Posted by Ric Garrido

Finding one potential Best Rate Guarantee option is a great find for a reduced cost hotel stay. Finding two Best Rate Guarantee rates in different chains means a duel for the best rate and benefits.

Marriott offers a Best Rate Guarantee called Look No Further. A successful claim reduces the lower hotel rate from the competing website by 25%.

InterContinental Hotels Group Best Price Guarantee offers a lower rate price match plus first night free. Restrictions were added to the IHG free night offer a few months ago. Now there is a restriction disallowing multiple claims for a free night on consecutive nights by members of the same household for IHG hotels within 50 miles of a hotel where a successful BRG claim was submitted.

IHG Best Price Guarantee T&C

10. Additional Free Night Restrictions. Once a valid claim has been made and approved by IHG for a specific date, no further claims by the same person will be accepted for the same date. If members of the same household make claims for consecutive nights at the same IHG hotel or at different IHG hotels within fifty (50) miles of each other, only the Best Price Guarantee claim for the first night will be honored. In the event of a valid claim, reservations are non-transferable after the claim is found to be valid, and the name on the reservation must remain the same as when the claim is verified and no additional names may be added to the reservation after the claim is found to be valid. Valid government issued ID is required upon check-in that matches the name found on the reservation. Employees of any IHG company or employees at any IHG hotel are not eligible for the Best Price Guarantee.

IHG Best Price Guarantee T&C

The primary impediment to both of these Best Rate Guarantee policies is the condition that a BRG claim can only be filed after the guest has booked the hotel on an IHG site or a Marriott site.

Booking a nonrefundable rate through the hotel’s own websites leaves you stuck with a higher rate if your Best Rate Guarantee claim is denied. Rates fluctuate and there is a probability that the rate on the competing site will no longer be available when the person checks rates to validate your BRG claim.

BRG Strategy: Hyatt and Starwood allow a Best Rate Guarantee claim prior to booking the hotel on their site. These two hotel chains allow no risk BRG claims.

For other hotel chains the best option is to book a refundable rate on the hotel’s site and then file a BRG claim against a lower rate at an online travel agency site (assuming it is also a refundable rate). If your claim is denied, then you can cancel the reservation and book through the OTA site with the lower rate (if it is still available). If you book a nonrefundable rate on the hotel website and the BRG claim is denied, then you are stuck with having paid the higher rate for your hotel stay.

Analysis of Denver Hotel Rates finds two Best Rate Guarantee claims

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Marriott Fairfield Inn Denver Cherry Creek (4-night stay)

  • Marriott website rate = $125
  • Hotels.com rate = $109 (lower rate appears on stays longer than one night that are not matched on Marriott’s site.)
  • Marriott Best Rate Guarantee rate = $81.75 ($109 x .75)
  • Four nights = $327 + tax.
  • $81.75/night.

IHG Staybridge Suites Denver Cherry Creek (4-night stay)

  • IHG website rate = $139
  • Hotels.com rate = $97
  • IHG Best Price Guarantee = 1 free night + 3 nights at $97.
  • Four nights = $291 + tax.
  • $72.75 per night.

All things equal would suggest booking IHG Staybridge Suites for a 4-night stay for lower rate and a larger room.

Two reasons I would choose to book this differently:

Marriott Rewards MegaBonus currently gives a free night certificate after two stays for a category 1-4 hotel. IHG does not have a compelling promotional offer right now.

IHG’ Best Price Guarantee free night is also valid with a two night stay and the lower Hotels.com rate only appears when booking at least two nights.

Two Best Rate Guarantee claims with both Marriott and IHG:

Marriott Fairfield Inn 2-night stay = $81.75 x 2 = $163.50.

IHG Staybridge Suites 2-night stay = $97 + one free night.

Four hotel nights = $245.25.

Per night rate = $61.31 using BRG claims for two nights at Fairfield Inn and two nights at Staybridge Suites.

Booking each hotel individually through the Marriott website ($125) and IHG website ($139) would have cost $528 ($132 per night).

Best Rate Guarantee claims with both Marriott and IHG for two night stays reduce the total cost of a four nights in Denver hotels from $528 + tax down to $245.25 + tax.

Finding low rates like this with chain hotels while also earning promotion bonuses and elite stay credit is why I do not spend much time with Priceline.

 

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.

15 Responses

  1. This is very helpful to me. Thank you! Last month I was attempting to book at the Sheraton Seattle and the only room avaiable online was $260. Hotels.com had a $160ish rate. How would I have booked that w/ Sheraton in oder to get points, etc…??

  2. Quick BRG question! I tried to get an IHG BRG in London, but they declined it because of the currency the site “Billed” your credit card under. Even thought Kayak or Hotel.com had Pounds quoted on ntheir site they bill your credit card in USD and the voids a BRG claim. Any advice? Is there a way to know who bills in pounds, euros, etc?

  3. I just got a Comfort Suites King Ocean-View Suite in the Bahamas (almost $500 with taxes) for $20 in taxes because I found a lower rate and submitted a claim.

    BRG is always a good tool to have in the travel box, especially if you only need one night!

  4. @Kathy – file a Best Rate Guarantee with Starwood as soon as you see a rate discrepancy where the rooms seem to be the same type. You can choose between 2000 Starpoints and lower rate or 10% off lower rate without bonus Starpoints.

    One night stays generally favor taking starpoints ($50 value).

    Starwood lets you know in about 24 hours. If the rates are refundable, then you can book the alternate site and cancel that rate if your Starwood BRG is approved.

    Starwood sends an email stating your claim is approved or not.

    A validated BRG means you book the $240 rate on a Starwood site and the rate is adjusted to the lower rate. And you get either 2000 bonus points or 10% off lower rate.
    http://www.starwoodhotels.com/bestrate/index.html

    Comment by Ric garrido on February 15th, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  5. good luck getting Marriott to honor a brg claim. they’re a bunch of weasels and manage not to reject claims even when they should. Out of 20+ of my last claims, they’ve honored 1. SPG is much more honorable about it.

  6. I have had some bad experiences with hotel best rate guarantees. In one case, a Comfort Inn listed a lower rate on another site but used a “queen” room for that rate and only showed a “king” room on their site at a higher rate, and so claimed the rooms were not equivalent. It was clear the hotel was using a loophole to play games.

    I had my primary hotel group, Hilton, use a similar excuse to deny my claim that they were offering a lower rate through another site after I had booked a room in the Quebec Hilton. I wrote to the CEO. No response. I switched to Marriott and that has cost them thousands of dollars.

    I refuse to patronize businesses that try to take unfair advantage of their customers!

  7. I have to disagree about Marriott. I get BRGs all the time with them. I have in Napa right now as well as Palm Springs.

  8. I have used Marriott and Starwood, Marriott responds within 24 hrs and is very fair. Starwood takes a bit longer but the 2000 points can be a great bonus on cheaper 1 night stays.

  9. I find Marriott’s BRG really good as I’ve had LOTS of success :)

  10. Marriott approved my last BRG claim within an hour of submission.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on February 16th, 2013 at 8:03 am
  11. IHG took about 10 hours to approve my BRG claim. I actually booked Crowne Plaza Denver downtown for a free night based on IHG rate of $191 and Kayak.com rate of $108.

  12. [...] “Best Rate” Guarantees: How to Get Low Hotel Rates With Them Submitted by Marcus • about 1 min ago Website: boardingarea.com [...]

  13. [...] Multiple Best Rate Guarantee claims for really low hotel rates (Feb 15, 2013). [...]

  14. Today I had an interesting email conversation with Wyndham BRG team. The lowest room rate(refundable or otherwise) listed on their website was higher than the priceline refundable rate. They denied my claim because they claimed they could not determine the type of room on offer at priceline, based on the room description. They accepted the fact that this hotel offers only 2 types of room and the Wyndham website rate for any room type is higher than priceline rate, they still would not honor the BRG claim because they could not verify the room on offer at priceline. This is nothing but exploiting loopholes. The room description on one website could say “2 Double Beds Room” and on the other “Double Room with Two Double Beds”, and they would claim that they are unable to determine the room type.

  15. @AS – I had that happen with room descriptions before. My favorite denial was when Hyatt said they could not validate a claim since the taxes were not shown separately in the competitive booking site. The fact that the rate was $70 less for the room rate was negated since there was not a separate line to show the taxes. I booked through the OTA and saved $70.

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