Take advantage of IHG's new Best Rate Guarantee - Wapiti Travel

IHG has implemented some drastic changes to it’s Best Price Guarantee (BPG).
Is this reason to panic?  Absolutely not.

IHG did have one of the best programs of it’s kind.  The program will be less valuable in some occasions after these changes but at the same time, they do offer opportunities.  Let me show you how!

Some background

To start with it’s good to know that IHG actually has two similar programs.  The Best Price Guarantee (BPG) program is available worldwide with the exception of China.  A second program is called “Lowest Price Promise” (LPP) and is available for hotel bookings in Europe.  Both programs serve similar purposes and used to offer a similar compensation but beginning this year the BPG program got changed.

What was changed

If you filed a valid claim regarding a lower rate you found elsewhere, and if your claim was accepted, you used to get the first night of your reservation completely free.  This was identical in both the BPG and LPP program.  This is no longer the case in the BPG program.  Instead of a free night you will now receive the five-fold of the points for your stay.  The amount of points you can receive for 1 stay is capped at 40,000 points.  As free nights start at 10,000 points you can potentially earn 4 free nights with one stay.

10,000 points won’t be sufficient for a free night in the hotels pictured below but these are certainly nice properties for a reward stay.

What are the consequences

For stays outside of Europe you can only file a claim under the new BPG program.  This means you will always receive points for your future claims.  If we consider a point to be worth approximately 0.7 cents this means you will receive a discount of about 40% on your stay.  Not instantly, but in the form of points that you can use for future stays.

An example to clarify:
Your book a room for €120 for one night.  This is approx. 148,8USD (using the current exchange rate).
Under the BPG program you will earn 7440 points for this stay.  This is the five-fold of 1488 base points (at 10 points/USD) that you would normally earn.
As one IHG point is valued at 0.7 cents these 7440 points are worth €52.

For stays in Europe you can choose to either file a claim under the BPG or LPP program.  You can choose which program is most advantageous for you. An example below.

How to choose between both programs

For stays outside of Europe you can only file a claim under the new BPG program but you can choose between both programs when filing a claim regarding a stay in Europe.  This means you can pick the program that’s most advantageous for you.

Using the below example I will explain how you can find which program this is.

By default, you receive 10 points per USD spent. With the “best price guarantee” program you receive a five-fold of these points, which equals 40 points extra per USD spent. Since you can earn a maximum of 40,000 points, you will thus reach the limit of points you can earn when you spend 1,000 USD on your stay.

The average value you can get from an IHG point is usually considered to be 0.7 cents per point.

With this information we can now compare the value we will get from each of the programs.

Example 1: 1 night at €120
Lowest Price Promise (LPP): Your first night will be free, a value of €120.
Best Price Guarantee (BPG): you will earn 7440 points, worth approximately €52

Example 2 : 3 nights at €120/night
Lowest Price Promise (LPP): Your first night will be free, a value of €120.
Best Price Guarantee (BPG): you will earn 22320 points (7440 points x 3 nights), worth approximately €156

Conclusion

The changes that have been implemented do not have an immediate impact on bookings in Europe. For these bookings you can still use the “lowest price promise”. Moreover, one can now opt for the “best rate guarantee” as an alternative. For stays consisting of 3 nights or longer, this offers an extra advantage in Europe.

For bookings outside Europe these changes mean a devaluation for short stays. Where you used to be able to score a free city trip at a fancy Intercontinental hotel, this is no longer the case. For stays consisting of 3 nights or longer, the new guarantee is an improvement!

But even for stays of 1 or 2 nights, the current guarantee is still better than what most other chains offer. An extra discount of 10% or 25% is the norm in most programs. With 40% IHG is quite generous with the only difference that you get this discount as points and not a direct discount on your rate.

Using the best rate guarantee you can save on your travel expenditure!

Feel free to share this article with your friends and help them save on their travel expenditure.

Did you get some great deals by using the best rate guarantee?  Share them in the comments below!

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2 Comments

wetboy1uk · February 18, 2019 at 2:28 pm

LPP links do not appear to work any more. ANy info?

kris · February 18, 2019 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for notifying me. I updated the post with a working link.

Comments are closed.

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