School of SPG 8 – Starwood Preferred Guest Best Rate Guarantee
One of the best benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest program is its fantastic Best Rate Guarantee.
In a nutshell, the Best Rate Guarantee allows you to price-match (lower) rates from third-party hotel booking websites to rooms booked through Starwood Preferred Guest.
What the Best Rate Guarantee offers
For 2017, IF you book a SPG hotel through SPG, and then discover a cheaper rate elsewhere within 24 hours, you can register a claim under the Best Rate Guarantee.
Once approved, SPG will then:-
- match the competing rate
- ALSO give you a 20% discount OR 2, 000 Starpoints
Full terms are available here and the claim form is available here
A real-life example – Los Angeles Downtown Sheraton
1) Find a hotel
My first time lodging a Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) claim was in 2013, when I was looking to stay at Los Angeles Downtown Sheraton (now the Sheraton Grand Los Angeles).
Check your hotel – or proposed SPG Partner Hotel (e.g. if it’s a Design hotel) – is participating by using this list.
2) Book a room with SPG
Ensure the room you are looking to price match is a commonly available room on third-party hotel booking sites. In this case, a King Deluxe at the Sheraton was listed for $189 on the SPG app.
Ensure your SPG booking is made AT LEAST 24 hours before check-in time (48 hours if you're matching a non-English website).
3) Find a Competing Rate
On Hipmunk.com, the same room was available for $133.96 – this is the ‘Competing Rate’.
4) Document BOTH rates are available AT THE SAME TIME
This is where screenshots will save you a LOT of work. If you haven't an app for screenshots, either take photographs of the screens showing BOTH booking websites (including rate and availability) or download one.
To be successful making a claim, you need to show the Competing Rate (and same room) was available at the time of booking. Screenshots work well as they can be emailed with the claim.
5) Complete a claim form online
For speed, completeness and efficiency, it's best to follow-up immediately by emailing your screenshots to email@example.com. As you've already filed a BRG claim, you should also include your claim reference number.
Once your claim is approved, you will need to email back to firstname.lastname@example.org with your confirmation number. You will also need to decide if you wish to take the discount or the Starpoints. In this case, I took the discount so I received a 10% discount off $133.96, so final price was $120.56 – a saving of $68.44.
How to hack the Starwood Preferred Guest Best Rate Guarantee
The BRG works on several levels:-
- It allows you to stay in SPG hotels, earning Starpoints, Elite qualification and receiving SPG benefits, at lowest possible online rates.
- Rather than take the 20% discount, you could settle for a price match and earn 2,000 Starpoints every stay. Clearly, it's a very quick way to top-up your Starpoints to put towards a flight or award night.
To maximise your chances, ensure:-
- allow enough time for processing (at least 24 hours before check-in, or 48 hours if using a Competing Rate from a non-English website).
- ensure you check all possible third-party websites to get the lowest possible rates.
- choose to compete on standard rooms, rather than suites or upgraded rooms, as they're more likely to be available for comparison online.
This is part of a series of articles on how to maximise Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – our favourite hotel loyalty program.
Do you have any queries or questions about SPG? Feel free to drop us a comment below and we’ll try to answer it for you 🙂
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