Starwood offers Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) that promises to match the lower rate found on a third party site and give you an additional 20% off or match the price + 2,000 bonus Starpoints.
The problem this past summer was, however, that the response times were sometimes days and I wrote about this back in late July (access here).
You can access SPG BRG here.
READ MORE: SPG Rate & bonus Points And Miles Promotions
Seems that SPG has again started to process these claims promptly. I have done probably 6 to 8 claims in the past three weeks and all of them were processed in less than a day. Couple of claims were processed within an hour or two after I had filed it.
I really like the way SPG used to handle the claims and is again doing so. Not sure what happened during the summer months when the response times were unacceptable.
The truth is that hotels rarely have their lowest prices available on the branded websites due to individual hotels (chains rarely own any hotels by themselves) selling inventory to third parties at a discount. I had one case where the price on the SPG.com was $250 something compared to less than $100 on 3rd party site.
And Starwood doesn’t take a hit here. Hotels are required to offer their lowest prices on branded site. SPG probably charges a fee for handling each successful claim that gets billed back to the property and the hotel pays for the extra Starpoints that it needs to issue or gets 20% less if the person chooses the further discount option.