Oct082013

Best Western Low Rate Guarantee

After one year missing in action, BestWestern.com has reintroduced its Best Rate Guarantee policy. The new policy has the same compensation as the old policy. The lower competing rate will be matched by Best Western and the guest will receive a $100 Best Western Travel Card if you find a lower rate by more than $1.00 from a competing online travel agency for the same room.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  • Book your reservation on bestwestern.com.
  • If you find a lower rate on another website with the same criteria: hotel, room type, dates of stay, and guest occupancy, review the program’s terms and conditions and submit the online claim form.
  • The online claim form must be submitted within 24 hours of making the reservation on bestwestern.com to be eligible.
  • Our Customer Care team will research the claim and notify you of its resolution.

There are several terms to meet to get an approved claim, but these are fairly normal compared to the Best Rate Guarantee policies of other hotel chains.

Book Your Reservation on bestwestern.com.

Only Starwood and Hyatt will process a Best Rate Guarantee claim without the guest having a confirmed reservation already booked. This is the primary weakness of Best Rate Guarantee policies since you can’t find out if a lower rate will be a valid claim until you have a room reservation already booked on the hotel chain’s website.

Remember that the claim needs to be filed within 24 hours of booking on BestWestern.com.

My Advice: Book a refundable rate if you think you have a valid claim to submit for a Low Rate Guarantee.

I regularly stay on discount hotel rates from Best Rate Guarantee claims. Except for Starwood and Hyatt, my claims tend to always be made based on a rate I booked with the hotel chain that allows me to cancel without penalty in case the claim is not approved. And there have been times I simply booked through the competitor’s OTA site when that was the best deal and a Best Rate Guarantee for the same hotel was denied for whatever reason.

Best Western Low Rate Guarantee Terms & Conditions

Here are the main points to know for a claim.

1. Low Rate Guarantee only apply for Best Western hotels in North America.

2. Valid claim must be a lower published rate on the internet, excluding taxes and fees.

3. Only one valid claim per household per stay will be honored with a $100 Best Western Travel Card during any 30 day period.

4. Lower rate will be matched and guest will receive a $100 Best Western Travel Card. The lower rate will be matched on an approved claim even if the hotel guest is ineligible for the $100 Travel Card due to having earned one in previous 30 day period.

5. Travel card will be in form of e-certificate unless physical card requested.

My Advice: I think I would prefer to have an e-certificate. I have three $100 Best Western Travel Cards with me in my travel bag right now, but I have stayed in several Best Western hotels this year when I traveled and realized I left the Travel Cards at home.

6. Reservations booked within 48 hours of hotel arrival are not eligible. Note that this is actually more restrictive than most hotel chains which allow Best Rate Claim submissions up to 24 hours before hotel arrival.

7. The competing rate must be for the same hotel, dates, length of stay, currency, number of guests and similar room type. Additionally, the competing rate must be publicly viewable and bookable via the internet at the time the claim is reviewed by a Best Western Customer Care Specialist. A viewable rate means that the general public can view the rate on the website. A bookable rate means that the rate is available and can be reserved online.

8. Affinity Partnership, Association, Corporate, Group, Negotiated, Package (e.g. those including flight, car, etc.), Wholesale, and Opaque rates (i.e. , those that do not reveal the hotel name and location until after booking, such as those available on Priceline.com and Hotwire.com) are not eligible for the Program.

Note: I sometimes find AAA rates are lower for the same room when I submit a Best Rate Guarantee claim, but an approved claim paying a slightly higher rate is a better deal if a $100 Travel Card is included.

9.  The $100 (USD) Travel Card will be emailed or mailed after the consumer’s stay is completed. Virtual cards will be emailed within two to three weeks after the consumer’s stay is completed. Physical plastic cards will be mailed within four to six weeks after the consumer’s stay is completed.

10. If redeemed internationally, the value of the $100 (USD) Travel Card will be determined by foreign exchange rates at the time of redemption.

11. Best Western Rewards® points or airline miles will be awarded based on the rate actually paid by the consumer at check-out.

12. Offer valid only for North American properties until further notice.

Best Western BRG

Best Western has not had a Best Rate Guarantee policy in place from September 2012 to September 2013. Glad to see the hotel chain has brought back this standard policy of matching competitive rates from the online travel agencies and offering the $100 compensation in the form of a Best Western Travel Card. The every 30 days rule to qualify for a $100 Travel Card is a limitation, but a reasonable one.

Hotel Best Rate Guarantee policies

Best Western = $100 Travel Card and match lower rate.

Choice = first night free and match lower rate.

Club Carlson = 25% off lower rate.

Hilton = $50 and match lower rate.

Hyatt = 20% off lower rate.

IHG = first night free and match lower rate.

Marriott = 25% off lower rate.

Starwood = 10% off lower rate or 2,000 Starpoints and match lower rate.

Note: Only Hyatt and Starwood will process a Best Rate Guarantee claim without the guest having a confirmed reservation already booked through the hotel chain’s own website. Other hotel chains require a Best Rate Guarantee claim be submitted within 24 hours of booking the hotel on the chain’s website.

 

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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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.

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