FAQs and Guides

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General FAQ

What is Hotel Engine?

Hotel Engine is a private hotel booking platform that connects State of Texas travelers to rates unavailable to the public and streamlines business travel management. With dedicated, 24/7 customer support services, a simple search-and-book process, and customized account management tools, Hotel Engine is the preferred vendor for the State of Texas.

How do I gain access to Hotel Engine?

State travelers need to receive an invitation from their respective Hotel Engine account administrator. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for more information.

What are the different access levels or permissions for Hotel Engine?

There are three different permissions roles in Hotel Engine; Admin, Coordinator, and User. Each account or agency can have unlimited Admins, Coordinators, and Users.

Admins: Can view and use all functionality on the platform. Can also enable Coordinators to see trends reporting and view other traveler trips.

Coordinators: Can search and book hotels for themselves and other users of the agency account. Can access trends reports and view other traveler trips IF enabled by an Admin.

Users: Can search and book their own hotels under set Admin permissions. Please reference the specific user guides for each role for more information.

How do I use Hotel Engine to book hotels?

Hotel Engine is an authorized partner and preferred vendor for the State of Texas. State of Texas agency travelers are required to use Hotel Engine to access and book hotel rooms at or below the local GSA rate. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for specific questions pertaining to State of Texas travel policies.

Can I register as an individual traveler?

No. Hotel Engine is a business-only platform, and you can gain access only through your respective Hotel Engine account administrator. Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for more information.

What hotel chains can I book on Hotel Engine?

You can book a room at any hotel chain available on the platform if it is priced at or below the local GSA rate. Hotel Engine offers rooms at nearly every major hotel chain and is continually adding new hotels to our corporate travel program.

How do I know if I am booking rates at or lower than GSA rates?

When you search on Hotel Engine, the results page shows both the Hotel Engine rate and the GSA rate next to every hotel. With both rates listed, you will be able to easily see the difference in rates.

What is "HE Direct"?

HE Direct is a filter that allows travelers to select negotiated rates that are specific to State of Texas members. This filter allows travelers to better understand the rate at which they are booking and are directly negotiated with the hotel, eliminating Expedia. These rates often offer free amenities that the hotel is offering specifically to State of Texas travelers (breakfast, parking, etc.). HE Direct rates also allow travelers to earn their hotel loyalty rewards points.

Just because you do not book an HE Direct rate does not mean that you are booking Expedia rates. Hotel Engine offers thousands of chain-wide discounts directly through hotels that do not fall within the HE Direct offering.

NOTE: Not all of these negotiated direct rates will be at or below GSA.

Can I book outside of the United States, Mexico, and Canada?

Yes, Hotel Engine offers many international hotel options. A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed for actual lodging and meal expenses incurred while conducting state business at a duty point in a foreign country other than Canada and Mexico. Prior approval by the agency’s chief administrator or chief administrator’s designee is required. These policies are directed by The State of Texas so please consult your travel coordinator.​

Do I have to pay for the hotel room when I make a reservation?

No. You are required to have a credit card on or debit card on file to complete a booking (whether you are an account admin or the primary guest) but this card will not be charged. The primary guest will pay for the full reservation at the hotel with their payment of choice.​

What happens with my stored credit card in Hotel Engine?

Full credit card information is never actually “stored” within Hotel Engine. Our third-party payment processor will validate your card one time when you set up your account. Your card will then only be used to make hotel reservations but will never be charged by Hotel Engine. Your card used to hold the reservation will be charged by the hotel if a traveler fails to cancel in time (according to the hotel’s policy) or is a no-show for the booking.

Credit cards are encrypted to show only the last 4 digits. These 4 digits will also help identify users who contact customer support. Payment settings and stored credit cards are tied to individual users (not the larger agency account).

Only the user who uploaded the credit card can see that credit card as an option (nothing is ever shared – with another user or with the hotel).

Whatever card is inserted into the credit card field at the time of the booking will be the card subject to authorization-only and potential charges if a traveler fails to cancel in time (according to the hotel’s policy) or is a no-show. For example, if the Admin books a hotel for another User, the Admin can use their own saved card on file or enter a new CC for that booking. The Admin will never see that User's credit card information.​

What if I have a virtual credit card saved on my Hotel Engine account?

Hotel Engine will never charge the credit card saved on your account, however, we will pass on the card information to the hotel in order to hold your reservation. You will always be required to pay at the hotel. If you save a virtual card to your Hotel Engine account, you will need to provide that virtual card at the hotel for payment.

Do your totals include taxes and fees?

Yes. Hotel Engine lists all known taxes and fees on the checkout page of the booking process. The summary of taxes and fees on Hotel Engine may not always reflect what was actually paid at the hotel because Hotel Engine does not include modifications like tax exemption. We recommend that you always get the itemized invoice directly from the hotel for expense purposes to ensure accuracy.

What if I am tax-exempt?

You will need to manually select “YES” under “Tax-Exempt Stay?” every time you complete a booking on Hotel Engine. When you reserve a room for a tax-exempt employee, you must indicate this on the checkout page of the booking process.

Will the hotel receipts reflect that bookings were made through Hotel Engine?

Please contact your agency’s travel coordinator for information about expense documentation are reimbursement.

What is the cancellation policy?

Hotel Engine never charges for cancellations. However, the hotel may charge a fee per its own cancellation policy. Before you complete a booking, you can view the hotel’s cancellation policy under “Terms & Conditions” on the checkout page. You can also find the hotel’s cancellation policy under “Important Information” on your booking’s confirmation page. Note: Securing cancellations on same-day reservations will greatly reduce your chance of receiving a refund.

How do I cancel my reservation?

​How do I cancel my reservation?

You can cancel your booking online or by calling the Hotel Engine State of Texas customer service line at 1-800-803-0452. To cancel online, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to
  2. Click on the “Trips” tab.
  3. Select the booking you want to cancel.
  4. Click “Cancel Reservation” and confirm the cancellation request in the popup window.
  5. You will receive an email confirmation once it is completed.

If you miss the cancellation deadline, please contact the Hotel Engine State of Texas support line at 1-800-803-0452. We are happy to assist you.​

Note: For same-day cancellations, please call (do not email) our member support team at 1-800-803-0452 to ensure your request is addressed promptly.

Can I change the name on my hotel reservation?

If you need to change the name on your hotel reservation, you have two options:

  1. Cancel your current reservation online and rebook a new reservation under the new name.
  2. Call the Hotel Engine State of Texas support line at 1-800-803-0452.
Who should I contact if I have an issue with my reservation?

Call Hotel Engine’s exclusive State of Texas support line at 800-803-0452,  live chat with Member Support 24/7, or email us at [email protected].

Who should I contact if I need help making a reservation?

Hotel Engine has travel agents ready to assist any State of Texas employee. Call Hotel Engine’s exclusive State of Texas support line at at 800-803-0452, live chat with Member Support 24/7, or email us at [email protected].

Do you have user guides?
Why do Hotel Engine's prices fluctuate?

Hotel Engine lists live inventory on our platform, which allows us to secure instant bookings. However, this also means prices can shift or change based on hotel demand and availability.

What if I have a contact at a hotel we want to work with?

Call our member support team and we’ll get your preferred hotel added to our platform.

What do I need to check in at my hotel?

You will need a valid ID matching the name on the reservation and a credit card for payment and for incidentals. Incidentals are only an authorization on your card made by the hotel. If you charge any additional items to the room such as parking or market items they will be charged to the card provided at check in for incidentals.

Hotel Loyalty FAQ

What is the Hotel Loyalty Program?

The Hotel Loyalty Program allows you to pass through your loyalty numbers from select hotel brands and earn points on specified hotel stays. These points can be redeemed on the site of the specific hotel loyalty brand you are using and cannot be cashed in or redeemed on the Hotel Engine platform.

How do I see which hotel options are 'loyalty eligible'?

A user will be able to see hotels that support loyalty programs on the hotel cards within their search results. This will be identified by the purple loyalty badge and text identifying the specific rewards program. You can also go to the filters and sort by “loyalty eligible” to prioritize results that are loyalty eligible.

How do I see which room type options are 'loyalty eligible'?

Once you have selected a hotel, you will be able to scroll through all available room options. Room detail cards that are ‘loyalty eligible’ will be identified by the purple loyalty badge and text identifying the specific rewards program. You can also go to the filters and sort by “Hotel loyalty eligible only” to prioritize room results that are loyalty eligible.

Why are there 'Exclusive Member Rates' that are priced below 'Hotel Loyalty Program' eligible rooms?

If you filter to only show ‘Loyalty-eligible’ properties, this might hide rooms that offer our ‘Exclusive Member Rates’. At Hotel Engine, we work hard to make our booking experience as enjoyable as possible for our customers. We understand that some customers value accruing reward points while others appreciate the best rate possible. That’s why we provide both. We will continue to list all Hotel Loyalty eligible rooms that our hotel partners offer us, while still showing exclusive member rate options that provide unmatched savings. We will continue to show you these low rates even when they aren’t eligible for the hotel loyalty program so that you have the choice to select the booking option that matches your travel preferences.

How do I input and save my loyalty program information on the Hotel Engine platform?

In the ‘My Settings’ page, click on the ‘Hotel Loyalty Program’ tab. There you can add programs and your respective loyalty numbers. You will also be able to input your loyalty information upon checkout of a booking. We cannot verify that account numbers have been input accurately, we only save what has been entered to display automatically when you select a hotel that is supported by a saved program. We cannot confirm the accuracy of your added loyalty numbers. Upon check-in, please double-check that the hotel has entered your loyalty number correctly to ensure you earn your well deserved points!

Which hotel loyalty programs do you currently support?

We currently support the following hotel brands:

• Accor Hotels: Accor Live Limitless

• Best Western: Best Western Rewards

• Choice Hotels: Choice Privileges

• Drury Hotels: Drury Rewards

• Extended Stay America: Extended Perks

• Red Lion Hotels: Hello Rewards• Hilton Hotels: Hilton Honors

• IHG: IHG Rewards

• ClubMGM Resorts: M Life Rewards

• Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy

• Omni Hotels: Omni Guest Loyalty

• Radisson: Radisson Rewards

• Red Roof Inn: Redi Rewards

• Sonesta Hotels: Sonesta Travel Pass

• Hyatt Hotels: World of Hyatt

• Wyndham Hotels: Wyndham Rewards

We are constantly adding new brands so expect additional loyalty programs to be added in the future.

Is there a limit to how may hotel loyalty programs I can save on the Hotel Engine platform?

No, users will be able to add and save any of the supported loyalty programs that are on the HE platform. The available loyalty programs can be seen in a drop-down when adding a new program to your settings.

How do I join these other hotel loyalty programs?

If interested, you will need to go to these specific brands websites to join their programs. Hotel Engine is not associated with any third-party hotel loyalty programs.

How do I ensure I am earning loyalty points for my other loyalty programs once I complete a stay?

Once you have booked your upcoming stay, we will automatically transfer the applied loyalty number to the hotel. Upon check-in, please double-check that the hotel has entered your loyalty number correctly to ensure you accrue your rewards.

How do I see my loyalty point balance for other loyalty programs on the Hotel Engine platform?

Hotel Engine does not manage your point balances for other loyalty programs. You will have the ability to add, remove, and edit your loyalty program numbers on our platform, but i order to see your balance you will need to go to the respective account of that specific loyalty program.

Can I redeem points from other hotel brands' loyalty programs on the Hotel Engine platform?

No, you cannot redeem any third-party rewards on the Hotel engine platform. However, you can accrue other brands' loyalty points if they are part of the Hotel Loyalty Program which can then be used on those hotel brand’s specific websites.

I input an incorrect number when I booked my room. How do I modify the loyalty number on the reservation?

Once a room has been booked, we are unable to modify an incorrect loyalty number. Please contact the hotel directly to modify the loyalty number or you can inform them to modify the loyalty number upon checking-in to the hotel.

Are there any restrictions?

Only US-based loyalty programs are supported at this time; however, you can use these US-based hotel loyalty programs to book internationally. For example, you can use your Hilton Honors (a US based program) number to book a hotel room in Europe or Asia and accrue Hilton Honors Rewards Points. We currently do not support any international brand programs.

How much does this cost?

$0. This benefit is completely free for our users.

As an Admin, can I edit or add loyalty information for members of my team?

If booking on behalf of one of your users, Admins can apply a loyalty program on the checkout page, but you will not be able to save the loyalty number to the user’s profiles. If a user already has the number saved on their profile, the loyalty information will auto-populate at checkout, but the Admins cannot make edits or changes to a user’s existing loyalty program information. If booking on behalf of a guest (non-Hotel Engine member), Admins/Coordinators will have the ability to manually enter in the guest’s loyalty information, but it will not save to the guest. It will be passed along to the hotel but will need to be re-entered again on future bookings.

How do I input loyalty information if I am booking multiple rooms for multiple people?

If you’re booking multiple rooms, the primary guest of every room can input their own loyalty number. The booking charge will always be directed to the Primary Guest of Room 1. However, the primary guest of additional rooms can earn points on any additional room charges during their stay