After much effort, I finally managed a BRG success.
First, tried Quality Inn Buffalo Airport to a site that had a lower price, but only let me cancel until noon the previous day, not 4 PM. Booked one king bed, and that disappeared from the 3rd party site before they checked, so booked two queens was rejected for the 4 hour difference.
Then (a week later, after canceling my Choice reservation) found the king bed cheaper on booking.com, booked and submitted again, and the king bed disappeared from booking.com an hour later, again before they checked my claim.
Finally, found two queen bed room at Rodeway Inn Amherst (10 miles away), again on booking.com, for $5 cheaper than Choice. Booked, submitted claim, approved. Two rooms, too, free for the one night, after coming back from Cooperstown before flying out early the next morning.
Got my confirmation email at 5:30 PM. Now, at 8:30 PM, booking.com shows no availability. Glad someone was working late. Edit: actually, I can't find any availability on any dates for that hotel on booking.com anymore. Maybe Choice pulled it?
- Minimum difference required: US$1 (or equivalent in other currencies).
- Same currency: The lower rate offered by the third-party website must be quoted and priced in the same currency as listed on a Choice branded website.
- Time of claim: Within 24 hours from the booking time and at least 72 hours from 6pm of the date of arrival.
- Method to claim: Submit a claim form and will be contacted in 48 hours.
- Offer if approved: First night free and rate for subsequent nights is matched.
There are some common restrictions:
- Publicly available rate only: No negotiated rate, membership rate, opaque rate, etc.
- No first night free but only a price match if a lower rate is available on a Choice branded website than the rate on the third-party website.
The T&Cs say:
4. Free Night Limit: one (1) free night per household for any thirty day period between Booking check-in dates.
- The limit is in reference to one (1) free night per CRS confirmation number which may include up to 9 individual guest rooms. (Example: CRS confirmation number 54689875 for Mr. Smith is for 6 rooms for 5 night. The 1st night of stay for each of the 6 rooms is free with the remaining 4 nights at the advertised lower rate for each room)
What, if they approve today (September) a booking for November? Will I be allowed to submit a new claim after one month from now on or one month from the check-out in November?
I never booked with Choice Hotels before because they closed my account for an unknown reason. Submitted yesterday a claim for Beijing and was approved. I am impressed. Hope that this was not only a good first impression