Paying cash for hotels

Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:38 AM
  #1  
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Paying cash for hotels

I've read a couple of posts where people have mentioned paying cash for their rooms and getting a discount. How does this work?

I guess what I'm asking is when you book the rooms (thru email or fax) they usually give you a rate. SO when you get to the hotel, do you offer to pay cash, then ask for a discounted rate? Or is this all suppose to be handled prior to arrival?

What about for those that have used the RIck Steves books and gotten discounts on the accomodations. Are we suppose to mention the book at the time of booking?

JennyP is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:45 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi JP,

When you book the room ask what the rate would be if you pay cash, ask what the rate would be with the RS book.

ira is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:49 AM
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If you've already booked, simply ask when checking in if the rate is discounted if paying in cash.
Judy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Yes, simply ask the hotel in your phone call, fax, or email if there is a cash discount offered.

If you don't know ahead, ask at check-in.

For the Rick Steves question you can ask on his website at ricksteves.com.
suze is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 12:38 PM
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I rarely disagree with Ira...but i would not ask for a cash discount when you book the room. I think the answer would no discount.

IMO. the time to ask for a discount is shortly before you are ready to check out.

Dick is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 02:49 PM
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I have always asked up front when booking (usually via email). I first ask the price and then email back and ask if and what the discount would be for cash. I did this for my dad's trip to London last month and saved him 5 pounds a night for paying cash. Our hotel in Venice last year took 10 euros off a night as a special "Rick Steves rate" if we paid cash. When Steves describes a hotel in his book he'll usually say if there is some kind of special discount if you mention his book. In Paris last Xmas, we just held up the Rick Steves Paris book for a free breakfast on one of the mornings. Last month my dad and nephew used my book for the same free breakfast. My nephew was able to use the internet for free at an Edinburgh bed and breakfast because I mentioned when booking that I learned about the lodging from Rick Steves. My point: I always ask ahead of time before booking. Then I have all the cash rates in writing which I can present if there is a problem (never has been yet!)
Janeyre is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:07 PM
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i think you are talking about 2 different cases. if you don't mention a tour book when booking, why would they give you a discount when you arrive?

however, if they quote a room rate and advertise that they accept credit card, you can still get a discount by waving cash at check in. usually people prefer to pay by cc so if you state this but offer to pay cash if discounted, often this will be accepted as it is an obvious advantage to the owner.
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:11 PM
  #8  
ira
 
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Hi Dick
>....i would not ask for a cash discount when you book the room. I think the answer would [be] no discount.

IMO. the time to ask for a discount is shortly before you are ready to check out.<

Eh, the room she isa 90 euro. I'mma no care iffa you pay cash or charge.

ira is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:17 PM
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ira...they do care...it's a little thing called tax (both VAT and income). you can pay however you wish and until you settle, you have the possibility to negotiate a cash discount.

for other discounts, once you accept the rate, you have no more bargaining power.
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:31 PM
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I've asked ahead of time. Even once said OH, a friend said the rate was ___ can I get that same rate? (It was true) and they honored her rate! Funny thing was a few months later she was reserving a room at the same hotel again and they quoted her a higher rate so she said -- gee, my friend Diane was here in May and only paid 80 Euro, can I get that rate, too since we'll be here for a week as well? and, yup, they gave it to her.

I think rates are negotiable and if you don't ask, you're not going to find that out! If they ARE fully booked, they will have no reason to give you a break, but there are SO MANY hotels (we're talking places like Paris, Rome, etc) they are going to want your guaranteed business, expecially if it is for more than just one or two nights. It seems that 3 nights (or more) is a real plus.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:36 PM
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It depends on the hotel. The Hotel Florence in Bellagio clearly states on its web site that there is an 8% discount for cash. I've never stayed in another hotel that offered a cash discount.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:39 PM
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I agree with asking up front. When we booked online for our trip in April, I mentioned that I had read they offered a discount for cash with RS's book.

When they replied, they quoted a rate and then also stated that, yes, they would give me a lower rate of X if I paid in cash.

Once you've checked in, you're in their world, baby! That, IMHO, is NOT the time to ask. Always know what you are paying up front.
motor_city_girl is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
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...and real tour books do not negotiate discounts with properties potentially included in the book. this is a commercial agreement between reviewer and reviewee...not very respectable.
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:46 PM
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I really wouldn't ask upon checkout about the Rick Steves thing and I wouldn't ask about the cash, either, at checkout. However, that can be more straightforward -- if they do or not, they can tell you. However, if you've already stayed there and are checking out and have had in writing in your reservation or upon arrival what the rate is -- why would a hotel give you a discount at that point, when you've already agreed to the regular rate? Now, some may if it's just straightforward, but the Rick Steves thing is no advantage for them if you've already stayed there.

I'm surprised a hotel would give 8 pct discount for cash, as the CC fees are only about 2-3 pct, I thought.
Christina is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:51 PM
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christina...the tax is a whole lot more than that. a dishonest owner would not pay the VAT that is associated with your stay (say 20%) and would not have to pay income tax on it (say 20-45%).
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:10 PM
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Not every hotel that gives a cash discount is from a <dishonest owner> trying to avoid paying their taxes. They are simply taking into account the fees incurred doing a charge cards transaction.
suze is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:17 PM
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suze, i didn't say that was the only motivation, did i?
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:51 PM
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No, I didn't say you did.
suze is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 05:05 PM
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I usually ask when making the reservation, if they do great, if not, nothing lost. Not asking is like leaving money on the table.
JenV is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Some of the hotels where we stayed during our trip to Germany & Austria in May did not accept credit cards at all so we HAD to pay cash. However, the Seehotel Gruner Baum in Hallstatt specifically states on their rate sheet that they give a discount for cash. In the past when dealing with larger hotels, I will inquire if they give a discount for AAA, AARP or for cash if this isn't spelled out on their website.
bettyk is offline  

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