One of my favorite things about travel hacking is successfully invoking a company’s generous Best Rate Guarantee policy. Two years ago, I wrote a popular step by step guide on How to Find a Starwood Best Rate Guarantee and Get 2,000 Starpoints Every Time. I usually stay at Starwood Hotels primarily, but they aren’t everywhere so I’m forced to stay at other hotels. This is a guide on how to find an Orbitz Best Price Guarantee and get free Orbucks in the process.
A few days ago, I wrote An Overview of the Orbitz Rewards Program where I explained the benefits of Silver, Gold, and Platinum elite status and their generous Orbucks policy that goes with each membership tier.
Basically, if you can find an Orbitz hotel on sale for a lower price than the main Orbitz.com site, then you are able to invoke the Orbitz Best Price Guarantee policy. In return for finding a lower price, Orbitz will refund 100% of the price difference in the form of Orbucks PLUS an additional $50 in Orbucks.
As an Orbitz Rewards member you’ll get even more Orbucks if you find a lower price elsewhere after booking on Orbitz:
– Silver members (FREE to sign up) get up to an additional $100 in Orbucks
– Gold members (after 4 room nights) get up to an additional $150 in Orbucks
– Platinum members (after 12 room nights) get up to an additional $200 in Orbucks (not to exceed the total amount of the booking)
So how do you find lower rates and get up to $200 in additional Orbucks? I use a website called www.kayak.com/hotels which is an aggregate site for third party hotels. Kayak scours the entire web on multiple websites for the lowest prices available.
I will give you a step by step picture tutorial on how to find these lower rates and get up to $200 in additional Orbucks in your pocket with every booking.
Step 1. Register for the FREE Orbitz Rewards Program and you automatically become a Silver member which essentially gives you up to $100 in additional Orbucks (instead of $50) with every successful Best Price Guarantee.
Step 2. Have in mind an Orbitz property location with your targeted dates. In my example, I am looking for a hotel in Phelan, California for February.
Step 3. I am looking at the Best Western Cajon Pass in Phelan, CA. Keep a note of the lowest rate available on Orbitz.com with taxes. In my case it is $94.99+ tax = $102.68.
Step 4. Fire up www.kayak.com/hotels and plug in the same dates. Uncheck the boxes under “Compare vs. Kayak” and click Search.
Step 5. I see that Kayak produced a few results for the Best Western Cajon Pass and the lowest price is $73.00 on Booking.com. It is lower than what I found on Orbitz.com so that works. If you get a higher or the same rate as on Orbitz.com, then you will not be able to invoke the Orbitz Best Price Guarantee. If you found a lower rate, continue to Step 6.
Step 6. This is the most important step. You must verify that the price is lower on the 3rd party website (in my case, Booking.com) and it must be the same room (1 King Non-smoking) with the same features (breakfast included). In addition, the 3rd party website must have the SAME cancellation policies as the one on Orbitz or else your claim will be rejected.
Step 7. I’ve verified that the room I found on Booking.com was lower than Orbitz and I’ve double and tripled check the cancellation policies which both offered Free Cancellation and breakfast.
Step 8. Go back to Orbitz.com (Make sure you have signed up to be a Silver member for free) and book your hotel. (I generally only book refundable hotels just in case my claim gets denied for whatever reason)
Step 10. Fill out the form completely. Note that you DO need to have a reservation from Orbitz, and be sure to fill out the Orbitz Confirmation # since it is required for a Best Price Guarantee. In addition, make sure you fill in the comments what rate and room type you found on Orbitz.com and the third party website.
Step 11. You will need to attach a ‘Print Screen’ screenshot of the Lower Price by clicking ‘Choose File’.
Step 12. Click on “Continue” and you should receive a confirmation from Orbitz saying that ‘Your Question has been Submitted’ and there will be a Question Reference # attached.
Step 13. Within 24 hours, you will receive an e-mail from the Orbitz Best Price Guarantee team notifying you of an approval or denial. In my case, it was approved where I will receive the $10 price difference in the form of Orbucks PLUS an additional $102.68 in Orbucks as an Orbitz Rewards Gold Member (I get up to $150 in additional Orbucks).
You will receive the extra Orbucks within 7-10 business days after completion of your stay.