SPG has probably the most customer friendly Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) program in the industry where members can match the lower price found on the third party site and choose between bonus Starpoints or further discount.
Now, SPG has made changes to the program effective January 4, 2018, partially moving it closer to Marriott’s.
You can access SPG’s page for the BRG here.
READ MORE: SPG Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions
Here are the changes:
– The discount off of the lower third party rate is now 25% instead of the previous 20%. Members can still continue to choose 2,000 bonus Starpoints per stay. Both are for up to three rooms.
– The minimum price difference is now 1 USD instead of 1%.
– The Best Rate Guarantee doesn’t apply to: Rates booked on or compared to the following SPG in-language booking sites: Arabic, Indonesian, Thai and Turkish
It is quite interesting that the BRG wouldn’t apply to rates booked on or compared to the four language booking sites (Arabic, Indonesia, Thai and Turkish). This either implies that those sites have lower or higher prices than the English one and that some sort of price discrimination is indeed in place.
The higher discount 25% instead of 20% makes choosing the discount instead of bonus Starpoints viable option more often in the future especially for those that pay their folios out from their own pocket (rather than take the bonus Starpoints).
The minimum price difference of $1 is better for all rates that exceeds $100 instead of the 1%.
As long as the SPG processes the claims promptly, I don’t see anything negative about these changes.