Understanding Sub Accounts

Organize your hotels into sub accounts to better reflect your business structure

When setting up Hotel Ads, decide on how you want to structure your account based on your feed management, reporting, billing, and budgeting practices. You do this with sub accounts, which are commonly used to differentiate groups of hotels by brand or region.

Integrators can also use sub accounts to create separate views of their data for each of their clients.

This section includes the following topics:

TIP: To review your account information, click the Account tab in the Hotel Ads Center.

Overview of sub accounts

There are 3 types of accounts:

  • Master account: The root account for a partner, under which all sub accounts, Hotel Groups, and individual hotels must be referenced. This account is responsible for the hotel data such as the Hotel List Feed and Point of Sale data. You use it to monitor feed health, manage configuration, as well as manage ads for its hotels.


    Note: All new hotel ads integrations result in the creation of this type of account. Optionally, you can create sub accounts with a master account.
  • Sub account with billing: An account whose data rolls up to a master account, but with separate billing. This type of account manages bidding for a specific set of hotels, assigned to it by its master account. You need a minimum of 100 properties in a sub-account to receive sub-account level billing. Any sub-accounts that do not meet the 100 property threshold will be billed with the master account.

    Costs accrued by this account are invoiced directly rather than accruing to the parent account (usually the master account). The budget for this type of account is not limited by the budget of the parent account.
  • Sub account without billing: An account whose data rolls up to a master account, including billing. This type of account manages bidding for a specific set of hotels, assigned to it by its master account.

    Costs accrued by this account accrue to the parent account (usually the master account) and are invoiced together with costs accrued by the master account. The budget for this type of account is also limited by the budget of the parent account.

The following table shows features available to each type of account:

  Master Account Sub Account
With Billing* Without Billing
Feed management/configuration (Hotel List Feed, Points of Sale, and pricing data)
Billed directly by Google
Set bids for hotels (that are not assigned to a sub account)
Tools access (in Hotel Ads Center)
Reports/performance data access
Spending cap/budget (account level)
Spending cap/budget (independent)
* Requires a credit check and a contract with Google, including acceptance of the appropriate terms and conditions.

Hotels in any type of account can be in Hotel Groups, ungrouped, or added to a sub account. Hotels that are in an account are said to be managed by that account.

Note: Google Hotel Ads Commission Program doesn't support sub-accounts at this time. 

Examples of account structure

The primary concern when structuring your account is how your feeds are managed. You can manage pricing, Points of Sale, and Hotel List Feed with a main (or master) account, while managing the bidding, budgeting, reporting, and billing settings at the sub account level.

The following example shows a simple master/sub-account relationship for a fictional, worldwide hotel chain:

This example illustrates that the master account defines the data feeds for all sub accounts. Sub accounts can be set up for billing. Each brand can be responsible for its own budgeting and spending. All accounts can access performance data. In this scenario, if all hotels are accounted for in sub accounts, then the master account will note get an invoice (have a bill of $0).

The structure of master and sub accounts can be more complex. The following example shows a fictional OTA with multiple regional sub accounts. Each sub account might then also have a separate sub account for each country within the region:

In this example, the OTA delegates bidding and billing to regional managers, subsidiaries, or agencies while maintaining oversight. The OTA master account controls the hotel, price feed, and POS for all sub accounts, in addition to tooling relevant to each. Regional managers control the bidding for their regions and have direct billing relationships with Google.

The country sub accounts do not have a billing relationship with Google; they are billed through their parent accounts. The "AUS Team" in this example will have its cost accrued on the master account’s invoice and will count against the master accounts’ budget. The country sub accounts can, however, view performance, set their own bids, and their own budgets.

Another type of account is an integrator, which might service small and medium sized chains, as well as independent hotels.

The following example shows the structure of a fictional integrator that maintains billing and budgeting control over its smaller clients:

This example shows the following:

  • Case #1: A medium-sized chain which has its own billing relationship with Google. This is the most common use of sub accounts for integrators.
  • Case #2: Multiple smaller chains without billing relationships with Google.
  • Case #3: A master account can continue to manage other individual hotels or Hotel Groups directly.

Billing overview

Creating a separate billing relationship with Google is a reason to use sub accounts. When you create a sub account, you decide whether it has a billing relationship with Google, or if that sub account's costs are rolled up into the parent account.

Sub accounts with billing:

  • Have a billing relationship with Google
  • Have their own spending caps
  • Ad spend counts towards their own spending caps, but not their parent's spending cap
  • Have a minimum of 100 properties in each sub-account 

Sub accounts without billing:

  • Have no billing relationship with Google
  • Ads are paid through their parent account
  • Ad spend counts towards their own spending caps as well as their parent's spending caps

When nesting sub accounts, you can have a sub account without billing which is the parent of a sub account with billing.

To set up a billing relationship with Google for a sub account, contact your Account Manager.

Bidding overview

Bid strategies and bids for hotels are set using the account where the hotel is assigned (not the parent).

Sub accounts can use the following bidding strategies:

Bids for hotels that are in sub accounts can be set in the Hotel Ads Center or via the Bids 2.0 API. You cannot use bids.xml to set bids in sub accounts.


Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?