Choice BRG: now $50 gift card

Old Jun 28, 16, 1:57 pm
  #1  
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Choice BRG: now $50 gift card

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
We're committed to offering the best price available onlline. However, if U.S. residents find a lower rate online, let us know so we can match it and give you a $50 Reward Card. International guests will receive their first night free instead. See below for details.

Just saw this change - "international guests will receive their first night free instead"? What ??
Mauibaby2008 is offline  
Old Jun 28, 16, 4:21 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
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No more free Choice rooms in USA - $50 Vanilla VISA

Choice Hotels appears to have changed its BRG policy, which may be why so many are reporting slow response to submissions.
Henceforth US customers who submit a successful claim will receive the lower rate found and a $50 Vanilla Visa card instead of a free room on the first night. International customers will continue to receive the lower rate plus the first night. Note also that the $50 Vanilla Visa reward card is valid only in the United States.
Check it out: https://www.choicehotels.com/deals/best-rate
Full terms and conditions at : https://www.choicehotels.com/legal/best-rate-rules
There doesn't seem to be any information about when or how the $50 Visa is awarded. US customers will be able to collect reward pts on their rate at checkout.
One thing I find a bit disconcerting is that apparently rates for Seniors and AAA auto club members are now also considered for comparison in a claim.

INew rules state: "The Lowest Price Guarantee applies to the following rates: Best Available Rate, Advance Purchase, Choice Privileges membership, promotions, AAA, and Senior/AARP."

So I guess if you have a listed an Auto Club on your membership registration, you would be expected to book that rate (which has the same terms as the Best Available rate - pay at hotel not in advance, for instance). That would not seem right. Also I can't see how the customer service reps could determine which customers are AAA members or aged over 60 without it being an invasion of privacy laws.

That's my news for today. Glad to be a Canadian
tMonk1 is offline  
Old Jun 28, 16, 9:22 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by tMonk1 View Post
Choice Hotels appears to have changed its BRG policy, which may be why so many are reporting slow response to submissions.
Henceforth US customers who submit a successful claim will receive the lower rate found and a $50 Vanilla Visa card instead of a free room on the first night. International customers will continue to receive the lower rate plus the first night. Note also that the $50 Vanilla Visa reward card is valid only in the United States.
Check it out: https://www.choicehotels.com/deals/best-rate
Full terms and conditions at : https://www.choicehotels.com/legal/best-rate-rules
There doesn't seem to be any information about when or how the $50 Visa is awarded. US customers will be able to collect reward pts on their rate at checkout.
One thing I find a bit disconcerting is that apparently rates for Seniors and AAA auto club members are now also considered for comparison in a claim.

INew rules state: "The Lowest Price Guarantee applies to the following rates: Best Available Rate, Advance Purchase, Choice Privileges membership, promotions, AAA, and Senior/AARP."

So I guess if you have a listed an Auto Club on your membership registration, you would be expected to book that rate (which has the same terms as the Best Available rate - pay at hotel not in advance, for instance). That would not seem right. Also I can't see how the customer service reps could determine which customers are AAA members or aged over 60 without it being an invasion of privacy laws.

That's my news for today. Glad to be a Canadian
I posted this a few hours before this but in its own thread

But I guess I'm not really clear. So if I live in NY, any Choice BRG around the world is this $50 bs but if my address were to be , Canada for instance;-) it would be as it always was. Good thing I just got a Times Square one approved a few days ago
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Old Jun 29, 16, 1:45 pm
  #4  
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Or improving?

I hate BRG programs which give a free night. That means you earn no points.

I'd much rather match the lower rate and get a $50 gift card and earn 4000 points for a one-night stay, than get a one-stay totally free and thus earn no points on it.

This would seem to make Choice more in line with programs like Marriott which match the lower rate plus give a 25% discount. With the lower cost of Choice hotels, $50 may often be more than a 25% discount on a one-night stay.

(Because all Choice promotions are stay-based, virtually all my Choice paid stays are only one night long, to maximize those promotions. Thus my total focus on one-night BRGs.)
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Old Jun 29, 16, 4:32 pm
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Still a Devaluation. Unlike Marriot/SPG, you can only do one BRG every 30 days. So a free night 1 day stay is useful, you simply switch hotels after to start earning points.
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Old Jun 29, 16, 5:27 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Programs: Choice Hotels
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I attempted my first BRG submission this evening with their new online form. I will report back on how long it took for me to get a reply. There is a bit of risk with this one, since I booked a nonrefundable rate and compared it to a lower nonrefundable rate.

I booked a comfort inn for $64 and found the same nonrefundable reservation for $51 on multiple other sites. With the effective $25 that will be received as half of the summer promotion added to the $50 gift card, I will be making about $15 in profit in addition to the room. This is assuming if it is accepted, of course.
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Old Jun 30, 16, 3:35 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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20 hours after submitting my claim under the new system, I received a reply.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you for participating in our Choice Hotelsí Lowest Price Guarantee Program.

This program has been designed to allow you, our valued guest, to receive the best possible online rates at over 5,000 Choice Hotels International properties worldwide. We have located the published rate that was submitted on your claim form and are pleased to let you know that your reservation confirmation number ********* at the COMFORT INN & SUITES in ************* for arrival on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 for 1 night, has been approved for our Lowest Price Guarantee Program.

The rate on your Choice reservation has been modified to match the nightly rate of $51.20 USD found on www.expedia.com, and a $50 Reward Card will be sent to you within 45 days after completing your stay.

You will need to contact the COMFORT INN & SUITES directly for the details about the refund process for your original payment, because you reserved a prepaid advance purchase rate.

Please print a copy of this confirmation letter and bring it with you to the hotel. Kindly note, any changes made to the reservation may void this rate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I always get a tiny rush of adrenaline when my BRG's are approved. I was fortunate that my claim was reviewed the next day and the lower rate remained on the other sites. A few take-aways:

----It states that the $50 gift card will be mailed to me within 45 days of my stay. I will report back exactly how long it took me to receive it.

----On a non-refundable, prepaid rate, it states that it will be the responsibility of the hotel to provide a refund in the difference in price. I will report back on whether or not this was done automatically or if I have to request it, and if so, if it was a hassle or not.

Happy hunting
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Old Jul 2, 16, 8:58 am
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Looks like getting a BRG approval will me more difficult. Choice has introduced Member Only Rates. I noticed it this morning July 2 ( 10 am EDT ).
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Old Aug 9, 16, 7:40 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by thunderdeacon View Post
20 hours after submitting my claim under the new system, I received a reply.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you for participating in our Choice Hotelsí Lowest Price Guarantee Program.

This program has been designed to allow you, our valued guest, to receive the best possible online rates at over 5,000 Choice Hotels International properties worldwide. We have located the published rate that was submitted on your claim form and are pleased to let you know that your reservation confirmation number ********* at the COMFORT INN & SUITES in ************* for arrival on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 for 1 night, has been approved for our Lowest Price Guarantee Program.

The rate on your Choice reservation has been modified to match the nightly rate of $51.20 USD found on www.expedia.com, and a $50 Reward Card will be sent to you within 45 days after completing your stay.

You will need to contact the COMFORT INN & SUITES directly for the details about the refund process for your original payment, because you reserved a prepaid advance purchase rate.

Please print a copy of this confirmation letter and bring it with you to the hotel. Kindly note, any changes made to the reservation may void this rate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I always get a tiny rush of adrenaline when my BRG's are approved. I was fortunate that my claim was reviewed the next day and the lower rate remained on the other sites. A few take-aways:

----It states that the $50 gift card will be mailed to me within 45 days of my stay. I will report back exactly how long it took me to receive it.

----On a non-refundable, prepaid rate, it states that it will be the responsibility of the hotel to provide a refund in the difference in price. I will report back on whether or not this was done automatically or if I have to request it, and if so, if it was a hassle or not.

Happy hunting
I received my $50 gift card today, so it took about 3 weeks.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 1:51 pm
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I have a BRG approved in 1 hour 10 mins.
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Old Aug 31, 16, 1:41 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Approved for BRG as an international customer (Canadian) for Ascend hotel Saint James in Toronto. Free night, ~24 hours after submitting.
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Old Sep 13, 16, 7:44 am
  #12  
 
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I have been trying to submit a BRG claim but after I press the submit form button, nothing happens. Is there usually a message that the form has been submitted? I am afraid that if I keep pressing it, it might submit 50 copies!

Last edited by Low Roller; Sep 13, 16 at 8:14 am
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Old Sep 13, 16, 9:05 am
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Yes there is a message. The screen normally refreshes and it says your BRG has been successfully submitted.

It also sends a email confirmation of your BRG being submitted.
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Old Sep 13, 16, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
Yes there is a message. The screen normally refreshes and it says your BRG has been successfully submitted.

It also sends a email confirmation of your BRG being submitted.
Thanks. That's what I expected, so the page must be down. I reached a company rep. via facebook who asked me to email the info, so I sent a screenshot of the form with all the info. We'll see if that works
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Old Sep 14, 16, 6:05 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Free night - woo hoo! My BRG was just approved after finding a rate that was $40 lower on Hotels.com. The online claim form wasn't working but after emailing the info, I had an approval in 4 hours.
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