Last week I was trying to figure out some Starwood hotels stays in Panama and Brazil and I decided to check up on lowest prices. Every time I book a Starwood hotel, I always try to invoke their Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) policy. Last year I wrote a post on How to Find a Starwood Best Rate Guarantee and Get 2,000 Starpoints Every Time. Every successful valid BRG can net me the lowest price on a third party website and 2,000 bonus Starpoints (or 10% off the lowest rate). I always choose the 2,000 bonus points (~$60 USD) because I value Starpoints at 3cpp (cents per point). In addition, I would also receive full SPG benefits including points, stay credit, and night credit.
I found two BRG’s on a third party website that priced out lower than spg.com for the hotels in Panama and Brazil. I sent off two BRG claims before I went to bed and when I woke up, I was excited to book my hotels. It turned out that BOTH my BRG claims were denied. The stated reason in the e-mail were that the prices on the third party website was higher than spg.com.
I double checked the third party websites again and they were both the same price as I stated in the BRG claim. I was able to re-submit my claim, but I use different strategies. Here’s how to turn a denied best rate guarantee into a valid claim.
1. Send screenshots of the third party website in response to the rejected BRG claim. They can automatically research it again; therefore you don’t have to submit a new claim.
2. Try a different third party website which has a lower price. It could be a dollar or two difference, but if’s it’s still lower than the hotel’s website; you will have a valid claim.
3. You can also re-submit the online claim if you are totally adamant about it being valid. It’s kind of like HUCA (Hang up, Call again).
Following the steps above will lead to successful valid claims.
If this doesn’t work out, I’ve outlined a guide on How To Find the Absolute Lowest Price On Your Next Hotel Room Booking.
Good luck and Happy BRGing!