Posted by Ric Garrido

I have seven hotel nights planned for Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas in two weeks. Hotel rates are really expensive in the cities of Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. I filed three best rate guarantee claims for Aloft Jacksonville Airport, Jacksonville Marriott and Hampton Inn Charleston/Mt. Pleasant-Patriots Point.

Only the Jacksonville Marriott was approved, reducing the rate from $112.94 to $76.23.

Aloft Jacksonville best rate guarantee was denied due to getaroom.com website labeling the $64.41 rate an ‘Exclusive Membership Rate’, although anyone could book the rate through getaroom.com. Starwood site rate was $80.49. Details of the BRG claim here: Starwood Best Rate Guarantee denied when rate truly lower at getaroom.com.

Hilton denied my claim for Hampton Inn Charleston/Mt. Pleasant-Patriots Point when the Hilton rate is $189 and easyclicktravel.com is $121 for the same room.

Here is the Hilton Best Rate Guarantee rationale:

The website easyclicktravel.com requires a voucher at check-in and does not guarantee the booking at the property.

The Terms and Conditions of Our Best Rates Guaranteed program state:

Our Guarantee does not apply to the following:

o    Rates available on “opaque” websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made (e.g., Priceline.com, Hotwire.com).

o    Discount or negotiated rates not available to the general public, including but not limited to the following rates: membership (e.g., AAA, AARP or Saga), corporate, government, promotional, unpublished, Senior HHonors®, employee, offline wholesale/FIT, pre-paid rates which may include a voucher (including electronic vouchers), group or other specially negotiated rates.

I regret to inform you that we are unable to honor your request due to the website requiring a voucher at check-in and not confirming the rate and booking immediately; thus, making the website opaque.

Does the average consumer really care about an electronic voucher?

Marriott International wins in this battle of the Best Rate Guarantee claims.

Two weeks ago I stayed at the Renaissance Blackstone in Chicago on a Marriott Best Rate Guarantee claim reducing the hotel rate from $300 per night to $122.

That claim was based on the lower rate from …. easyclicktravel.com, the online travel agency Hilton just refused to honor for a Best Rate Guarantee where the room rate difference was $68 less on easyclicktravel.com for the Hampton Inn Charleston compared to the Hilton website.

I filed another Best Rate Guarantee with Marriott for another Charleston hotel based on $129 Marriott rate and $104 rate on Booking.com. If approved the rate will drop 25% to $78. Sure beats $189 for the Hampton Inn.

*****

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.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

9 Responses

  1. Love it. Just shows how much you can save by paying attention to rates across multiple channels.

  2. I typically find SPG and Marriott to be the easiest of the chains to get approved for a BRG. The only thing I don’t like about Marriott is having to book the room before filing the claim. If you don’t get approved on a non-refundable rate you’re sorta stuck. At least with SPG I have been able to file a claim before having to book the room.

    Comment by The Mystery Traveler on April 22nd, 2014 at 2:16 pm
  3. Marriott allows voucher sites for US/Canada claims, but will deny them for international claims.

  4. I bet you don’t need any voucher, they are just calling the booking confirmation a voucher. I’m calling BS on Hilton’s BRG, it’s a joke. I recently found a rate for a resort 40% cheaper than anything on the Hilton site though a different channel. But it was nonrefundable advance purchase. And since Hilton.com wasn’t offering that there was no way to match it. I also get much worse treatment as a Hilton Diamond than the other programs, but that’s a different matter.

  5. We can grant your BRG wish. Uh-oh. Where’d that little dog come from, Dorothy? Hey, don’t look behind the curtain. –WIZARD

    Comment by Enjoy Fine Fod on April 22nd, 2014 at 3:37 pm
  6. I tried for a BRG for the Holiday Inn in Bath UK this summer. Found a much lower rate through one of the OTA in the EU and even got a quote in pounds. Denied since the refundable rate could be cancelled four hours later for IHG versus the OTA. Otherwise everything the same. And it was much lower through the OTA. Oh well, that is life, but I think they are being really picky when it is pretty much the same reservation between the two sites.

    Comment by Charlotte on April 22nd, 2014 at 7:20 pm
  7. Marriott best rate guarantee approved for Charleston this morning. Two for Marriott and zero for Starwood and Hilton so far as I work my best rates up the Atlantic seaboard.

  8. I’m quite new to the BRG game but I’ve had almost 100% success rate with Marriott (and in fact, I even refuted a denial and Marriott ended up allowing it!) No success with Hilton and I have an IHG pending…

  9. Additional thought on my comment: Ric, have you noticed that Hilton.com is never linked on kayak? So there is really no way to easily use kayak.com to compare OTA room rates to Hilton.com?!

home top