Starwood has made two changes to the terms and conditions of its Best Rate Guarantee program effective January 5, 2015.
Guest can file a claim if they find a lower price on a 3rd party site and Starwood will match it and discount it now by 20% or you can choose 2,000 Starpoints.
You can access Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee program website here.
1. You can now choose between a discount of 20% or 2,000 Starpoints
Starwood has upped the discount from 10% to 20% if the lower 3rd party rate qualifies for the Best Rate Guarantee OR the guest can still choose the 2,000 Starpoints.
2. Claims when the difference is less than 1%
Starwood may deny claims where the difference between the Competing Rate and the rate on the Starwood Website is less than one percent; provided that Starwood will not use the fact that the difference between the Competing Rate and the rate on the Starwood Website is less than one percent to deny such claims if the cancellation policy for the Competing Rate is more favorable to the guest than the cancellation policy for the rate on the Starwood Website.
I had to read and reread this several times to come a conclusion what it might mean. Previously, if the rate difference was less than 1%, your claim was denied.
If I have understood this new “legalese” correctly, they will now entertain claims for differences of less than 1% as long as the 3rd party rate has more flexible cancellation policies compared to the Starwood one.
The discount of merely 10% from the competing rate wasn’t inline what Hilton, Hyatt, IHG or Marriott are offering, although Starwood is far more flexible compared to other what qualifies a successful claim.
I probably did 15 to 20 Best Rate Guarantee claims with Starwood last year and will write a summary type of piece about them. If you use this program correctly, you can spice up your Starpoints earnings.