help with brg and prepaid rate!

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by estnet, Jul 29, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I'm used to the Starwood brg where you can submit a BRG claim without actually making a reservation

    With Hilton it appears that you have to make a reservation FIRST, so if I make a non-cancellable rate reservation and the claim is denied I'm stuck with a much higher rate. Am I missing something?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nope...they'll screw you if they can. Try for refundable rates or just book the cheap one and consider the savings you're getting instead of the points.
     
  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    How is it possible to submit a "claim" without making a reservation? What kind of 'claim' is it and whom to you submit it to? Hilton has the best available rate (BAR), which can be canceled at any time to within hours of a stay with no penalty, and the advanced purchased rate (APR , same as prepaid rate) for which one's credit card is charged immediately upon booking, but cannot be canceled or altered. Is it your fear that if you book an APR and it is not available you would wind up with the BAR? If so, then the fear is unfounded because all rates are guaranteed and must be honored, meaning that they will never sell an APR that cannot be honored AND if you get stuck with the higher BAR, it is cancellable anyway so you just cancel...

    I am sure I must be missing something...
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    In general prepaid rates, while usually lower, are too restrictive and should be avoided...
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Some chains permit such. Show that another site offers a better rate than what they're selling online and you get the cheaper room. It is great when it works and it does with SPG reasonably well.

    If the APR has a cheaper option elsewhere but the BAR does not then one would need to book the APR at the higher rate and then hope that HHilton HHonors the claim. That's a real risk as if the claim is denied - which happens far too often and with no recourse - then you're stuck having committed to the higher APR with no ability to rebook at the lower rate from the 3rd party.

    Yup. ;)

    This is a gross over-simplification of the markets at play. I book them all the time and have come out WAY ahead over time.
     
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  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Got it now...I was definitely missing something.
    One cannot over-simplify something this simple. My statement was based on my personal experience of losing quite a bit of money a couple of times because I had booked an APR but had to cancel the trips. Our finance department, in fact, discourages APRs for precisely that reason. But YMMV, as some folks may have more rigid travel plans.
     
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  7. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Thank you WA, couldn't have said it better myself ;)
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And yet you have. Go figure.

    APRs for hotels may be offered only a day or two prior to the trip, among other things. It is not always necessary to book far in advance to get the rate. To say that they should be avoided or sought in general is a significant over-simplification of the realities at play for different people. They may not work for you or your colleagues but that's different than saying they should be avoided in general.
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I can't help you if you find this to be a complex issue, but it is really not worth the time, nor is it a subject that can be argued because it depends on one's travel circumstances.
    This has absolutely nothing to do with my statement, which would clearly be valid only if BOTH BAR and APR are offered as is always the case at Hilton. A very simple and concrete example will illustrate the point and establish why I will ignore anything that you say subsequently:
    I just spent $4K at Conrad HKG on an 8-day stay at a BAR of $451/night. The APR offered for the same stay was $383/night -- a $68 difference, which would have reduced my cost for the stay to about $3.5K. Now suppose that I had to cancel this trip. With the BAR it would have cost me or my institution $0.0, nothing, nada. With the APR, I would have lost ~ $3,500, and, although it was a reimbursable business trip, I would not have been reimbursed if I'd cancelled the stay for an uncovered reason. I am in a clinical department in which faculty duties can change without warning (to be "on call" or cover an emergency), therefore, trip cancellations occur quite often and for covered reasons, costing the institution money. For this reason, the institution discourages booking stays on APR, and it makes sense.

    The question is simple: Why would anyone who travels under circumstances like mine ever consider the APR?

    See? It is a no-brainer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Do you carry travel insurance which would cover your pre-paid costs should you cancel the trip?

    Also, there's the part where not everyone traveling will be doing so under circumstances like yours. You've repeatedly presumed that everyone has the same needs as you. It happened in this thread and many others. And that's simply not the case. Not everyone travels for 8-night stays in Asia where the costs are covered by a 3rd party. Under those circumstances the BAR might make more sense, but to dismiss the APR globally and without considering the varying travel patterns people have is ridiculous.
     
  11. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    As someone recently said, "Settle Down, Captain Happy". Let's see if we can help estnet instead of squabbling.

    No. Hilton's BRG has exactly the problem you describe.
     
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  12. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Thanks so much - thought I had it right, but I've only dealt with Starwood before and was hoping I'd missed something. In this case it is a rate that is 119 euros APR through Hilton and 97 USD third party - so quite a difference and probably worth the gamble for me (that I could have to cancel) since it's a one night airport stay.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    http://hiltonworldwide.hilton.com/en/ww/ourbestrates/terms.jhtml

    I can see them trying to claim that it is a currency issue and screwing you. Not that these numbers could reasonably be attributed to fluctuations or rounding, but I could see them trying.
     
  14. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Ummmm that isn't my fear in this case 119 euros is 154 usd so it's not close, but that they would come up with some other (unknown) excuse. I'm just not willing to bet over $50 that Hilton will be honest :eek: Maybe it's my suspicious nature or just my previous experience:(
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The BRG approach means you'll pay either $154++ or $47++. And you'll earn points and such. The 3rd party approach is a guaranteed $97++. Right?

    Without much experience in the HH BRG game I'd definitely take the $97 option. Especially with the need to book first in order to claim. But that's just me.
     
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  16. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Pretty much my conclusion as well. Points (sort of irrelevant), chance of ug (not so important) and free internet - MOST IMPORTANT BUT WITH TMOBILE I think I'm good VBG
     
  17. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    If you're not wedded to this particular hotel, you might also consider one of my favorite tools: Priceline's name-your-own-price. I find it especially well suited for one-night airport stays: there's typically a large supply of rooms in the area, hence good competition for those incremental bookings, and I rarely care exactly which airport hotel I'm in for such a short stay.

    You might well be able to get this Hilton or a similar hotel for US$45-60++. The ++ is a little bit more, since Priceline tacks on their own fee, but the final total will likely beat the $97++ you're seeing and might even rival the $47++.
     
  18. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    thanks - but unlikely in this instance. Hotel not in US, few airport hotels, not all offer free shuttle- if I have to pay transport it's a lot - not worth it to me in this case to take the risk.
     
  19. FormalHall

    FormalHall Active Member

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    Hiltons also seem okay at honouring benefits on third party rates; there is a good chance if you turn up brandishing an elite card they will give you free internet
     
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  20. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    Marriotts also seem ok with honoring benefits on 3rd party rates
     
  21. serfty
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    serfty Silver Member

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    HHonors elite benefits should indeed be honored no matter how booked or what the rate.

    However, you are unlikely to get and stay, night or points credit towards requalification on such 3rd party rates.

    http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/terms/index.html#accrual_of_points
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  22. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    So just to confirm what most of us know - the BRG is just a gimmick so that the hotel can cancel the lower rate! So just don't bother to file BRG for prepaid rate if you haven't booked it as it will be denied and the rate will then be unavailable to others.
    Here is how I know - the same lower rate was available on 2 sites. I filed the brg which was denied and a few days later the rate was no longer available on the site I had told them about in the claim BUT it was, and is, still available on the other site!
    As for me I'll probably stay at another hotel b/c I don't like the way Hilton is doing business - but that's just me.
     
  23. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    It depends. I usually find ($whatever Hotwire charges for same star level in area minus $10 or so) is a good heuristic for a Priceline bid that has a reasonable chance to be accepted.

    For LAX Hilton properties, usually the Hilton MVP rate ~= Hotwire/Priceline for same star level when you add in taxes and fees. Which makes sense, given that Hilton owns a lot of the 3/3.5/4 star inventory at LAX. They'd probably be happier if I paid them then selling the room through a third party like Hotwire/Priceline and collecting less. So I usually skip bidding at LAX and just do Hilton MVP rate + use Hilton Gold. It doesn't work sometimes (maybe the LAX Hilton is stuffed with a convention), and then it's off to Priceline/Hotwire (and quite often the Renaissance Montura IME, which is fine).

    This may also work at other airport regions where Hilton has a substantial amount of the inventory that Priceline/Hotwire would be using...
     

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