IHG Rewards Club Best Price Guarantee Change January 8, 2018 (No More Free Nights!)

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IHG Rewards Club “promises” that affiliated hotels always have the lowest available prices on the official website rather than a third party ones such as Expedia or Priceline.

IHG Rewards Club Best Price Guarantee Change January 8 2018

IHG Rewards Club has now drastically modifies its Best Price Guarantee-program effective January 8, 2018, and members are no longer eligible for free night in case they happen to have a valid claim.

You can access IHG’s web page for the Best Price Guarantee-program here.

READ MORE: IHG Rewards Club Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here are the major changes:

– No more free night if lower qualified price is found on third party website.

– IHG Rewards Club now promises to match the lower price and give quintuple points (5X) as a reward for the claim. These are in addition to base, status or other promotional points.

– The Best Rate Guarantee bonus points are capped at 40,000 per successful claim and will be awarded after completion of the stay.

– Removal on number of valid claims that can be filed within same geographical area.

– Exclusion for ANA hotels in Japan and credit card surcharge additions in Australia and New Zealand have been removed.

Conclusion

I took advantage of this Best Rate Guarantee-program number of times when it was first launched and getting valid claims approved using the T&Cs in place at the time was not an issue.

IHG then tweaked the “promise” number of times making the valid price comparison per their T&Cs harder each time. I haven’t wasted my time with this guarantee for several years.

Under the new terms, the 50 points per USD (capped at 40K per claim) award basically means 25% discount off the lower price third party rate if one values IHG points at half of a cent each.

Here are the new terms effective January 8, 2018:

Best Price Guarantee Terms and Conditions

When you book directly with us, we promise you’ll always get the lowest price online. If you find a better price somewhere else, we’ll match it and give you five times the IHG® Rewards Club Points, up to a 40,000-point maximum – so you can focus on your stay, not your wallet.

The Best Price Guarantee program (“Program”) is offered by Six Continents Hotels, Inc., an InterContinental Hotels Group company (“IHG”), and these terms and conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) describe the Program. By filing a claim or otherwise seeking to take advantage of the Program, you agree to these Terms and Conditions. Employees of any InterContinental Hotels Group company or employees at any IHG branded hotel are not eligible for the Program.

The Best Price Guarantee Program is not applicable to hotels in Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

1. Under the Program (as further described below), if you book a hotel room at an IHG branded hotel using any IHG direct channel (such as a branded website, call center or the mobile app), and within 24 hours of making your reservation you find a lower rate online for the same hotel room, number of guests, and reservation dates, and submit a qualified guarantee claim form, we’ll match the lower rate and give you 5X the IHG® Rewards Club points, up to a 40,000-point maximum, for the room rate for that hotel stay.

2. IHG reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, alter, or otherwise update these Terms and Conditions, and/or to add, modify, restrict, suspend, discontinue, or cancel the Program without notice. The Terms and Conditions that are in effect at the time of your booking will determine your eligibility under the Program. Interpretation of Program Terms and Conditions shall be at the sole discretion of IHG.

3. Any disputes arising out of these Terms and Conditions or the offer of the Program shall be resolved individually, without resort to class action, and shall be governed by the laws of the State of Georgia, U.S.A., exclusively by an appropriate federal or state court located in the State of Georgia, U.S.A.

How the Program Works:

4. Book. To be eligible for the Program, you must have a confirmed reservation made through an IHG direct channel, such as an IHG website, call center or the mobile app. The reservation must be booked using the “Best Available” search feature to find the lowest rate available for the chosen room type.

5. Find a Lower Rate. If you find a lower rate on an eligible, non-IHG website within 24 hours of making your reservation on the IHG direct channel, and it is more than 24 hours before the standard check-in time for the hotel where you made your reservation, tell us about it by completing and submitting the online claim form (“Claim Form”). We will verify the lower rate by comparing the rate found on the IHG website or mobile app with the rate found on the non-IHG website for the same hotel, room type, stay dates, number of guests, and cancellation policy.

6. Here are the things we’ll verify when we process your claim. The non-IHG website rate must be:

  • 6.a. In the same currency as the rate you booked through an IHG channel;
  • 6.b. Available to the general public – in other words, you are not required to sign up for any kind of membership or be part of any program, or login to a website, to obtain the rate;
  • 6.c. Available to book at the time of verification;
  • 6.d. Bookable only if you provide a form of payment to complete the booking (rates that do not require a form of payment are ineligible!); and
  • 6.e. At least 1% lower than the current, lowest rate available on the IHG website or mobile app – this accounts for any rounding errors!

The Program applies only to rates found on non-IHG websites that meet all of the above criteria.

7. Examples of rates that are INELIGIBLE for the Program include the following:

  • 7.a. Rates that are not available to the general public (such as negotiated rates, member or loyalty rates, group rates, corporate rates);
  • 7.b. Rates that are not visible to, or bookable by, the general public without additional requirements such as residing in a particular geography, using a login with a username/password, using a specific credit card, using a discount code/coupon, or that require approval/verification via e-mail or phone after payment is submitted;
  • 7.c. Rates on websites that don’t disclose the brand or hotel until the reservation is made;
  • 7.d. Rates on auction websites or that you book using a similar process;
  • 7.e. Package rates that include the room and other components such as transportation, car rental, entertainment, and/or non-breakfast meals;
  • 7.f. Rates on websites that allow confirmed reservations to be re-sold;
  • 7.g. Rates on websites that do not provide immediate confirmation, that do not result in an actual hotel reservation, or that do not provide the ability to make a real-time reservation;

8. File Claim: Within 24 hours of booking your reservation on an IHG direct channel, and at least 24 hours before the standard check-in time for the hotel where you booked your reservation, complete and submit the online Claim Form. Only one claim will be processed per hotel room reservation confirmation number.

9. Valid Claims. If we can verify your claim, we will adjust the rate on the reservation you booked through an IHG direct channel to the lower average nightly rate found on the non-IHG website at the time of verification, and award 5X (5 times) the IHG Rewards Club points for your room rate (the “5X Points Award”), up to a 40,000-point maximum.

10. The 5X Points Award will be calculated on the room rate only, and will not include any other charges billed to your hotel room portfolio. To receive the 5X Points Award, your IHG Rewards Club number must be added to your reservation before check-out at the hotel.  IHG Rewards Club Members with a miles earning preference will earn Points.

11. Any modifications to your reservation after a claim has been validated will prevent the benefits of the Program from applying.

12. The 5X Points Award for a valid Program claim will not exceed 40,000 points. The portion of the 5X Points Award that is above and beyond what you otherwise would have earned on the room rate for your stay, will be awarded as bonus points and will not count towards your IHG Rewards Club membership tier status. The 5X Points Award will have no effect on, nor be affected by, the points you would otherwise earn for your hotel stay, pursuant to the IHG Rewards Club Terms and Conditions.

Limitacions and Exclusions

13. IHG reserves the right to reject any Program claim, and to revoke any and all Program benefits provided for current or future hotel room reservations, for reasons that include but are not limited to, the following:

  • 13.a. violation of these Terms and Conditions;
  • 13.b. misrepresentation of any information in a Claim Form, or any misuse of this Program;
  • 13.c. violation of any national, regional, or local law or regulation in connection with the use of IHG Rewards Club membership privileges;
  • 13.d. transfer or resale of hotel room reservations;
  • 13.e. modification or cancellation of a reservation once a claim for that reservation has been deemed valid;
  • 13.f. commission of fraud or abuse involving any portion of this Program or the IHG Rewards Club program;
  • 13.g. physical, verbal, or written abuse of hotel or IHG personnel; or
  • 13.h. action, in any other way, to the detriment of the Program; all as may be determined by IHG in its sole discretion.

14. By filing a Claim Form or accepting the benefits of a claim that is validated under the Program, you agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless IHG and its parent companies, and its and their affiliates, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, and employees from all claims or damages arising out of any use or misuse of the Program. This Release section does not apply to residents of New Jersey.

Updated on January 8, 2018

Here are the previous terms and conditions that were instituted on June 14, 2016:

IHG Best Price Guarantee Terms and Conditions

Best Price Guarantee is our promise to guests who book directly on our branded websites. We have made additional adjustments to the Guarantee and to the Terms and Conditions to further define what claims will qualify and to further help identify and support valid claims

Best Price Guarantee: We guarantee that every hotel reservation booked through an IHG web site will have the lowest room price (room rate) or total room cost (including all taxes and fees) publicly available on the Internet. If you find a lower room price (room rate) and total room cost (including all taxes and fees) publicly available on the Internet on a non-IHG Website within 24 hours of booking, IHG will provide your first night’s room price free and match the lower average nightly room price found for that stay for the rest of the nights of that stay, subject to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Book. Complete a valid room booking with the lowest available price (room rate) on any IHG website for any IHG branded hotel using the “Best Available Rate Search.” A “valid room booking” means a complete booking with a valid form of payment. Please note that the IHG Best Price Guarantee does not apply to Kimpton® Hotels bookings. Kimpton® Hotels and Restaurants offers its own Best Rate Guarantee with distinct terms when you book directly on KimptonHotels.com. The Best Price Guarantee is not applicable to hotels in Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  2. Lower Price.  If you find a lower room price that also has a lower total room cost (including taxes and fees) for a one-night stay, or a lower average nightly room price that also has a lower average total room cost (including all taxes and fees) for a multi-night stay, on a non-IHG website within 24 hours after booking on an IHG website for the same stay, we will provide you with the first night’s room price at the IHG hotel free and match the lower average nightly room price found for your entire stay for the rest of the nights of your stay after verification of the lower average nightly room price and lower average total room cost (including taxes and fees). Only one free night will be awarded per stay, even if more than one instance of a lower price is located. For valid claims, each additional night’s room price during the stay will be lowered to match the average nightly room price for the entire stay found on the non-IHG website. In the event that a free night reimbursement must be made by check, the check will be addressed and sent to the name and address listed on the reservation that was made on the IHG website upon which the valid claim was based.
  3. Reporting to IHG of a Claim. You must contact us using the online claim form within twenty-four (24) hours after completing your valid room booking on any IHG website to make a claim under the Best Price Guarantee. In addition, the claim must be submitted at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the standard check-in time at the applicable IHG hotel. The average nightly lower room price and lower total room cost must be available for booking at the time of claim verification and both must be lower than those found on an IHG website, as determined by IHG customer service representatives, and in IHG’s sole discretion.
  4. Matching Rooms. The Guarantee is available only for the exact same room type and same view. For example, if you book a king bed with a sofa bed room type and with a] view (e.g., ocean) on an IHG website, and are comparing it to a non-IHG website, you must find a price with the same king bed with sofa bed room type and with a the same view on the non-IHG website.
  5. Matching Terms. All terms of the comparison room reservation, including, but not limited to pre-payment, deposit, number of guests, or other requirements must be equal in all respects to the terms found on an IHG website for your claim to be valid. For example, when you book a room that may be cancelled without penalty on an IHG website, you may not compare it to a room with a pre-paid or non-refundable price on a non-IHG website. At all IHG hotels globally, pre-paid rates on non-IHG sites will be compared with the IHG hotel’s lowest available rate on IHG websites. The Guarantee is not available for bookings on websites where the booking details are unknown until after purchase. Sites that do not reveal the hotel brand name until after the payment has been completed (including bidding sites) do not qualify for this Guarantee.
  6. a. Matching Prices. For multi-night stays, the Guarantee compares the average nightly room price and the average nightly total room cost for your valid room booking with those found on a non-IHG website.

    6. b. Matching Prices – Currency Requirements. The currency of the hotel controls the comparison with the room price and the total room cost on the non-IHG website, and the room price and the total room cost on the non-IHG website must be available, viewable, quoted, booked, and paid for in the currency of the hotel.

    6. c. Matching Prices – Price Variance. The nightly room price and the nightly total room cost (for one night stays) or the average nightly room price and the average nightly total room cost (for multi-night stays) must each be lower than the IHG room price and the IHG total room cost, respectively, by at least 1% or $1 USD (or the equivalent in the hotel’s currency) (whichever is higher). Coupons or vouchers may not be utilized to lower published room prices for the purposes of making a claim. The Guarantee does not include extra fees such as extra person charges, except as stated in paragraph 6.d. and 6.e.

    6. d. Japan. In Japan and on the ANAIHG website, the room price does include extra person fees. ANA hotels are not eligible for Best Price Guarantee rooms, but all other IHG hotels, including ANAIHG hotels, on the ANAIHG website are eligible.

    6. e. Australia/New Zealand. In Australia and New Zealand, due to credit card transaction fees that are applied at the hotel, there must be a minimum difference of 1.5% in the nightly room price and the nightly total room cost or the average nightly room price and the average nightly total room cost, to have a valid claim.

  7. Comparison Prices Must Be Available to the General Public. The Best Price Guarantee applies only to prices both advertised and available to the general public on a non-IHG website at the time of verification. The Guarantee does not apply to prices offered on membership program websites; corporate discounts; negotiated prices; group, rewards program, loyalty program, incentive, meeting, convention, consolidator or interline prices; prices obtained via auction or similar process; or prices available only by using a coupon or other promotion not offered to the general public. The Guarantee also does not apply if the average nightly lower price is obtained from a website where you call to get the price, or from an e-mail that you received.
  8. Packages Comparison. The Guarantee applies to comparing exactly the same packages or inclusive prices with the same included items. Thus, room prices that include food or beverage items such as breakfast or dinner, entertainment items such as tickets to a show, and/or free local calls, parking or other bundled items will be considered as packages, and must be entirely equivalent to be eligible for the Guarantee. All InterContinental Alliance Resort packages are excluded from the Guarantee.
  9. Rewards Points. IHG® Rewards Club points are determined based on the price actually paid by the guest at the time of check out, assuming the price otherwise qualifies for points. Points are not awarded on free nights. The Guarantee does not apply to IHG® Rewards Club Award Nights booked on an IHG website.
  10. Additional Free Night Restrictions. Once a valid claim has been made and approved by IHG for a specific date, no further claims by the same person or anyone in the same household will be accepted for the same date. If an individual or members of the same household make multiple claims for two or more nights in the same fourteen (14) day period at the same IHG hotel or at different IHG hotels within fifty (50) miles of each other, the claims will be treated as, and limited to, one claim for one stay, even if booked through more than one reservation, and only the Best Price Guarantee claim for the first night will be honored. In the event of a valid claim, reservations are non-transferable after the claim is found to be valid, and the name on the reservation must remain the same as when the claim is verified and no additional names may be added to the reservation after the claim is found to be valid. Valid government issued ID is required upon check-in that matches the name found on the reservation. Employees of any IHG company or employees at any IHG hotel are not eligible for the Best Price Guarantee.
  11. Verification of Claims. All claims are subject to verification by IHG. IHG must be able to verify all elements of the claim and the required terms found on the non-IHG website at the time the claim is processed and verify that both the room price and the total room cost at the time of verification are lower than those found on the IHG website. IHG does not accept screen shots of imagery of lower prices provided by guests due to the ease of modification or alteration of such imagery.
  12. Changes to these Terms and the Guarantee. IHG reserves the right to modify, restrict availability, or discontinue the Best Price Guarantee and to make changes to these Terms and Conditions, at any time, for any or no reason, and without prior notice or liability to you. The IHG Best Price Guarantee Terms and Conditions that are in effect at the time of your booking will determine your eligibility under the Best Price Guarantee.
  13. Abuse of Best Price Guarantee. At any time up to the date of stay, IHG reserves the right to revoke any and all benefits of a Guarantee (including the right to cancel a previously awarded free night and the lower prices for the rest of the nights of a multi-night reservation if it is found that a customer has attempted to or has violated or circumvented the Best Price Guarantee Terms & Conditions. Resale of rooms eligible for the Guarantee is strictly prohibited. In the event IHG believes that a room eligible for the Guarantee has been resold, or the Guarantee is otherwise being intentionally abused or manipulated to circumvent its intent, IHG reserves the right to reject future Best Price Guarantee claims from any persons who participated in such actions.
  14. Definitions. A “non-IHG Website” is defined as a website not owned by IHG, that makes IHG rooms inventory publicly available and offers it directly to consumers, and that provides a confirmation of a completed reservation at the moment of completion of that reservation. A “stay” (for purposes of the Guarantee) may be one night; consecutive nights at the same hotel location, regardless of frequency of check-in/check-out; or two or more nights, even if non-consecutive, in the same fourteen (14) day period at the same hotel location. “Within fifty (50) miles” means within fifty (50) miles when seeking directions between locations on Google Maps. Guests are only able to claim one (1) free night per stay at an IHG hotel globally, regardless of location.
  15. Disputes. Any disputes arising out of these Terms and Conditions or the offer of the Best Price Guarantee shall be resolved individually, without resort to class action, and shall be governed by the laws of the State of Georgia, U.S.A., exclusively by an appropriate federal or state court located in the State of Georgia, U.S.A.

Updated on June 14, 2016

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