Starwood affiliated hotels are required to have their lowest rates available for booking on their own websites. Often, you can, however, find lower rates on third party websites and then the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) kicks in.
I made a more comprehensive piece about BRG program this past spring and you can access it here.
The number of points that you earn from actual stays with SPG, even when you factor in all the promotions, is relatively low compared to other chains (access my comparison here). The SPG promotions haven’t been that exciting this year and, as a result, I have moved most of my stays to other chain.
I am relatively close to Lifetime Platinum status with SPG. I have almost the required number of nights (500), but I need more years as a Platinum to achieve the goal. Due to this, I decided to make an effort to hit the Platinum status again in 2013.
Best Rate Guarantee: Aloft Bangkok
I was exploring the SPG hotel pricing in Bangkok and found out that Getaroom was selling Aloft at a lower price for most of the dates (they have probably fixed it by now).
The price on Getaroom was 3% lower than the discounted rate on SPG.
Best Rate Guarantee: Claim Turnaround Time
I received the confirmation that SPG had received the claim at 1:24AM on November 16.
The confirmation that the claim had been approved arrived 3:32AM the same day.
It took SPG’s BRG department 2 hours and 8 minutes to process the claim.
I don’t normally have time to play with BRG claims, as it can take considerable amount of time to find the sites that offer lower rates and then get the claims approved. Earlier this year, it took two days for the BRG department to process few claims that I had filed. Obviously, the pricing on the 3rd party sites had changed in between.
If you have time in your hands to research pricing on various OTA’s, you can easily earn 2,000 bonus Starpoints per stay by having SPG to process a Best Rate Guarantee claim.