Hilton also has a Best Rate Guarantee (which hotel chain doesn’t) and I have not read or heard anything too positive about it.
I am going to be staying in Cairo for a night between flights and decided to check one of the Hilton hotels in the city and to see if there are any Best Rate Guarantee opportunities around.
You can access Hilton’s web page for Best Rate Guarantee here.
The next time you book a room through an official Hilton Worldwide booking channel, we guarantee that you will be offered the best possible rates. In fact, we are so confident with our best rate guarantee, that in the unlikely event you do find a cheaper rate elsewhere within 24 hours of your booking, we want you to let us know. If we are able to verify your claim within 24 hours, we will not only match the lower the rate but we will give you US $50, subject to the following terms and conditions.
The key is “able to verify” and subject to he “following terms and conditions”. Usually, the T&C’s of BRG programs (sans SPG) are rather restrictive and quite difficult to claim under.
- You must find a lower publicly available rate (“Lower Rate”) on a non-Hilton Worldwide booking channel (except for “opaque” websites) for the Same Accommodations. “Same Accommodations” means the same room type, at the same hotel, with the same dates and length of stay, same number of guests, same designation as either cancellable or non-cancellable, same advance purchase policies, and the same terms and conditions governing the room rate.
- You or your Travel Agent on your behalf must complete and submit a claim form to Hiltons guest assistance department in accordance with the claim forms instruction, or you must call 1-800- HILTONS (International: 00 800 888 44 888) and follow the telephone representatives instructions to process the claim.
- You must submit your claim within 24 hours of making your reservation and at least 24 hours prior to your arrival at the hotel.
- The Same Accommodations must be available for purchase at the Lower Rate when we validate your claim.
- You may only submit one claim for each stay. A “stay” means the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel by the same guest or guests.
- Rate comparisons will be made net of taxes, gratuities, service charges, early departure fees, or other fees and incidental charges.
The key here is how closely the Guest Assistance team that handles these claims follow the above restrictions. It is not uncommon for the cancellation policies to differ by an hour or two.
Our Guarantee does not apply to the following:
- Reservations booked through a non-Hilton Worldwide booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel.
- Rates available on “opaque” websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made (e.g., Priceline.com, Hotwire.com).
- Hotel packages or travel packages which may include hotel, airfare, car rental, food and beverage offers or other similar packages or amenities.
- Discount or negotiated rates not available to the general public, including but not limited to the following rates: membership (e.g., AAA, AARP or Saga), corporate, government, promotional, unpublished, Senior HHonors®, employee, offline wholesale/FIT, pre-paid rates which may include a voucher (including electronic vouchers), group or other specially negotiated rates.
- Reservations made within 24 hours of arrival.
- Taxes, gratuities, service charges, early departure fees, or other fees and incidental charges.
- Rate disparities due to fluctuations, rounding, or differences in the currency exchange rates.
Hilton also has a long list of rates that the Best Rate Guarantee is not applicable for that are listed above. Many 3rd party sites provide a voucher by email that the guest must turn in at the time of checking in. These rates and sites are excluded per the guarantee.
Best Rate Guarantee Case: Ramses Hilton
I found one seller that had very interesting price for this particular hotel that was roughly 50% off of the Hilton.com one.
Made the booking on the Hilton.com first…
…. and then filed the Best Rate Guarantee form and submitted it. The confirmation promised that someone from Hilton would be in touch by email within 24 hours.
It took 36 hours and 34 minutes to get the reply from Hilton and I was surprised that they accepted the claim (my very first with them) and lowered the matched rate by an additional $50 because:
For Hotels outside the USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, we will adjust your bill by US $50 (or local currency equivalent).
For Hotels inside the USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, we will give you a US $50 American Express Gift Cheque. The Gift Cheque will be sent to you the next business day after your stay, as reserved, is completed.
My first experience with Hilton’s Best Rate Guarantee was rather positive, although the reply time was rather long. I would say that reasonable verification time should be more than 6 hours, as hotel rates change often.
The Ramses Hilton must be dumping their rates outside of Hilton.com. The 3rd party site has their margin of 10% to 20% built into the rate too.
Have you had positive and/or negative experiences with Hilton’s Best Rate Guarantee program?