Taking advantage of Best Rate Guarantees

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This trip we have really been taking advantage of Best Rate Guarantee’s which I’ve already talked a bit about.  However, if you’re not familiar with what this is, it’s basically a promise a hotel company has to offer you the best rate for a room on their very own website.  If you find a lower rate on a different site like Kayak or Expedia, they will essentially reward you for your find.  This helps them keep their rates up to date on all sites and helps you get a deal on a room!

Though I’ve mentioned it before, here is a recap of how a BRG works, then I’ll take you through some of our successes.

Here is our process:

  1. On a hotel’s own website, find a cancelable rate for a hotel with a BRG policy.  Because you can’t guarantee your BRG claim will be accepted, it’s a good precaution to book a cancelable rate.
  2. Search Kayak for that hotel brand.  Find the EXACT room (same bed type, same general amenities, etc.) and compare the price with the one you found on the original website.
  3. Once you’re sure you’ve found something cheaper on another website, go back to the hotel’s website and book their rate.  (We usually keep the other rate up in another tab for easy referencing.)
  4. Submit a claim online, providing information as prompted.  Hilton’s BRG claim form can be found here.  IHG’s can be found here.  Choice Hotels’ can be found here.  Marriott’s can be found here.  You can also do this over the phone if you prefer.

BRG at the Double Tree Bucharest

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(Semi)Success #1. Our first Best Rate Guarantee room (since the already blogged about Dusseldorf stay,) was a room at the Double Tree in Bucharest.  Hilton hotels basically offer $50 for their BRG’s.  (Sometimes a voucher and sometimes a rate-reduction.)  In Europe this essentially means your room is discounted $50.  When we arrived at the Double Tree, they indeed had our discounted rate on file: a total of 10 Euros after the discount.  Well, when we were checking out we were surprised to find that the rate had changed in our sleep.  Now the woman at checkout was asking for 90 Euros or something like that.  After some discussion she admitted that she had just never seen a rate as low as 10 Euros and thought that surely there had been a mistake…so she took it upon herself to “fix” our rate.  (Had she also never experienced a BRG I wonder?)

Anyway, she said that she would talk to her manager or some such higher up about it and we could expect an email informing us how much our charge would be.

We have not heard from her and it’s been a few weeks…  Success?  Not sure.

BRG at the Courtyard Marriott Budapest

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Success #2. Marriott has a different policy.  They match the lower rate you found, then give you an additional %25 discount.  Again using Kayak as our trusty provider of a cheaper rate, we followed our usual process.  This stay actually ended up being a total of  $71.36.  Usually we would not pay that much for a room, but we needed a paid stay at a Marriott to complete a promotion.  The promotion just required two paid stays to receive one category 5 cert.  We had already made a paid Marriott stay a few months ago on our anniversary trip.  I’m hoping that cert will come in handy somewhere…Paris?  Prague?  I don’t know but we’ll squeeze all the luxury we can out of it. 🙂

BRG at the InterContinental Budapest

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Success #3. I love BRG’s at the InterContinental.  They give you “your first night free.”  This is even true with one night stays.  To make this free say even better, Drew recently attained Royal Ambassador Status which basically gets you a guaranteed suite upgrade (provided a suite is available.)  Rather than take advantage of fancy suites, we like to negotiate with the hotel to see if they’ll downgrade our room in exchange for lounge access.  We’ve had mixed success with this here in Europe but at the InterContinental Budapest they were happy to oblige.

2 Comments on “Taking advantage of Best Rate Guarantees

    • Actually we don’t do BRG’s all that often (I think we’ve BRGed only about two IHG properties during our Europe time) but it’s something we want to do more of in the future.

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