Back in my days as an executive assistant, I racked up thousands of OpenTable Rewards points by booking lunches and dinners for my boss under my own account. I’d always try and book his dinners for OpenTable restaurants that would give me the 1,000 point bonus instead of just the regular 100 points per reservation through the site.
At the time my options for cashing out on my OpenTable credits by either redeeming them for cash off of my bills at restaurants or by getting Amazon gift cards. The foodie in me always thought about using the Dining Rewards for going to nice restaurants I couldn’t afford, but the compulsive online shopper in me held onto points until I could max out the Amazon money.
Today I just saw an article on Lifehacker talk about a new option that OpenTable now lets you use your saved up Dining Points for booking hotels through Kayak. The crazy thing that I did not expect was that the most value for your points comes from booking hotels on Kayak rather than Amazon gift cards or dining rewards!
Here is where I currently stand:
I never thought I’d be saying this, but I now miss being able to book meals for my boss. I’ll take the $40 I technically don’t deserve to go travel with 🙂
OpenTable Rewards Chart
Below I put together the current breakdown of how much the trade-in value is for OpenTable Rewards based on what you choose to use it on. Note that you can only use points for different levels you hit. Looking at the screenshot of my points above you see that I have 2,400 points which means I can trade them in for the 2,000 point values. The 400 doesn’t convert and just stays in my account after trading them in.
See what I mean here. For one, you can start redeeming points when you only have 1,000 points through Kayak when you need at least 2,000 for everything else. Then the point value is basically double the best options between dining and Amazon gift cards.
How to Book Travel with OpenTable Points
Let’s do a fake booking here and test out my screenshot skills. Start by going to opentable.kayak.com. Log in to the page with the button on the top right. You’ll use your OpenTable login info here.
I’m currently planning a road trip across the country, so follow along as I check on a city along my route. One-stop I do want to make is Mount Rushmore, so I’ll look for some rates and deals around Rapid City.
I noticed that the little pop-out near the top of the pages says save up to $101 and thought that was a little weird because the max value is supposed to be $200 with 10,000 points. It looks like it does that because that’s the most expensive hotel in that particular city. I looked again for Los Angeles and it said $200 off for a 10,000 point redemption.
I chose a Doubletree hotel in Deadwood. It looks like the entire night would be covered completely with just 5,000 points. I only have the 2,000 so I only cover $40 worth. See below:
I chose a King size bed suite that is $68. At the top of the page, you’ll see that the discount that gets taken off thanks go my OpenTable credits.
Scroll all the way down to the payments, and you’ll be able to pay the difference between the total price and your hotel discount from OpenTable and Kayak. Pay the bill and you’ve got yourself some discount accommodations!
For this particular hotel, it looks like there is an additional resort fee that I’ll have to pay once I’m there. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with this discount that just fell in my lap. I’m going to combine this discount, my Airbnb credits, some couchsurfing, and my Marriott Rewards to have a pretty cheap road trip now!
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