Nothing is worse than paying for a room only to find out that it was available for cheaper. Major hotel chains have a Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) program that seeks to assure guests that booking directly with them will never result in a room that is more expensive than what is available from a competitor. If a lower rate is found and the hotel chain confirms this rate after the booking is made on the chain’s site, it will match the rate and provide an incentive such as an additional 20% off.
Bloggers have boasted about receiving cheap rooms, free rooms, and points as a result of utilizing the BRG. While it sounds simple, I have yet to get it to work. I checked 2 nights at the Sheraton Luxor on SPG.com and on alltherooms.com. Alltherooms.com links to Expedia among other sites and offers a room for $49 a night. SPG offers the same room for $64. Using my MBA skills, I have calculated that $64>$49 meaning this should qualify for SPG BRG right?
Since it’s Saturday morning, it is fitting to invoke the catch phrase of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” In order for the SPG Best Rate Guarantee to be enforced there are 2,324 things that have to happen:
- The hotel room has to be exactly the same. No accessible room to junior suite, no single when double etc.
- The currency has to be the same. US dollars to US dollars, not dollars to Mongolian tugrik.
- The rate plan has to be the same: Flexible cancellation to flexible, not flexible to pre-pay discount.
- The room must be booked on SPG’s website and then a claim submitted.
I had all of those things. So why didn’t it work?
Here’s the bogus explanation I received:
Clearly, I’m missing some detail in this process. But since I just went through the pain of putting this post together in real time, I decided to resubmit my claim and see what Akshat would say this time. Maybe I’ll add in this blog post to supplement my claim.
Update! Successful on round 2: Find out how here.