Posted by Ric Garrido

Choice Hotels recently changed its Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) policy to offer a free night for approved claims in addition to matching the lower competing rate.

Choice Hotels are located all over the United States and in 30 countries globally with over 6,100 franchised hotels. Choice Privileges announced last month it has 5,000 hotels in the USA. That number of hotels in the USA alone available for Choice Privileges points earn and burn exceeds the number of hotels globally for any other loyalty program except Wyndham Rewards (over 7,000 hotels).

Choice Hotels consists of 11 hotel brands in the economy to upscale market segments.

Choice Hotels 11 brands and STR Chain Scale segment:

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How to apply for a Choice Hotels global Best Rate Guarantee claim

The following is my attempt to make the Choice BRG rules easier to read and understand. Choice Hotels BRG Terms are the official terms (see T&C embedded link). Please comment if you see a discrepancy between my description and the official terms as applied by Choice Hotels in approved and ineligible claims.

Choice Hotels Best Rate Guarantee Claim Form online is required to submit claim.

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Conditions for an eligible BRG claim

1. You must have a confirmed reservation made on Choice Hotels branded website. Choice Hotels consists of 11 hotel brands. There are numerous official hotel brand websites for booking since you can book at ChoiceHotels.com, SleepInn.com, or any site for the other ten brands in Choice Hotels.

2. The difference in rates must be equal or greater than 1 US Dollar. Choice Hotels bookings in foreign currency require the competing rate to be shown in same currency.

3. Timeframe for submitting a claim is within 24 hours of booking a confirmed stay on a Choice Hotels website and at least 72 hours before 6pm arrival on the first day of the stay.

4. Competing Rate Terms must meet these comparisons:

  • Available for same hotel.
  • Same dates.
  • Same room type.
  • Same number of guests.
  • Same type of currency.
  • Same length of stay.
  • Same rate terms and restrictions including advance purchase requirements; prepayment and deposit requirements; and cancellation and change policies.
  • Publicly viewable and available on the internet at time rate is verified by Choice Hotels.

Ineligible rates include group rates, package rates, coupon rates, membership rates like AAA and AARP and government rates and rates found on opaque sites like Priceline.com and hotwire.com.

If a Choice branded website has the same or lower rate than the competing rate submitted, then the reservation will use the Choice website’s lower rate for entire stay and a free night credit will not apply.

First Night Free in Approved BRG Claims:

The rate is adjusted to the lower competing rate and the first night has a $0 rate. A one-night stay will have a $0 rate.

You may only submit one claim for each stay. A stay is consecutive nights at the same hotel.

Free Night BRG Limit: One free night claim every 30 days.

The official rule is a “limit of one free night per name on the booking for any 30-day period between booking check-in dates”.

For example, I find a Cambria Suites with a $100 rate on Choice Hotels and it is $90 on Expedia.com.

Booking April 6 for two nights. I get the two night stay for $90. The first night is free and the second night is the lower rate found on Expedia.

I can’t have another approved BRG until a check-in date of May 6.

Earning points on a Best Rate Guarantee Stay

Points are earned based on the actual amount paid for the hotel stay after the BRG free night.

FlyerTalk Thread on Choice Hotels BRG Free Night

For a while last week Choice was approving flexible BAR rate claims when there was a lower nonrefundable rate on the Choice website. This practice seems to have closed and the competing rate would have to be lower than Choice Hotels lowest publicly available rate like an Advance Purchase rate.

When I initially copied the Choice Hotels BRG Terms & Conditions on March 3, 2012 there were only two BRG restrictions and today I see five restrictions including the addition of:

3. You may only submit one claim for each stay. A “stay” is defined as any number of consecutive nights at one hotel by the same guest(s).

4. Free Night Limit: one (1) free night per the name on the Booking for any thirty day period between Booking check-in dates.

5. After a Booking claim has been approved, the Booking is not transferrable.

Obviously this Choice Hotels Best Rate Guarantee policy is still in development.

One area cited as being an impediment for BRG claims is foreign currency issues. Several FlyerTalk members stated claims were declared ineligible due to different currencies when a simple currency adjustment on the Choice Hotels page allows comparison to the third party rate.

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7 Responses

  1. They had a free night, then shifted to 10% off and free night!

  2. I’m unclear about this part: “If a Choice branded website has the same or lower rate than the competing rate submitted, then the reservation will use the Choice website’s lower rate for entire stay and a free night credit will not apply.” Does that just aply if both the Choice rate and the 3rd party rate drop right after I book? Or does it apply to Choice rates with different restrictions too?

    Hypothetical: The Choice site and 3rd Party site both have prepay/nonrefundable rates for $100/nt. The best flexible/cancelable rate on the Choice site is $200, but the 3rd party site has a flexible/cancelable rate for $150. Can I take advantage of that, if I don’t want to prepay? Would I get the night free, or just the price match? Or neither?

  3. So, I gather that this would not be available for a last minute one night stay with a reservation made on the day before or the day of hotel check-in,

  4. “Ineligible rates include…membership rates like AAA and AARP and government rates and rates found on opaque sites like Priceline.com and hotwire.com…Timeframe for submitting a claim is within 24 hours of booking a confirmed stay”

    Translation, if you pay way too much for your room, by avoiding AAA etc rates, you may get a free room by jumping thru a series of hoops. But only if you find it and submit a claim within the first 24 hours after you book. Find a lower rate 36 hours later, too bad for you. And even then, only once a month. Meh….

    Comment by Robert Hanson on March 17th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
  5. [...] Choice Hotels Best Rate Guarantee policy offers one free night for approved claims. Loyalty Traveler analysis March 12, 2012. [...]

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