Beware of Hotels Not Participating in Supposedly Chain-Wide Promotions!

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Taking advantage of hotel chain promotions is a great way to build up hotel points for your next holiday. At InsideFlyer UK we tend to use the term “rebate” to refer to the total value of any points, miles, cashback, etc. earned for a hotel stay (paid or otherwise). The higher the rebate, the better…  and from my perspective you’re also working your way towards elite status, which has its own set of advantages (and added “rebate” items)

But I have a pet peeve when it comes to hotel chain promotions. Perhaps you heard of the promotion from InsideFlyer UK or other blogs. Perhaps you received an e-mail from the hotel chain. Either way, you will have clicked on a link and ended up on a webpage that looks like this.

You registered right away. But you probably didn’t click on “Terms and conditions” or “Participating hotels and resorts” did you?  But let’s say you clicked on “Participating hotels and resorts” and ended up here:

It’s a reassuringly long list, which you can find by clicking here. But did you spend time to confirm that every hotel is on the list? Of course not – you’ve got better things to do with your time…

Well You Should…

I recently travelled to Frankfurt, Germany and duly booked myself a couple of Best Rate Guarantee weekend stays at two separate Starwood Preferred Guest hotels. When the stays posted to my SPG account, I couldn’t find the bonus points from the Great Weeks, Grand Weekends promotion. Just before firing off an e-mail to the helpful SPG Lurkers on Flyertalk, I thought to check the list of participating properties. Here’s the section for Germany…

Oops… no hotels in Frankfurt are participating! With no bonus points from SPG, I might have stayed at an IHG hotel (for Accelerate) or a Hilton (2,500 Lufthansa miles and 4,000 points).

It’s Not Just SPG

Starwood Preferred Guest is probably the worst offender, but they aren’t alone…

At least Hilton tell me which hotels are excluded, rather than having to scan through a long list!


When relying on a promotion, it’s always wise to double-check the terms and conditions and to see which hotels are participating (or NOT participating).

Wouldn’t it be great to have a short list of NON-PARTICIPATING hotels, rather than a long list of those that are participating? C’mon SPG, forget the optics and just make it easier for your guests…

Have you ever been caught out by a non-participating hotel?


  1. Simon says

    Slight OT, but how responsive are Hilton on Best Price Guarantee claims?

    I’ve just tried my first one, but its almost 48 hours later and they’ve not responded other than to confirm they received my claim. I tried the online chat and they said that the claim had been closed but couldnt see anything about it. I’ve followed up with an email but still nothing…

  2. Adam says

    Could someone write an informative article on how to utilise hiltons best price promise. I know Craig is particularly good at finding the cheapest rates elsewhere so maybe a list of the sites to find the best rates to use in price matching.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      All you need is Kayak and Trivago in a variety of countries. I tend to use the US, UK, Germany, France and Spain.

      To be honest, the real problem for most people is the time dedication to check every day or two to see whether rates have changed, and also to manage 3-4 different hotel chains so as to be indifferent to the actual hotel you stay at.

      There’s simply no way I can count on finding a BRG at a specific hotel on specific dates…

      P.S. Let’s get Joe to share what he knows!!

      • Joe Deeney says

        I’m out of practice to be honest! 🙂

        I used to do ~10-30 (successful) IHG per year, a good sprinkling of Hilton and the occasional Marriott, but I haven’t done much at all in the last year or so. A couple of Hiltons before they changed the $50 maybe?

        In the interests of research ( 🙂 ) I could perhaps do a comprehensive practical study of the current situation for my next trip?

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I’ve been testing that function, but instead of actual price drops I get lots of spam. The price drop might also be general, across-the-board rather than a single OTA cutting their price below the official rate.

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