SPG Best Rate Guarantee: Didn’t Work for Me

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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:

  1. The hotel room has to be exactly the same. No accessible room to junior suite, no single when double etc.
  2. The currency has to be the same. US dollars to US dollars, not dollars to Mongolian tugrik.
  3. The rate plan has to be the same: Flexible cancellation to flexible, not flexible to pre-pay discount.
  4. The room must be booked on SPG’s website and then a claim submitted.
SPG Best Rate Guarantee
alltherooms.com
SPG Best Rate Guarantee
I changed this to 1 adult just in case! Final booking page inclusive of all fees.
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SPG website
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SPG Booking

I had all of those things. So why didn’t it work?

Here’s the bogus explanation I received:

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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. 

10 COMMENTS

  1. I agree completely that there are a ton of hoops to jump through to get BRG, but I do think that there has to be availability as well. How can you compare rates if there’s nothing available to compare? Assuming that the Starwood person isn’t either lying or really inept, there’s not a lot you can do, except enjoy your stay at a pretty good price. Hopefully they have a club you can use.

    • There is availability. There’s ample availability. Luxor and Egypt has had a huge drop in tourism so this would be an ideal time to try the BRG.

      I’d just like to know what he’s looking at because this is what I see on my end. It’s as bad as calling AA and them saying there’s no b class space when British shows there is!

      • That happens some times, you just have to resubmit and get someone more competent. SPG actually has the easiest BRG approval process in my opinion. In fact, even when there is no room type available on SPG.com, they will still honor your BRG from a 3rd party. In my case, I had a base room that was available on Priceline, and they told me to book any room and the hotel will adjust it prior to arrival. Of course I booked the best suite, just in case they don’t change my room to a base room and let me keep what I booked. Also SPG is the only one that the cancelation terms do not have to match. It is merely the lowest rate. So if you find OTA nonrefundable rate for $100 and SPG has 105 flexible rate. You would still be approved.

  2. lots of hoops, but what in life is worthwhile that doesn’t take effort. They’re not going to make it easy for them to lose money, are they? Besides, SPG is by far the most generous of the major chains for BRG. It recently took five submissions to get a BRG for a recent stay in Thailand, but I saved over $100. Definitely worth the effort. If you really have a hard time you can always call the BRG hotline and talk to a human directly.

  3. I am 2 for 2 on BRG. 1st attempts were successful. My wife is 0 for 1. The told her the link she sent didn’t work. It totally worked and when they finally got the link to work for them, SPG website rate had gone down so her link was no longer lower. That was upsetting, but they did give her 1k starpoints for the confusion. Based on my success though, I think their BRG is a good program.

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