Marriott Look No Further & SPG Best Rate Guarantee Program Update May 25, 2018

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Marriott has updated the Best Rate Guarantee terms of its Look No Further (applies to Marriott properties) and SPG Best Rate Guarantee-programs effective May 25, 2018.

Marriott SPG Look No Further

These programs are now brought under the same set of rules mainly from the Marriott side and requiring that the claims are done minimum of 24 hours before of hotel’s standard check in time (Marriott allowed 10PM local time day of checking in) and within 24 hours of making the reservation.

You can access Marriott’s page for the Look No Further here.

You can access SPG’s page for the Best Rate Guarantee here.

Here are the updated T&Cs:

There are few guarantees in life. But our Look No Further® Best Rate Guarantee is one of the best. It assures that you’ll always get the best rate available when you book directly with Marriott®. Here’s how it works:

  • Make a reservation using any official Marriott reservation channel (Marriott.com, Starwood.com, Marriott App, SPG App, Marriott/Starwood Hotel Telephone Reservations, or directly with a hotel).
  • If you find a lower rate for the same hotel, same room type, and same reservation dates on a non-Marriott website or non-Marriott mobile app (“Comparison Rate”) you may submit a Best Rate Guarantee claim.
  • If we approve your claim, we’ll match the Comparison rate AND give you your choice of either an extra 25% discount on the room (20% discount for Design Hotels) OR give you 5,000 Marriott Rewards points / 2,000 SPG points.

Participating Brands

The Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee applies to Marriott branded hotels unless otherwise specified below.

The Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to Ritz-Carlton Montreal, The Ritz London, Ritz-Carlton Residences, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott’s Grand Residence Club, The Ritz-Carlton Club, The Ritz-Carlton Residence, or any other properties operating under Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation brands, its subsidiaries and its affiliates. The Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to Tribute Portfolio Homes, Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club, or any other properties/units owned or managed by Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc., its subsidiaries and its affiliates.

Applicable Rates

Certain rates do not apply to this guarantee. For example, a comparison rate does not qualify if it is not publicly available, such as negotiated corporate rates, senior or group rates, or rates available through paid memberships (AAA, etc), rates negotiated for extended stays (beyond 30 nights), rates that have different rules such as cancellation or refund policies, or rates that include differing guaranteed custom room options.

Comparing Marriott channel rates to those found during later searches on Marriott channels (including Marriott-affiliated, private label, or property standalone websites) are not eligible for the guarantee.

We do not accept package rates that include a combination of a room and travel, airfare, cruise, car rental, etc; We cannot guarantee that room plus other components or amenities such as non-breakfast meals, tickets, gas coupons, etc., can be applied to the reservation.

Rates on auction websites, on sites that do not disclose the hotel brand until the reservation is completed (i.e., Priceline and Hotwire), on sites that require a login or specific credit card to view or book, or on sites that don’t provide an immediate confirmation (e.g., an “on request” rate) are not accepted. Pre-paid, advance purchase, or non-refundable rates on Ctrip/Trip.com or Fliggy are not eligible.

Rates booked on or compared to the following SPG in-language booking sites are not eligible: Arabic, Indonesian, Thai and Turkish.

Submission Guidelines

You must find a qualifying Comparison Rate and submit a completed claim form within 24 hours of booking the reservation through the Marriott reservation channel, and at least 24 hours before the standard check-in time at the applicable Marriott Hotel. The name on the claim form must match the name on the confirmed Marriott reservation, and only one claim may be submitted per reservation. When submitting the claim, you must choose either the points award option or the discount off the lower rate option – Marriott will not accept guest requests to modify this selection after the claim has been submitted. Reward points are only awarded to loyalty program members. If chosen, points applicable to the claim will be awarded 7-10 business days after guest checkout on the approved reservation.

All approved claim rewards (either points or discount) will only be available for up to three guest rooms.

Verification Process

Marriott will contact you within 24 hours of receiving your claim. Rate comparisons will be made net of any taxes, gratuities, or any other fees associated with the room rate, and the Comparison Rate must still be available and accessible by the Look No Further agent processing the claim at the time Marriott validates the claim. A claim may be invalidated with any changes made to the reservation after the Marriott approval, including name changes. This may result in a change in rate or cancelation of the reservation.

Claims made against only a portion of your entire scheduled stay will not be honored. Multiple claims for a stay consisting of two or more nights in the same week at the same Marriott Hotel or Marriott Hotels in the same geographic location (e.g. city) may be treated as one claim for one stay, even if booked through more than one reservation.

Marriott may deny claims where the difference between the comparison rate and the Marriott rate is less than $1. Rate disparities primarily attributable to fluctuations and/or differences in currency exchange rates are excluded from the guarantee.

Marriott is not responsible for any fees or other costs incurred due to cancelation of a reservation.

Marriott reserves the right to deny a claim, if it cannot independently verify the availability of a Comparison Rate at the time it processes the claim. Screen images of comparison offers will be used to assist with claim review procedures but will not be accepted as validation of a comparison offer.

For claims submitted against Design Hotels Partner Hotels, it must be a currently available published room rate available online or on a mobile application for the same Design Hotels Partner Hotel and the same dates that is lower than the lowest rate available on the Marriott channel, regardless any other factors including the number of guests, room type, view, room size or amenities,.

Other Details

Employees of Marriott, of its affiliates and subsidiaries, and any Marriott brand hotel, and members of such employees’ families residing at the same location are not eligible.

When multiple rates for the same hotel, reservation dates, and room type are available through a Marriott channel you must reserve the lowest rate for that room type to be eligible for the guarantee.

Marriott may deny claims if it believes this guarantee is being intentionally abused or manipulated to circumvent its intent.

Void where prohibited by law. Marriott reserves the right to modify or cancel the guarantee at any time without prior notice. Marriott may reject claims Marriott reserves the right to cancel any previously approved claim if it finds that the guest violated or circumvented these terms and conditions and to cancel and reject any other and future Best Rate Guarantee claims from any such guest. In such event, the guest will remain bound to the terms of any bookings made on any channels, including cancellation terms.

Marriott.com Terms of Use apply to the Best Rate Guarantee.

Previously, SPG has never cared about differences in cancellation/refund policies when comparing Starwood and third party rates.

Now, you cannot compare per the T&Cs flexible rate on SPG’s site to a lower prepaid rate on third party website even when there are no other rates available for booking on direct channel.

Properties can happily offload cheaper inventory on third party platforms if they make sure that they don’t have prepaid rates available on SPG’s website.

Marriott members have been able to utilize the Look No Further guarantee until 10PM on the day of arrival (you still need to make the claim within 24 hours of making the reservation). Now, you must make it minimum 24 hours before scheduled check in time.

Conclusion

Marriott here has implemented the worst from both Marriott’s and SPG’s Best Rate Guarantee programs and calls it “one of the best”.

The terms now also state that you cannot file Best Rate Guarantee claim without having a reservation. Previously with SPG you could. Sometimes hotels sell their inventory to third parties leaving nothing to the official channel. SPG forced hotels to accept reservations via the Best Rate Guarantee program as long as their inventory was available on OTAs.

I really liked the functionality to do Look No Further claims with Marriott even for same day arrivals that were processed very promptly. Now, you need to file them minimum 24 hours before scheduled check in time.

Does anyone still believe that it will be the best of both worlds rather than the absolute worst?

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