Getting the best price for your selected hotel is the aim of everyone who goes online to book accommodation. Who wants to pay more for the same hotel room? Nobody! But wait a minute…
You’ve probably already seen on several hotel booking websites the big list of advantages they offer to their customers. If you go through that list chances are you will find in bold, with a green tick beside it, the good old “best price guarantee”. So why I am spending my time shopping around and comparing prices, when every hotel booking website promises the best price? Can I blindly trust it, or is that just another marketing trick?
Well, I would say that it’s more like insurance: not a bad thing to have but you’d better read the fine print if you really want to get something out of it. But don’t worry, you don’t need to waste your time doing that… I did the reading for you and I’m going to give you some tips in this post about how to use it, when to use it, and also give you a smarter way to make sure you get the best price for your hotel.
To start off: all hotel booking websites besides one (this secret tip comes later in the post) expect you to do the searching yourself. So you actively need to go around the web even after you booked your hotel room and compare prices… But, even if you have enough time to do that (who has?), you should pay close attention to the conditions in which the best price guarantee applies. Whenever you find a cheaper rate, check first if these conditions are met before requesting a refund:
- make sure the room is from the same category (if you booked deluxe and find a cheaper rate for a standard room, they won’t refund you)
- check if the room you originally booked is fully refundable (if not, you will most of the time get no refund, no matter what)
- take a look to see whether the breakfast is included. If you booked a rate with breakfast and find a cheaper one without, no refund here either
- make sure the new rate is not part of a package
- most importantly, check for how long after the original booking the best price guarantee is valid.
The last point is really important. Most hotel booking websites give you a deadline to find a better price for your booked room. After that, the best price guarantee is void. Here’s a short summary of the deadline of some big providers:
- HRS: 24 hours after booking
- Booking.com: they just say “immediately after booking”, so anything over 48 hours should be hard to get
- Hotel.de: no clue… they have a big “Best price guarantee” on their website but no info about how to claim, terms & conditions and so on. That’s a bit of an empty promise.
- Ebookers: 48 hours after booking and 72 hours before check-in.
- Expedia: this is a good one; their best price guarantee goes until 48 hours before check-in
- Hotel.com: the same deadline as Expedia.
It looks like hard work! Comparing rates, room types, amenities, cancellation policy, deadlines and so on is anything but trivial. So, here’s my tip for you… invest your time and energy doing something else and leave this complex comparison work for the machines. Yes, machines: they can do that for you.
At tripRebel we’ve developed an algorithm that understands all aspects of the hotel rate you booked and will check automatically for better rates for your hotel room… and we don’t do that only once, but every day from the day you book until you the day you check-in. We also compare the other big websites, so you don’t need to bother doing that either. Whenever a better rate is found (which happens in about 1/3 of bookings), you get an automatic refund to your credit card, no conditions, no forms, nothing! Money in the bank, period. That’s our special service for you, a kind of automatic best price guarantee.
So our motto of the day is more service, less marketing. If you agree, please share this post and happy saving…
Behind the lens: Emuishere Peliculas