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SPG Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) 2018: Success, failure & discussion thread

SPG Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) 2018: Success, failure & discussion thread

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Old Jun 10, 18, 4:22 am   -   Wikipost
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POSTING FORMAT

Hotel Name:
Arrival Date:
Departure Date:
Number of Rooms:
Number of Guests:
Room Type:
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate:
Competing Rate:
Competing Web Site:

Comments:

FAQ

What is the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG)?

If a lower rate at an SPG Hotel is made available on a non-SPG website or non-SPG mobile application, upon its receipt of a claim that satisfies these Best Rate Guarantee terms and conditions, SPG will honor that Competing Rate and provide the individual that submitted the valid claim one of the following rewards: (1) an additional 25% discount off the Competing Rate (20% for Design Hotels) per room per night (up to a maximum of three rooms); or (2) 2,000 Starwood Preferred Guest® Starpoints® per room per stay (up to a maximum of three rooms).

What should I do if my claim is successful?
  • Re-confirm 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 they have not posted, then contacted the BRG team to get it posted.
Are SPG benefits honored for BRG stays?

Yes. You should receive the same SPG elite member benefits and stay/night credit as for a normal paid stay.

How do I view my reservation after my BRG has been approved?
  • Log into your SPG account.
  • Click on your stays to view your current reservation.
  • Click on "Set Stay Preferences" link for the BRG reservation, then SAVE.
  • Refresh your stays page and the reservation should be visible again. You may need to repeat this step if the hotel touches your reservation. If you apply for Your24, you will not be able to view the reservation details.
How do I add a Suite Night Award (SNA) to a my BRG reservation?
  • Follow the steps as outlined under: How do I view my reservation after my BRG has been approved?
  • At the end of this process, you should be able to select "Apply SNA to this Stay" from within your stays page.
GUIDELINES FOR A SUCCESSFUL CLAIM

• 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.

• The rate you submit the BRG against must be a rate that is available to the general public
• Cancellation/Deposit Policies and amenities must match on both websites to be valid

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 the next lowest category of room and must include the cancel/deposit polices and amenities you are wanting- if your claim is approved the room type in the booking will remain what is booked.


• 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)

• You must book and submit a claim for the room type, cancel policy, deposit policy and amenities you are comparing. If you a flexible rate on SPG.com, they will look for a flexible rate when processing your claim, even if a lower rate for non-cancellable is available.
• You cannot BRG with a flexible rate against a prepaid rate. All information must be the same on both websites and the claim will be denied.

• 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 no room available with the same amenities, it will be denied.

• Room types must be the same for a BRG.

• If you are booking and comparing rates for a non-refundable booking, note that you are responsible for any and all charges including cancellation charges, even if the claim is not approved

• 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 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.

• The cancel policy of an approved claim will be the same as what was booked and approved. It will no longer default to flexible.

• 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 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 for that room type to help clarify.

• If you find availability on a third party website/app but there is no availability on the Starwood Website, then this claim cannot be submitted as you must have a valid reservation to submit a claim. If it is submitted somehow without a reservation, the claim will not be processed as a valid Starwood reservation is required.

• 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
  • BestDay
  • Cancelon
  • Ctrip (Known as MyTrip from Dec 2017)
  • Elvoline
  • HappyRooms
  • Hoteling
  • Hotelreservierung.de (according to BRG team 5 Sept 2017)
  • HotelsClick (Some rates on request, some instant)
  • Ostrovok
  • Roomertravel
  • Laterooms (according to BRG team 24 Oct 2016)
  • Hotelius (according to BRG team 21 Sept 2017)
  • Zenhotels (according to BRG team 10 Nov 2017)
  • Travelbag (according to BRG team 22 Dec 2017)


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 but it must be the lowest rate for the hotel and dates. 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 are not included in the comparasin
  • 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.
  • If you need to BRG Design Hotels for Double or higher occupancy.
    • The BRG will be processed for a single occupant, even if the rate does not change for more than one occupant. You must book the actual number of occupants intended. Effectively, you can only BRG for single occupant unless double rate happens to be the same as single. It is not possible to BRG if double rate is higher than single. No modification to occupancy is allowed if BRG is approved. If you submit with single rate, you will be stuck with single room; if you submit with double rate and single rate is lower, it will be automatically denied irrespective of competing rates.

Differing currencies

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.

Link to T&C
https://www.starwoodhotels.com/bestrate/terms.html
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Old May 21, 18, 5:04 pm
  #631  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: points traveller
Posts: 327
i think i'm up to the 4th book/ deny/ cancel for a design hotel so going to give up and use my amex credit instead.

the last denial given was
Due to the unique agreement we have with Design Hotels, the lowest rate of the day must be booked. When booking a reservation, it is indeed important to book for the occupancy you are traveling with, in this case, two adults and one infant per room. However, there are times when the occupancy will change the price for a Design Hotels reservation via our Starwood branded web sites.

As such, some double occupancy (or higher) bookings will not qualify for the lowest rate of the day, as they would not be the absolute lowest rate offered. Such BRG claims would be denied automatically without a rate comparison, regardless of how a third party web site handles its occupancy and what its corresponding rate might be. Furthermore, a guest cannot book a single occupancy room in order to simply have a BRG claim processed, and then arrive with two persons or more for double or higher occupancy, as this would void the Best Rate Guarantee claim due to a difference in room occupancy.


what doesn't make sense is that i BRG'd the same property last month, and was simply trying to add an additional night onto the front end. oh well not to worry.
diningdecadence is offline  
Old May 25, 18, 6:14 am
  #632  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 300

I am really impressed with the performance and efficiency of the LNF dept at Marriott. I really hope they take over the BRG desk next August.

And even LNF rules, though difficult to grasp at the beginning, turned out to be a very good surprise, because you can LNF against a rate that’s not the lowest available rate Marriott’s channels.

The BRG desk’s performance is as poor as your local DMV office: response times on most occasions have gone into days, not hours (recently I had a claim denied 7 days after submitting it); trumped up excuses for denial, including occasionally being deliberately misleading about the applicable rules; it takes for ages to get our feedback addressed; extremely poor customer care.

My LNF claims (granted, only a handful so far) have been decided within 24 hours and my feedbak has always been dealt with by the same agent (never happened with BRG) in a matter of a couple of hours.

Last week I had a LNF claim which got denied because the agent could’t find the same rate on amoma. I immediately replied back saying the rate was still online and supplied a link to find it. In less than a hour the same agent replied back telling me that she had to find the rate on her own and couldn’t use the link I sent; however, she had checked other OTAs and had found another rate on prestigia and approved my claim based on the rate she found.

Never got anything like that from the BRG desk.
M.dA.R. is offline  
Old May 25, 18, 7:01 am
  #633  
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Originally Posted by M.dA.R. View Post
I am really impressed with the performance and efficiency of the LNF dept at Marriott. I really hope they take over the BRG desk next August.
to each their own....i have had great success with brg & quite the opposite with lnf....i hope they bring together the best of both programs but would be very happy if they kept brg the way it is....
margarita girl, uxb and remymartin like this.
Keyser is online now  
Old May 25, 18, 7:32 am
  #634  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
to each their own....i have had great success with brg & quite the opposite with lnf....i hope they bring together the best of both programs but would be very happy if they kept brg the way it is....
I’m not complaining about the success rate, which is pretty good. I’ve scored really great rates with BRG. On a few occasions I’ve managed to get rates for 60%-75% lower than what one would find on spg.

It’s their performance and efficiency that is lacking.

And LNF rules aren’t as bad as people think...
M.dA.R. is offline  
Old May 25, 18, 7:53 am
  #635  
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Originally Posted by M.dA.R. View Post
I’m not complaining about the success rate, which is pretty good. I’ve scored really great rates with BRG. On a few occasions I’ve managed to get rates for 60%-75% lower than what one would find on spg.

It’s their performance and efficiency that is lacking.

And LNF rules aren’t as bad as people think...
lets hope they keep the best part of both programs....
3rdworldresident likes this.
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Old May 25, 18, 8:30 am
  #636  
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Originally Posted by M.dA.R. View Post


I’m not complaining about the success rate, which is pretty good. I’ve scored really great rates with BRG. On a few occasions I’ve managed to get rates for 60%-75% lower than what one would find on spg.

It’s their performance and efficiency that is lacking.

And LNF rules aren’t as bad as people think...
No, LNF has some great aspects, but I love, LOVE, being able to call BRG and have them search, verify and confirm over the phone while LNF mandates replying via the email denial. This is the weakest part of LNF by far.
dsquared37 is offline  
Old May 25, 18, 10:20 am
  #637  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
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Originally Posted by M.dA.R. View Post
It’s their performance and efficiency that is lacking.

And LNF rules aren’t as bad as people think...
Fake news.

Trying to reach Marriott to fix an error. Starwood BRG staff win hands down.
margarita girl, uxb and remymartin like this.
PointWeasel is offline  
Old May 25, 18, 8:54 pm
  #638  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 61
Hi Team,

Any advice on BRG'in hotels in Mexico City? Any particular websites?
Looking to stay 5/28 to 6/3. Would prefer the W or the Le Meridien.

Cheers!
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Old May 26, 18, 2:18 am
  #639  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 180
Guys, the sky is falling, GAME OVER

https://www.starwoodhotels.com/prefe...ere/terms.html

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.

Revised: May 25, 2018
noeatbutgo is offline  
Old May 26, 18, 3:01 am
  #640  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by noeatbutgo View Post
Guys, the sky is falling, GAME OVER
I wanted to hit the like button for your post, but of course I have completely different feelings about the news.

And silly me that I had a few BRGs I needed to do, but didn't want to rush into doing them before knowing my exact travel dates.
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Old May 26, 18, 3:12 am
  #641  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Sucks rip spg brg - 2018-05-24
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Old May 26, 18, 7:54 am
  #642  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 300

I have a couple of pending claims submitted yesterday under the old T&C’s. How will they be verified?
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Old May 26, 18, 7:56 am
  #643  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by noeatbutgo View Post
Guys, the sky is falling, GAME OVER

https://www.starwoodhotels.com/prefe...ere/terms.html

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.

Revised: May 25, 2018
The Sky don't necessary need to fall ... it depends if some leeway are are given with respect to the interpretation of the cancellation rules in my experience with LNF flexible booking conditions does not need to be met verbatim .... I actually have had pretty good success with LNF given that many OTA have marginally higher rate for flexible rates while on marriott.com the premium for flexibility is much higher ... If no leeway is given well then we are going down the Hyatt route ... god help us all... but let us all be positive at least for now ...
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Old May 26, 18, 8:01 am
  #644  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by X-ON View Post
The Sky don't necessary need to fall ... it depends if some leeway are are given with respect to the interpretation of the cancellation rules in my experience with LNF flexible booking conditions does not need to be met verbatim .... I actually have had pretty good success with LNF given that many OTA have marginally higher rate for flexible rates while on marriott.com the premium for flexibility is much higher ... If no leeway is given well then we are going down the Hyatt route ... god help us all... but let us all be positive at least for now ...
Not only Hyatt but also Hilton now does not allow anu leeway in case of comparing refundable rates. So yeah still LNF and BRG are a lot better so yeah the sky might not be falling but it is now.pretty cloudy.
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Old May 26, 18, 8:14 am
  #645  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by X-ON View Post
The Sky don't necessary need to fall ... it depends if some leeway are are given with respect to the interpretation of the cancellation rules in my experience with LNF flexible booking conditions does not need to be met verbatim .... I actually have had pretty good success with LNF given that many OTA have marginally higher rate for flexible rates while on marriott.com the premium for flexibility is much higher ... If no leeway is given well then we are going down the Hyatt route ... god help us all... but let us all be positive at least for now ...
I totally agree with you on that. The ability to compare against OTAs’ flexible rates opens up a whole new world of possibilities which the BRG program didn’t allow.

I am however worried about this sentence on the new T&Cs:
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.

If this means we’ll have to book the lowest available rate regardless of cancellation and deposit policies then, yes, brg’ing for Marriott properties is now over.
M.dA.R. is offline  

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