Best Rate Guarantees, or BRGs, are cool ways you can make the cheaper prices offered by Online Travel Agents (OTAs eg Hotels.com, Expedia etc) work for you while still earning loyalty points and status with the hotel. Have a read of my refresher here on how BRG claims work.
Now, I’m one of those people who actively hunts for BRG opportunities every time he travels. I wrote previously about JustBRG, a rudimentary site that did something very similar.
However, JustBRG was slow, buggy and inelegant, and the site has not been working in a while. I think it’s safe to say the developer has abandoned that project.
Fortunately, I’ve learned about a new site called BookBRG. The interface here is much more like a traditional OTA, the site is a lot smoother and less buggy. Here’s me looking at potential BRG opportunities in Bangkok for my post Christmas trip-
You’ll note on the top left that I’m able to search for Hilton, Best Western, Marriott, Starwood, IHG and Choice hotel options. The engine also tells you the maximum value per point possible if you opt to redeem points.
The engine also recommends whether or not you should book direct or go with the 3rd party OTA and then file a BRG.
In this example, I can see 3 opportunities to file a BRG claim with Hilton, because the agency price < booking direct.
Let’s try this with the Conrad, since that’s the biggest price differential.
Clicking on Conrad sends me to this page where I can see all the competing sites that offer the $138 rate.
Just to verify that this $138 rate does indeed exist, I click through to Hotels.com and see this (the rate is actually even lower @ $131)
Versus this price on Hilton.com. Now in this case there’s actually an even cheaper rate of $120 on Hilton.com so perhaps this isn’t the best of examples, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how the general principle works. You use the search engine to identify possible BRG opportunities, click through and compare like for like rates between the OTA and the official site.
Just as a reminder, here are the BRG offers each chain has
- Starwood- 20% off competing price OR 2,000 Starpoints
- Hilton- 25% off competing price
- Marriott-25% off competing price
- IHG-Match competing price + first night free
- Choice- Match competing price + first night free
- Best Western- Match competing price + US$100 gift card