via Cashreward Is a Joke!

Hello, I'm not a frequent user of Cash Rewards, but a tempting 12% cashback deal on caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Just a note, I hold Genius Level 1 status on the Booking website.

Before confirming my accommodation on the Booking website, I took the time to check the prices on the hotel's official website. The cost was slightly higher, but it came with the benefit of a flexible cancellation option, which I found to be a great offer. At this point, I was using Safari as my browser.

Curious for further comparisons, I used a different browser, Chrome, and performed a Google search for price comparisons. After searching for the same hotel and dates, I found a list of providers such as Expedia, TripAdvisor, and, all displaying prices significantly lower than the actual price (almost $300 less). Clicking on via Chrome, I meticulously compared the page side by side with the one from the Cash Rewards website.

On the Booking dot com via Cash Rewards website, it showed a price $600 higher (just an example), but claimed to offer a $60 Genius discount (BS!) and a cash reward of $200. However, this cashback would only be transferred after 60 days following the completion of the hotel stay. I repeated this process with multiple hotels and encountered the same results, leading me to the decision to book directly via the hotel's website.

In summary, my experience with Booking via Cash Rewards was disappointing, as it appeared that the prices were inflated, making it less favourable compared to booking directly with the hotel.

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  • +1

    OMG Scam Alert

    ACCC on speed dial.

    • It sure is. False advertising!!!

  • +3

    Booking directly with the hotel is the best option in my opinion

    • +1

      💯 agree. Worth paying slightly more.
      Interestingly, a hotel I booked directly, came $1k less than what booking dot com displayed after genius discount and cash back rewards!

  • +3

    In most cases cash rewards / cash back offers for hotels is mostly a scam IMO.

    I only use shop back and I booked a few hotels in Asia but whenever shop back is activated, especially for Agoda, the price would jump up making the cash back less if I were not to use shop back.

    For example, if a hotel for 1 night is $100 without shop back but I activate 5% shop back, the hotel price is now $120

  • +1

    I always check with/without the CR link activated but in my experience there's only been 1 occasion where booking without CR turned out to be cheaper (ie. it was an app-only discount). So it's definitely a case of compare the pair but I wouldn;t call it a joke based on 1 experience.

  • +6

    This is old news. I'm talking precovid news. Time to move on.

  • +1

    I just did a grocery shop list for the week and found HEAPS of items that were either more expensive or cheaper in Woolies & Coles.

    In summary, my experience with both Woolies and Coles online was disappointing as my preference is to just have to do 1 shop at 1 supermarket yet the ever changing prices means I have to go to both to save some money. So RUDE!

  • +1

    Sounds like supermarket 50% off claims.

  • +1

    Were you born yesterday?

    • +2

      Member since Aug 2016, so no, at least 7 years old.

      • at least 7 years old.

        Based on their username, that could include several lifetimes due to reincarnation…

        So my question still stands…

        • +2

          No, you specifically asked were you born yesterday, not reborn yesterday.

  • +1

    I've been recently skipping the cashback options when using, Agoda, etc. The final price invariably works out cheaper.

    This one baffled me though. Looking at a hotel in Prague with a $100/night price. Turned on CR for and the price jumped to nearly $250/night. wtf.

    • +1

      Turned on CR jumped to nearly $250/night. wtf.

      That is to pay for Tightarse's commission…

  • I was curious as I'm planning a trip to Japan so did comparisons on the website vs. hotel directly, and couldn't verify this at all.

    If I go via direct the price is the same as if I go via cashrewards website to is the same price as if I go and try via Shopback. I did this for a new booking as well as comparing to old bookings I've already done and found the prices pretty similar. Prices are also similar to the hotel directly. Also tested on a different browser/incognito just in case a cookie was tracking me/changing things.

    The hotel directly is almost always more expensive, so is definitely cheaper and convenient. I suspect you may have been selecting different options by mistake or getting very confused.

    • Nope, same hotels/resort, same room, same bed size (eg King), same view (garden), same dates, same options (breakfast included), same occupants etc.

      Did this multiple times as I have 3 weeks and 3 different accomodations to book and that baffled me.

      • I'm curious - would you be able to share the hotel? I'd be keen to try myself and see what happens. Happy if you want to message me directly.

        Wonder if it's a location thing or what it could be in that case.

        • +1

          Ok done. Sent you the details.

  • +2

    As we always say it's not Cashrewards themselves increasing the price - it's They plaster it everywhere that you've clicked through an affiliate partner, so some "exclusive" offers do get a price increase as don't want double dipping on discounts sometimes.

    Now the real thing to be worried about is that have had an undeclared breach of some kind. Hotels are sending messages through saying the payment failed and give you an almost legit looking URL to click through to pay. It's a scam and plastered all over the travel subreddits. It's particularly bad for those looking to travel to Japan.

    • Got one of those scam messages from through a hotel in South Korea. Lucky I ignored the message as it did look pretty legit

    • Yeah and hasn't this security hole been a thing for years? I remember hearing about it at least a year ago and there's still news articles popping up now about scams surrounding it. No way I'm putting my CC info through their payment portal.

  • I have experienced both what @DingoBilly says and what OP says. Sometimes direct is cheaper, sometimes is cheaper, sometimes CR with is cheaper (taking the cashback into account). Often CR with is inflated as OP found.

    It just requires some due diligence when making bookings to take your time and check all options. I also hold membership with hotel chains and they sometimes provide a further 5% or 10% off.

    I recall many moons ago I rocked up to a hotel without a booking and asked for their best last minute price on a room. It was quite pricey IIRC so I hung about in the lobby, jumped onto one of those aggregators ( I think - might've been Expedia?) and got a room for well over $100 off what the concierge said. Walked up and said, "hey I can book a room for $x on, can you match it?" "Nope". So I just booked via and got a room there anyway.

  • I've seen this before, basically ANY link you click through from a cashback site has the risk that the price shown to you is MORE than if you'd just gone straight there.
    Never EVER shop/browse from the cashback site, do all your research first and then click through, and always double check the price then!

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