Most hotel chain ‘best rate guarantees’ are bogus marketing gimmicks, designed to give you confidence that you’ll get the best prices on their own websites whether this is accurate or not. The promised benefits to finding a lower rate elsewhere are often elusive, with complex and arcane rules and sometimes incompetent claims staff who deny otherwise valid submission.
The one real exception to this is the TripRewards program, which regularly honors its one night free policy when you submit a competing lower price elsewhere. There’s an extensive Flyertalk post on the subject with nearly 500 replies.
There’s also now a Best Rate Guarantee Blog dedicated to identifying hotels where lower prices are found on websites other than the Triprewards site, with the goal of allowing you to claim a free hotel night there.
As a brand new blog it remains to be seen how frequently updated or long living it will be. But it’s an interesting project nonetheless.
Not really for me, as I recently mentioned I don’t often stay at participating TripRewards sorts of properties, but folks have been known to hop from property to property staying for free through this program.
Personally I’d love it if the Best Rate Guarantee Blog covered not just TripRewards but details of best rate guarantees more generally, it would be great to hold other hotel programs’ feet to the fire — not that I am especially inclined towards seeking out free nights night after night a la the TripRewards program, but that I do think hotel programs ought to be held to their word. (Change the marketing languag if they don’t want to live up to their promises…)