I submitted my first Starwood Preferred Guest Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) last week so I figured I’d write a blog post about it. I’ll highlight some steps to submitting a BRG as well as some tips to finding a competing rate.
What is SPG’s BRG?
In the unlikely event that a lower rate at a Starwood Hotel or an SPG Partner Hotel is made available on a non-Starwood website or non-Starwood mobile application (the “Competing Rate”), upon its receipt of a claim that satisfies the BRG Terms, 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; or (2) 2000 Starwood Preferred Guest® Starpoints® per room per stay. For complete details, please see the SPG Program Terms.
BRG claims can save you money or allow you to earn additional points. Say for instance you find a hotel for $100 on SPG’s website. You then find that same hotel listed for $75 on a site like Expedia.com. SPG will match the $75 rate and give you the option of taking off another 20% or earning 2,000 points. You’ll have to chose, which option you want when you submit your BRG request.
Tips for a BRG Claim
Here are some basic tips for getting your BRG claim approved:
- Competing rates vs. SPG rate should be more than a 1% difference
- Room types must be the same for both rates
- Book a refundable/flexible night and BRG that reservation
- Use websites like HotelsCombined or Kayak to find competing rates
- Take screenshots of everything
- Certain online travel agencies won’t qualify as a competing rate
- Once you find something that looks like it’ll work, submit it. Don’t procrastinate.
My First BRG Success
I was recently trying to book the Four Points by Sheraton in Cancun for an upcoming vacation. Prepaid rates were $100 per night and refundable rates were $112.70 per night as noted below. These rates were not including taxes and other fees.
Next, I used HotelsCombined and searched for the same night and found the following rate of $77 before taxes and fees for a double standard room. The actual online travel agency was HotelQuickly.com and I was able to re-populate the deal on their website.
The next step was to book a refundable booking on SPG. This gave me a confirmation number, which I then used on the BRG claim form (Step 1):
After you click continue on Step 1, you’ll see a screen which shows your name, SPG number and the hotel details. You’ll want to check the box that says “My BRG claim is against the rate on this reservation”. Then add any details about the room type/view.
Now on to the third and final step. Probably the most important step. You’ll need to copy and paste the link to the website where you found the better/competing rate. It’ll ask what language that website is in. Then you’ll type in the competing rate and any additional room details.
Finally, you’ll need to select whether you want to receive 20% off or 2,000 SPG points. This will greatly depend on how much the room rate is because in essence you’re buying SPG points. For instance, if your competing rate is $100 than you’ll get an additional $20 off ($100 x 20%). If you choose the 2,000 SPG points over the 20% off, you’re effectively buying SPG points at 1 cent per point.
In my case, the competing rate was $77. The 20% discount would have amounted to $15.40. I chose the 2,000 SPG since I’m effectively buying SPG points at 0.0077 cents per point. That’s a good deal for me since I value SPG points at around 2 cents per point. After you submit, you’ll receive an email confirming your submission.
About 18 hours later, I received the email below saying that my Best Rate Guarantee claim was approved! It looks like the rate is $3 above what I originally saw, but that’s fine.
This best rate guarantee claim effectively saved me $20 plus I will earn an additional 2,000 SPG points, which I value at about $40. This is all on top of the points that I will already earn for the stay itself. It definitely takes a little extra work and research to find deals like this, but I’d say it was definitely worth my time.