Mastercards Amazing Travel Booking Portal & Why It’s Better than FHR and LHRC

by | Benefits, Credit Cards | 20 comments

Best World Elite Mastercard Benefit

One of my absolute favorite credit card perks isn't unique to only a few cards or banks, it's actually available to a majority of consumers who hold a Mastercard. World and World Elite Mastercards provide free access to the Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services program. This program offers some really great benefits that provide a ton of added value to each cards unique set of benefits. *I'll tell you in a minute why this portal crushes the competition but first a few details on availability. There are even a few no fee cards that are classified as World level including the Citi ThankYou Premier, other eligible cards include Barclay’s Arrival, JetBlue Plus, Citi AAdvantage and Chase IHG Premier to name a few. 

Related: How to Earn and Redeem the World Elite MasterCard Lyft Benefit

I realize this sounds like a pretty run of the mill benefit but the thing that really sets it apart for me is the travel booking website. It's essentially a travel booking portal similar to Amex travel and Chase Ultimate rewards but better. Here's a Quick rundown of the Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services Perks.

  • Complimentary professional travel services – advisors available 24 hours a day
  • Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee – If your 3-star or higher-rated hotel is not working out, a Lifestyle Manager will work with you to make it right.
  • Mastercard Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee – If you find the same exact prepaid hotel stay for less they'll refund the difference.
  • Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio – includes benefits like daily complimentary breakfast, benefits valued at up to $100, upgrades, and early check-in, late check-out
  • Car, Air, Cruise and Vacation Packages and Discounts
  • Dedicated website that registered members can use to book flights, hotels and activities as well as access offers and discounts and submit concierge requests.

Related: Get Your Elite Credit and Save Big: Stack Amex Pay with Points Rebate and Insider Fares

6 Reasons I Love Booking Through the Mastercard Travel Portal

1. Lots of mistakes rates

I've booked the St Regis in Macau for $45 night and Cosmo in Vegas for $70 with the Luxury resorts collection benefits. Dirt cheap rates are not rare, a few months ago Cosmo was avail for $70/night over a few weeks. Review: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Casino and ResortBest World Elite Mastercard Benefit

2. Diverse Collection of Hotels Generally Unavailable as Part of a Luxury Benefits Package

Notice the Hyatt Place? You’ve never seen the Hyatt Place in Las Vegas on Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts or Chase Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection.

Best World Elite Mastercard Benefit

3. Transparent Pricing

The main search results page lets you know exactly how much is due at the hotel and all of the prices shown include taxes and fees. 

Related: NEW SoFI and Mastercard Partnership Will Offer Some Pretty Cool Perks

4. Often Cheaper than Competitor Portals

The screenshots below show a comparison of the Amex FHR Price and the Mastercard Price for the same room and benefits on the same date, as you can see MC is almost $100 cheaper. One thing that's different is that the benefits are similar but not always uniform, so you should look at each hotels specific benefits. 

5. Excellent Service

Last time I booked a St. Regis I emailed them and asked that they add my Marriott loyalty number to the booking and they called the hotel to add it and emailed me a confirmation only a few hours after I submitted the request.

Related: Chase Luxury Hotel And Resort Collection Service Issue

6. Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee for 3+ Star hotels booked through the service

This is a great benefit and pretty unique because many of the credit card travel booking portals. In fact they have almost no guarantees whatsoever, I learned this the hard way when I encountered a major issue with a Chase LHRC booking.

Here's the complete Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee terms:

“Book your three stars or higher hotel stay through the Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services Should you encounter problems with the hotel, contact Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services during your stay. A Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Manager will attempt to make it right for the remainder of your stay by working directly with the hotel to try to resolve your issue or will make efforts to find you comparable accommodations. *Certain terms, conditions and exclusions apply. For full details, see Terms and Conditions.”

Thoughts

I love having a viable option to the Chase LHRC collection and I can't believe this service is available on so many entry level cards. One thing that could be improved is the availability of prices for hotels with the luxury collection benefits on the website, often the site directs you to call to get the rates and rooms included in the program. While this happens on FHR and Chase, it seems to be more prevalent on the Mastercard Travel site. On the other hand, the agents I have spoken to have been extremely accommodating and knowledgeable so the calls are pretty quick and painless. If you don't mind waiting  you can also contact them through email or the contact button on the site at travel.mastercard.com. The number is 1-855-802-1387.

You have to register for the program separately but it only takes a minute and you only have to do it once. There are a bunch of other benefits that I will cover separately over the next few weeks.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Craig at Middle Age Miles

    Hi Bethany – Really good article on a program I haven’t had my eye on at all. I have a quick (but crucial) question if you don’t mind – When you book a Marriott/Hyatt/Hilton hotel through the Mastercard Luxury Travel portal, do you earn points & elite status night credits, and are your elite benefits honored? Many thanks! ~Craig

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Thank you 😊 so each time I’ve booked it I followed the booking with an email to the concierge and asked them to call the hotel and add my loyalty number to the stay. It has worked every time… (Hyatt and Marriott so far are the programs I booked)

      Reply
  2. Dan

    any way to use this with the citi prestige’s 4th night free? AFAIK the citi portal doesn’t use the mastercard travel setup sadly 🙁

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      I believe you are correct. Frequent Miler writes a lot about stacking the 4th night so if anyone would have it I bet they do.

      Reply
  3. MIchael R Karpiel

    Beth you are comparing apples to oranges here. The Mastercard rate of $241 includes breakfast and taxes as does the FHR rate of $303 but the FHR has a $100 on property credit that Mastercard does not have.

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      The MC rate also has a $100 credit

      Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      If you go to the site the ones with the credit are clearly marked at the top of the search

      Reply
  4. Liam

    Oh joy! A use for my BJ’s World MC. Never thought a Comenity card would work, but it sure does!

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Lol, Awesome! I’m hoping for rewards on specific stores for the few store cards I still have

      Reply
  5. James

    I have tried thi once. Online said not available to book online, call in. When I called in they said no benefits.
    It seems if you can book online it is useful but otherwise it is useless. Have you ever called in and found a useful response (amex fhr calling it often gives you good rates for unavailable bookings online)

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Actually yes the rep explained to me that sometimes it’s because they have to take a deposit which they have to do over the phone. I guess it’s YMMV for some properties

      Reply
  6. Neil

    Very useful article

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Thank you so much 🙂

      Reply
  7. Alex

    That is very interesting and unknown benefit. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Thank you for reading 🙂

      Reply
  8. Uri

    Is there an easy way to tell which hotels (out of the 2500+) come with the free breakfast benefit?

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Yes, when you do a search, anything that that has the green logo on the top is included in the program. There are 2500 hotels in the program- but way more on the Mastercard site itself.

      Reply
  9. Uri

    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Alec

    Great write up Beth!

    You mentioned mistake rates. Does MC honor them then?

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      The three that I have booked were not even looked at twice or questioned- One was Cosmo, the other was Saint Regis in Macau and I forget what the third was I think it was in Miami. So anecdotally yes

      Reply

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