Stay at luxury hotels for FREE!

free-hotel-stay-InterContinental-Amstel-Amsterdam-Best-Price-Guarantee-IHG
Over the past few years, I’ve stayed numerous times at luxury hotels for free. Highlights include a night in the €2500 Dom Perignon Suite at InterContinental Amstel and suites at InterContinental Paris Le Grand, InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, InterContinental Dusseldorf, InterContinental Dublin and InterContinental Bucharest. All thanks to the Best Price Guarantee. Major hotel chains offer a price guarantee which states they will compensate you if you manage to find a cheaper rate for your hotel booking on a third party hotel booking website. (e.g. expedia.com) Most hotel chains will lower their prices to the rate you’ve found and will give you some loyalty points or an extra discount for your stay. The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) which includes brands like InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo has an even better guarantee. If you find a lower price on a third party website you get the first night free and the other nights at the lower price. Yes, if you’re only staying one night, the stay is free! Ideal for weekend trips.
Dom-Perignon-Suite-InterContinental-Amstel-Amsterdam-Best-Price-Guarantee

How does it work?

The IHG Best Price Guarantee terms & conditions are quite complex, but if you stick to the rules below your chances to get a claim approved increase significantly.
Hotel Indigo Paris Opera

1. Check hotel prices at IHG.com

Rule #1: Wait until the hotel of your choice offers refundable rates only.
As long as you see Advance Purchase rates, your chances to get a claim approved are very limited. Once you found a hotel with Best Flexible rates only, take note of the prices.
InterContinental Paris Royal Suite

2. Find lower prices on third party sites

Trivago cheap hotelsbook hotels cheaper via hotelscombined
Use aggregators like HotelsCombined.com and Trivago.com to compare room rates of hundreds of third party hotel websites in just a few clicks. You might be able to find lower rates this way, but it helps to have a list of lesser known OTA’s (Online Travel Agents). Here’s my list of favorite sites which often offer lower rates compared to IHG.com

Note: Third party sites needs to offer lower rates in the same currency as on IHG.com
stay for free at Hotel Indigo London Tower Bridge Best Price Guarantee

3. Book and submit your claim

Once you have found a lower rate, make your booking on IHG.com and submit your claim. You can expect a reply within 24 hours or less. If your claim is denied, cancel your booking and repeat steps 1 – 3.
Welcome gift at InterContinental Paris Le Grand
Got a claim approved? Congratulations! Feel free to share your successes in the comments of this blog post. Enjoy your free stay!

150 Comments on “Stay at luxury hotels for FREE!

  1. I just submitted a claim for Intercontinental Berlin! However, there is no way for me to know if my claim went thru … they said I will have to wait … kinda sucks coz I had too many browsers open – I just hope my claim did actually go thru! thanks for sharing this amazing tip!

  2. Dank je, Bart, voor deze tip! I’ve stayed for free at the InterContinental Istanbul, InterContinental Vienna, and InterContinental Budapest making use of a BRG. Since you are based in Belgium as well, would be nice to catch up some day.

  3. Nice article Bart! One question:
    “Third party sites needs to offer lower rates in the same currency as on IHG.com”

    Same currency = the property’s currency on IHG?

    Lets say the property’s currency is USD and i see the prices on booking.com and IHG.com in euro:
    With extra message on booking.com “You’ll pay XYZ in the property’s currency USD”
    – booking.com = 99 euro, IHG = 98.4 euro

    Cheaper, but i guess not valid?

    If i switch to USD on booking.com on IHG.com (which is the property currency of the hotel on IHG) then i see this:
    – booking.com 112 USD, IHG – 112 USD

    So i guess you should only compare prices in the property currency and therefore the claim in euro would not be valid?

    • Correct, both the IHG site and third party site need to show the same currency. And there are even third party sites which initially show all kinds of currencies, but when you check the final page of the booking process you’ll see they switch to USD or EUR. (e.g. Destinia.com always shows EUR on final booking page)

    • Apples to Apples for sure! My claim was denied – I booked thru getaroom.com and the final price was in USD! I will try destinia!

      • ok so let’s say i want to book a room in Philipines where hotel currency is PHP.
        On destinia the currency is Euro on the booking page.
        I can switch currency on IHG from PHP to euro and compare but is that a valid comparison?

  4. Nice article. The IHG BRG is actually quite cool, but hard to get through nowadays. There’s always a reason they deny it with…

    • Thank you for your feedback Moritz. If you follow my advices, success rates should be higher. I already got 2 BPG’s approved this week.

  5. I just got a BPG approved for executive suite in Intercontental Lisbon. It only took them 5 hours to approve. I used ratestogo.com.

    • Hi Katrien,

      I just compared intercontinental Lisbon & ratestogo.com, but cancellation policy on ratestogo.com is always 2 days shorter than on IC, how did you get the BPG approved?

      • I just tried it, and they approved! Sometimes, some luck is needed, and it sometimes depends on which person checks your request.

        • Hi Katrien,

          Than you have more luck than me, I always get a decline due to stricter cancellation policy 🙂

          Was the flex rate at IHG the lowest available when comparing or was there an advance purchase that was lower?

          Thanks!

  6. Dag Bart,interessante blog!

    Is de volgende redenering correct? Ik moet zoeken naar een hotel waar enkel nog de best flex rate beschikbaar is voor een bepaalde datum en deze prijs mag dan ook vergeleken worden met non-refundable rates?

    Als ik probeer om de best flex te vergelijken met andere websites met dezelfde annuleringsvoorwaarden is de annuleringsmogelijkheid bij Intercontinental altijd één dag langer…

  7. Hi Bart, thx for the tips. How do you know for sure your claim is validated? I got my first mail from IHG after 4 hours but they didn’t confirm or reject my claim. It just said they were working on it and would confirm my free night by mail. Then a few days of silence, I could not reach them so I had to cancel. 10 minutes after the cancellation deadline they mailed me that the valid claim was no longer active because I cancelled 🙂 . I read a few stories about IHG deliberately postponing or losing valid claims.

    • Hi Kristof, when you receive an email which states “We have verified the lower rate you found on XXXX We are now working on the best way to adjust your reservation with confirmation number XXXX and appreciate your patience.” or “We have verified the lower rate you found on XXXXX. We are working on the best way to adjust your reservation to a Free Night stay.” you have a valid BPG claim.

      • Hi Bart,

        Any idea how long it takes after the above quoted mail, before the price in your reservation is adjusted?
        Or won’t they adjust the price and will your credit card be charged for the full amount and will they perform a refund afterwards?

        Thanks!

        • In most cases, you’ll only receive an email the day before your stay (sometimes even on the day of the stay or after) to confirm if your rate was ‘adjusted’ or if you’ll be reimbursed. In case of reimbursement, you’ll need to pay your stay at the hotel (earns points!) and you’ll receive the money back in your bank account 4-6 weeks after your stay.

          • Thanks! I would feel more comfortable if price has been changed some days before the stay :). But if you’ve received the mail with the following text you can be sure you’ll get a free stay (1night) and that they won’t retract the claim a day before your stay f.e.? Because you don’t have any evidence except 1 mail..
            Mail: “We have verified the lower rate you found on xxxx. We are now working on the best way to adjust your reservation with confirmation number xxx and appreciate your patience. Please note that there is no standard response time with regards to the adjustment and that we will be contacting you via e-mail once we have been able to adjust the reservation.”

  8. Leuke website en leuke tips. Ik heb echter wel het gevoel dat een kamer met enkel en alleen de “Best Flexible Rate & Deals” enkel beschikbaar zijn voor reizen binnen de week, of ben ik mis?

    De “Advance Saver Rate” doet me telkens de das om.

    • Thank you for your feedback Stijn. Correct, at most hotels the Advance Saver Rates disappear between 3 weeks and 2 days before the arrival date.

  9. Hi Bart,
    Is there still a means to contact the BRG team by phone after you’ve submitted your online claim? Can’t find the phone number…

  10. Hi Ben!

    Do you have any experience of some cities that are easier than others? Been looking for both Hong Kong and New York – but the rates found elsewhere are exactly the same as on the IHG website – whichever date I search for.. 😦

    • no idea about Hong Kong or New York, but I had my first try at IC Park Lane in London approved after 3 hours. There were 4 cheaper rates available!

      • Hi Thomas, Congrats!

        Did you compare the flex rate with other flex rates?
        Was the flex rate the only available rate or advanced saver also?

        • Flexrate was the only one on IHG site (has to be, otherwise its virtually impossible). I did find one non-flex cheaper rate on another site, and this is the one I used. Funny enough, its not the one they used. They actually used another one from the ‘comment’ box. First time this happened to me. So they actually check the comment box 😉 Or is was lucky (i think it really depends on who checks…)

  11. Hmm, weird. After receiving the typical confirmation mail (we are working towards adjusting etc…), my reservation completely disappeared from my IHG account! Should I be worried?
    Hasn’t happened to me before, but so far I’ve only had reimbursements afterwards.

  12. Hallo,

    Ik heb een reservatie gedaan via de IHG website voor één nacht en een claim ingediend wegens een lager tarief op een andere website.

    Ik kreeg een mail in deze zin : “We have verified the lower rate you found on XXXX We are now working on the best way to adjust your reservation with confirmation number XXXX and appreciate your patience.”

    Ze praten nergens over een gratis nacht.

    Mag ik er zeker van zijn dat ze mijn gratis nacht zullen toekennen of is het mogelijk dat enkel het tarief zal worden aangepast ?

  13. Hello Bart,

    I’ve got the same email as a couple as other people in the above comments.
    It’s for a night tomorrow and probably they will not adjust the price in time so I need to pay the night. You are sure that they will adjust the price and refund us?:)) For us it looks like an unbelievable story. Thnx

    Dear Mr. X,

    Thank you for contacting our office regarding the Best Price Guarantee in reference to rates at the Crowne Plaza Liege. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you with this.

    We have verified the lower rate you found on http://www.distinia.com We are now working on the best way to adjust your reservation with confirmation number xxxxxx and appreciate your patience. Please note that there is no standard response time with regards to the adjustment and that we will be contacting you via e-mail once we have been able to adjust the reservation.

  14. Great tips. And still working on my first approval but as always the winner takes it all 😉 So keep on trying and trying I guess. They do know how to play the game though at IHG. Will post my first BPG free night as soon as I catch one. Keep up the good work with this blog!

      • IHG will do anything to try and not approve your claim Look what I got in my mailbox
        Dear Mr. Colebunders,

        Thank you for contacting our office regarding our Best Price Guarantee in reference to rates at the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you with this matter.

        We have verified the website http://www.getaroom.comand were able to locate the corresponding rates for your stay. Our records show that your reservation was booked under the Best Flexible Rate of USD 260.74 plus taxes per night. Please be informed that there is an offer of USD 234.66 plus taxes per night available on the IHG website under the IHG Rewards Club Rate; this is also a room only, flexible reservation. Since the IHG website is offering a lower rate than what you are claiming for on the third-party website we will be unable to extend the Best Price Guarantee to this reservation.

        Book. Complete a valid room booking with the lowest available price (room rate) on any IHG website for any IHG branded hotel using the “Best Available Rate Search.” A “valid room booking” means a complete booking with an approved credit card.

        What the….. There own terms clearly state and I quote :

        The Guarantee does not apply to prices offered on membership program websites; corporate discounts; negotiated prices; group, rewards program, loyalty program, incentive, meeting, convention, consolidator or interline prices; prices obtained via auction or similar process; or prices available only by using a coupon or other promotion not offered to the general public.

        How bizarre….it does not apply to rewards program….isn’t that the reason why they deny my claim….. 😉

        They will stop at nothing. Well IHG you really got my mad right now. My sole mission. Getting that room for FREE!!!

        Good luck everyone.

  15. Hi, is it possible to book 2 rooms and be refunded because most rooms are for 2 persons, I wonder if I can book a second room for my children and enjoy this offer for the 2 rooms? Tx

  16. Bart, thanks for the tip, so I booked a junior suite in the IHG Amstel for 1 night. After booking through their website, I found the room cheaper on Amoma.com. I’ve sent the BPG form online and waited for 48hrs for their reply, which I haven’t received. So I wrote a mail with print screen of the price on Amoma.com and asked if they received my online form. They answered that they did not receive it and that it was too late for a compensation. After insisting they still said they didn’t receive it. Very disappointing since I have the feeling they are hiding behind false excuses in order not to give a free night. In the end, I cancelled my reservation…

    • Geert, it will take a few claims before you get your first free night approved. If you don’t get a reply within 24h, cancel, rebook and re-claim. Challenging IHG BPG decisions rarely results in a satisfying answer. Just submits some new claims and fingers crossed! 🙂

    • Geert, there is no point in emailing screenshots. If your claim hasn’t been answered within 24h, the T&C don’t apply anymore and they will decline your claim. In this case it is better to cancel your booking, book again and put in a new claim. Good luck!

  17. Hi Bart,

    Do you know if they just check the cancellation policy, or also the change-policy? For example Advanche Purchase rate is non-refundable, but you can change the dates. On Destinia if you book a restricted rate, it says it is non-changeable and non-refundable.

    Thanks for your help!

    Kind regards,

    Robbert

    • Hi Robbert, I recommend to only submit BPG claims when there are just refundable rates left at IHG.com In all other scenarios, chances your claim will be approved are very limited, as they will compare all terms & conditions of the 3th party site.

      • Hm, luckily I had 2 valid claims for IC Amsterdam and IC Dusseldorf…. Now they stopped selling all IHG Hotels via that third party website… Ever saw that before?

        • Sites which ‘work’ for BPG come and go. Just look at alternative OTA sites and you might find new ones. And don’t forget, enjoy while it lasts. Deals and opportunities are identified, used and disappear at a certain point. 🙂

  18. Hello Bart,

    I’ve got an accepted reservation for a free night.

    When I cancel the free night won’t be valid anymore.

    Can I book at another IHG hotel in the same city for the same night and apply again for a free night ?

    Tom

    • Hi Tom, see section 10 of the IHG BPG T&C. “Additional Free Night Restrictions. Once a valid claim has been made and approved by IHG for a specific date, no further claims by the same person or anyone in the same household will be accepted for the same date. If an individual or members of the same household make multiple claims for two or more nights in the same fourteen (14) day period at the same IHG hotel or at different IHG hotels within fifty (50) miles of each other, the claims will be treated as, and limited to, one claim for one stay, even if booked through more than one reservation, and only the Best Price Guarantee claim for the first night will be honored. In the event of a valid claim, reservations are non-transferable after the claim is found to be valid, and the name on the reservation must remain the same as when the claim is verified and no additional names may be added to the reservation after the claim is found to be valid. Valid government issued ID is required upon check-in that matches the name found on the reservation. Employees of any IHG company or employees at any IHG hotel are not eligible for the Best Price Guarantee.”

  19. thanks for the great tip! I just got a mail that my claim has been approved for a free night :D. I realised I chosed for a stay with 1 adult, but like to stay with 2 adults.

    the following note is mentioned in the mail:
    2. This claim has been deemed valid for one adult based on the reservation submitted to us. Please be advised that if the occupancy of the room exceeds the prescribed number the free night shall be forfeited.

    any experience with staying with 2 adults anyway? maybe sneak in a couple of hours later?

    • There shouldn’t be any issue to stay with two people at the room. Just don’t make changes to the booking. Enjoy your free night!

      • Unless you are doing this in Las Vegas where they sometimes check people at the elevators to prevent “uninvited” guests into the rooms 😉

  20. Hi Bart,
    In event of BPG claim is valid and approved, is it honor as qualifying or non-qualifying night for rewards club member? TQ in reply soon.

    • If the stay is ‘adjusted’ which means you don’t need to pay at check-out, it will be non-qualifying. If you need to pay at check-out and the money is reimbursed via your bank account, the stay will be qualifying and earn points.

  21. I’ve just tried to book the Amsterdam Amstel. Junior suite. Fingers crossed.

  22. Hi Bart,

    I found a website where the rates for stay plus breakfast are cheaper than those for stay plus breakfast at ihg.
    Note: those rates are also cheaper than stay only rates.
    The stay only rates are the same on the IHG and third party website.

    Does the best rate guarantee offer also counts for this situation? Or is it breakfast only.

    Thanks!

      • Thanks Bart!

        Fingers crossed. Only part I’m not sure about: difference in cancellation date between the two websites. Let’s hope I have the luck on my side!

        • It doesn’t work. They say that the room isn’t available anymore on the third party website. Whereas I can book!
          I don’t understand it. They don’t accept my screenshot either.

          Their reply:

          Thank you for your email.

          We understand that you viewed a rate on the third-party website which prompted you to file for the Best Price Guarantee. At the same time please know that we would need to be able to verify directly that the lower rate is bookable and available on the reported website at the time IHG conducts verification for the program. We are precluded by our Terms and Conditions from accepting external documentation for the purpose of verification for the Guarantee. We have reviewed the third-party website once more and stand by the result provided as we are unable to confirm the availability of a lower rate.

          • Hi Frédéric, did you check via an ‘incognito’ browser session if you can still see the rates? Don’t give up after a first claim is being rejected. Just submit some new ones. Also depends on the agent processing your claim.

            • ok thanks for the tip. I tried private browsing via safari and it still shows the lower rate.

              I assume you mean a new “lower rate” for other hotel? No point of filing a new claim for the same issue?

              Sorry for the questions, thanks in advance!

  23. hi Bart,

    I’m a bit confuse about the tax. Let’s say IHG quote $200 (before tax) and $250 (after tax). Later on I found another website quote 1 price for example $240 incl. tax. Do you think I can claim it?

    Thanks!

    • You have a much higher chance to get a claim approved if the rate on the 3th party site is lower before tax. You can always try, but claim will most likely be declined.

      • Ah I see. One more question, if lets say ihg quote $200 before tax and $250 after tax, while 3rd party site quote $199 before tax and $260 after tax. What do you think?

        Thanks!

  24. Great informative post!
    One question though, I booked the flexibele rate but my claim got denied because the IHG rewards club rate is lower then the flexibele rate. Is this a valid denial?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Katrien, thanks for your feedback. Well, IHG is the sole party which can determine if a claim is valid or not, so no other option than to cancel, rebook and reclaim. Most agents will deny your claim if the IHG Rewards Club rate is lower. Good luck!

  25. Ok, thanks for the info. I will try again with the IHG Club Rate. Fingers crossed 😉

  26. Tried it again today, same website, same hotel. However this time less difficulties:

    “We are working on the best way to adjust your reservation to a 1st night FREE. We appreciate your patience and will contact you via email once this has been confirmed.”

    Fingers crossed!

    • Congratulations Frederic, you scored yourself a free hotel night! Proves once again it depends a lot on which agent processes your claim. Enjoy your free night!

          • One of the websites that Bart mentioned in his blogpost.

            It will be the first time I’m enjoying a free night via BPG, looking forward to it!

            When are you going?

            • I am going from November 20 to November 22. Have been looking at rooms but haven’t found a BPG yet.

  27. Hello,

    I won a free night but had to pay.

    After two weeks they already wired the money on my account what was very quickly !

    The only thing that is regrettable that my bank (KBC) took 9,68 euro costs since the money was wired from the US !

    • Be happy with the €9,68 cost.

      I also got a refund and Deutsche Bank charged €45 costs…
      After having a call with them they said it was €30 costs for the international transaction and €15 cost charged by the sending Bank.

      Very strange as I note that noone else needs to pay charges for the sending bank…

      My last transaction at Deutsche Bank.

  28. Hi Bart,

    Read about you in an article in De Standaard. Very impressed! Guess living like this and searching for free stays in luxury hotels is a full time job? We’re actually traveling around the world for a year at the moment, but doing it the old fashioned way by searching nice and decently priced hostels. Should try your way though, staying in a luxury hotel every once in a while would be nice! We’ll let you know if we succeed. 🙂

    • Hi Brithe, thank you for your feedback. After some trial and error, you’ll definitely manage to get free stays! It just requires some flexibly and persistence. Enjoy your yearlong trip!

  29. Hi Bart,

    I have the opportunity tomake a last minute trip to a friend in the UK,
    So I decided to give ‘your’ trick a try
    The price for the superior room including breakfast on IHG is 420 £ however the price on amoma is 349£ and since the booking is for the upcoming weekend it’s the best flexible rate, I’ll see if it works althoug I found the price difference quite high

  30. Hi Bart!

    Thanks for the great tip.
    I have found a Best Available Price of 605euro on the IHG-website. The total cost, however, would be higher, since they also charge a service charge of 37.5euro (which makes a total of 642.5euro).

    When looking at other booking websites, should I try and find something cheaper than the total cost (642.5euro) or the Best Availabe Price (605euro)?

    Many thanks!

    – Katrin

    • Hi Katrin, you’ll need to look at something which is cheaper than the 605EUR. Most agents will decline your claim if you would compare with the 642.50EUR total.

  31. Hello Bart!
    What about the cases where they state Best Flexible Rate & Deals but with Non-Refundable Rate and Deposit required. Is this a good start for searching a free night? 🙂

    Thank you,

    Bogdan

    • Hi Bogdan, are we talking about Best Flexible rates on the IHG site which still require a deposit and are in fact non-refundable? Or do you refer to a 3th party site?

  32. Hi bart
    I find flexible rate in 3th party agent cheaper than ihg advance purchase rate. Can i claim for this

    • Hi Golf, that will not work as the IHG BPG requires the cancellation terms to be the same. Only the other way around works, comparing IHG Flexible rates with 3th party non-flex rates.

      • You mean if use advance purchase rate in ihg can only compare to advance puechase rate in 3 th ota.
        I don’t understand it if 3th ota was cheaper and cancelable vs ihg More expensive and can not cancel. In this case i think i found good cancel term and cheaper.

        • I know, there’s no logic to the IHG BPG T&C. I don’t recommend to make non-refundable IHG bookings as you’ll need to pay your stay if your claim is denied.

          • Thank you Bart.
            I found many web that cheaper than ihg but cancel term is can not fight ihg web. IHG web most likely to offer cancellable until 6.00 pm on checkin date so i used to see this only at booking.com

  33. Hey Bart

    Als ik een kamer wil boeken mag de “advace Purchase” niet meer geldig zijn.
    Dus je moet maximum 6 dagen op voorhand booken?
    Klopt dit?

    Dankuwel

    • Toon,

      Correct, but Advanced Purchase rates disappear at different times depending on which hotel you’re looking at. Some hotels don’t offer them anymore as far as 3 weeks out.

  34. Hi Bart,

    And what if the rates shown at hotelscombined.com itself are good (lower than the IHG rates), but when you click through on the urls like booking.com or venere, the rate is always higher than mentioned on hotelscombined.com (and actually eaquals the IHG rates), I suppose you will not get the claim then? For the moment I’m searching for Brussels this Monday, .

    • Hi Celine, unfortunately you cannot refer to HotelsCombined for your claim. The data you see on HC might be outdated or not included some of the taxes. Always check the rate directly on the OTA (online travel agent) sites and click until the actual payment page to see the correct amount. Good luck!

  35. I’m planning to go to London for a weekend.
    In theory it should be possible to claim 2 different hotels from the IHG, each for one night wich would mean I could claim 2 free rooms, right?
    I was wondering if you have any experience with this, and if so, would you recommend doing it?

    P.S: Not trying to come across cheap, I’m just a 19 year old lad, you can understand why this idea appeals me 😉

    • Hi Dre, you can only have one valid claim in the same area (50 miles) every 14 days. (see IHG BPG Terms & Conditions) Enjoy your trip to London!

  36. Beste Bart,
    Wat ik ook soms terugvind zijn Advance Saver Rates op Trivago die goedkoper zijn dan De IHG website. Bv Intercontinental Lissabon 7/3-9/3 staat voor 141,63 op IGH en 134 op Amoma. Echter dit is een niet refundable rate in beide gevallen. Moest de claim dus niet aanvaard worden om één of andere rede kan ik de kamer niet annuleren op IHG.com. Vrij van risico of toch maar niet doen?
    Thx voor je input

    • Dear GC, please keep in mind you can only submit a Best Price Guarantee claim without any risks when there’s only Best Flexible rates left for that particular hotel on your particular date(s) on IHG.com If you ignore this ‘rule’ you might end up with an IHG.com non-refundable rate booking, getting your claim denied and have no option to cancel it without penalty.

  37. Hi Bart,

    I saw you on Telefacts (Belgian television) and started looking for a hotel the day after. Seems a bit more difficult than I expected.
    Anyway, at some point I found a hotel in Amsterdam on IHG that was 10 euro more expensive than on Yeego. Since the day I wanted to book was <24h I did not make a claim since you need to wait for the claim to be validated and that can take up to 24h. Since I was not booking anyway, I spoke to a person on IHG online chat about the lower rate and to see if I was correct or not. He said I needed to wait a few minutes and then came back to me:" Oh looks like Yeego just adjusted the price". And indeed, when I checked the price on Yeego it was adapted to be identical to IHG's. Do you think these websites work together and update eachother on changed prices?

    Will keep trying to score a free night 🙂

    • Hi Wim, thanks for sharing your experience. Obtaining valid IHG Best Price Guarantee claims can be challenging. You’ll need to submit a few and learn from your ‘mistakes’. Contacting people outside the BPG-department will not be really helpful. I have had many claims approved in the past 3 years, even one for tomorrow, but also many rejected. Just cancel, rebook, reclaim! 🙂 PS To my knowledge IHG does not contact OTA’s to increase the price to then deny your claim. Rather OTA’s have rates which change depending on the time of the day or the cookies you have in your browser.

  38. Hii Bart,

    Really interesting material here! I got some free nights so far but I was wondering how you were able to get a “suite” where there is only 1 of them available. Like you talk about the “Dom Perignon suite” in the Amstel in Amsterdam, but how can you file a claim for that?

    If you book the room through the IGH (or affiliate) site’s than there is no possibility to find it anymore on an OTA, so that leaves no space to find a better price on a different site.

    Keep up the good work!

    Nick

  39. Hi Bart,

    As mentioned in your post, the free night can be perfect for weekend trips. However i’ve been looking for the last 2 months to make a weekend trip to ‘destination unknown’, and have been looking to ‘beat the lowest price guarantee’ for every hotel within reasonable drive range from my home town (300-350 km +-15 ihg hotels) but have been unable to find one yet.

    As a rookie in the luxury hotels for free business, I was just hoping to get a confirmation that it can indeed take such a long time before I can find a lower price on a OTA?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    • Hi NM, Best Price Guarantee claims at IHG have become more challenging this year, but are still possible. Did you already submit one or more claims?

      • Hi Bart,

        Challenging indeed.
        I did already submit some claims, but that was before i totally understood their policy. Up to now, the lower prices on 3th party OTA’s i could find always changed as from the day that only the best flex rate was still available on the ihg website.

        Thank you for your confirmation that it became a bit more difficult thuis year, it’s a small boost which will make me not give up 🙂

  40. Hi Bart,
    I did a check on several hotels in Belgium and London, most of the time the “advanced price for early bookings” dissapears when you make a booking 5 days ahead. So that is a real short period. Never found the possibility for 3 weeks! Then you still need to find a good price on the Eurostar from Belgium to London, any suggestions on that? 🙂

  41. Thank you for this post, I have just stayed in the Interconti Amsterdam for free. However, Iw as wondering whether this BPG only applies to the lowest rate (standard room without breakfast) or whether one can also claim suites and rates with breakfast if they are found cheaper on other sides? 🙂

    • Cool Jan! Hope you enjoyed your stay. BPG also applies to suites, but not with breakfast. The breakfast ‘rule’ is something the BPG department ‘invented’ in the past couple of months. The ‘rules’ change all the time, but BPG’s are still possible. Did two this week in Hong Kong and Dubai!

      • Hello bart,
        Great that you where able to get two free rooms.
        What process did you follow?
        Did you book a room with flexible rate and cancel that one when you had a obtained a BRG?

        Next Friday im looking for a hotel in Rotterdam (there is only one ihg hotel) and two in den haag. Tomorrow the advanced rate will disappear for the two hotels in den haag, Wednesday for the one in Rotterdam, the hunt opens :). Downside is that in the Netherlands you pay for a service cost when booking a ihg hotel. So when cancelling the room it’s about 5-9euro. Already did a quick look on rates but it seems that I currently can’t find prices that beat the price of ihg. Any suggestions?

        • Ruben, not sure where you got the information there would be a charge to make or cancel a refundable booking? I followed the usual process as outlined in my article. Waited until only refundable rates where available on IHG site, make refundable bookings for both hotels and submitted claims for the lower rates I found. My first two claims were denied, my third claim was approved. I was also flexible in choosing the hotels, I could only find lower rates for a Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express, not for the more expensive InterContinental hotels.

    • Hey Jan,
      did you do quite some research to find a lower rate and did they directly approve and where did you find your price?
      thanks!

  42. Hi Bart,
    Check the hotels in Holland, there is a service cost for booking a hotel! Even with a flexible rate…

    • Can you provide a screenshot of where this is stated? Never got charged for cancelling bookings of IHG hotels in The Netherlands.

  43. When a claim is denied you suggest Bart to cancel the reservation and claim again. Is this the best way? Or can you also, after a decline, provide more claims within the 24h? I have noticed that once a claim has been made and denied they don’t respond very quickly anymore on these further claims…

    Second question,
    Do you have experience in getting a claim with a room only ihg booking compared with a lower third party bed and breakfast room. They declined my claim two times and tried further request without notice.

    They said:
    The rate on on the competing website is for a room with breakfast reservation; on the other hand, the reservation you have booked on the IHG website is for a room only rate. These 2 rate types are incomparable to each other which makes your claim invalid for the Guarantee.

    Thanks,

    • 1) As indicated, in most cases they will indicate the 24h window has passed. So cancel, rebook, reclaim. 2) As indicated by the IHG BPG team, you cannot claim rates which include extra items on the third party website (e.g. breakfast) if they are not included on the IHG website. Furthermore, if there are non-breakfast rates available on IHG, you can only submit claims for non-breakfast rates.

      • Bart,

        –> When the 24h window hasn’t passed I can just keep on sending requests, right, or is it better to cancel and claim again? I did a claim, it was denied, reclaimed again, just the same request (last night) and didn’t receive any reponds anymore from IHG on this claim…

        The “facts”:
        1) @IHG: I booked the lowest available price: 167,6€ (including service costs), IHG Rewards Club price (Flexible without breakfast)
        2) @Third Party Site: I found a price of 140€ for a “bed & breakfast” and 176€ for Room Only (yes weird pricing I know)
        –> both “standard” rooms btw

        –> IHG rejected, response:
        We understand that you viewed a rate on the third-party website which prompted you to file for the Best Price Guarantee. At the same time please know that we would need to be able to verify directly that the lower rate has the exact same rate inclusions just like on your reservation. The rate on on the competing website is for a room with breakfast reservation; on the other hand, the reservation you have booked on the IHG website is for a room only rate. These 2 rate types are incomparable to each other which makes your claim invalid for the Guarantee.

        Packages Comparison. The Guarantee applies to comparing exactly the same packages or inclusive prices with the same included items. Thus, room prices that include food or beverage items such as breakfast or dinner, entertainment items such as tickets to a show, and/or free local calls, parking or other bundled items will be considered as packages, and must be entirely equivalent to be eligible for the Guarantee.

        So actually they are saying, although the package has a better pricing and a better package you can’t compare it and it’s not valid! Strange strange… They are doing their best not to give a free night away.

        My questions:
        1) Should I try to keep on (re)claiming?
        2) If I book @IHG the room with breakfast, which costs 194,6€ it will be denied because I didn’t book the lowest available price…right…?

        thanks for the help!

        • Ruben,
          1) your claims will continue to be denied as IHG BPG desk indicated. “These 2 rate types are incomparable to each other which makes your claim invalid for the Guarantee”
          2) correct, so you’ll need to find a lower rate WITHOUT breakfast on a third party website.

          • Thanks Bart,

            would it be better then to cancel and book again for a different claim or just to reclaim within 24h? Because they weren’t responding anymore on my reclaim..

  44. Hi Bart, een hele leuke en leerzame artikel. Dank hiervoor! Heb je dit BPG ook geprobeerd bij andere hotelketen (e.g. Hilton of Starwood)?

    • Chris, yes I also did successful BPG’s with Hilton, SPG and Hyatt. But those programs don’t give free nights for valid claims, rather discount the rate or provide points.

  45. IHG: 1 – Ruben 0…seems the verdict. For an upcoming wedding in Rotterdam Friday I’ve been looking on every site suggested + extra sites several days but can’t find any lower price. All 3 hotels chosen are today flexible rate only.
    The rates are getting closer together but still not lower… Maybe tonight or tomorrow better luck?

    I’ve looked for 3 hotels in order of preference:
    1) Holiday Inn Express Rotterdam – Central Station (Price: €107,22)
    2) Crown Plaza Promenade – Den Haag (several prices)
    3) Holiday Inn Express – Den Haag – Parliament (Price: €95,7)

    I still have until Thursday 15:00 to make a claim…
    Any further suggestions?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Benelux (Brussels, Ghent, Liege, Hasselt…) Germany (Dusseldorf, Berlin,…), France (Paris) and UK (London) hotels have become much harder to BPG claim because a number of people made it habit to claim free hotel stays almost every week at the same hotels. It will require a lot more effort to find OTA sites which offer lower rates for those hotels. It’s much easier to find BPG deals in other cities.

      • Too bad, all the television programs probably have something to do about it :). I just had a paid stay last night @ Holiday Inn Rotterdam. Nice stay, enjoyed the hotel. Tomorrow starts my hunt for London. Are there any booking sites who are “specialised” in the UK and often provide lower rates? Any suggestions for finding a lower rate in London appreciated.

  46. Hey Bart,

    If I’m not a member of IHG Rewards Club, which rate should I use to compare to third party rates, the normal one or the Club one (3% cheaper)?

    And what is about this breakfast rules that everyone here wrote? I’ve read them all, but still confused in the end.

    Thank you in advance. Cheers!

    • Hi Ryan, you always need to compare with the lowest rate, even if that requires you to become an IHG Rewards Club member. As of Feb 2016, the IHG Best Price Guarantee desk does not accept rates anymore which include breakfast (except if those are the lowest rates available on IHG.com or Holiday Inn Express hotels which always include breakfast) Good luck!

      • I see. Thanks a lot!

        Enjoy your stay in Vienna! Your Snaps are spot on btw 😁

  47. Hi Bart, What is your experience. Which is the best time? October or all the time? Did you was successfully with a Holiday Inn Hotel or do you try only IC?
    Do you have a IHG Spire Elite Status? Do you ever was in a IC in Switzerland? (Geneve or Davos) Davos would be very nice but i realy dont find a cheaper price for a superior room with breakfast than 410 CHF on 22 – 23.01.

    Looking forward for your answer

    • Rene. I had BRG’s at IC’s, Holiday Inn’s, Hotel Indigo’s, etc… Elite status does not matter, you can have successful BRG claims with Club level. There’s no such thing as ‘best time’. The only thing you need to look for is hotels which only have ‘flexible’ rates left so you can claim without risks. Good luck!

  48. Hi Bart.

    When i got a free night (some where in the world) does i have to go there to get the ihg rewards points? I live in Swiss and would find example 1 night in Thailand or India. But i want just the points. Do you know any trick to collecht ihg rewards point faster

  49. Hi Bart, can you lose an approved BPG by booking an extra night, prior to the BPG?

  50. Hey Bart,
    can i compare ihg flexible rate with 3rd party non flexible, when advance purchase rate disappeared on Ihg?

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