Last week I went over different Best Rate Guarantees and while Marriottʼs isnʼt the best it is a very do-able guarantee. Marriottʼs policy is that if you book through Marriott and find a better price elsewhere, your price will be matched and discounted 25%. You must have “a completed Claim Form submitted, within 24 hours of your initial reservation. Your claim must also be submitted no later than 24 hours before your check-in time.” This is no joke. I donʼt even bother with corporate codes.
Simply book your hotel, find the cheaper rate on Kayak or something then fill out their price match form. In it tell them where to find the lower rate and how much it is and all that jazz. This can be kind of fickle simply because rates fluctuate so much and the person who reads your form has to be able to find the price you found. Screen shots are worth nothing to them: if they donʼt see it you donʼt get it. No begging or crying or flashing Platinum membership (I only tried one of these), it wonʼt help.
Now on to the big secret.
If youʼre flexible enough to book 2 weeks in advance you might find the best rate anyways. So look at my example which I booked two weeks in advance.
As you can see the standard rate that this hotel normally goes for is 6,000 Thai Baht. (Donʼt worry about the advance purchase rate, they canʼt be refunded).
However, under Marriott Rewards Offers, there is a special price of 4,800 Thai Baht, I believe itʼs just the special price for it being two weeks in advance, a weekend and not full.
4,800 Thai Baht is pretty much the same price that Kayak shows, $156. Right? But guess what: I booked the standard room. The Look No Further terms and conditions state that it must be the same room, same date, lower price. Well I booked a standard room for 6,000 Thai Baht. I then filled the claim form saying that Kayak has the hotel room for $156 USD, which is nearly 1,000 Baht lower. Okay, one small T&C detail: you must book the lowest rate on Marriott. For some reason this has worked with some promotional rates and not others. Perhaps the “Mett Campaign” price isnʼt available to everyone but showed up for an elite account and Kayak?
Sure enough I got an email saying they lowered my rate to 3,595 Thai Baht ($116 USD).
The JW Marriott for $116 is a steal! Plus I timed it during a bunch of promotions that gave me at least one more free night per paid night (and we paid with a gift card). Unfortunately for most people this tip wont help as this rate isnʼt common, although you can always try it with any rate and push your luck. If (like me) you always book cancelable/refundable rooms, there is no loss. Keep your eyes open and even if you canʼt use the trick above, still check for better prices on other websites and donʼt be afraid to file a Marriott Look No Further claim.