Update (9/18 4:30AM): Well, that was fun while it lasted. The promo code has been maxed out and is no longer valid.

When I first saw the $50 off $100 stay by using code MASTERPASS on Orbitz, I was really excited. I mean, I even went so far as to apply for the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card because it provides me significant value.

But then I saw the terms (bolding mine):

Offer is valid for a limited time only and is only available when displayed on www.orbitz.com. Available on desktop and mobile web where MasterPass is an available payment option.  Book a qualifying standalone, pre-paid hotel stay (total cost $100 or more) with travel occurring between September 18, 2015 and September 30, 2015  via Orbitz using MasterPass as the payment method and promo code MASTERPASS, and receive $100 off your booking.  Most major chains are excluded; to find participating hotels look for the “PROMO CODE ELIGIBLE” message on Orbitz.com hotel listings…

What? It’s Valid only for stays through September 30th?!!? How many people can actually get use out of it?

From my perspective, the promo was dead in the water, even with the increase of discount from $50 off $100 to $100 off $100 today. And then I had an idea. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Pick a city, and search for hotels in that city (on Orbitz) with a rack rate of around $100/night (even if it’s slightly under, another room type might be over the $100 threshold).
  2. Verify that the rate is non-refundable and that the hotel is Promo Code Eligible. As a rule of thumb, chain hotels are ineligible. In my perusal, this was actually a bit hard. More on that in a minute.
  3. Make the booking, applying the code MASTERPASS for a discount of $100. Shoot for a net of around $10-$20 after taxes are thrown in.
  4. Post the room on Roomer (a marketplace for non-refundable hotel reservations) at a ~50% discount. Usually when the discount is that big, Roomer will bump your listing to the top of the page.
  5. Profit!! (minus the cost of taxes + Roomer’s 15% cut).

As I mentioned, step 2 is actually fairly difficult, so if you don’t mind the risk, you might substitute steps 2-4 with:

  1. Book a refundable reservation.
  2. Wait until the refund window closes (typically 24 hours out).
  3. Post on Roomer.

This could offer some huge value, depending on how long the offer remains valid (Orbitz typically caps coupons of this sort at a certain number of usages).

By the way, here’s a direct link to the offer with complete terms.

Happy hacking!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK3MLlTL5Ko]