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.
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.
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.
2. Find lower prices on third party sites
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
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.
Got a claim approved? Congratulations! Feel free to share your successes in the comments of this blog post. Enjoy your free stay!