I don’t hide the fact that I am a big Hyatt fan. Just take a look at my trip reports; most hotels I stay at are in the Hyatt brand. I also have been known to use their Best Rate Guarantee (see this previous post) to save money on reservations. However, when I tried to use it this week, I learned of a big Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee change that I see as a big negative.
Basically the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee policy is that if you find the same room listed on a website that is higher than at Hyatt.com, Hyatt will beat that price by 20%. So, let’s say you find an Advance Purchase King Bed guest room at the Hyatt Regency Houston for $179 on Hyatt’s website. But you do a little research and find the SAME room for $149 on Expedia (I don’t recommend booking on Expedia by the way…). You can take a screenshot of the lesser price, submit it through Hyatt’s BRG site, and you receive an email in 24 hours letting you know the rate they will offer you ($119.20 which is 20% off of $149). The best part is that you get to book through Hyatt and you’ll receive points and stay credits to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.
So what is the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee change that I found? In the past, there have been two ways to process the Hyatt BRG:
- You book a reservation through Hyatt.com. You find a lower rate. You submit your claim and they adjust your reservation to the lower price. Or…
- While researching prices, you find a lower rate on another site than what is listed on Hyatt.com. You submit your claim and you get an email back saying they approve the BRG claim and to call a 1-800 number to with the provided claim number. You could book it online and then call, or you could have them create a reservation over the phone.
The second method is much safer; especially if you are booking a non-refundable rate. Especially since Hyatt can be a bit picky about what they will approve (only certain websites, must be the exact same type of rate, not part of a package, etc).
When I submitted a claim this week I was told it was denied because I didn’t already have a reservation. When I reached out to Hyatt via Twitter I was told of the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee change:
Now you must have a booked reservation before you submit your claim. This is frustrating because if you book a non-refundable room you are at the mercy of whoever processes your claim. If it is denied, I would highly suggest submitting your claim again online and hope to get another agent.
It sounds like your other option would be to book a refundable room, then submit your BRG, and they will match the rate types and then give you the 20% off the matching rate. Again, from Twitter:
This Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee change isn’t a huge deal. However, it is removing some of the power from the customer. Now you must hope for the best instead of knowing exactly what price are going to end up with when you book a room.