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SPG Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) 2016 : Success, failure & discussion thread

SPG Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) 2016 : Success, failure & discussion thread

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Old Nov 16, 16, 7:27 pm   -   Wikipost
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What is the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG ?)
If a lower rate at a Starwood Hotel is made available on a non-Starwood website or non-Starwood mobile application, upon its receipt of a claim that satisfies these Best Rate Guarantee terms and conditions, Starwood will honor that Competing Rate and provide the individual that submitted the valid claim one of the following rewards: (1) an additional 20% discount off the Competing Rate per room per night (up to a maximum of three rooms); or (2) 2,000 Starwood Preferred Guestฎ Starpointsฎ per room per stay (up to a maximum of three rooms).

BRG Wiki on Flyertalk

• You cannot BRG against a rate on a Starwood Website/App (hot escapes, promos, Gov. Rate etc.). It has to be a 3rd party website/App.
• Cancellation policy has no bearing on a BRG claim with one exception if the rate difference is within 1%.
"Starwood may deny claims where the difference between the Competing Rate and the rate on the Starwood Website is less than one percent; provided that Starwood will not use the fact that the difference between the Competing Rate and the rate on the Starwood Website is less than one percent to deny such claims if the cancellation policy for the Competing Rate is more favorable to the guest than the cancellation policy for the rate on the Starwood Website."
• A valid Starwood website reservation is required to submit a BRG
• If a room category is available on an external website but not on Starwood, you may still make a claim. You still need to make a booking with Starwood using any other category of room - if your claim is approved the room type in the booking will be modified to match the room type you are claiming for
• Only one claim may be submitted per reservation number (If your first claim is denied, you may submit a new claim for that reservation if you find another lower rate after you receive the denial email)
• Make sure to book a flexible rate on SPG.com. This will allow you to then cancel this booking if you find a lower Starwood rate later (like the hot escapes etc.) or if your travel plans change.
• You can BRG with a flexible rate against a prepaid rate. In other words, if expedia is offering a room for $100 prepaid, and spg.com shows a prepaid room for $150 or a flexible room for $200, you can book the FLEXIBLE spg.com rate and BRG it against the PREPAID $100 expedia rate. And you will receive the flexible cancel terms if the BRG is approved.
• If your comparable rate includes extras like breakfast or parking, make sure there is a room available on spg.com that includes the exact amenities. If there is the same room type with the same amenities on SPG.com, they will compare and if lower on third party, the claim may be approved for the room type and with the amenities. If there is the same room type available but no/different amenities offered, the claim may still be approved, but the rate will be room only.
• Room types must be the same for a BRG.
• If you have an approved and finalized claim and you find an even cheaper rate later, then you may submit a new BRG claim that is not connected to any existing reservation. If this BRG claim is approved, you will need to make a new flexible reservation on SPG.com. Once the process is completed, you will then email the BRG desk to cancel your first reservation, if it is within the cancellation deadline.
• If you find availability for the room type you want on a third party website/app but there is no availability for that room type or no availability for any room type on the Starwood Website, then this may be an approved claim if it meets all other terms and conditions. You will need to make sure that you specify the room type you actually want on the Starwood Website section and enter 0 in the rate and currency. This will ensure that the processing associates know that the room type you want is not available on the Starwood Website. You may also add additional comments near the end of the claim form indicating that there is no availability on the Starwood Website to help clarify.
• Per the FAQ, "Any questions regarding claims should be directed to [email protected] or call 1-866-500-0368." A human is available at this number beginning at 9am EST.

OTAs not eligible because they do not confirm instantly:
  • AsiaWeb
  • Cancelon
  • Ctrip
  • Elvoline
  • HappyRooms
  • Hoteling
  • HotelsClick (Some rates on request, some instant)
  • Ostrovok
  • Roomertravel
  • Laterooms (according to BRG team 24 Oct 2016)


Special Conditions for BRG & Design Hotels
  • You may only claim against the absolute lowest rate on SPG.com, for the date(s) in question.
  • The rate must be the lowest on sale on SPG.com, and is regardless of the type of room you actually want, the number of occupants, cancellation policy and the amenities provided. In all likelihood this will mean you have to use a rate for a standard room, for 1 person, non-refundable and without any amenities.
  • It is not necessary for the rate on the external website to match the SPG.com rate in any way including room type and number of occupants. The only requirement for a successful BRG claim is that the rate be lower than the lowest rate on SPG.com for the date(s) in question.
  • As with normal BRG claims, you need to make a booking before submitting a claim. Since this will likely be a non-refundable booking, note that you are responsible for any and all charges including cancellation charges, even if the claim is not approved.
  • Amenities that are included in the external website's rate but which are not included in the Starwood rate may or may not be provided.
  • You will retain the category of room booked on SPG.com, even if the external website rate submitted for the claim refers to a different category of room. This is especially pertinent in situations where the hotel continues to sell lower categories of rooms on other websites, while not making them available on SPG.com. You will then be able to book a higher category of room on SPG.com, BRG the lower rate, and retain the higher category of room while paying the lower rate.
  • The BRG will be processed for a single occupant, even if the rate does not change for more than one occupant. Your initial booking should also be only for one occupant. If you require a room for more than one, indicate this in the comments section. The BRG team will verify if additional charges are required for more than one occupant and the rate will be modified accordingly.

Differing currencies
• "The Best Rate Guarantee department will approve a claim if there is a difference of 2.5% or greater where the currencies are different or a difference of 1% or greater if the currencies are the same."

Link to T&C
https://www.starwoodhotels.com/bestrate/terms.html

Practicalities During/After Stay
• Reconfirm your rate at check-in; normally the hotel will have the correct BRG rate in your reservation, but sometimes you will need to remind them.
• If you choose points, they will be credited after the stay; check in one week to see if they have posted. If not contact the BRG office to arrange to have them posted.

How to add a SNA to a BRG reservation
• Log into your SPG account
• Click on your stays to view our your current reservation
• Look for your BRG reservation and click on "send confirmation" link for the BRG reservation
• reload the page and you should be able to now select "apply SNA to this stay" link

POSTING FORMAT

Hotel Name:
Arrival Date:
Departure Date:
Number of Rooms:
Number of Guests:
Room Type:
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate:
Company Room Provider:
Other Company Room Provider:
Competing rate:
Comments:

Q: Are SPG benefits honored for BRG stays?
A: Yes. You should receive the same SPG elite member benefits and stay/night credit as for a normal paid stay.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 3:26 pm
  #1  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club, Marriott Bonvoy
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SPG Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) 2016 : Success, failure & discussion thread

Welcome to the 2016 version of the SPG Best Rate Guarantee thread.

Previous discussion is here :

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...on-thread.html
Oxon Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 1, 16, 10:35 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
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Posts: 1,842
Submitted a claim at 6PM on 12/31/15. Received a decline with a ridiculous reason at 10PM 1/1/16. Tried to call, BRG phone line is broken. Sale on other competing sites expires at midnight, more than 30 hours past submission time, but since no one can deal with issue, will probably lose claim due to it not being available at the time they rereview it. Called within minutes of receiving decline email, told that the person who signed it has been off work for a while...the entire system is setup to fail, unfortunately.
joelfreak is offline  
Old Jan 2, 16, 1:42 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by joelfreak View Post
the entire system is setup to fail, unfortunately.
there are always bound to be a couple of frustrating experiences but in general the brg system works quite well & i managed to get 40+ successful brgs in 2015....
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Old Jan 2, 16, 2:27 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I made a claim Dec 25th as oh Jan 2 NO replies from brg other then the automatic email? Rate has gone up 1€ but still nearly a week? And I see others having gotten replies over the holidays...
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Old Jan 2, 16, 8:02 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by joelfreak View Post
Submitted a claim at 6PM on 12/31/15. Received a decline with a ridiculous reason at 10PM 1/1/16. Tried to call, BRG phone line is broken. Sale on other competing sites expires at midnight, more than 30 hours past submission time, but since no one can deal with issue, will probably lose claim due to it not being available at the time they rereview it. Called within minutes of receiving decline email, told that the person who signed it has been off work for a while...the entire system is setup to fail, unfortunately.
Seems like you had a bad experience, and you're using a broad brush to describe the entire system.
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Jan 2, 16, 10:03 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by kauppias View Post
I made a claim Dec 25th as oh Jan 2 NO replies from brg other then the automatic email? Rate has gone up 1€ but still nearly a week? And I see others having gotten replies over the holidays...
You should prolly call the BRG team and follow up. Their number is in the bottom of the FAQ section on the BRG site.
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Old Jan 2, 16, 11:23 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
You should prolly call the BRG team and follow up. Their number is in the bottom of the FAQ section on the BRG site.
I sent a email to the spg champions, got a reply then a email from BRG dept with a claim that information was not provided... FUNNY though that the information they requested was allready included in the email they sent me that shows the claim form... Now I received a email from the hotel that says its a BRG rate but nothing from the brg desk that says approved and the new rate... A sloppy start to 2016!

2015 was a fairly good BRG year. I started a trend of moving my reservation to a competing chain when BRGs are denied for bogus reasons. Mostly IHG was the loser as they deny most BRGs SPG has mostly approved clear cases but about 5 were denied errouneously in my opinion but those I just stayed elswhere...

I still think SPG has the best BRG out there so lets hope the first BRG of the year is the worst 😂👍
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Old Jan 2, 16, 1:07 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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I have had many BRG successes in the past...but with most programs (not just SPG) the first reaction seems to always be to reject, and then its a fight to get the approval thats deserved. Right now it looks like they will admit their mistake and approve...but that just shows how broken the system is.
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Old Jan 2, 16, 3:01 pm
  #9  
 
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No complaints from me overall.

Yes, there were a couple of issues over 2015 but nothing that was not resolved with a polite conversation with the BRG Team.

Within the paset 48 hours I received 1 approval and 1 decline (which is an error), so I replied with a direct link once again and it was approved.

When compared against IHG, Hilton or Marriott, Starwood comes out first every time.
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Old Jan 2, 16, 5:30 pm
  #10  
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Looking forward to dealing with the SPG BRG team in 2016. Been batting at close to 90% approval rate in 2015 so will continue to stay with SPG for this year, it might be the last given Marriott's takeover. We'll see what happens when Marriott takes over but if they apply their LNF terms, I'm giving up and paying for the best hotel of the day in my price range rather than sticking with loyalty.
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Old Jan 2, 16, 9:28 pm
  #11  
 
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If I have an approved BRG on a rate thay is cancellable without a fee, but I want to pre-pay for the reservation, how can I go about doing so?
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Old Jan 2, 16, 10:35 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Miami305 View Post
If I have an approved BRG on a rate thay is cancellable without a fee, but I want to pre-pay for the reservation, how can I go about doing so?
You could try calling the property.
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Old Jan 3, 16, 1:18 am
  #13  
 
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Wishing you all many approved BRG's this year.
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Old Jan 3, 16, 5:58 pm
  #14  
 
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Two out of Three Ain't Bad

Hotel Name: Sheraton Vitoria Hotel
8 nights
Rate On spg.com : USD 88.38
Room Type : Deluxe Room Flexible with Breakfast
Competing rate : USD 67.89
Competing Room Type : DELUXE ROOM FLEXIBLE WITH BREAKFAST
Competing website www.despegar.com
Confirmed rate $US57.02 plus tax

Hotels in Vitoria are obviously not in high demand for Carnival this year


City Name : Cabo de Santo Agostinho
Hotel Name: Sheraton Reserva do Paiva Hotel & Convention Center, Recife
10nights
Room Type On Reservation: Classic eco reserve view, non-smoking
Rate On Reservation : USD 121.43
New Starwood Room Type : Classic King
New Starwood Rate : USD 114.80
Competing rate : USD 100.40
Competing Room Type : Classic King
Competing website : www.booking.com
Confirmed Rate:$US80.32 plus tax


And the failure:

Thank you for your Best Rate Guarantee claim form and I am happy to assist you. I welcome this opportunity to assist a loyal Platinum member.

I have reviewed the rates for Sheraton da Bahia Hotel, Salvador for the dates of your claim on our website and found a rate of $78.50 USD per room per night plus taxes which is lower than the rate of $79.77 USD per room per night plus taxes found on hoteltravel.com. Since the default currency of the competing website is not the same as the currency used at this hotel, I used XE.com to convert the rate I found. Since the rate is lower on our website, I am not able to approve your claim.

In the event the competing rate is in a different currency from the Starwood rate, we will convert the competing rate into the same currency as the rate offered on the Starwood-branded website. The currency exchange rate we apply is based on the exchange rate the hotel would have used, at the time of the original reservation. Your interest in our Best Rate Guarantee is appreciated and we welcome any claims you may submit in the future. The Best Rate Guarantee form is located here. To locate the lowest available rate on our website, please click here. For complete program details please refer to the terms and conditions of the Best Rate Guarantee program.
Even after the rejection email I could find the 10 night stay on the competing website for $810 total versus $844 on spg.com. I have a feeling that the BRG rejection may be valid as there may be a city tax of $2.20/night that is payable at the hotel and that is included in the spg.com total but not the competing website total and would have brought the difference to close on 1%.But the rejection would have been so much easier to understand if they just said that in their email.
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Old Jan 3, 16, 6:26 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Alameda, CA, USA
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So I have kind of an odd situation. I am trying to BRG two rooms at Le Meridien Dallas by the Galleria for January 15. I'm trying to book a refundable rate, of course. When I try to book for two rooms, though, only the non-refundable rate is available. This happened a couple of nights ago and again today. It persisted when I tried to book through lemeridien.com rather than spg.com.

Any advice?
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