Best Rate Guarantee Guide

Most hotel chains want you to book direct — that is to say that the chain prefers you book through the company website or app or individual hotel website rather than booking through third parties like Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Hotels.com, etc. In order to encourage you to book direct, most chains include some sort of “Best Rate Guarantee” that offers to match or beat a qualifying price found elsewhere for the same hotel and dates. This guide includes a basic summary of the policies of each of the major chains and links to claim forms and more information on each program.

Things to keep in mind

While each chain offers a Best Rate Guarantee of some sort, hotels are notorious for finding a way to deny claims. In order to be successful, your claim needs to be for the same dates, the same room type, have the same cancellation policy, include the same amenities (e.g. free breakfast), etc. Claims can be denied for the smallest of discrepancies, so you’ll want to make sure that everything matches up.

In general, the following things are excluded:

  • AAA rates or any other type of membership-based rate
  • Opague booking sites like Hotwire where you can’t see the name of the hotel until after booking
  • Any site requiring you to log in or join / have a membership in order to see the rate
  • Anything requiring a coupon on the competitor’s site
  • Timeshare properties (e.g. Marriott Vacation Club, Hyatt Residence Club, etc)
  • Claims for a difference of less than $1 / 1% (varies by chain)

Some chains additionally exclude specific booking sites. For example, Marriott excludes advance purchase rates from Ctrip.com. If you’re considering booking a nonrefundable rate with plans to file a BRG claim, be sure to see your chain’s website for complete terms and conditions and any updates. This page is meant to be a summary of the policies and handy quick reference for claims forms and key details.

Also keep in mind that most chains will consider the entire price for the stay for the purposes of best rate guarantee claims. That is to say that the lower comparison rate will need to be lower in total for the entire stay, including any fees added by the booking site.

Following are the key details for best rate guarantee programs with major US chains:

Best Western

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Best Western will match and give you a $100 Best Western Travel Rewards card

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 48 hours before standard check-in time

How to file: Use this online claim form. The terms state to email the completed form to custserv@cs.bestwestern.com, but it looks like the form is submitted directly online now.

Additional notes: Limit of 1 Travel Card per household in a 30-day period (though Best Western will still match the lower rate even if you’re not eligible for another reward card). Issued as a virtual card within 2-3 weeks after stay is completed unless you request a physical card instead, which takes 4-6 weeks to arrive. Website states this offer is valid for North America hotels until further notice, indicating that BRG claims may not be accepted for foreign hotels.

Link to more info on BestWestern.com


Choice Hotels

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Choice will match and give you a $50 VGC if you’re a US resident or the first night free if you’re a non-US resident

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 24 hours before standard check-in time

Need to book first: Yes

How to file: Use this online claim form.

Additional notes: Valid on up to 9 rooms in a booking. $50 reward card will be sent within 6 weeks of check out.

Link to more info on ChoiceHotels.com


Hilton

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Hilton will match and give you an additional 25% off the room rate

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 24 hours before standard check-in time

How to file: Use this online claim form.

Additional notes: All Hampton by Hilton hotels in China are excluded. Official booking channels for making your booking before submitting a claim include the Hilton website/app and also accredited travel agents.

Link to more info on Hilton.com


Hyatt

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours, Hyatt will match and give a coupon good for $50 towards a future stay.

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking

How to file: Use this online claim form or call 1-888-96-Hyatt

Additional notes: $50 credit is good for one year from issuance and can only be used toward room rate (no incidental charges or resort fees, etc) and only for a Standard Rate, Advance Purchase Rate, or Member Rate. Credit is issued within 4 days of checkout.

Link to more info on Hyatt.com


IHG

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, IHG will give you 5x the IHG points on your room rate, up to 40K max

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 24 hours before standard check-in time

How to file: Use this online claim form.

Additional notes: Not applicable to hotels in Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Requires the non-IHG site where you’ve found the lower rate to be in the same currency as the rate you booked through IHG.

Link to more info on IHG.com


Marriott

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Marriott will match and give you a 25% discount or 5,000 points

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 48 hours before standard check-in time

How to file: Use this online claim form.

Additional notes: Excludes Ritz-Carlton Montreal & Ritz-Carlton London. If competing rate is found on the date of arrival, claim must be submitted by 10pm hotel local time. Excludes SPG properties.

Link to more info on Marriott.com


Radisson

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Radisson Rewards will match and give you 25% off your stay

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 48 hours before midnight hotel time on the date of check-in

Need to book first: Yes

How to file: Use the appropriate online claim form:

Additional notes: Comparison rate must be in the same currency

Link to more info on RadissonRewards.com


SPG

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, SPG will match and give you 25% off the room rate or 2,000 Starpoints

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 24 hours before standard check-in time (48 hours for non-English Starwood websites)

How to file: Use this online claim form.

Additional notes: SPG will allow you to do a BRG claim for up to 3 rooms on a stay. One interesting point from the terms suggests that separate stays during one week might be treated as a single stay. This might mean that if you have a room booked from Sunday-Tuesday and a separate reservation at the same hotel from Thursday-Saturday, you may not be able to get a BRG on both: “Starwood will compare the total room cost of a stay, and multiple claims for a stay consisting of two or more nights in the same week at the same hotel or hotels) in the same geographic location (e.g. city) and may be treated as one claim for one stay, even if booked through more than one reservation.”

Link to more info on SPG.com


Wyndham Rewards

Basic details: Find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Wyndham will match and give you 3,000 bonus points

Time to file a claim: Within 24 hours of booking and at least 48 hours before standard check-in time

How to file: Use this online claim form.

Additional notes: Only one claim can be submitter per person, per email address, per calendar month.

Link to more info on WyndhamHotels.com


Additions or updates

As with all of our Frequent Miler Resources pages (always accessible by clicking “Resources” at the top of any page), this is meant to be a work in progress that will be updated and maintained as necessary. If you find something that should be added or updated or you have a suggestion for changes, please comment or contact us so that we can make the necessary changes.

2
Leave a Reply

avatar
2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
trackback

[…] couple of months ago, I put together a resource page on hotel chain Best Rate Guarantees. I recently had occasion to put one of these to use, and the savings were pretty sweet. I wish I […]

trackback

[…] months back, I created a quick reference guide for Best Rate Guarantee claims (See: Best Rate Guarantee guide). In that guide, I note that getting claims approved can be tough – hotel chains will look […]