Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Have you ever booked a hotel room and realized later that you could have gotten a better price elsewhere?
Did you know that most major hotel chains guarantee that you’ll find the lowest price for a room on their website? And if you find a lower rate somewhere else, they’ll match or beat the price (and sometimes give you other goodies, like a free night!).
I’ll be writing about each chain in depth individually, but for now, here’s a summary of the major chains’ Best Rate Guarantee policies.
Hotel Chain Best Rate Guarantees
Each hotel chain has different terms and conditions on their Best Rate Guarantee programs. But generally, for a valid claim you’ll need to find a lower priced room on another website that is identical to the room offered by the hotel. This usually means that the hotel, date, bed type, room occupancy, currency, and cancellation policy must be the same.
And typically, the website you find the cheaper rate on must be publicly viewable. So that rules out sites that hide the hotel until you book like Priceline and sites requiring you to login, like TravelPony.
But read the terms and conditions for each hotel chain carefully!
|Hotel Chain||Will They Match the Lower Rate?||First Night of Stay Free?||Cash Back or Gift Card?|
|Best Western||Yes||No||Yes ($100 Gift Card)|
|Club Carlson||Yes, plus a further 25% discount||No||No|
|Hilton||Yes||No||Yes ($50 Cash)|
|Hyatt||Yes, plus a further 20% discount||No||No|
|Marriott||Yes, plus a further 25% discount||No||No|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||Yes, plus a further 20% discount or 2,000 points per stay||No||No|
|Wyndham||Yes, plus a further 10% discount||No||No|
1. Best Western
Best Western guarantees that you’ll always find the lowest rates on their website. If you find a lower rate for the same room after you’ve booked with Best Western, they’ll match the rate and give you a $100 Best Western gift card!
You have to submit your claim within 24 hours of booking. And you can’t submit a claim if your stay begins in less than 48 hours.
Here are the terms and conditions of the program. Lots of Best Western hotels cost less than $100 a night, so the gift card is like getting a free night!
2. Choice Hotels
If you find a lower rate (at least 1% or $1 lower, whichever is higher) online after booking, you can submit a claim. If it’s approved, you’ll get the 1st night of your stay free, and any subsequent nights at the lower rate. For a 1-night stay, it means your whole stay is free!
The terms and conditions of the program say you have to submit your claim within 24 hours of booking. And if your stay begins within 72 hours, your claim won’t be approved.
3. Club Carlson
After you book a Club Carlson room online, if you find a lower competing rate (by at least $1 or equivalent in local currency), you can submit a claim. If it’s approved, Club Carlson will match the competing rate and give you a further 25% discount.
Club Carlson’s terms and conditions say the claim must be filed within 24 hours of booking, and the stay must begin at least 48 hours from when submit the claim.
If you find a lower rate online after booking with Hilton, they’ll match the rate and give you $50 back!
According to their terms and conditions, you need to submit your claim within 24 hours of booking. $50 back is a pretty good deal!
Hyatt guarantees you’ll get the best rate when you book on their website. If you find a cheaper room elsewhere, they’ll match the rate and give you a further 20% discount for your entire stay.
According to the terms and conditions, you have to submit your claim within 24 hours of booking.
Link: IHG Best Price Guarantee
Like Choice Hotels, if you find a lower rate online, they’ll give you the 1st night of your stay free and match the lower price for subsequent nights. So if you’re only staying 1 night, you get a free stay!
Their terms and conditions also require you to submit your claim within 24 hours of booking.
Marriott includes Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C., ExecuStay, and Marriott Executive Apartments Grand Residences by Marriott brands.
If you find a lower rate, Marriott will match the rate and give you a further 25% off the room. Their guarantee does NOT apply to certain brands (Ritz-Carlton for example).
Like other chains, Marriott requires you to submit your claim within 24 hours of booking.
8. Starwood Preferred Guest
If you find a lower rate, Starwood will match it. And they’ll also give you either a 20% discount, or 2,000 points per stay. That’s enough for a weekend night at a category 1 hotel.
Their terms and conditions say your claim must be submitted either prior to or within 24 hours after making your reservation. You do not have to have a reservation to file a best rate guarantee claim!
Wyndham hotels include Baymont Inn, Days Inn, Hawthorne Suites, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Microtel, Ramada Super 8, Travelodge, Wingate, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Garden, and Wyndham Grand Collection.
Their best rate guarantee says if you find a lower rate, they’ll match it and give you a further 10% discount. That’s it. No other goodies!
You’ll need to submit your claim within 1 business day of booking your room. Here are their full terms and conditions.
The major hotel chains all guarantee that their room rates are the cheapest. If you find a lower rate, you might be able to submit a best rate guarantee claim. But the cheaper room generally has to match exactly to the room you booked.
Each hotel’s program is slightly different, but typically they’ll match (or further discount) the competing rate. And some give away free nights, cash, or gift cards!
Have you had success with a best rate guarantee claim? Let me know in the comments!
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 16,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!