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Best price guaranteed: the different policies of the hotels

To the point The Best Price Guarantee policy is the policy of all major hotel groups. Here are our tips on how to use it to your advantage.

This post is also available in: FR

Best price guaranteed: the different policies of the hotels

Some people prefer to turn to
hotel reservation sites
like Trivago, Expedia or

However, hotel groups (such as airlines) are now seeking to regain full control of their customers’ reservations. Thus, they have implemented the policy of “
best price / guaranteed rate

Therefore, if you find a better rate on one of these booking sites, the hotel group commits to :

  • Align your price
  • Maybe even offer you an additional discount
  • Or even a free first night

How does this best price guarantee policy work?

The rule is the same for all hotel groups

All hotel booking sites offering a “
best price guaranteed
All hotel websites with a ” ” policy have the same rule: the lower rate must be found within 24 hours of booking.

This is how companies protect themselves from the vagaries of the market and from promotions that may occur from time to time.

However, it is quite easy to find a lower rate. But will you “waste your time” claiming the difference for a 1% difference?

Maybe not. Unless you were offered a substantial discount or an additional freebie.

The conditions of reimbursement are different

You found cheaper elsewhere: for the same room, the same services. Very good! However, refund policies differ from one hotel group to another.

And it all depends on how many nights you plan to stay in the hotel.

Of course, if you’re only booking one night, Choice’s first night free policy is the best, as you’ll see below.

meilleur tarif garanti
IHG: First night free

But what about when you stay more than one night? You will need to do the math on which hotel group will offer you the best price for your situation.

See the table below for the different policies for each site, as well as links to the pages detailing the terms and conditions.

Best Price Guaranteed” chart

For example, I assumed a rate of $200 per night for which you would have found a rate of $180.

If you only book one night, here is what it looks like:

Hotel Group Policy Adjusted price Price paid Net price Percentage Reduction
Accor 10% to 25% discount $162 $162 $162 19 %
Best Western Gift card 100 US$ $180 $180 $80 60 %
Carlson 25% discount 135 $ 135 $ 135 $ 32,5 %
Choice US$50 gift card
(for North American customers)
or First night free
(for international customers)
$180 0-180 $ 0-130 $ 35-100%
Hilton 25 % discount 135 $ 135 $ 135 $ 22,5 %
Hyatt 20% off or 5,000 World of Hyatt points 144 $ 144 $ 144 $ 28 %
Ihg Difference and 5 times more points $180 $180 $180 0 %
Marriott Bonvoy 25% discount or 5,000 points 135 $ 135 $ 135 $ 32,5 %


  • Policy
    = Best price guarantee policy practiced by the hotel chain

  • Adjusted price
    = New price validated by the chain following the presentation of the lower rate found. This price will apply to all nights of the stay.

  • Price paid
    = The price of the first night paid
  • The net price = Price paid – commercial gesture of the chaincard for example)

  • Percentage reduction
    = Gain over the initial price paid of $200.

How to read these numbers?

If you stay only one night
there is no need to hesitate. Choice offers you the first night if you find a better price, even if it’s only $0.01! It is therefore a good way to stay in a hotel for free. Trouvez les meilleurs tarifs sur notre site Internet

Then, Best Western can be a good choice as well since the chain offers a $100 card .
Assuming that your room costs around $100, this corresponds to a “quasi-free”.

However, if you stay more than one night, you will have to make calculations based on the “adjusted rate” proposed by the chain.

Some hotels apply an adjusted rate of 25% off, compared to the best price you have found. This new rate will apply to the entire stay . Therefore, it is very interesting if you stay more than 4-5 nights in the same hotel.

The conditions to be respected

Before submitting a claim, it will be very important to verify that all these conditions are met:

The type of room must be identical

Customer service will check:

  • Type and number of beds: twin, double, queen, king
  • Smoking / non-smoking room
  • The exposure: garden view, sea view, mountain view…

All these criteria must be clearly stated on both sites, otherwise your claim will be rejected.

The services must be identical

Then, customer service will check:

  • Microwave, refrigerator in the room
  • Lunch included or not
  • Wi-Fi included or not

N.B.: The names may vary between the hotel group’s website and the reservation website you found (e.g.: buffet breakfast vs. continental breakfast).

The customer service department will then focus more on checking the above mentioned caractéristiques of the room first.

The reservation conditions must be identical

As a general rule:

  • Free cancellation = Free cancellation
  • Non-refundable = Non-refundable

Therefore, you cannot request an adjustment of a “free cancellation” rate against a “non-refundable” rate.

On theother hand, the opposite is possible: if you have booked a “non-refundable” rate and within 24 hours you find a site offering a lower rate that has, in addition, the merit of being able to be cancelled for free … the hotel group will probably align its price.


My advice: before booking on a third party website, check the rates offered by the hotel (if it is part of a hotel group).

And be sure to compare all the caractéristiques listed above (smoking/non-smoking room, type of bedding, breakfast included or not ….).

If you are sure, then you have a chance to get a substantial discount… or even your first night free!

This post is also available in: FR

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Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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