Home Hotels My One Success With A Hotel’s Best Rate Guarantee

My One Success With A Hotel’s Best Rate Guarantee

by joeheg

Most of the points and miles I earn for our trips come mainly through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses. However, there was a time, not too long ago, when I wasn’t earning as many miles and I paid for much of our travels. In fact, until recently, I focused our award redemptions on occasional business class airline trips. When it came to booking hotels, I searched for the lowest price, only occasionally splurging on a luxury hotel if I found a good rate.

I was reminded of this when I was searching around my computer files and came across a screenshot linked to the only time I was able to use a hotel chain’s best rate guarantee.

Remember, travel hacking isn’t only about credit card sign-up bonuses. It also includes skiplagging and mistake fares for air travel and best rate guarantees for hotels. I choose to focus on the credit card side of the system because I’m able to sign up for multiple cards and have expenses to meet spending requirements. However, that wasn’t always the case and back then I’d try to gain an advantage wherever I could.

Hotel chains want you to book through their direct channels and use the carrot and stick approach. The stick part is not giving you loyalty benefits (either by earning loyalty points or getting status perks) if you book through a third party. The carrot is by giving you those benefits but also offering to match if you find a lower price anywhere else.

This was the golden age of the “Best Rate Guarantee.” Of course, hotels have since found ways to weasel out of matching prices by putting onerous restrictions on the guarantee. In fact, back in 2015 it was relatively easy to put in a claim for a hotel to match a price you found online.

When I was looking for a hotel in Washington D.C., I used TripAdvisor to look for hotels. I saw a low rate that I couldn’t believe. A website was offering the Park Hyatt for $221 a night. Even back then, that was a steal for the 3rd highest rated hotel in the city.

At the time I had never heard of Amoma.com (which is now owned by Booking.com.) However, you didn’t have to book with the website at the time, only prove that another website offered a lower price to have Hyatt match it. In addition, Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee was that they’d match the rate you found and offer a 20% discount.

I took a screenshot and saved the website and submitted a claim to Hyatt. After verifying my claim, I had a room at the Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

I’m not sure if Sharon was impressed, but she did give this update on her Facebook.

(Note from Sharon: Yep, I was impressed)

In fact, we paid $175 for the room.  I received an email before the stay offering an uprgrade to Park Junior Suite for an additional fee. I think it was another $30-40 per night. I can’t tell the exact price because I added our dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern and drinks at the bar the next evening to the bill.

Note from Sharon – they made THE BEST daiquiris there!

At the time, this was one of the fanciest hotels rooms we had ever seen. It was two different rooms. We had a living room.

And a bedroom.

And a shower that was bigger than our bathroom at home.

Note from Sharon: Joe’s going down memory lane got me to check out my pictures from when we stayed there. And what do you know…I did a quick video of our room!

Oh, and about the dinner a Blue Duck Tavern. We were treated like royalty because we were staying in a suite. The waiter came to the table to thank us for dining and comped our bottle of wine and our apple pie dessert (I wanted to ask if he knew how much I was paying for the room I got from a BRG + suite upgrade LOL).

To cap off our stay, the hotel concierge arranged for us to get a ride to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in the hotel’s chauffeured BMW. Our driver said we were much better company than guests he usually drove to the US Capitol or to lobbyist’s offices on K Street.

While it’s tougher to find Best Rate Guarantee deals than it was before, it’s not impossible. I still read of people who are able to save on hotels using this method. I just don’t focus on them anymore because I’m able to pay 30K Hyatt points for a club room at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Does anyone else have an awesome Best Rate Guarantee story?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Kafka July 27, 2022 - 4:32 pm

I’m 3 out of 6 getting hotels to match the Citi Prestige 4th night free rate, and 2 of 2 getting them to match Hotwire’s “secret hotel” rates (based on their pictures). You can basically only do this with boutiques or at the front desk, as the major chains insist on it being a publicly visible rate, and most OTAs now jack their prices up 10% unless you sign in. Even if they can’t match it, they’ll try to help you out: a Hilton manager applied my status perks to an Expedia booking, giving an upgrade, breakfast, early check-in, and parking.

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