IHG revises terms of the Best Rate Guarantee

Posted on July 31, 2013 by in Best Rate Guarantee, IHG Rewards Club

IHG has had the most generous BRG of all major hotel chains. While a little cumbersome in the process it has allowed for countless free night when checking this Flyertalk thread.

Now IHG has changed certain sections of the T&C:

10. Additional Free Night Restrictions.
Claims for hotels within fifty (50) miles of your home address are not eligible for the Guarantee. Once a valid claim has been made and approved by IHG for a specific date, no further claims by the same person or anyone in the same household will be accepted for the same date. If an individual or members of the same household make multiple claims for two or more nights in the same seven (7) day period at the same IHG hotel or at different IHG hotels within fifty (50) miles of each other, the claims will be treated as, and limited to, one claim for one stay, even if booked through more than one reservation, and only the Best Price Guarantee claim for the first night will be honored. In the event of a valid claim, reservations are non-transferable after the claim is found to be valid, and the name on the reservation must remain the same as when the claim is verified and no additional names may be added to the reservation after the claim is found to be valid. Valid government issued ID is required upon check-in that matches the name found on the reservation. Employees of any IHG company or employees at any IHG hotel are not eligible for the Best Price Guarantee.

So far claims were allowed every other night – so if hotels did not take the time to update the lower rate an individual could stay 160+ nights in the same hotel for free – theoretically.

This has now changed to one successful claim in 7 days.

Also the 50-mile-rule has been clarified (though it's of less importance now):

A "stay" (for purposes of the Guarantee) may be one night; consecutive nights at the same hotel location, regardless of frequency of check-in/check-out; or two or more nights, even if non-consecutive, in the same seven (7) day period at the same hotel location. "Within fifty (50) miles" means within fifty (50) miles when seeking directions between locations on Google Maps. Guests are only able to claim one (1) free night per stay at an IHG hotel globally, regardless of location.

Mighty's Take:

The Best Rate Guarantee has been an extremely generous policy and it was clear it will come to and end soon. We feel IHG has struck a good balance here and still allows 52+ possible claims from frequent 'low rate finders' and prohibits abuse of the BRG.

Don't forget IHG is supremely interested in finding lower rates (which can be very hard to identify) in order to make sure it's own website stays/becomes the primary distribution channel over time. IHG seems committed to this idea and it seems the BRG will survive for some time in it's new form.

Update

It now also appears that filing a claim via phone is coming to an end. This would be very detrimental to a successful BRG. BRG's filed via the online form always had a much lower chance of success (often due to changing rates by the time the agents looked at it). This will make it much harder to use.