The major hotel groups have been putting a lot of effort into getting you to book directly with them rather than through online travel agencies like Orbitz, Expedia, etc. That’s because they have to pay a commission of 10% (or sometimes more) when you book elsewhere, which they don’t have to pay when you book directly with them.
This is one of the main reasons that hotel groups have been offering member only rates, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi for those who are members of their loyalty program and/or those who book directly with them.
On top of that, the major hotel chains all offer best rate guarantees. The intent is that they’re guaranteeing you’ll find the lowest rate for their hotels when booking direct, in an effort to discourage you from booking elsewhere. If you find a lower rate elsewhere, they’ll not only match the better rate, but also give you something to sweeten the pot (either bonus points or a further discount).
Some hotel groups have been making their best rate guarantees worse, which is largely because a lot of people have made a game of finding lower rates elsewhere, and automation has no doubt helped with that.
One hotel group is countering that trend, as Hyatt has just made some positive changes to their best rate guarantee.
Previously Hyatt’s best rate guarantee offered to match the rate you found elsewhere, and offer you a $50 credit to be used towards a future stay within one year. That’s better than nothing, though not exactly a huge reward for finding a lower rate.
Effectively immediately, Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee gives you a choice of two rewards if you find a better rate elsewhere. You can either choose:
- 20% off the room rate they’re matching
- 5,000 World of Hyatt bonus points
Personally I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so to me those points are worth $75, and that’s already a better reward than the old option. However, for a stay of $300+, getting 20% off (equivalent to $75) seems like the better value.
In the process Hyatt has also made some other positive changes to the best rate guarantee. For example, they’re now including most Thompson brands, and rates found on membership sites are eligible, assuming the membership is free.
There are lots of restrictions to be aware of here, so make sure you read the full terms & conditions.
This is a genuine improvement to Hyatt’s best rate guarantee, both in terms of the reward, as well as in terms of the restrictions associated with taking advantage of this.
A reward of 5,000 bonus points or 20% off the room rate is something that could be worth going out of your way to get.