Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beware of the "best price guarantee"

Maybe "be cautious" would be a more appropriate warning.  Having worked in hospitality for a number of years, I wanted to share a insider secret.  "Best price guarantees (BPG)" are not ironclad.  It's somewhat tricky.  BPG typically applies only to "publicly available rates"- rates available to anybody.  But you are not just anybody.  You are on vacation, a road warrior, a workaholic.  You are special and should be treated as such.

One example I just pulled up online:  A Comfort Inn in my town has an Expedia rate of $119 available for the 4th of July weekend (2 night stay- 1 king bed for 2 people). This is their "best price guarantee" rate.  Your credit card will be charged immediately.  But on the hotel website, if you book now for the July 4th weekend and are a member of Choice Privileges (the loyalty program for Comfort Inn) you will pay only $95.20.  You'll be charged immediately as well but will save $24 a night!  PLUS if you register with Choice Privileges online, you will earn a $50 gift card with your second stay.  So if you know or suspect you will be travelling again this summer, this is a quick and easy way to save almost $100 ($24 x 2 nights and a $50 promotional gift card)!  As always, read the rules of any promotion, but this is a great deal!

My point is this- don't be just "anybody".  Join loyalty clubs for hotels/airlines that you frequent and you will find yourself saving money, getting upgrades, and earning a lot more perks for your work or summer travels. Even if you only stay once or twice in a year, you could still earn free gift cards or free nights!   I would be happy to assist anyone who wants more info.   Any questions?  Ask away!
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