Budget

Hotel Price Match: What Not To Do

Most hotel loyalty programs provide a price match guarantee. In order to take advantage of the hotel loyalty program price match, you must ensure that the new room price you have found matches exactly the reservation you have already made. As a rule, you cannot use your price match guarantee at auction websites or sites that do not disclose the hotel brand until after the reservation is completed. The same often applies to the prepaid, advance purchase and most non-refundable rates.

Common Mistakes

The most common mistake is that a cancellation date does not precisely match the cancellation date of the new lower price you found. It is easy to overlook a one-week difference in a cancellation date, but this error will disqualify your booking. As well, any new rate you find must match your room exactly. That means a 1 King room cannot be matched with a 2 Queen room. A great variety of differentiating features will disqualify you from a price match guarantee. 

While hotel price match guarantees are a great concept, they are more difficult to take advantage of in practice than they look. We have attached a few examples of Hotel price match guarantees Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) in the appendix to this Blog to give you some idea of what you are up against. The terms to qualify are quite diverse, but a general rule is that the new rate must be real (not just an advertised price) and exactly the same as your current bookings. 

Direct Booking: Your Key to Hotel Savings

In our opinion, the best policy is to book rates directly with the hotel or through a travel agent who books directly with the hotel and then monitors the hotel’s rate daily to identify price drops. Or make your hotel reservation with us, and we will do the work for you. We find there is little value in monitoring third-party sites for cheaper prices as it’s unlikely those rates will be eligible for price match guarantees (or provide loyalty recognition). 

If you have made a booking at an Online Travel Agency (or a travel agent), first check your booking T&Cs, and if the reservation is cancellable without penalty, check this site daily for price drops. Check out our Blog on Hotel Bookings - we are open to using Online Travel Agency rates, and some may be your best choice depending upon your circumstances. It’s just that these bookings do not have the same attributes or benefits as direct bookings. If the cheapest price is important, you must compare apples to apples. 

Finally, metacrawler sites that claim to search all hotel websites to get you the best deals are rarely, if ever, comparing apples to apples. You will not be told what the differences are in the prices displayed. A no-loyalty recognition booking will be compared to a full-loyalty booking as though they were the same; they certainly are not. The same principle applies to cancellation periods etc. Often “free cancellation” will be highlighted from one seller when the hotel’s policy provides free cancellation until the day of check-in anyway. The free cancellation claim is true, just deceptive and not a valid reason to book with that source. Sites like these attempt to shift you to choose a higher margin (for them) channel rather than provide a free public service. 

What about Online Travel Agency Price Freeze programs?

Some Online/Mobile Travel Agencies offer price freeze guarantees for a fee. The service may be a good value for shorter, less expensive bookings. The key is to check the T&Cs. One of the most popular programs limits the amount you can claim for your stay to the amount of a “service cap”. So while the price freeze program may seem comforting, it’s unlikely of much value for a typical holiday booking. And it is very unlikely that you will receive or be recognized for Hotel Loyalty status. 

Further, price increases with respect to Hotel reservations could be more questionable in that your rate is usually guaranteed by the hotel until the day of cancellation anyway. 

Some find the practice to be deceptive. Enough to commence a class action against Hopper claiming, among other things, that the service cap of $100.00 was deceptive. 

Appendix

Marriott Policy & Guarantee

“Certain rates do not apply to this guarantee. For example, a Comparison Rate does not qualify if it is not publicly available, such as negotiated corporate rates, senior or group rates, rates available through paid memberships (AAA, etc.), rates negotiated for extended stays, rates that have different rules such as cancellation or refund policies, or rates that include differing guaranteed custom room options. We do not accept claims for government-funded tourism stimulus promotions.

Comparing Marriott channel rates to those found during later searches on Marriott channels (including Marriott-affiliated, private label, or standalone property websites) are not eligible for the guarantee. For Design Hotels Partner Hotels, rates found on the Design Hotels™ Website, Design Hotels™ Mobile App and any individual Design Hotels standalone Website & Mobile App are not eligible for the guarantee.

We do not accept package rates that include a combination of a room and travel, airfare, cruise, car rental, etc. we cannot guarantee that room plus other components or amenities, such as non-breakfast meals, tickets, gas coupons, etc., can be applied to the reservation.

Rates on auction websites, on sites that do not disclose the hotel brand until the reservation is completed (i.e., Priceline and Hotwire), on sites that require a login or specific credit card to view or book, on sites that don’t provide an immediate confirmation (e.g., an “on request” rate) or on sites that do not pass reservations to the Marriott Central Reservation System (CRS) for confirmation are not eligible. Pre-paid, advance purchase, or non-refundable rates on Qunar, eLong, Meituan Travel, Ctrip/Trip.com, Ctrip/Trip.com affiliate sites, or Fliggy are not eligible. Any rates on WeChat are not eligible.”

Check out the Marriotts Policy View Marriotts Policy

Accor Best Price Guarantee

1.1 Conditions for applying “Best Price Guarantee”

“Best Price Guarantee” applies if the following cumulative conditions are met:

  • you have reserved a room (room only or with breakfast included) in one of the hotels eligible for “Best Price Guarantee” (see the list of eligible hotels below), directly through an Accor channel (websites, mobile websites or Accor application, brand websites, reservation centres or directly with the hotel),
  • a confirmation number has been issued to confirm this booking,
  • and within 24 hours following confirmation of your booking sent by email or the confirmation of your booking by telephone, and no later than 48 hours before the planned date of arrival at the hotel: 
  • you find, for the same hotel, for the same date(s), the same length of stay, at the same rate conditions (i.e. refundable or non-refundable, prepayment and deposit requirements, room only or with breakfast included, booking cancellation and change condition), the same type of room (identical category, size, beds, view or location) and the same number of people in the room,
  • a room offered at a lower public price and available for booking, this price is calculated in an identical manner, on the same basis as the total cost of the stay with the same inclusions (taxes, VAT, services),
  • on the website, mobile website or third-party application (“Third-party booking channel”)

(hereinafter referred to as the “Eligible Booking”).

In the event of an Eligible Booking, confirmed by Accor under the terms and conditions stipulated herein, Accor shall apply the Third-Party Booking Channel price and will offer you an additional reduction on the Third-Party Booking Channel price on the total cost of the booked accommodation of (i) 10% for Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel and (ii) 25% for other eligible brands. 

For example:

  • if the reserved rate under an Eligible Booking on the Accor channel is 200 euros,
  • and the rate given on the Third-Party Booking Channel is 180 euros,
  • then the final rate applied by Accor pursuant to the “Best Price Guarantee” will be 162 euros (180 - 10%) for Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel, or 135 euros (180 - 25%) for other eligible brands.

Check out the Accor Policy View Accor’s Policy

Hilton's Price Match Guarantee

We always do our best to offer you the lowest price, but if you find a lower-qualified price on another site, we’ll happily match it and give you 25% off your stay.

Here's how it works:

  1. Find a lower qualified price for the same accommodation and terms before booking or within 24 hours of making a reservation through an official Hilton booking channel.
  2. Submit a Price Match Guarantee claim.
  3. If your claim meets all the criteria, we’ll honour the lower price and take an additional 25% off the room rate for each night of your stay.

Official Hilton booking channels

Book directly with us through one of these channels:

  • Any official Hilton website
  • Any official Hilton call center
  • The Hilton Honors app
  • Directly at a Hilton hotel
  • Directly through an Accredited Travel Agent*

When multiple prices are available for the same accommodations on the official Hilton booking channel, you must have booked the lowest rate to be eligible.

Lower qualified price

To qualify for a Price Match, the price must be:

  • Lower than the official Hilton price
  • Not on an official Hilton channel
  • Same accommodations and terms
  • Available with no booking limitations or restrictions - meaning it’s viewable and bookable by anyone

Accommodations and terms

Some examples of different accommodations that would not qualify for a Price Match Guarantee include: 

  • Room types: King Room vs 2 Queen Room
  • You booked rooms that are confirmed connecting rooms, but this price is for rooms that can’t be confirmed as connecting rooms.
  • Views: Ocean view vs Partial ocean view
  • Amenities: $25 property credit vs Free breakfast
  • Check-in/check-out dates: Jan 26 - 31 vs Jan 26 - 30 OR Jan 26 - 31 vs Jan 26 - 28 and Jan 28 - 30 as separate reservations
  • Number of guests: 2 adults and 2 kids vs 1 adult
  • Terms: Fully refundable vs Deposit required OR 2-day cancellation vs 4-day cancellation OR Free cancellation vs non-cancellable or change fees apply

Limitations and restrictions

A qualifying lower price has no restrictions on how it is displayed or booked. Examples of these types of restrictions include:

  • Websites that do not reveal the brand, hotel or room type until the reservation is completed
  • Bookings that don't provide an immediate confirmation upon submitting the reservation request
  • Prices that require a special membership or affiliation to book, such as member-only prices, corporate negotiated business travel prices, or Hilton Team Member rates
  • Prices that require a login, credit card number, or code to view
  • Prices that are not bookable, such as some advertisements
  • Prices that are reflective of unauthorized reselling of a confirmed reservation made in someone else’s name
Check out the Hilton Policy View The Hilton’s Policy

Hyatt Terms & Conditions

Hyatt guarantees that it provides the lowest online bookable rate for room reservations at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts available to the general public on the Internet, subject to the below terms and conditions. The following brands participate in the Hyatt.com Best Rate Guarantee: Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Andaz®, Hyatt Centric®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Alila®, JdV by HyattTM, Destination by HyattTM, Caption by HyattTM, and Thompson Hotels®, Breathless Resorts & Spas, and Sunscape Resorts & Spas, (each a “Participating Brand”). Hotels and resorts operating under a Participating Brand are “Participating Hotels.” In addition, those hotels available for booking on Hyatt.com that operate under the Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, and Alua Hotels & Resorts brands (“Limited Participation Brands”) are also Participating Hotels. Hotels under the Limited Participation Brands that are not available for booking on Hyatt.com are not Participating Hotels. What you must do to be eligible for the Hyatt.com Best Rate Guarantee (“Best Rate Guarantee”):

Check out Hyatt policy here View the Hyatt’s Policy
  • (2) Within 24 hours of your booking, on the Internet, find a publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rate available on the Internet for the same stay (e.g., same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay, same length of stay, same inclusions, same guarantee and cancellation policies, and same booking conditions) that is greater than or equal to $1 USD lower in price than the comparable room rate available on the Hyatt website (“Competing Rate”); 
  • (3) Within 24 hours of your booking, submit your claim request with Hyatt as described below.
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