Global hotel chains put in a lot of effort to incentivise travellers to book stays directly with them. They offer special discounted rates to members and there is also the best rate guarantee feature. It comes from the fact that hotels usually pay a high commission, sometimes up to 35% to OTAs like MakeMyTrip and Expedia for hotel bookings that go through them.
While booking direct has many advantages one feature that hotel chains offer is the Best Rate Guarantee feature which basically assures you that you get the cheapest rate by booking directly with them. If someone undercuts them, the hotel would match that price. The rationale is that hotels will instead pass on the discount to customers and induce a behaviour to book directly next time rather than head to an OTA website.
Until now if you came across a lower room rate at a Marriott hotel, Marriott would match the lower rate and give you an additional 25% discount on that rate. However now, Marriott has improved the compensation, and under Look No Further Guarantee you can choose between availing 25% discount and 5,000 Marriott Rewards points.
What you need to do is book your stay directly with Marriott, You could book it online, use the mobile app, call up the Marriott reservation line or walk into a hotel for your last minute stay.
Within 24 hours of making your reservation if come across a lower rate for that hotel, on the same dates for the same room type you can claim compensation by filling out this online claim form. While completing the form, you will get an option to choose whether you would like 5,000 Marriott Rewards points or a 25% discount on the matching rate.
The value of a Marriott Reward point is usually 0.8 US cents or ~50 paise. By that calculation, the valuation of 5,000 points will be ~39 US Dollars or 2,500 Indian rupees. Therefore if the value of your stay is less than INR 10,000 then taking the points makes more sense since the value of points will be much higher than the 25% discount. A reward night at Marriott category 1 hotels costs 7,500 points and getting extra 5,000 points added to the regular 10 points you earn on every US dollar spent at most Marriott hotels will almost get you a free night.
Look No Further Guarantee is a nice improvement to Marriott’s Best Rate Guarantee where Marriott hotels will continue to match the lower rate plus give an option to choose between a further discount and extra points.Though keep in mind that this guarantee does not apply to negotiated rates and prices available on auction websites. Also, you can always transfer Marriott points to Starwood in the ratio 3:1.
What do you think of the Best Rate Guarantee? Do you compare the rates directly with hotels when booking stays via OTAs?