InterContinental Hotels Group has again changed the terms and conditions of its Best Rate Guarantee program, where guests can get the first night free if they find a lower price on competing website after making a booking on any of the IHG’s websites.
I have written about this program few times. Sometimes the terms have become stricter and sometimes more relaxed. This time the terms and conditions become more restrictive. You can access the updates terms and conditions here.
Here are the changes:
1. You can no longer validate the claim over the phone. From now on, you need to use the online claim form to validate the claim. I have always preferred to do the claim over the phone, because the prices on competing websites can change.
2. The booking must be guaranteed with a valid credit card.
3. The requirement of even the “view” to be the same has been added to the terms and conditions.
4. For the hotels in greater China (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau) prepaid rates on third party websites can be compared to lowest rate on IHG’s websites.
5. You cannot claim a free room within 50 miles of your home address (IHG Rewards Club address).
6. You can only make ONE claim within any 7 day period for the same IHG hotel or hotel within 50 miles of each other.
This last point is unclear. Does it mean that you can only make one claim within 7 days of making the reservation or within 7 days of the actual stay?
These changes to IHG’s Best Rate Guarantee program are never ending. I don’t like the requirement of having to use the online form, because they (IHG) can then process the claims days/hours after to make sure that the third party website no longer has the lower rate available.
Also, adding a seven day requirement is backpedaling, although this was 30 days at some point in past.