Earlier this year I wrote a series of practical guides to the various BRG programs of major hotel chains. These programs can change drastically over time.
Here is an update:
IHG has just revised the terms and conditions of the Best Rate Guarantee.
Now you can only make one claim for a stay every 7 days.
In the near future claims via the phone hotline won't be possible anymore.
The phone process had become very predictable and smooth with IHG recently. It's too bad it will go away soon.
No big changes to the guarantee. It keeps working fine. I'm using it less than before though. I find that Starwood hotels do not have the super deals other chains have.
Response times are slow often exceeding the 48hours. This often results in the rates to change before the BRG is processed.
Also some sites can't be access by the BRG team initially and one needs to keep inquiring to go beyond the 'no screen shots' allowed for rate verification.
Hyatt keeps on blacklisting sites they don't want to compare themselves to. It's a shame that they are not more open about this process.
While the agents are very friendly they are also the most bureaucratic over the phone frequently claiming they can't access or find a site that works everywhere on the planet.
Marriott properties often have killer deals on OTA websites and due to the efficient and fast BRG team it is often possible to get these fantastic rates with an additional 25% discount and points earning. However I'm not a big fan of Marriott hotels so I don't use it often.
The Flyertalk thread is devoid of success stories there. Your best bet is a prepaid reservation. Only do it if the rate differential is rather small ($5) – otherwise go for the OTA booking.
Radisson's BRG continues to by borderline marketing fraud as the Terms & Conditions and it's non-sensical enforcement make it impossible to get any approval.
Hilton is also overly strict on the BRG approval. It's very rare to hear a success story and I never succeeded with my claims so far. Again prepaid reservations seem your best bet.
Expect failure with the Hilton BRG – go for the best deal and only attempt a BRG for smaller differences.