Posted by Ric Garrido

I am traveling 16 of the next 17 days and staying in ten or so different hotels in seven or more different cities. This week I will be in Chicago for the Carlson Global Conference and next week Berlin for ITB 2013 travel trade show. The trip home from Berlin includes overnight stops in Oslo, Helsinki, London and Chicago.

Yesterday I had Best Price Guarantee claims approved for two nights in Chicago and one night in San Francisco. These approved claims mean the first night of the hotel stay is free and all three hotel stays are one night stays.

Last Wednesday I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Denver on a free night using IHG’s Best Price Guarantee reducing the $199 room rate to free.

IHG denied my claims twice over the weekend for a free night at the Crowne Plaza – St. James, London.

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Crowne Plaza – St. James London = $251.70 on getaroom.com.

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Standard Room on IHG site is 235 GBP = $356.56 USD.

The room is more than $100 USD less per night on getaroom.com.

My claim was denied since IHG Best Price Guarantee requires the third party site to post the room rate in the same currency as the hotel.

Dear Richard Garrido,

Thank you for contacting our office regarding the Best Price Guarantee in reference to rates at the Crowne Plaza London- St. James, UK. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you with this matter.

As per the terms of the program, the room price on the non-IHG website must be available in the currency of the hotel. The average nightly rate must be a minimum difference of 1% or $1 USD (or the equivalent in the hotel’s currency) of the IHG room rate, whichever is higher. The room price must be quoted, booked, and paid for in the currency of the hotel.

Although www.getaroom.com display GBP currency, your credit card will charge in USD only. Therefore, your claim won’t qualify for the Best Price Guarantee.

My IHG Best Price Guarantee rejection email on Sat, Feb 23.

The last sentences I put in bold font are a strange rationale for rejection. The rejection appears to be based on the fact that I have a US-issued credit card that bills in US Dollars. Therefore according to the rejection statement I can never get an approved Best Rate Guarantee through IHG for any international hotel that does not list its rates in US Dollars.

I resubmitted the claim using getaroom.com UK version with a room rate posted as 167.29 GBP.

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That claim was rejected also.

So what does the blogosphere have to say?

Can anyone advise me on how to get a Best Price Guarantee claim approved for an IHG London hotel for this American with a US-based credit card?

I still have a couple of weeks to submit more BRG claims for London with IHG.

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

10 Responses

  1. Try submitting and price compare only with a hotel site unique to that particular country. Research what the favored hotel sites are for UK folks.

    Comment by frequent reader on February 25th, 2013 at 1:15 pm
  2. Ric, getaroom charges in USD irrespective of where the credit card has been issued. It’s buried in their T&C. IHG usually is very detail oriented with that.

    You will need a site that charges (everyone) in GBP. UK is a pretty competitive place in terms of OTA’s – keep looking – I have found many :)

    TJ

  3. @TJ,
    Any suggested sites?

  4. I had a quick look at a few hotel booking sites and it appears at first glance that they default to the currency of the country you’re in based on geolocation of your IP address. I’m wondering if you use a proxy in the UK, you’ll get prices in GBP. just thinking out loud here.

    Comment by ben senise on February 25th, 2013 at 2:40 pm
  5. I am starting a blog all about the various Best Rate Guarantee programs.

    Check it out: http://bestrateguaranteehotels.blogspot.com/.

    The launch date for this blog is March 1st, 2013. Please subscribe for updates and you could win a $10 Starbucks gift card. A random drawing will take place on March 1st, 2013.

    Please comment on the blog if you have any suggestions.

  6. I tried everything I could muster up for IHG BRGs in London for about a month and could not get it done at all. I got the same decline letter 10-12 times from every website I could find. I think the only options is to find a travel website based in the UK. I went to flyertalk and could not find any info either.

    Please Please email me if you find a solution.

    Paul

  7. I had an honest to goodness BRG at the Tokyo Strings and they would not give it to me. I tried to politely find out why… but really it was a new reason every minute and therefore it turned into a debate – which is a waste of both of our times (and I kinda felt like a stubborn jerk).
    But seriously, I’ll never get a claim.

    Also, the rule that bugs me is the interpretation of the “lowest fare possible” one, which means they they can deny if you book refundable rate (even if you’re just comparing two refundable rates) or you have to risk booking a refundable rate that they’ll deny for some goofy reason like the currency.

    Anywho… IHG’s BRG is kind of scam. If you find the exact same room cheaper on a different website, then IHG does NOT have the best price. And if they don’t recognize that, what good is a Guarantee? Goofy.

  8. Try lastminute.com or opodo, as they’re British based. Otherwise people use hotels.com and expedia a lot, and when you go on their sites in the UK, the prices come up in £. Often, despite the website’s immediate display, you can fiddle around with it and make it display in the currency of your choice.

  9. NB-

    Even if the prices come up in Pounds, it’s however your credit card is billed they say. They keep coming back stating hotels.com, etc all bill is USD which voids the BRG.

  10. ebookers.com has all their TOS in Pounds.

    And they have the crowne plaza for £183.33

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