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.
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
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.
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.