Posted by Ric Garrido

There are 17 New York area Starwood Hotels where you might be able to score a free night this summer with a successful Best Rate Guarantee claim from June 4 to September 3, 2012. This a promotional offer for select hotels in the New York area.

The normal Starwood Hotels Best Rate Guarantee policy provides a choice of 2,000 points and a lower rate price match or in lieu of points the guest can receive 10% off the lower rate for the entire stay. This New York promotion offers the first night free and 2,000 points and a price match to the lower rate for any other nights of the hotel stay.

The best feature of the Starwood Hotels Best Rate Guarantee is you can make a claim prior to booking your hotel stay. Marriott, Hilton and Priority Club all require the guest to book the hotel stay on their hotel brand websites prior to submitting a claim for a Best Rate Guarantee.

This is a low risk promotion where you can use meta-search engines daily to try and locate a lower rate on a third party site for a valid Best Rate Guarantee claim and get a free night.

The primary limitation is this free night Best Rate Guarantee successful claim can only be used once every 30 days for SPG members in the same household.

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New York Participating Starwood Hotels

The stay that is the subject of the valid claim under the Best Rate Guarantee is at one of the following hotels (each, a “Participating NYC Hotel”):

  • Aloft Harlem
  • Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City/Queensboro Bridge
  • Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel
  • Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel
  • Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel
  • Sheraton New York Hotel
  • The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City
  • The New York Helmsley Hotel
  • The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel
  • The St. Regis New York
  • The Westin Jersey City Newport
  • W Hoboken
  • W New York
  • W New York – Downtown
  • W New York – Times Square
  • W New York – Union Square
  • The Westin New York at Times Square

Other Terms & Conditions

  • The first night of the stay that is the subject of the valid claim is between June 4, 2012 and September 4, 2012.
  • The SPG Member submitting the valid claim must elect the 2000 Starpoints best rate guarantee reward and then request the free night credit in the comments section of the Starwood Best Rate Guarantee Claim Form. No requests for a free night reward made after the claim form is submitted will be granted.
  • The SPG Member submitting the claim and others in his/her household have not submitted a valid claim during the previous 30 days for which they received a free night as their best rate guarantee reward. If it is determined by Starwood in its sole discretion that an SPG Member has submitted a valid claim but does not meet this requirement, the SPG Member will be provided with the opportunity to select a different Best Rate Guaranteereward.
  • Starwood may deny claims where the difference between the rates is less than one percent.
  • The free night must be used during the stay that is the subject of the valid claim, must be used by the SPG Member that submits the claim, and is nontransferable.
  • The free night will not constitute an Eligible Charge for purposes of earning Starpoints, but will count towards the SPG Member reaching the Eligible Night and Eligible Stay milestones needed to earn elite membership status in accordance with the SPG Terms (www.spg.com).
  • All other nights during the stay that is the subject of the valid claim will be at the Competing Rate.
  • The SPG Member will be responsible for all taxes, gratuities, and any additional resort or guest charges or fees for the free night and the remainder of the stay that is the subject of the valid claim.

 

Finding Best Rate Guarantee Rate Differences

The search process is relatively simple for finding eligible Best Rate Guarantee rate differences with meta-search websites like Kayak.com and Trivago.com.

Pick a date and search for New York hotels on Kayak.com and filter the list to only show Starwood Hotels.

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Kayak.com hotel rate search can be filtered to only include “All Starwood brands” using the “Hotel Name” filter on the left side of the page.

Search StarwoodHotels.com for New York on the same date. I randomly picked Sunday June 24, 2012.

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Look for any rate discrepancies.

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StarwoodHotels.com rate for June 24 = $695 for one night at St. Regis New York.

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Kayak.com showed the website EasytoBook.com with rate $681.10. This looks like a potential Best Rate Guarantee claim. There is a $13.90 rate difference which is more than 1% lower than the Starwood rate.

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But when I check the estimated total at the StarwoodHotels.com site, I see $801.01 is the same as the EasytoBook.com total rate. EasytoBook.com claims there is no booking fee, but obviously they have some kind of additional $14 fee added in to the rate to come up with the same total price as Starwood Hotels rate.

This will not be a successful Best Rate Guarantee claim for a free night.

While this one search appears to be a strikeout for June 24, there is an entire summer of dates and rates to check.

There just might be a free night waiting for you at a New York Starwood Hotel this summer.

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

33 Responses

  1. Anyone know good websites for price comparison of hotels?

  2. hotelscombined.com

    Comment by The Nomad on June 7th, 2012 at 12:10 pm
  3. Thanks, found one, let’s hope they honor it.

  4. Can I Book a Night through my company discount & use that rate as base point to compare it to the published rate?

  5. Thanks Ric. Curious how this works. I just found a difference on for example New York Downtown. SPG showing $534 and Kayak (through it’s own engine) showing $509. But I don’t have a reservation, and I will only make one if I can get the first night free. So I submitted the claim, they say give up to 48 hours. But what happens in the interim and if they match. Maybe the hotel has sold out by then or both rates I sent have gone??

  6. Found one too! Hope this works…

  7. @Phil – I have had several Starwood Hotels BRG claims denied when during the time lag between submitting the claim and getting a reponse the rate changed on other site.

    That being said, I have had many Starwood Hotels BRG claims approved.

    @av – the rate has to be publicly available on a different non-Starwood site. Corporate rates do not count.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on June 7th, 2012 at 1:23 pm
  8. Can I do this for a stay of only one night?!
    or does it have to be atleast 2 nights stay for this to be valid?

  9. @Ric – thanks. Bit of a lottery then but worth a shot

  10. Sent in my claim 4 hours ago, got it approved, Sat night stay at a Fantastic Suite at the W Times Square. Thanks so much!

  11. Just submitted a stay for a Friday night at the St. Regis. This would be nuts! I hope it works.

  12. I just got my claim denied due to the “1%” rule. What exactly are they using to determine this? The rate I found on kayak.com was $270+ taxes/night which comes to $313.33; the rate on starwood.com is $279+taxes which comes to $323.65. Either way, the difference between the two room is more than 1%. $279 is more than $2.79 more than $270. I’m annoyed.

  13. @Jess, sure says 1% there. I asked back in February and they said “The difference in the rates after conversion must be outside 2.5% in order qualify for the Best Rate Guarantee.” (it was a European hotel).

    So I can just get one night total and get that for free?

  14. Ric, do we use the pretax or post tax total to calculate the 1%?

  15. @Ric – hah well it was worth the shot! Just got approved at the W NYC Downtown, $513 for 2 nights. This is a nice little bonus

  16. @BH – A one night stay should work for a BRG free night. Almost all of my successful BRG claims were for one night stays. Too bad the room wasn’t free, but 2,000 points is a nice hotel stay bonus.

    @Ryan – From Starwood T&C: The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to taxes, gratuities, or any;additional resort or guest charges or fees that may apply at Starwood & Hotels. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/bestrate/terms.html

    The St. Regis New York pre-tax example used in this post might actually work under this clause. I didn’t actually submit a claim since I have no plans yet to be in NYC during this promotion.

  17. Thanks I just submitted! Crossing fingers

  18. I planned to stay in NYC just for a night, if I find the date I want to book is cheaper to book in website other the SPG official site, is that I can use the free night straight away without paying a cents, or I need to stay a night first before I got the free night?

    A bit confused….

  19. @Leo – you can get a free one-night stay if your Best Rate Guarantee is approved for a one night rate comparison. And you also get 2,000 bonus points.

    There is no requirement to stay more than one night to get the free night on an approved BRG claim.

  20. I just got my claim denied, they say they can’t find such a deal. My deal was from Kayak.com, which is more than 1% lower than book through SPG, I tried to search again now at Kayak.com, I can still see a price lower than SPG. Just don’t know why got rejected.

  21. I sent a reply questioning their “1%” methodology and got this reply:

    Hello Ms. X,

    Thank you for your reply.

    When processing a Best Rate Guarantee claim, we take the total amount to be charged by the third party website and remove the regular hotel taxes. This amount is then divided by the number of rooms you require and the number of nights you will be staying. The remainder provides us with the average daily rate, including any fees, that is being offered by the competing website.

    When we follow the above process the rate on the competing website is 273.05 USD plus taxes. When comparing the rates together, they are less than 1% difference.

    I apologize for any frustration.

    For complete program details, please refer to the terms and conditions of the Best Rate Guarantee program.

    Best Regards,

    Vanessa Thompson
    Best Rate Guarantee Specialist
    E-Communications Department
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    Not really an explanation. Grr.

  22. They just denied my claim because by the time they replied (11AM this morning, I had submitted yesterday around 3 or 4 PM), the rate on the other site (EasyToBook) had gone up $15 to the same rate as the one on the Starwood website.

  23. Twice so far since this post, I’ve submitted a claim that was denied because the Starwood price went down in the 8-10 hours or so between my submission and the reply. Kind of frustrating, but at least the price is going down!

  24. Thanks for the heads up! I have a free night at The Helmsley tonight. Funny reading about how Mrs. Helmsley left her dog $12 M when she died. Taking my dog with me on the trip too. My girlfriend also was approved for a free suite at the W times square on July 4th, however the rates have changed since then. Starwood has stepped up their game recently as it is much harder to find a Brg compared to a few days ago.

  25. Got approved and getting a free night at the W union square!:)

    So, this confirmed 2 thing for me:

    1. It IS possible to submit a claim for just a single night – and night will be free under this promo.

    2. I actually found the competing rate at a non-english website, and they did indeed honor that (their BRG t&c states that competing rates from non-english language websites will also be honored!).

  26. This is so cool to see so many people successfully get a free Starwood night.

    And for those of you who have been denied, just remember that this offer is around until Sep 4 so plenty more opportunities to find a free room night.

  27. 3rd time was a charm. Finally got a room.

  28. You are the only blog that has talked about this and that is awesome. I was able to get a club room at the Sheraton – list price $495. Thanks to you – its FREE! How did you hear of this promotion?

    Comment by lovetofly on June 11th, 2012 at 4:31 pm
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  30. Just wondering when the 30 days applies. If you apply for a free night in the end of August, can you get another one as long as you apply 30 days from when your valid claim is processed? Or is this when you are awarded a separate best rate guarantee reward? Or does the 30 days apply to the date for which your reservation is?

    Comment by Brian R. on June 12th, 2012 at 1:20 pm
  31. This promo gas been discontinued. :(

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