Hilton has announced some changes to their Best Rate Guarantee (which they now call Price Match Guarantee) and at first glance, the changes appear to be improvements.
Here’s a list of changes notified by HonorsRepresentative on FlyerTalk:
If you find a lower qualified price for the same accommodation and terms at any point before your reservation is made, or up to 24 hours after making your reservation through one of the official Hilton booking channels, you can submit your claim by filling out the online form or calling our Hilton Reservations & Customer Care center directly. If we can verify your claim, we’ll honor the lower price AND take an additional 25% off the room rate for each night of your stay.
Claims previously required completion of an online form and the inclusion of an existing Hilton reservation number to process. We’re now encouraging guests who have yet to book their stay to contact Hilton Reservations & Customer Care directly and submit their claim over the phone.
We are also now accepting same-day claims. Until recently, we would only match a lower rate for day-of arrival. Now, in addition to matching the rate, we will also apply the 25% discount. For same-day reservations, guests must contact Hilton Reservations & Customer Care directly and submit their claim over the phone.
The second bullet point is the one that has me most interested. I usually book Advance Purchase rates seeing as they tend to be the cheapest, even though they can’t be canceled and are non-refundable. The problem with this is that if you’ve found a lower rate elsewhere before booking, you have to risk the hotel chain denying your BRG claim for some obscure reason and be stuck paying the higher rate.
I recently found an IHG property in Houston that was 50% more expensive on their own site than on Hotels.com. Seeing as I had to commit to the higher rate with IHG before submitting a BRG claim, I decided not to book directly with them. If there’s a similar scenario with Hilton in the future, this change means I could call beforehand to submit the claim, thereby ensuring it wouldn’t be denied at a later date.