Aug132014

The Trouble with IHG Best Rate Guarantee claims

A successful Best Price Guarantee claim with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) awards one free night for a reservation booked through IHG. A lower room rate for the same date and room type on a third party online travel agency site like Expedia is an opportunity to book a best rate guarantee claim.

The trouble with IHG Best Rate Guarantee claims is the largest hotel chain in the world by number of rooms has no published response time after your best rate guarantee form is submitted. The guest must file IHG’s Best Price Guarantee form within 24 hours of booking the hotel reservation through an IHG website with details of the third party website offering a lower room rate for the same room type and terms for the same date as IHG site.

IHG Best Price Guarantee terms has no response time for your claim. Even though IHG states:

IHG BRG response time

“Thank you for submitting your Best Price Guarantee claim. Your customer care form has been sent. Please allow 24 hours for us to review and respond to your concern.”

I received that response after submitting my IHG Best Price Guarantee claim on Saturday 2:28pm California Pacific time. It has been 87 hours since I received that verification my Best Price Guarantee claim was submitted.

Most hotel chains state a claim response will happen within 24 hours and some have a 48-hour return time. IHG is the only chain with no response time published for when your claim will be validated in its Best Price Guarantee terms.

My Best Price Guarantee claim for Athenaeum InterContinental, Athens, Greece

I plan to be in Athens in October 2014 for the TBEX Europe conference. As I do with any place I plan to travel, I check hotel rates for rate discrepancies.

Athenaeum InterContinental has a huge rate discrepancy between IHG site and GetaRoom.com booking site.

IC Athens-Deluxe 197EUR

Athenaeum InterContinental lowest category room is Superior Room and these rooms only show availability for points. There is no paid rate option.

Deluxe Room is 197 EUR ($264 USD) for prepaid, nonrefundable rate.

IHG Athens room rates

Deluxe room Best Flexible Rate is 244 EUR ($327 USD).

Athenaeum InterContinental, Athens, Greece lower rate on getaroom.com

There is a far lower rate on getaroom.com for this same date and Deluxe room category. Also, getaroom.com has Superior rooms available for booking.

IC Athens getaroom 127

Athenaeum InterContinental has Superior room at 127.51 EUR ($171 USD) while IHG website only has Superior rooms available for points redemptions.

IC Athens Deluxe Getaroom

Athenaeum InterContinental Single Deluxe is 159.95 EUR ($214 USD) on getaroom.com for a room that may be canceled up to midnight two days before arrival. IHG website is charging 244 EUR ($327 USD) for this same room type, plus an additional 25 EUR ($33 USD) for breakfast which is included in getaroom.com rate. IHG flexible rate allows cancellation up to 6pm day before arrival. There is an 18 hour difference between cancellation policy terms, but in my experience, a cancellation discrepancy of 18 hours is not the reason a Best Rate Guarantee claim is denied.

  • $214 GetaRoom.com for Athenaeum InterContinental Single Deluxe with breakfast.
  • $360 IHG website for Athenaeum InterContinental Single Deluxe with breakfast.

The rate discrepancy is huge. I booked Athenaeum InterContinental Single Deluxe with breakfast on IHG website for 269 EUR and filed an IHG Best Price Guarantee claim four days ago based on the GetaRoom.com rate that is nearly $150 lower.

IHG has not responded to my claim.

The lower room rate is still available on getaroom.com.

I expect my claim to be denied by IHG Customer Service for some reason. There is no denying that the rate is far lower to book a room at Athenaeum InterContinental through getaroom.com.

Obviously, Best Rate Guarantee claims have so many loopholes that getting a free night with IHG Best Price Guarantee claim is a real challenge. I have had success before with IHG. The getaroom rate is one of the largest rate discrepancies I have seen.

When it comes to Best Rate Guarantee policies, Marriott tends to be easiest in my experience. The main rule of thumb is avoid nonrefundable rates when booking the hotel through the hotel chain’s website since there is a high probability your claim will be denied.

Hyatt, Kimpton and Starwood are the only hotel chains that allow a Best Rate Guarantee claim submission without booking the hotel room through the hotel chain’s website first.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. Eighty seven hours is ridiculous! I’ve filed four BRG claims this year with IHG, three of which were successful, and it’s usually taken two days to get a response. The only exception was for a reservation made just five days in advance, in which case I got an approved claim in 18 hours. Hope your long wait is soon over and that there will be a happy outcome.

  2. I received a comment to this post that went to my spam folder.

    I assume this is not a real response from IHG Best Price Guarantee customer service.

    Sounds like someone who is familiar with IHG Best Price Guarantee, but the email address is a yahoo email address.

    *****

    “Dear Mr. Garrido,

    Thank you for contacting our office regarding the Best Price Guarantee in reference to rates at the Athenaeum InterContinental. 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.

    We understand that http://www.getaroom.com may display rates in EUR. However, it is an estimated amount shown only as a reference for international guests.

    Since you will not be charged in the hotel’s local currency, your claim won’t qualify for the guarantee.

    We encourage you to Learn about our guarantee and visit the terms and conditions.

    We appreciate your interest in filing for the Best Price Guarantee. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us again.

    Best Regards,
    Hans xxxxxx

    Best Price Guarantee

    ******
    I can see my claim being rejected based on different currencies. Sounds like the sender has experience with getaroom.com Best Price Guarantee rejections.

Comments are closed.