A Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) is a program offered by many hotels where they’ll match and beat rates found on competing booking sites like Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz, etc. These competing sites have become popular since you can often find better rates than those that are offered directly through the hotels. But that doesn’t mean you should jump on the deal right then and there. Hotels offer the BRG service as an incentive to get you to book your reservations directly through them. When you book a reservation through a competing travel site, the hotel doesn’t make as much money. It’s basically like telling a salesman you found a cheaper price somewhere else and if they want to make a sale, then they’ll match the price and beat it.
There are a few details to be aware of and they play a role in whether or not your BRG requests will be validated. Generally, sites like Priceline and Hotwire, where they offer a name-your-own-price format, are not accepted since rates can be well below normal. Here’s a run down of how to go about finding a BRG rate:
- Have flexible travel dates – This will increase the chances of finding a favorable rate. If your dates are fixed, try to look as far in advance as possible so there’s time to find rates you can use towards a BRG.
- Check rates – Determine which hotel you want to stay at and look up rates for your preferred dates.
- Visit a travel site like Kayak.com – Kayak lists several rates at competing sites all at once and this will give you a nice overview of rates to compare against your hotel’s rates.
- Verify the room and rate information is identical – Once you’ve found a better rate, make sure all of the reservation information is the same as on the hotel’s site, like dates, bed type, number of guests, etc. The details must be identical for the BRG to be validated.
Let’s say you find a rate that offers breakfast and you try to submit a request on a rate that doesn’t offer breakfast. Since the hotel rate doesn’t include breakfast, the competing rate will not qualify for a BRG. Or let’s say you find a rate that includes taxes and fees. The hotel rate doesn’t include taxes and fees yet so the competing rate will not qualify.
Let’s look at some of the Best Rate Guarantee offers for different hotel chains and how to start the process:
- Hyatt – You can submit a request before booking a reservation or within 24 hours of making a reservation. If your rate is validated, Hyatt will match the price and beat it by 20%. Call (888) 96-HYATT (964-9288) to submit your request.
- Starwood – You can submit a request before booking a reservation or within 24 hours of making a reservation. Starwood will match the price and give you the option of taking an additional 10% off the rate or give you 2,000 Starpoints. To submit your request, use Starwood’s Claim Form.
- Marriott – According to Marriott’s website, they ask you to have a pre-existing reservation booked through Marriott channels and you can submit a request within 24 hours of making your reservation. They will match the price and beat it by 25%. Submit your request using Marriott’s Claim Form.
- Hilton – According to Hilton’s terms of their BRG, they require you to book a reservation through Hilton channels first and you also have 24 hours to submit a request using their claim form or by calling 1-800-HILTONS. If your request is validated, you’ll receive a $50 American Express Gift Card.
- Priority Club – You must have an existing reservation booked through IHG channels and you also have 24 hours to submit a request using the online claim form. If your request is validated, you’ll receive 10% off of your rate.
If you enjoy hunting for deals, you’ll enjoy hunting for BRGs. Some people have saved over $100/night after factoring in the incentives. Good luck and happy hunting!