Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee Changes Not as Bad as Feared

Earlier today I wrote that Hyatt changed their best rate guarantee to require you to book the lowest rate, including prepaid rates before submitting a guarantee claim.

They’re still going to require you to make a reservation before submitting a claim. But it turns out that isn’t Hyatt’s intention to require that the reservation you make is always the lowest-price non-refundable booking in order for them to honor their Best Rate Gaurantee despite how a change in the language of their Best Rate Guarantee terms appeared.

In fact Hyatt will be updating their terms to clarify that you do not need to book the lowest rate in order to be eligible for a best rate guarantee — only that you have to book the same type of reservation you’re trying to guarantee against.

Hyatt Regency Maui

In other words, if you are using a non-refundable rate for a best rate guarantee claim you must also book that. But if you’re using a cancellable rate, you can still book a cancellable Hyatt Rate. That solves only one of the issues with their Best Rate Guarantee but it does solve one.

From Hyatt spokesperson Stephanie Sheppard:

    Reaching out on your post about BRGs. I sent a note earlier today to Ben, because his post brought to our attention that the language change to T&Cs had caused some confusion. The intension was to clarify that we are matching “like” or “comparable” rates, which includes terms such as guarantee and cancelation policy.

    We are working to update our website with new language that’s more clear immediately. The revised policy will state:

If you find a publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rate on the Internet for a Hyatt hotel (“Competing Rate”) that is lower than the room rate available for the same reservation and booked by you on (i.e., same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay, same length of stay, and same booking conditions), you can submit your claim request online via our online claim form in English (or call 1-888-96 HYATT (1-888-964-9288) or your local Hyatt reservation center to submit a claim in a language other than English). When multiple publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rates for the same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay, same length of stay are available through a Hyatt website you must reserve the lowest comparable rate to the Competing Rate found on the internet (including guarantee and cancel policy) to be eligible for Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee. To be eligible, you must submit your claim request within 24 hours of both booking on and finding the Competing Rate.

Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

I still think that requiring you to make a non-refundable reservation in hopes that Hyatt will match a lower non-refundable reservation you find elsewhere is… problematic. So it would be ideal if they didn’t actually require you to make a reservation before finding out whether they’ll match the lower rate you’ve found elsewhere (this isn’t as big of an issue, of course, when matching cancellable rates).

And it would help even more if they would also go back to letting you process a Best Rate Guarantee over the phone, in real-time, rather than waiting a day to hear.

But it’s good to hear that they will still let you book a cancellable rate and seek a lower rate through their Best Rate Guarantee if you find a lower cancellable rate elsewhere.

Still, I think that guarantee is the wrong word to describe Hyatt’s offer (and that of most other chains).

Park Hyatt Dubai

You sometimes will find better prices on competing websites. And if the competing price is for a room type that Hyatt shows as sold out on their site they won’t match. Or if the competing rate has inclusions that Hyatt doesn’t they won’t match. Some sites they match against and others they don’t.

Plus at many top properties booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, Virtuoso, or even Visa or MasterCard programs will get you extras at the same price point while still earning Gold Passport points and honoring elite stay credits and benefits.

Nonetheless, it’s good to hear that one element of weakness in a recent change to their Best Rate Guarantee is simply a misunderstanding and being updated!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What’s this weasel word about “Multiple”. In other words, not only do you have to book it, but it can’t be the last one. (Someone on FY had their BRG denied because of that). What if it’s the second to last one?

  2. Ahh, I see you said it can’t be sold out on there site – i.e, can’t be the last one, among other possibilities.

  3. It’s the membership clause that is the worst. They use it to exclude sites that later ask if you’d like to add a password to make a membership.

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