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Clark Howard: Hotel rewards

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Updated: 4/15/2013 9:02 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's funny over the years, I have gotten so many phenomenal deals out of hotel reward programs.

I remember there was a seasonal special several years ago when I went to various hotels in my hometown, checked in and never stayed at them, because the rewards I was earning were so much greater than what I was paying for those rooms.

I was able to convert those stays into London, Anchorage, and New York city and it cost me almost nothing.

Well the hotel chains aren't doing that kind of thing anymore.

In fact, their new thing is their best imitation of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Several of the hotel programs, the biggest ones, are tightening how many points it takes for you to redeem a hotel night, and the junk fees adding on and the ability to redeem all getting tougher.

Here's the thing you need to know. 

The hotel reward programs know the demand for hotel rooms are going up and up and up, so they're not going to give you as many freebees.

So what you should do instead is use the points you have completely, and stay where ever you get the cheapest deal, regardless of the points you earn.

You can go to my website to learn more about hotel rewards.

Watch Clark Howard weekday mornings on Action News This Morning on FOX30 beginning at 7 a.m.

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