Warning: Real Cost of Sleeping [Infographic] - CreditDonkey Study Illustrates Hotel Costs

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CreditDonkey released an infographic which visualizes the hotel fees and costs that are often overlooked by travelers.

CreditDonkey

real surprise when they get their bill

Travelers often spent considerable time comparison shopping before booking their hotel rooms. But are they taking into consideration all of the additional costs that come with their chosen room?

Today, CreditDonkey revealed the real cost of sleeping in hotels with its newest infographic. The visual guide walks travelers through the hotel stay, uncovering fees and costs that are often overlooked until they receive their credit card statement.

Infographic: http://www.creditdonkey.com/cost-of-sleeping.html

Here are some of the standard hotel costs outlined by the CreditDonkey infographic:

  • Bottled Water and Snacks – once complimentary, oftentimes these refreshments come with a price tag of $5 a pop
  • In-Room Safe – some hotels now charge a $3 nightly fee for using the safe
  • Towels – extra towels can cost an additional $2
  • Parking – some hotels have mandatory valet parking that runs at $45 per day, plus tip
  • Resort Fee – this fee typically covers services like the business center, pool, gym and housekeeping; even if you don’t plan on utilizing some of these amenities it will run you about $10 to $25 per day
  • Packages – if you plan on having a package delivered to the hotel or mail a package from the hotel, you may incur a charge running anywhere from $1 to $25

And these are additional services with costs that may be passed on to hotel guests; prices can vary so guests will want to get the low-down on these services before booking their room:

  • Internet
  • Telephone (sometimes even local calls)
  • Airport Shuttle
  • Energy Surcharge
  • Taxes and other local charges, like tourism marketing efforts
  • Bellhop/Housekeeper Gratuities
  • Cancellation Fees
  • Late Check-In or Check-Out
  • Grounds Keeping Fee
  • Luggage Holding

“If consumers overlook these extra costs, they are going to be in for a real surprise when they get their bill,” said Charles Tran, founder of the credit card comparison website, CreditDonkey. “When budgeting for upcoming travels, consumers should consider these additional costs when creating their lodging budget. This will help them avoid sticker shock when they open their credit card statement.”

Tran also advises that consumers can help decrease their out-of-pocket costs by taking advantage of a hotel credit card. CreditDonkey has shared the following tips to help cardholders make the most out of their hotel rewards:

  • Be choosey with your rewards credit card; choose a credit card that offers the hotel rewards that suit your individual needs
  • Be loyal; many cards will offer more points when you stay in specific hotel chains
  • Be mindful of the currency of the rewards and accrue points in a currency that works for you
  • Watch for cards with blackout policies, as they may limit the dates that you can utilize your rewards
  • Take advantage of the new mobility that is offered by these rewards cards
  • Don’t stockpile your rewards waiting for your major vacation that’s taking place in three years; instead, use them when you need them most

With many cards offering bonus introductory points, consumers who open a hotel rewards card early may be able to cash in on points to help cover hotel expenses for their travels. But many consumers become overwhelmed when researching hotel reward cards, giving up before they find the right card for their family.

Luckily the folks at CreditDonkey have shared their list of top hotel reward credit cards currently available to consumers:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card — The top choice by CreditDonkey. 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase - good for a free night at a category 4 hotel. No annual fee first year, then $65 annual fee
  • Marriott Rewards Visa Signature — 22,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase - enough for up to 3 free nights; plus receive a free night stay e-certificate upon account approval for a total of up to 4 free nights. No annual fee first year, then $30 annual fee
  • Chase Freedom Visa — Earn $100 Bonus Cash Back after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months; 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent on gas, hotel and airline purchases from 7/1/2011 to 9/30/2011. $0 Annual Fee
  • Miles by Discover Card — Up to 12,000 bonus miles (1,000 miles each month you make a purchase during the first year); Double miles on your first $3,000 in travel and restaurant purchases. $0 Annual Fee

With hotel costs taking the lion share of any family's budget, these cards really stretch your vacation dollar this summer.

About CreditDonkey.com
CreditDonkey.com is a credit card comparison site that publishes credit card research, informed opinions and related news/trends that empower American consumers to make informed credit decisions. Use CreditDonkey.com and save time and money. For more information, go to http://www.creditdonkey.com

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Charles Tran
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