Posted by Ric Garrido

Mommy Points spent yesterday looking for viable Best Rate Guarantee claims with Hyatt and today she posted a piece Saving Money on Hotel Stays with Best Rate Guarantee Claims. Yesterday I also was searching for Best Rate Guarantee claims and I submitted a Look No Further claim with Marriott. I started to write a post yesterday similar to Friday’s post Live Testing IHG Best Rate Guarantee, then decided to wait until I learned from Marriott if my claim was approved or not.

My claim was approved by Marriott this morning and the room rate for my reservation has been adjusted from $149 to $70.50 based on a $94 rate available with several online travel agencies.

Marriott reduced the lower $94 rate by 25% to $70.50.

The new room rate at $70.50 for a Courtyard hotel is more than 50% off the $149 Regular Rate I booked through the Marriott website.

Are Best Rate Guarantee claims a hassle?

The first comment on Mommy Points post is someone who says Best Rate Guarantee claims are a hassle.

I estimate I have saved more than $2,000 on hotel rates in 2013 through successful Best Rate Guarantee claims with the major hotel chains.

The process is really not too time-consuming to find a Best Rate Guarantee.

Best Rate Guarantee eligible rates are relatively easy to find. Read Mommy Points strategy. Personally, I simply look at Kayak.com and filter by hotel chain like All Marriott brands or All Hyatt brands. Often there is a discrepancy visible in the listing underneath the hotel.

 

Kayak Marriott filter

Note that in this case the Marriott rate is not shown under these two San Francisco hotels. Click the more sites button on Kayak or simply open a new window for the Marriott website to see the rates shown for their hotels.

Date vs. Rate

Mommy Points likely was searching for potential Hyatt BRG claims for the New Possibilities promotion offering bonus points every 5 nights. She used Travelocity for its monthly calendar. That is a tool I also use when the rate is more important than the date for the hotel stay.

Reminder: Hyatt Gold Passport members must register by this Thursday, October 31 for that promotion running through November 30.

I often find eligible best rate guarantee hotel rates but when it is 25% off a $250 Marriott room, that discount does not interest me. I don’t want to pay $200 after tax for a room. Nearly all my best rate guarantee claims are for hotels where the hotel chain’s website is asking $80 to $180 and I end up with a rate from $50 to $100 per night.

For most travelers the date is more important and that is when I find Kayak more useful for comparing rates.

 

Marriott Look No Further approved claims are reduced by 25% of lower rate found.

I was looking for Marriott Best Rate Guarantee claims since one more stay at a Marriott brand earns me a free category 1-5 certificate during the current Marriott Rewards MegaBonus when two stays earn a free night certificate.

For me the date was more important than the city. I am driving across California later this week from Las Vegas (more slowly going home to Monterey). I checked several cities along the route for Marriott rate discrepancies.

I found one.

And I learned something interesting in the process.

  • Marriott website $149 regular rate. Cancellation policy with no penalty 6pm day of arrival.
  • Priceline $94 rate. Cancellation policy with no penalty 12 noon day before arrival.
  • Travelocity $94 rate. Cancellation policy with no penalty 11:59 pm day before arrival.
  • HotelClub.com $94 rate. Cancellation policy with no penalty 4:00pm day before arrival.

I gave my LNF claim a 50/50 chance of being approved since the cancellation policies for the OTA sites were all more restrictive than the Marriott website.

Marriott Look No Further terms and conditions state:

The Marriott rate and the “Comparison Rate” must be found, and a completed claim form submitted, within 24 hours and must be for the same hotel, room type and reservation dates. The same cancellation and advance purchase policies, and other terms and conditions governing the rates must apply.

I expected my LNF claim to be denied based on differing cancellation policies between Marriott and the other sites.

If that had happened, then the focus of this article would have been how Marriott can get around approving valid lower rates based on the hotel giving different cancellation policies with the lower rate to online travel agencies. That would have been scandalous.

As it turns out, at least in this case, the slight discrepancies between the cancellation policies did not result in my best rate guarantee claim being denied.

The rate I booked on Marriott was changed from $149 to $70.50 with an approved LNF claim. And my hotel stay will be the second stay needed for a free Marriott Rewards MegaBonus free night certificate.

I have written numerous posts on my experiences with dozens of successful Best Rate Guarantees and a few unsuccessful claims since 2008. You can search Loyalty Traveler for past posts.

In the next couple weeks I will create a dedicated page on Loyalty Traveler for Best Rate Guarantee policies since this is a primary hotel rate discount strategy for my travels.

Related Post: Is Denver the BRG Capital of the USA? October 1, 2013

Deep Rate Discount with Expedia 48 hour sale and Marriott LNF claims July 7, 2013

Best Rate Guarantee Policy of 8 Hotel Programs Oct 25, 2012

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

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9 Responses

  1. I don’t find more restrictive cancellation terms on third party sites are generally an issue with Marriott provided they don’t have a prepaid rate that day.

    My experience is that they’ll approve a LNF against a prepaid rate on a third party site provided Marriott.com doesn’t offer one.

    Starwood only cares about room type (ie Traditional vs Club) and will match and the fact that the rate is lower. Always a good idea to have Starwood BRGs pre-approved.

    Hilton, on the other hand, will deny just about anything unless its prepaid…so its quite risky.

    Comment by Liam Walshe on October 28th, 2013 at 10:41 am
  2. Love using the Best Rate Guarantee from most programs except for Hilton…Hilton is a nightmare to work with!

  3. Hi Ric or anyone:
    How do you use the Travelocity monthly calender? Can not find it on its website.

    Thanks for helping.

  4. Hi Ric,

    How are IHG? I have read some posts on flyertalk that suggested they were difficult to score a BRG

  5. @Tom – I had no problem with getting my IHG Best Price Guarantee claim approved five days ago for a Saturday night stay this past weekend.

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2013/10/25/live-testing-ihg-best-rate-guarantee/#sthash.WnxzGkqt.dpbs

  6. @Marie – You need to select a specific hotel in the list of hotels on Travelocity and then there is a tab called Flexible Dates. That brings up the calendar.

    I will try and write a post his week to show the steps.

  7. Look No Further is a total waste of time. They don’t like to pay off. Marriott forces you to book with them and then denies the claim. Not sure if they are hoping it’s too much for you to cancel your reservation, but this seems like a breakage play to me.

  8. @Bob – I just had a Marriott LNF rate approved in the past hour reducing my hotel rate from $137 to $75 after tax at a full service Marriott hotel for this weekend.

  9. The Marriott BRG (or LNF) is probably the best BRG in the industry now. It reacts fast and presents no excuses. Much better than Hyatt or Hilton. I have a 90% approval rate. The only thing that could be improved is the prohibition on ‘voucher sites’ for non-US properties.

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