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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 Aug 11, 18, 2:52 am
  #1036  
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Hotel Name: le méridien etoile....
Stay Dates: 4 nights in september....
Number of Rooms: 1....
Number of Guests: 1....
Room Type: smart room....
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate: €360.05 per night....
Competing Room Provider: www.hotelscombined.com
Competing Rate: €312 per night....
Actual Approved Rate: €240 per night....
BRG Reward: 25% off....
Comments: another approval within 24 hours without any problems....
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Old Aug 11, 18, 2:58 am
  #1037  
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Hotel Name: the westin washington dulles airport....
Stay Dates: 1 night in september....
Number of Rooms: 1....
Number of Guests: 1....
Room Type: traditional....
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate: $92....
Competing Room Provider: www.hotelscombined.com
Competing Rate: $79.20....
Actual Approved Rate: $79.20....
BRG Reward: 2k points....
Comments: took over a day to get approved....
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Old Aug 11, 18, 3:04 am
  #1038  
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Hotel Name: sheraton mall of the emirates hotel, dubai....
Stay Dates: 5 nights in november....
Number of Rooms: 3....
Number of Guests: 2....
Room Type: classic....
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate: aed 770 plus taxes per night....
Competing Room Provider: www.hotelscombined.com
Competing Rate: aed 547.72 plus taxes per night....
Actual Approved Rate: aed 410.79 plus taxes per night....
BRG Reward: 25% off....
Comments: the rate was only available on in.otel.com via www.hotelscombined.com & not on www.otel.com so i mentioned this in the comments section....the claim was processed by the team in india & was approved....not sure if it went to the indian team because of my comments or if i was just lucky....either way, i'm not complaining....
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Old Aug 11, 18, 3:30 am
  #1039  
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Hotel Name: itc maratha, a luxury collection hotel, mumbai....
Stay Dates: 1 night in november....
Number of Rooms: 1....
Number of Guests: 1....
Room Type: executive club....
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate: inr 10,500....
Competing Room Provider: www.hotelscombined.com
Competing Rate: inr 7,800....
Actual Approved Rate: inr 7,800....
BRG Reward: 2k points....
Comments: approved by the team in india....
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Old Aug 11, 18, 3:37 am
  #1040  
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Hotel Name: four points by sheraton new york downtown....
Stay Dates: 5 nights in november....
Number of Rooms: 1....
Number of Guests: 1....
Room Type: traditional....
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate: 221.02 plus taxes per night....
Competing Room Provider: ....
Competing Rate: $192.01 plus taxes per night....
Actual Approved Rate: $144.01 plus taxes per night....
BRG Reward: 25% off....
Comments: this one was a bit tricky....the claim was initially denied by the team in india & i had to call to get it approved....
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Old Aug 12, 18, 7:36 pm
  #1041  
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@Keyser that is an excellent spread of locations in multiple parts of the world. I am glad to see that BRG can still work for some hotels, because recently for me it has dried up considerably. It is interesting to note that you succeeded on your BRGs mostly by using hotelscombined.com. I was starting to wonder recently if I would have to dig deep for more obscure websites to get more BRG success. Apparently just using one aggregator site could still do the job, if circumstances are right. Thanks for posting the details.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 3:20 am
  #1042  
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filed my first lnf claim yesterday & it was denied....the reason for the denial was that the rate on the third party site did not include taxes so the rate was higher than the rate available on marriott....i know for a fact that this site includes taxes in their rates because i have filed dozens of successful brg claims using this site, with my last successful claim coming just 2 days ago....it would be very disappointing if claims continue to be denied for reasons like this....
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Old Aug 15, 18, 5:17 am
  #1043  
 
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I had the same issue with a claim against Amoma rate, they did not list service charge separately and did not mention that it’s included, so even though final Amoma rate (rate+tax) was much lower than final SPG rate (with separately listed 10% service charge), the claim was denied.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 5:30 am
  #1044  
 
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Same was written about in a lnf thread over at the Marriott forum on flyertalk. Service tax wasn't written clearly enough but it did say taxes was included and the lnf claim was denied.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 7:31 pm
  #1045  
 
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I am quite pissed with them on the service charge issue.
I don't they bother to check it accurately with the comparison sites and just reject it base on their own assumption.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:41 am
  #1046  
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
filed my first lnf claim yesterday & it was denied....the reason for the denial was that the rate on the third party site did not include taxes so the rate was higher than the rate available on marriott....i know for a fact that this site includes taxes in their rates because i have filed dozens of successful brg claims using this site, with my last successful claim coming just 2 days ago....it would be very disappointing if claims continue to be denied for reasons like this....
for those that are interested, here is the response i got from the lnf team....like i said before, i know this website does not charge vat & the only taxes they include in the rate are the same taxes charged by the hotel....it seems like a very convenient way to deny claims....i just hope this isn't a sign of things to come:

Thank you for your additional message. The Courtyard Dulles/Town Center hotel is located in the United States; therefore this hotel doesn’t charge VAT tax. The taxes at this hotel are local taxes that are paid directly at the hotel. Per the previous email please note that web-sites owned or operated outside of the United States and Canada sometimes include taxes in their rates. Unless otherwise specified, these taxes are Value-Added Tax (VAT) which under the terms and conditions of this website theses taxes are considered Value-Added Tax (VAT) . So with that all the taxes charged by this hotel are local taxes, I am unable to remove any amount from the rate located for comparison. Unfortunately I am going to have to stand behind the initial denial of your claim.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:44 am
  #1047  
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Hotel Name: sheraton lincoln harbor hotel....
Stay Dates: 2 nights in september....
Number of Rooms: 1....
Number of Guests: 1....
Room Type: traditional....
Starwood Brand Web Site Room Rate: 246.05 plus taxes per night....
Competing Room Provider: ....
Competing Rate: $199.04 plus taxes per night....
Actual Approved Rate: $156.68 plus taxes per night....
BRG Reward: 25% off....
Comments: took almost 48 hours to get this approved....luckily the rate was still available....
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Old Aug 16, 18, 3:04 am
  #1048  
 
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
for those that are interested, here is the response i got from the lnf team....like i said before, i know this website does not charge vat & the only taxes they include in the rate are the same taxes charged by the hotel....it seems like a very convenient way to deny claims....i just hope this isn't a sign of things to come:

Quote:
Thank you for your additional message. The Courtyard Dulles/Town Center hotel is located in the United States; therefore this hotel doesn’t charge VAT tax. The taxes at this hotel are local taxes that are paid directly at the hotel. Per the previous email please note that web-sites owned or operated outside of the United States and Canada sometimes include taxes in their rates. Unless otherwise specified, these taxes are Value-Added Tax (VAT) which under the terms and conditions of this website theses taxes are considered Value-Added Tax (VAT) . So with that all the taxes charged by this hotel are local taxes, I am unable to remove any amount from the rate located for comparison. Unfortunately I am going to have to stand behind the initial denial of your claim.
Unfortunately, this is a sign of things to come. There are whole threads over this tax problem in the Marriott forum and Marriott sticks to their view regarding taxes.

Your quote from Marriott is just a copy-paste text, were they change the hotel name. As I got the same exact text for at least a year, if not longer.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 4:25 am
  #1049  
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Originally Posted by DaveMidknight View Post
Unfortunately, this is a sign of things to come. There are whole threads over this tax problem in the Marriott forum and Marriott sticks to their view regarding taxes.

Your quote from Marriott is just a copy-paste text, were they change the hotel name. As I got the same exact text for at least a year, if not longer.
I just got two rejections for this reason. This is ridiculous! So their assertion is that a "total" price listed by a competing site isn't really total unless it specifically spells out that taxes/service charge are included? If you book an all-in rate with an OTA, there's no way the hotel would collect an extra 10% service charge upon arrival. In many cases, they don't even know how much you paid. Imagine what Tripadvisor would look like if this was an actual hotel practice ... "They asked me to pay an extra $200 in phony 'service charge' even though I already prepaid my TA. DON'T STAY HERE."

Most sites will have something generic in their terms that "additional fees/taxes may be collected by the hotel," but of course this refers to resort fees/city taxes (Kurtaxe, etc). Rejecting claims for this phony reason (or reducing the BRG discount by the phony additional taxes) turns the BRG into a scam!
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Old Aug 16, 18, 4:39 am
  #1050  
 
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Just submitted my first claim since the BRG-terms massacre, looking forward to my rejection email...
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