Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Policy Change

Most of the major hotel chains offer a best rate guarantee, whereby they’ll offer you some sort of compensation if you find a cheaper rate for one of their hotels on something other than their own website. The intent is to make you feel “good” about booking directly with the hotel chain, thinking you’re always getting the best price.

Hyatt offers a best rate guarantee, whereby if you find a lower published rate on another website within 24 hours of making your booking, they’ll match that rate and discount it 20%.

Hyatt-BRG

Hyatt has now changed the way they process best rate guarantees. Previously they’d process them by phone, so if you found a lower rate elsewhere you would call up their best rate guarantee hotline and they’d take care of the claim right away.

Now Hyatt is processing best rate guarantees via an online form. In general I love when things move from being processed by phone to being processed online, but I’m not sure this is one of them.

Hyatt offers its Best Rate Guarantee when you book on Hyatt.com. With no booking fees, you can book any Hyatt brand including Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara, and get the best published rate available anywhere online.

We stand behind our guarantee. If you find a lower, published rate on another site, we’ll not only match it, we’ll discount it by 20% for your entire stay.

Simply fill out our online claim form, and a Hyatt.com representative will review your claim and respond with the status of your claim within 24 hours. Guarantee subject to complete Terms and Conditions.

So you have to provide a screenshot and they’ll respond to you within 24 hours, which is reasonable. The only problem is that they also verify that rate when processing the claim, and often times rates on other sites might not stay the same for up to 24 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I get why they have to verify rates, since it’s too easy to alter screenshots. But seeing a better rate elsewhere and being able to call in is easier than having to potentially wait 24 hours, during which time the rate could change, in my opinion.

It doesn’t impact me much since I think I’ve done a best rate guarantee once in my life, but I imagine this won’t be a popular change. At the same time I totally see why Hyatt is doing this, as it’s simply so much more efficient to process them this way.

To the more frequent best rate guaranteers out there, how do you feel about this change?

Comments

  1. Could care less. I stick to free night BRGs. These aren’t even worth the hassle personally, since I don’t usually pay more than $150/night these are measly discounts.

  2. Smart way to kill this perk. In the online world it will be hard for a lower rate stay available for 24 hours. Usually that happens on quick promos that are gone in minutes. Thus, by allowing 24 hours to check Hyatt is giving them time for the lower price disappear and they will come back saying that they won’t be able to match since that lower price in another site is no longer available. C’mon Hyatt!!!

  3. I had a BRG on 7 out of 9 properties in Asia two months ago. I’ve found that the rates did not change over the course of 5 days. So it doesn’t seem like the online BRG will be a negative change for me.

  4. I have been burnt by this 2X with Hilton. One time, the rate changed before they verified it. The second time, the room type was no longer available.

  5. So far, I’ve had good experiences with Hyatt’s BRG. That said, with many of the BRG programs though, whoever is processing the claim often looks for ANY reason to deny, legitimate or not. Hyatt’s move to a web based form removes any opportunity for you to challenge their decision and/or explain your case with the claims processor. Sure, you can often reply to their decision email but if they truly don’t want to honor the rate, they just don’t reply back.

  6. I’ve used Starwood’s online form a few times. They usually respond in <hour. Yes, it's a hassle, but I once saved 100's a night in Paris…..and got my SPG points/elite upgrades. Big issue with SPG is that you can only do best rate guarantee if arrival (local hotel time) is MORE than 24 hours away….which SUCKS. Sounds like Hyatt is still an improvement on that.

  7. My worst BRG experience is from club carlson. They responsed in 3 days and told me they couldn’t find the lower rate…Another case is expedia says kingbed or queeen bed but carlson is queen bed so got rejected..:(

  8. It’s not immediately clear to me from what you quoted, but do I have to book first?

    This hurts (either way), but I don’t bother with BRGs where I have to lock myself into a bad rate for the chance of improving it (if I jump through the right hoops).

  9. @ Chris — You do, but you’ll want to book a refundable rate since it has to be the same type of rate on the competing website.

  10. @ Lucky – just looked at the form. It allows you say Existing Reservation = No and Confirmation # is an optional field so don’t think there’s a need to do a reservation anymore. With SPG no need to do a reservation and you can match even no refundable rates, so it makes sense Hyatt would do the same.

  11. Cool! Need to start looking at paid rates at Tokyo hotels. Last I checked, GH was a bit more expensive than PH which seems strange.

  12. Hyatt’s BRG is a joke!! Hyatt compares apples with oranges. It meets the price but adds restrictions (that the less expensive challenge rate does not have) : PrePay, Non changeable, ect…..don’t wast your time with Hyatt’s BRG….if they aren’t competitive at the “Get-Go” .book with some else. They will use any excuse to deny your challenge, even if the product is not the same!!

  13. Lucky, can you do an investigative piece/follow-up on the destruction of the Hyatt BRG program? It is absolutely attrocious, with the FT forum full of horror stories..It would be a big help to travelers everywhere if one of the major blogs such as yourself picked up the story

  14. Hyatt BRG does not price match with other hotels, even among their same branded hotels, or for rate for Gold Passport Members for under Guarantee Availability.
    For fairness, Hyatt does offer good value of staying, but their pricing policy is quite disappointing.

  15. I just tried a BRG challenge with Hyatt for a room which is $152/night on their website and $105/night on bookit.com (Hyatt Regency Louisville, KY: 5/1 – 5/3). I was refused on the basis that bookit.com registers me as a member of their website as part of the reservation and I would have to login with my account to change the reservation. To quote the refusal email: “We do not validate any claims from 3rd Party wesbites if it requires a membership regardless of reason.”
    Almost every website requires the user to register before being allowed to make a reservation so the Hyatt BRG is effectively useless.

  16. Here’s the follow-up to my 2/21 comment.
    After having my BRG request for the Hyatt Regency in Louisville rejected on the basis that they don’t validate claims from sites which require membership I replied to their email stating I’d examined Hyatt’s BRG exclusion list posted on their website and no such exception is stated. I asked if this was a secret exception or if it was posted somewhere else on their site. About 36 hours later I received a reply from a different Hyatt representative who told me they used to exclude claims based on prices from bookit.com as they required a membership but Hyatt no longer does so and my BRG claim would therefore be honored.
    I’m not sure what the difference is between “membership” and “registration” but I think the former requires a fee in which case I can understand why it would be excluded from a BRG.
    In any case bookit.com doesn’t require any fee or membership to use their site so their prices are valid for Hyatt’s BRG after all. I have therefore gone from being extremely dissatisfied with Hyatt’s service to more or less content. I’d have preferred not to have to work so hard to get the BRG honored but at least they came through in the end.

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