Starwood has a very good Best Rate Guarantee program that matches the lower third party rate and you can then choose between an extra 10% off (makes sense for longer expensive stays) or 2,000 bonus Starpoints.
You can do the match without having a Starwood reservation first or you can make reservation that you can try to get Best Rate Guarantee to match.
You can access Starwood’s web page for this program here.
This time, however, when I was searching for Best Rate Guarantee options for Buenos Aires, where I am currently on my way, Starwood’s own website didn’t have any availability while 3rd party websites were happily continuing to sell the hotel.
The good thing about the Best Rate Guarantee is that you can still make a valid claim even when there is no room availability on SPG.com. You just have to choose the option of not having the reservation yet.
The team will process the match and will instruct the hotel to make a reservation for you at the lower rate AND the SPG will honor the 2,000 bonus points as well. The team calculates the tax exclusive rate from the competing website’s tax inclusive one.
It took 11 hours for the SPG Best Rate Guarantee team to process this claim from the time I filed it. I have not yet received the confirmation from the hotel that they have completed the reservation, but surely that will come in the next 24 hours or so.
Hotels often sell part of their room inventory for 3rd party sites that continue offering rooms when the “official” channel doesn’t have anything available. It is great that Starwood allows processing of Best Rate Guarantee claims on a situation such as this.
These 2,000 bonus Starpoints per stay that you can get by doing BRG’s nicely spices up the otherwise anemic SPG point earnings.