left side of the map will show up as pinpoints on the map whether or not they have award nights available. The detailed list on the right side of the map will show you whether or not each hotel has award space.

Step 2: Pick your filters.

Zoom in or out by clicking the addition or subtraction sign on the top right of the map or adjusting the search radius drop-down menu on the left side. You can also filter by Hustle Hotness (view only 5 Star ratings, for example) with the drop-down menu on the left.

If you only want to view certain hotel chain results tailored to your collection of hotel reward points, you can easily remove unwanted chains from displaying by clicking on the rewards program. They will then disappear from the map.

If you have just Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, and Marriott points, then you'll probably want to narrow your results down to just those four programs like in this screenshot.
If you have just Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, and Marriott points, then you’ll probably want to narrow your results down to just those four programs like in this screenshot.

Clicking on a map pinpoint will show you the hotel name, cash price, points price, and sometimes a picture of the hotel.

Step 3: Booking An Award Night Once You’ve Found a Room

You can’t book on Hotel Hustle. You have to go to the hotel’s website, which are hyperlinked in the search results.

How to Set a Alert if Your Desired Hotel Doesn’t Have an Award Night Available

Possibly the most time-saving aspect of Hotel Hustle is the option to set an alert if there is an award night you want at a specific hotel that isn’t available at the time of searching.

They do all the grunt work for you, relieving you of the need to check award space everyday– for free. If an award night opens up for the alert you set, you receive an email notification so you can hop right on booking it.

You have to have an an account on Wandering Aramean to set alerts. Create an account for free here.

If the hotel you are looking at in your search results doesn’t have an award night available, there will be a Create Alert link instead of a points value next the points field. Click Create Alert.

You will receive an email notification once Wandering Aramean finds award space.

What about those other links on the main toolbar?

Below the Hotel Hustle search box, there are a few other links.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.14.45 PM

Average Point Values

Wandering Aramean calculates averages of how much hotel points are worth. They factor these average values into the Hustle Hotness ratings.

My Values

If you disagree with Wandering Aramean’s average point values, you can set your own. This only affects the Hustle Hotness star rankings.

You have to have an account on Wandering Aramean to set your own values. Create an account for free here.

Manage Alerts

The Manage Alerts page is where you can monitor and edit all the alerts you have set, but it is not where you actually set them. To see how to set alerts, see the appropriately titled section above.

Hot Award Rates & Hot Cash Rates

It appears that these links are broken. I assume they are supposed to show results from recent searches that turned up high value redemptions or cheap hotel rooms.

Downsides

  • The search results load slowly at times.
  • Million Mile Secrets says that he’s experienced instances when Hotel Hustle’s cash price of the hotel room varies from what he has found online, so you might want to double check that before pulling the trigger. He also reported that the points information is right on target.

Bottom Line

Hotel Hustle is awesome because you can easily compare the cost of a hotel night in points to the cost in cash, search for hotel award nights specifically catered to the type of hotel reward points you have, and even set alerts if the award night you want is initially available so you don’t have to waste tons of time looking it up every day.

Just not sure which of your hotel points to redeem and/or where to use them on your next big trip? Use Hotel Hustle to help– it will save you lots of time and effort.

Have you used Hotel Hustle before? If so please share your experiences below.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Scott, thanks for the post. I have used HotelHustle before and I agree it’s a useful tool for the frequent traveler. As you call out, it helps to burn points wisely by offering a redemption star rating, map overview and easy filters. At times I also find the search a bit slow, but it’s worth the wait to get up to date point values and room rates.

    I’ve also been working on a small website (http://www.rewardpointers.com) that should eventually help frequent hotel visitors with all steps of the process: 1) choosing programs, 2) earning points and 3) burning points. You’ll see we still have a lot of work to do, and adding real-time point/room rates is only one thing on our to do list. Would love to hear your thoughts though!

  2. I’ve been using Hotel Hustle’s paid service for a while now. One of the alert I set is for Park Hyatt NY. I happen to check Hyatt today and saw point award available for the date I want, but Hotel Hustle failed to alert me. Now I’m not sure I can rely on this tool. I emailed Seth and am waiting to hear back.

    • Overall I have found Hotel Hustle fairly reliable but I’ve only been using the free service every now and then. I did notice something strange recently, probably a coincidence that it was also for New York. When searching for an award night in New York in January 2017, there were instances with all SPG or Marriott properties showing “N/A”. I was able to book the award night for that specific date via the SPG site though.

  3. The one tweak I wish Hotel Hustle (and similar sites) would make is to add all the taxes and fees to the cash price of the room – or at least the ones you wouldn’t have to pay with an award stay. It’s a more accurate way to measure the value, in my opinion, and it’s how I do all my own valuations.

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