My general finding is the hotel chains of Marriott, Carlson and Hyatt offer the best overall discount for approved best rate guarantee claims as room rate goes up and your stay extends to four or more nights.
This is the second article in a series looking at the effect length of stay and room rate has on the value of a hotel chain best rate guarantee.
I have had dozens of hotel best rate guarantee (BRG) claims approved over the past few years. Typically it is a hotel room rate around $100 to $120 on the hotel chain website and a $90 to $100 rate at some online travel agency for the same room. Most of my articles about best rate guarantee policies focus on what is and is not successful for a best rate guarantee claim when you find a lower rate at an online travel agency (OTA) like Expedia.com.
My first article, Which chain has best value hotel best rate guarantee?examined the paid rate for a hotel stay and the net rate discount when a $100 room at a hotel chain is approved based on a $90 competitive rate from an online travel agency. The data shows rebate offers like Hilton $50 American Express card, Best Western $100 Travel Card and Starwood Preferred Guest 2,000 points give a substantial value when you are able to find a $100 room rate discounted by just 10% to $90 at a competitor online travel agency. Choice and IHG will give first night free and that means totally free for a one night stay, with more than 50% off the rate being charged for the same room on the Choice or IHG websites on a two night stay.
The more nights you stay, the better Marriott, Carlson and Hyatt are at providing the deepest rate discount. This is due to their best rate guarantee policies offering a 20% (Hyatt) and 25% discount (Carlson, Marriott) on the lower OTA rate every night of your stay. Hilton’s policy of matching the lower rate and providing a $50 card has less value as you spend more money on the hotel stay. Same issue with 2,000 Starpoints or a $100 Best Western travel card. Even first night free might not offer as much savings on room rate when you are looking at four or more nights.
For example: Marriott San Francisco has $200 room rate. Same room and terms on Expedia.com is 10% less at $180. Book the $200 room rate on Marriott and file a Look No Further claim. If approved, Marriott reduces the $180 room rate by another 25% to $135 per night. The adjusted rate is 32.5% less than original $200 rate on Marriott’s website. Marriott’s look no further best rate policy means booking with Marriott and filing a best rate guarantee claim saves 32.5% rather than simply booking the $180 rate on Expedia for a 10% discount. The adjusted BRG rate earns points, promotion credit and elite member credit.
Hotel Chain Best Rate Guarantee Policies for adjusting a $180 rate on an approved claim against a $200 hotel chain rate
Best Western = match lower rate + $100 Best Western Travel Card (only valid for BW hotels) [$180 rate per night + $100 BW card for future hotel stay]
Choice Hotels = first night free + match lower rate. [1st night free and $180 for additional nights]
Club Carlson = 25% off lower rate. [$135 per night]
Hilton = $50 American Express gift card (valid for anything). [$180 rate per night + $50 AmEx card for any spend purpose]
Hyatt = 20% off lower rate. [$144 per night]
InterContinental Hotels Group = first night free + match lower rate. [1st night free and $180 for additional nights]
Marriott = 25% off lower rate. [$72 per night]
Starwood = 10% off lower rate or 2,000 Starpoints + match lower rate. [$180 rate per night + 2,000 points or $162 per night]
Wyndham = 10% off lower rate. [$162 per night]
The tables in this article show a hotel best rate guarantee comparison for $180 room rate across 9 chains for stays from 1 to 6 nights in Table A and I reposted the table from my previous article, Table B, to show the effect of nights on a hotel best rate guarantee comparison for a $90 room rate .
Table A shows what happens to a best rate guarantee claim for $180 per night room
Table B shows what happens to a best rate guarantee claim for a $90 room.
What the data shows:
The yellow cells show where a $200 room rate on the hotel chain’s website is reduced by more than 30% to $140 or less per night. Orange is a 28% discount rate.
One Night Best Rate Guarantee Stay
On a one night stay there is a great discount on room rate with an approved best rate guarantee in nearly every hotel chain. Best Rate Guarantee claims save a lot of money in nearly every hotel chain on a one night stay. Starwood and Wyndham with a 10% discount is a weak discount by comparison.
Hilton $50 American Express card and 2,000 Starwood points offer a small discount when you are looking at $360 for two nights. That $100 Best Western gift card is still a good rebate, but you are out of pocket $360 for two paid nights and the gift card has no value until you spend it on another Best Western stay.
IHG and Choice give first night free and a two-night stay is discounted 55% when you pay only $180 for the second night. Marriott and Carlson provide a low rate from the start and two nights are $270.
On a two night stay the rate range is widespread with IHG and Choice costing $180 and Hilton, Best Western and Starwood costing $360 with a rebate or Wyndham at $324.
The value of a Best Western $100 gift card is diminishing when you reach 3 nights and you are paying $180 per night. You would only be paying $405 for the best rate guarantee adjusted price to $135 per night with Carlson or Marriott. At three nights, the nightly discounted room rate at $135 compared to the $180 OTA rate means the one-time BW $100 gift card is not as significant when spending $540 for three hotel nights. Starwood and Hilton have even less value as BRG discounts.
Four Nights on a $180 Best Rate Guarantee
A four night stay could have been $800 if you simply booked the asking rate through the hotel chain. The $180 rate from Expedia.com starts saving significant cash at four nights and five hotel chains of the nine examined take the discount lead.
- IHG = $540
- Choice = $540
- Marriott = $540
- Carlson = $540
- Hyatt = $576
- Starwood (10%) = $648
- Wyndham = $648
- Hilton ($50 American Express debit card) = $720
- Best Western ($100 BW travel card) = $720
- Starwood (2,000 points) =$720
There is an out of pocket spend range of $540 for IHG, Choice, Marriott and Carlson with a 4-night hotel stay compared to rates for Starwood and Wyndham with a 10% BRG adjustment at $648 or Best Western, Hilton and Starwood at $720 for the hotel stay. Once you reach 4-nights at $180 per night hotel rates, the gift cards and points offer far less value than saving $180 in cash.
The 25% discounts of Marriott and Carlson take the lead at five nights on a $180 adjusted room rate. The 32.5% rate reduction with a $135 nightly rate offers the greatest discount at five nights. IHG and Choice drop to 28% savings at five nights with a room rate identical to Hyatt.
Six Nights or More
Marriott, Carlson and Hyatt Offer the Best Value on Extended Stays
Bottom line is a weeklong holiday vacation at an expensive resort will have the greatest discount opportunity if you can find a potential best rate guarantee claim with Marriott, Carlson or Hyatt Hotels.
Related Post: Which chain has best value hotel best rate guarantee? (part 1)
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 current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.