Oct252012

Best Rate Guarantee Policy of 8 Hotel Programs

In July 2012 I wrote a series of articles describing the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) policies for eight major hotel chains. This post provides links to those articles.

Best Rate Guarantee claims are something I file several times a year. They are not that difficult to find when comparing the rates through Online Travel Agencies (OTA) to the published rates on a hotel chain website.

In 2012 I have received free nights (IHG and Choice), $100 gift card (Best Western), 2000 bonus Starpoints (SPG), and rate discounts (Club Carlson).

In these articles I describe each program’s Best Rate Guarantee policy, along with the program’s advantages and difficulties with submitting and processing a BRG claim.

Loyalty Traveler Best Rate Guarantee series – July 2012

Overview: Devilish Details of Best Rate Guarantee Claims

Best Western Hotels: Best Western Best Rate Guarantee $100 Travel Card Update Oct 25 – Turns out Best Western dropped the $100 travel card for approved BRG claims in late September. That benefit lasted only about six months since being introduced earlier this year.

Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group: Over 100 Hours for Carlson Best Rate Guarantee Reply

Choice International: Choice Hotels Best Rate Guarantee Free Night

Hilton Worldwide: Hilton Worldwide Best Rate Guarantee – Weaker than Marriott?

Hyatt Hotels: Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claims are handled over the phone

InterContinental Hotels Group: InterContinental Hotels Group Best Rate Guarantee Get One Free Night

Marriott International: Marriott Hotels Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee for 25% Discount

Starwood Hotels: Starwood Preferred Guest Best Rate Guarantee for 2,000 Points or 10% off

 

Ric Garrido, writer and 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.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Hi Ric,
    I tried your suggestion about the SPG BRG claim in one of my comments replies … here is their answer, but I have no idea how to respond, since I did not want to book the room anyway … and I find it a little bit embarrassing to ask directly for the 2.000 points.

    So, how do you reply on that?

    [quote]
    Thank you for your Best Rate Guarantee claim form and I am happy to assist you. I have reviewed your claim and I am happy to inform you that your claim is approved, pending further response.
    In order to finalize your claim at the Best Rate, please do the following within 24 hours:
    1. Please make your reservation online via a Starwood website for the dates submitted in your claim.
    2. Return this email with your online confirmation number.
    Guest Name:
    Arrival Date: December 10, 2012
    Departure Date: December 16, 2012
    Room Type: Traditional
    Actual confirmed rate: 294.13 USD plus tax per night
    Pending claim file number:

    When your confirmation number is received, your reservation will be modified to reflect the new, lower rate and the same room type offered by the competing provider.

    You will receive an email confirmation that will include a file claim number when all has been finalized. I look forward to your reply. [/quote]

  2. I believe that Best Western has discontinued its best-rate guarantee — or at least the gift-card aspect of it.

  3. Thanks for your article. I have had such bad experiences with these “guarantees” that I have begun to ignore them. Many of these programs (or their individual hotels) use loopholes to present the appearance of a guarantee where there really is none.

    As a frequent traveller, Hilton was my #1 hotel program for decades. In a busy travel year, I was a Diamond, sometimes Gold and sometimes Silver. I quit their program last year when they cited a loophole when the room that I reserved at a higher price clearly was available at a lower price. I was within all the parameters of their “guarantee” but they refused to honor it. I wrote to the CEO, who did not think my complaint worthy of a response.

    And so I quit. For a relatively small amount, Hilton lost thousands of dollars in business every year. Any organization can make a mistake. But refusal to rectify it tells me they are not worthy of my business.

  4. I think for 1 night stays and mattress runs Hilton’s program is the best as it qualifies for points and nights towards elite. While it’s true stays at ICH or Choice are free for 1 night stays they don’t accrue points or status.

  5. IHG has changed their BRG terms to ‘If you find a lower room price that also has a lower total room cost (including taxes and fees) for a one-night stay, or a lower average nightly room price that also has a lower average total room cost (including taxes and fees) for a multi-night stay, on a non-IHG website within 24 hours after booking on an IHG websites for the same stay,’

    Taxes and fees should be included when comparing room cost, which is a huge down..

  6. @Andy F. – That is possibly due to the fact that rates in Europe and UK have to show the final price with tax and fees in rate searches.

    Compounds BRG comparisons in U.S. where rates generally do not show tax and fees in rate searches. The process takes much longer if you have to click through the online travel site and see the final price before you can see if it qualifies as a BRG claim.

    Comparing BRG rates is far quicker if you only need to look at the base room rate and basic cancellation terms. Then you check the online travel agency website to see that it is actually bookable.

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