The InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) has soon been around for two years and the terms and conditions of this program have changed several times along the way (I probably should do a new write up about this program soon).
It is relatively easy way to score free hotels nights, if you know the rules and have some time to spend. The beauty of the program is that you can get entirely free stay, if your stay is for one night and you can get the BRG applied to it.
First you make the reservation and then contact the IHG BRG’s team either by filling out the web form or by calling the phone number for this department.
The BRG team will verify your claim (call can take 20 to 30 minutes) and tell you on the spot, whether they have approved it or not.
If your claims is approved, the BRG department then contacts the property and request them to change the reservation to a complimentary stay . Usually, it might say something like “HOUSE COMP” as the rate type, if you check your reservation once the BRG has been processed.
What if the property disagrees with the IHG BRG department?
This is when the fun starts. You will receive an email like the one below from the BRG department:
Basically, the IHG will do the reimbursement by a check or bank wire, because the hotel is not willing to comply with the BRG program and adjust the night to a complimentary one.
I am not sure, how long getting the reimbursement will really take, but the 4 to 6 weeks sounds very familiar with all kind of rebates etc.
The set up of this IHG BRG program is weird. Their office in the Philippines can approve/disapprove the claims. In a case of successful claim, they need to contact the actual hotel in question and make them to adjust the rate to include the free night (and possibly lower rate for consecutive paid nights if stay is more than one night).
Of course, the IHG will eventually get the money from the property for the claims that they pay on their behalf, but this is not the most customer friendly way of handling these.