Update On Orbitz Best Price Guarantee: Extremely Fast Processing Times & Redeeming Orbucks At The Same Time

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Almost all major hotel chains and online travel agents (OTA’s) offer a ‘Best Price Guarantee’ but the speed in which Orbitz is currently processing their claims impressed me so much that I have to write about it.

Orbitz is a great platform to book flights and also hotels in cities where independent, non-chain hotels make the most sense to stay it either due to price, location or simply because there are no chain properties around.

I’m using Orbitz several times a month and prefer it over most other OTA’s because they have a very clear and simple website, always discount coupons for 10-15% and their pwn loyalty currency ‘Orbucks’ which is credited to the account based on the purchase price and can be used like cash for future prepaid hotel booking.

You can access Orbitz here.

It also explains how the Best Price Guarantee works and the $50 reward when a claim is approved will also be added to your account as Orbucks which means you can combine all the Orbucks you have to make one single purchase rather than applying it one by one as a coupon like Expedia does it.

I needed to book a hotel in Berlin for an upcoming weekend and while I’m usually a fan of the Grand Hyatt, this time the location didn’t suit me well and their rates were outrageous so I decided to shop around to see what was available at the Kurfuerstendamm area. I was surprised to see the Lindner Hotel being on sale and also showing a big difference to a competitors website per Orbitz price comparison chart.

Keep in mind the Travelocity price is without tax while the Orbitz price does already include the tax for hotels in Germany but there was still a difference of US$3.56 which I filed for.

It only took 26 minutes to receive a reply back from Orbitz confirming the claim has been accepted.

Doing a price match with hotels themselves can sometimes take days to process and until then the compared price might be gone already. Often the screenshot alone isn’t enough to get it approved so your claim is being flat out denied. The speedy process Orbitz has at the moment is really good for the customer. Keep in mind though that at the time I sent out the claim it was afternoon in Asia and the middle of the night in the U.S. which might have something to do with it.

What’s especially good is that it doesn’t matter how you end up paying for the reservation meaning all cash, in combination with a coupon code and even Orbucks as the loyalty currency is counted as cash.

While their current 15% discount code ‘BIGADVENTURE’ didn’t work with the Lindner (chain hotels are usually excluded) I was able to use roughly US$50 in Orbucks from previous purchases, bringing the total down to US$35.28 with US$50 in new Orbucks for the BRG being added a month after the completed stay.

I was also able to do a ‘back to back’ claim which means I did one for Friday and one for Saturday at the same hotel, making this an even better deal. This is not against the rules for the Orbitz Price Match (same like Expedia) but most hotel chains restrict this for their own Best Price program.

During this process I also checked out the Lindner chains own BRG program but didn’t find it attractive. They only offer to match the price (if approved at all) and ‘maybe – if possible’ (non guaranteed) upgrade of the room. I rather take the US$50 if you ask me.

Conclusion

As often as I use Orbitz these Orbucks are as good as cash to me and the fact that I can combine them even for larger purchases makes it even more attractive. I think that Orbitz handles their Best Price Guarantee really fair and approves verifiable claims even if the difference is just a few cents though in this case it was a couple dollars.

It is easy to earn several hundreds of dollars in these guarantees and later use them towards hotel bookings where there are no chain hotels or independent hotels are better service, location, property or price wise. Keep in mind though that you can do a maximum of three Best Rate Claims per month after which you could change to do the same or Cheaptickets (also owned by Expedia, just another surface but same system as Orbucks [they call it Cheapcash]) or Expedia itself.

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