Looking for a deal on hotels? Discounts on stays may seem pretty elusive and for the most part you’d be right as hotel chains and online travel agencies don’t dish out coupon codes. That said, there is something called hotel corporate codes. These are special codes you can enter when booking at hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriott that can yield big savings.
WHO ARE HOTEL CORPORATE CODES FOR
So why do these exist in the first place?
Many companies have a large workforce that travel frequently – think sales people, executives, and also consultants and contractors they might hire. To make things more economical, many of these organizations will negotiate special rates for their staff and a hotel corporate code is born.
The discounts companies receive depends on a number of factors including but in general these are meant to be cheaper than the lowest publicly available rates. Of course, not all codes are equal. Large companies like IBM have more power to negotiate better discounts versus a small business.
HOW GOOD ARE THE HOTEL CORPORATE RATES?
This is a big fat “it depends” kind of answer.
You’d assume that using hotel corporate codes should result in bigger savings than what the public can get. And yes, this is the case in most cases however the reality is that since the actual discounted rates and conditions aren’t released publicly, it’s really hard to know the exact formula used to calculate the rates.
When you use your corporate code, you might find that it only applies to some brands of a chain or it might only work in Europe but not North America. The discounted corporate rates might also seem like they fluctuate from property to property with no rhyme or reason.
As a result, the public promotions can result in a better rate than the corporate codes.
TIP: Always compare prices between the lowest available price without a code and with a code.
HOW TO FIND THE CODES?
Most companies that have corporate codes will have them listed somewhere whether it be some sort of internal document, wiki, SharePoint, or pinned on a Slack channel somewhere. If anything, you can always ask HR to find out if hotel corporate codes exist.
If you don’t work for a company that has access to special corporate hotel rates, you’ll find it on pages such as this one so you’re in the right place.
HOW DO YOU USE HOTEL CORPORATE CODES?
Once you have the code, it’s really just a matter of going to the hotel chain’s website, and finding their respective field where you can enter a corporate code/account.
For instance, Hilton has a field called “Corporate Account”. This is similar to Marriott.
Every hotel chain looks different but somewhere along the way, the online booking page should show that the corporate code has been applied.
IS IT SAFE TO USE HOTEL CORPORATE CODES?
There are two sides to this.
1) If you’re an employee, contractor, or associate connected to the company the code is designated for, then by all means, use the code freely.
2) If you’re not affiliated to a company, technically you’re not supposed to. Can you? Yes, there’s nothing stopping you but this definitely falls into one of those grey areas.
The big fat warning I’ll put here is that there is some risk in using hotel corporate codes if you don’t work for that particular company.
Officially, all check-in staff are supposed to ask for proof of eligibility. There’s typically no official documentation listed but this usually comes in the form of business cards, work badge, or work e-mail address ([email protected]) where they can send confirmation to.
Unofficially, not all staff check for ID especially between hotel chains. Hilton for instance is much more strict typically versus Marriott.
The risk? If you can’t provide proof, they can charge you the walk-in rate which is usually a lot more expensive than if you just booked a room online or on the app beforehand. You also couldn’t really walk away because at this point you’d be passed the cancellation deadline.
As a generalization, I will say that there is a higher chance of you getting your ID checked at a hotel for using a corporate code than a car rental.
How do you mitigate this risk? Let’s just say you can get a little creative but here are a few ideas:
- Say that you’re a consultant working for the company in question and that you were given this code by your client.
- Check-in online and take advantage of digital keys through the app if possible.
HOTEL CORPORATE CODE LISTING
Instead of listing every single code, what we have below are the top 10 codes for the hotel brands we’ve covered.
Unlike car rental coupon codes, discount amounts range wildly between family of hotels, cities, and countries. As a result, we’ve had to calculate averages which is what you see in the “Total Average Discount” column. Use this as a general guideline of how “good” the code is relative to others.
HEADS UP: For convenience, each of the links will take you to the home page with the code already applied. It will also copy the code to your computer’s clipboard so you can paste it in if you need to.
If you want to dive deeper, make sure you jump over to the hotel family specific page to see all the codes.