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Most of the major hotel programs have a Best Rate Offer Guarantee of some sort that essentially exists to encourage you to book directly with the hotel itself instead of booking via a third-party site like Expedia, Priceline, etc. These programs all have a claims process in the event you do indeed find a cheaper publicly available rate for the exact same room type on your travel dates. This sounds simple enough, but the details for how this is handled with each program varies a good amount, and the devil is very much in the details.
Hyatt specifically has had a Best Rate Guarantee since 2003, but they are now changing up how it operates in a pretty significant way. Currently, and until July 31, 2017, if you find a publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rate online that is lower than the room rate available directly from Hyatt for the exact same hotel, type of room, number of guests, and dates of stay within 24 hours of booking the room on Hyatt.com, then you could get the price not only matched, but beaten by 20% if your claim was ultimately approved.
New Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Policy
Beginning July 31, 2017, the guarantee is changing to a match of the price found elsewhere, plus a $50 Hyatt credit valid for use on a future stay booked on Hyatt.com. The $50 credit will be awarded as a single use offer code within four days of check-out of the initial stay, and it has to be used within one year of being issued.
I absolutely view this as a downgrade to the current Best Available Rate benefit, though there are some cases where a $50 credit towards a future stay could be better than 20% off the cheaper rate. As an obvious example, if you had a $150 night booked at a Hyatt, and you then found that night for $135 elsewhere, then 20% off of the matched $135 rate would save you about $30. This means that a $50 code for a future stay could potentially be better for a frequent Hyatt guest. However, I’m guessing that in most cases your 20% savings is probably better than a $50 off code, and you don’t have the hassle of dealing with managing codes for future stays. Not only that, but the code will only be valid with Standard Rate, Advance Purchase Rate or Member Rate rooms.
I first got wind of this change thanks to an eagle eye on Twitter, but Hyatt has now confirmed the change as well. I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t personally use these Best Rate Guarantees that much any more as they have generally just gotten too obnoxious to deal with, and with the change to just a $50 credit towards a future booking, the juice won’t be worth too much squeeze.
Again, this Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee change does not kick in until July 31, 2017, but I will include the terms and conditions they sent along below in case you want to dig into the coming policy now.
Are you a frequent Hyatt BRG customer? How will this impact your strategy?
New Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Terms and Conditions
Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee
Want the best rates available on Hyatt rooms?
Book on Hyatt.com and get the guaranteed best rate at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide.
Hyatt offers its Best Rate Guarantee when you book on Hyatt.com. With no booking fees, you can book a stay at any Hyatt hotel or resort including Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara properties (not valid at Miraval properties), and get the best published rate available anywhere online.
We stand behind our guarantee. If you find a lower, qualifying rate published on another site, we’ll not only match it, we’ll provide you with a credit worth fifty U.S. dollars (USD $50) that you can apply to the room rate on a future qualifying stay at a Hyatt hotel or resort.
If submitting a claim in English, simply fill out our online claim form after booking on Hyatt.com. To submit a claim in a language other than English, please call Hyatt’s Global Contact Center at 1-888-96 HYATT (1-888-964-9288) or your local Hyatt Global Contact Center after booking on Hyatt.com. A Hyatt.com representative will review your claim and respond with the status of your claim within 24 hours. Please be aware that, regardless of whether Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee applies, the hotel’s cancellation policy will apply to your reservation booked on Hyatt.com. The Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee is subject to its complete Terms and Conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Hyatt guarantees that it provides the lowest online bookable rate for room reservations at Hyatt hotels and resorts available to the general public on the Internet, subject to the following terms and conditions:
What you must do to be eligible for the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee:
- If you find a publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rate on the Internet for a Hyatt hotel or resort (“Competing Rate”) that is lower than the room rate available for the same reservation that you booked on a Hyatt website (e.g., same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay, same length of stay, same guarantee and cancellation policies, and same booking conditions); and
- When multiple publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rates for a comparable stay are available through a Hyatt website, you must reserve through that Hyatt website the lowest comparable rate to the Competing Rate found on the Internet (e.g., same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay, same length of stay, same guarantee and cancellation policies, and same booking conditions).
- Submit your claim request with Hyatt as described below within 24 hours of both booking on Hyatt.com and finding the Competing Rate.
What you must do to submit a claim for the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee:
- Submit your claim request online via our online claim formin English (or call 1-888-96 HYATT (1-888-964-9288) or your local Hyatt Global Contact Center to submit a claim in a language other than English).
- Review the rate and cancellation policies for any reservation you make on a Hyatt website. Those policies may note certain reservations may be non-cancellable once booked, and a cancellation charge may apply in other instances if the reservation is cancelled after the deadline identified in the rate and cancellation policies.
What Hyatt will do if you qualify for the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee:
- If Hyatt confirms the availability of the Competing Rate on the Internet, Hyatt agrees to match the Competing Rate for the same reservation that you booked through a Hyatt website, plus provide you with a credit worth fifty U.S. dollars ($50 USD) (“Credit”) that you can apply to the room rate on a future stay at a Hyatt hotel or resort booked through Hyatt.com and completed within one year of the date the Credit is issued.
- In the event that the Competing Rate is in a different currency than the Hyatt.com rate, Hyatt shall convert the Competing Rate and the Hyatt.com rate into a common currency chosen by Hyatt in Hyatt’s sole discretion. If, after conversion to the same currency, a Competing Rate is less than one percent (1%) lower than the Hyatt.com rate, then such Competing Rate shall not qualify for the Best Rate Guarantee. Such deviations are often the result of fluctuations in currency exchange rates and other factors beyond Hyatt’s control.
- If you have already booked a prepaid stay on Hyatt.com, and find a Competing Rate that meets these Terms and Conditions, then Hyatt will refund the full amount originally charged to your credit card for the rate booked on Hyatt.com and charge your credit card for the full stay based on the new rate. Note that only one Credit per qualifying reservation will be issued.
- In the event a Best Rate Guarantee claim is approved for a guest who lives in a country that uses a currency other than U.S. Dollars, Hyatt may decide, in its sole discretion, to convert the Credit to another currency. In such instances, the guest acknowledges that the actual Credit amount may vary due to fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
What rules apply to Credits issued under the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee:
- You must complete the stay that is the subject of your Best Rate Guarantee claim in order to receive the Credit.
- The Credit is valid for one year from the date it is issued.
- For any reservation that is the subject of a Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim, only one Credit will be issued if that claim is approved.
- The new future reservation must be booked after the date the Credit is issued and must be for a Standard Rate, Advance Purchase Rate or Member Rate room. For clarity, in order to apply the Credit to a future stay the check-out date of that future stay must be no more than twelve (12) months from the date the Credit was issued.
- The Credit can only be applied to guestroom rate and is not valid on spa, restaurant, room service or any other in-hotel outlet, or service charges, mandatory resort fees, gratuities applicable taxes or incidental expenses.
The Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to:
- Claims submitted within 24 hours of first available check-in time for the related reservation.
- Opaque or auction sites where the hotel brand and/or the specific hotel is not known until booking is finalized. Examples of these types of sites include, but are not limited to, Priceline and Hotwire.
- Web sites that “package” travel, entertainment, hotel and/or food components such as airfare and hotel stay, hotel stay and car rental, hotel stay and restaurant voucher, etc. Examples of package websites include, but are not limited to, Delta Vacations.
- Rates that require a membership to complete a booking, regardless of whether the membership requires a fee, is free, or if membership is automatically created as part of the booking process. Examples of sites where these types of rates may be found include but are not limited to, travelzoo.com, jetsetter.com and vacationist.com.
- Packaged rates that include service charges, meals, coupons, parking, services, or other amenities or charges.
- Qualified discount rates including, but not limited to, Government, AAA or Senior Citizen Discounts.
- Unpublished, negotiated rates with corporations, travel agencies, groups, associations or other rates that are specifically agreed upon by Hyatt (or a Hyatt hotel or resort) and a specified and limited group, and are not publicly available.
- Rates that are only available with a coupon, discount code, or other similar special offer.
- Hyatt Residence Club properties, Hyatt Vacation Club properties or any residential or extended stay apartment properties (e.g. The Galleria Residences in Dubai).
- Rates available on Ctrip.com.
- Rates that are not immediately bookable. To clarify, certain third party websites do not provide an immediate email confirmation of the booking after completion of the reservation or are confirmed as “on request” or similar status with confirmation sent at a later time. These third party sites are deemed not immediately bookable and are not valid.
Additional Best Rate Guarantee Terms:
- A Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim will be denied if Hyatt is unable to independently verify the booking circumstances of the third party site where the Competing Rate was purchased through that third party site’s booking terms and conditions, frequently asked questions or other similar, publicly available language.
- Some jurisdictions require that room rates include applicable taxes. For purposes of Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee, only Competing Rates that include such applicable taxes will be compared against Hyatt’s tax-inclusive room rates. If such tax-inclusive Competing Rate is lower than Hyatt’s tax-inclusive room rate, and otherwise complies with the Terms and Conditions, then the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee may apply.
- The Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee applies only to the room rate for the duration of the reservation and does not apply to taxes, tariffs or fees imposed by a governmental authority (e.g., federal, state or local) or any gratuities, guest incidental charges, food and beverage charges, resort fees, and any other fees or charges that you may incur during your stay.
- The number of World of Hyatt points awarded to you if you are a World of Hyatt member will be based on the room rate actually paid by you upon checkout.
- A claim form may be rejected by Hyatt if it is incomplete, is submitted in an unsupported language, or concerns a non-Hyatt website or mobile application that is in an unsupported language.
- Hyatt may deny claims relating to a time during which Hyatt.com or certain rates are not available due to an outage, technical issue or circumstance beyond Hyatt’s reasonable control. Examples of which include, but are not limited to, the following: any error, omission, interruption, defect or delay in transmission or communication; viruses or technical or mechanical malfunctions; interrupted or unavailable cable or satellite systems; failures of electronic equipment, computer hardware or software; or lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or claim information.
- Hyatt may deny claims concerning a Hyatt hotel or resort that will no longer be operating under a Hyatt brand on the date of the stay.
- Any disputes arising out of these Terms and Conditions or Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee offer shall be resolved individually, without resort to class action, and shall be governed by the laws of the state of Illinois, without regard to its conflict of law principles.
- All decisions regarding Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee will be made by Hyatt in its sole discretion. The Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee is subject to change or revocation at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
While all requests are subject to the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Terms and Conditions, we understand that you may have some additional questions regarding your claim. Please find some additional guidance below for your convenience.
What are the requirements for submitting a claim for Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee?
When comparing rates between Hyatt and other sites, if you find a lower qualifying rate than what is offered on Hyatt.com, simply submit an online claim form. A Hyatt.com representative will review your claim and respond with the status of your claim within 24 hours. The rate must be for the same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay, same length of stay, same guarantee and cancellation policies, and same booking conditions. The lower rate must meet the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Terms and Conditions to qualify.
If I am able to find a lower qualifying rate, how do I contact Hyatt?
Simply fill out our online claim form in English (or call 1-888-96 HYATT (1-888-964-9288) or your local Hyatt Global Contact Center to submit a claim in a language other than English), and a Hyatt.com representative will review your claim and respond with the status of your claim within 24 hours.
If I find a lower rate, after I have already booked my reservation on Hyatt.com, can I still qualify for Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee?
Yes. If you find a lower rate within 24 hours of making your Hyatt.com reservation, simply fill out our online claim form, and a Hyatt.com representative will review your claim and make the appropriate adjustments to your rate if the Terms and Conditions are met.
How will I know if my rate will be adjusted?
All claims will be handled and responded to within 24 hours. The Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee representative will go to the web site where the lower rate was found and ensure it is for the same terms and conditions as the Hyatt.com rate, for the same length of stay, and otherwise qualifies under the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee terms and conditions. If the claim qualifies, they will match the lower qualifying rate and will provide you with a Credit that you can use on a future stay at a Hyatt hotel or resort booked through Hyatt.com and completed within one year of the date of the Credit.
If my Best Rate Guarantee claim is approved by Hyatt, when will I receive my Credit?
If your Best Rate Guarantee claim is approved by Hyatt, Hyatt will send a Single Use Offer Code to the email address you provided when making your claim within four days of the date that you check-out of the Hyatt hotel or resort that was the basis of your Best Rate Guarantee claim.
How can I use my Credit?
You can apply your Credit to a future stay booked at a Hyatt hotel or resort after receipt of the Credit. The future stay must be booked and completed within one year of the date the Credit is issued, and the reservation must be for a Standard Rate, Advance Purchase Rate or Member Rate room.
The Credit can only be applied to guestroom charges and is not valid on spa, restaurant, room service or any other in-hotel outlet, or service charges, mandatory resort fees, gratuities applicable taxes or incidental expenses.
Can I apply the Credit to my current stay?
No. The Credit awarded to qualifying claims can only be used on future stays at a Hyatt hotel or resort that are booked on Hyatt.com and completed within one year of the date of the Credit is issued.
Are taxes and service charges included in the guarantee?
The Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee only applies to the total room rate. It does not apply to any taxes, service charges, gratuities or other fees.
What is acceptable evidence of a lower rate?
When you submit an online claim form, you will be asked to provide the URL where the lower rate was found, and a screenshot showing the lower rate on the competing website. A Hyatt.com representative will attempt to validate availability of the lower rate, and verify that it complies with the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Terms and Conditions. If the rate is no longer available, the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee will not apply.
Are World of Hyatt Base Points awarded for bookings that qualify for the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee?
Yes. The number of World of Hyatt Base Points to be awarded to World of Hyatt members will be based on the rate actually paid upon checkout. Normal World of Hyatt benefits will apply based on your tier level.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.