You’ve heard of try before you buy…
Thanks to a new Hilton campaign encouraging travelers to book direct, shopping around has never been more rewarding. Whereas most hotel “best rate guarantees” are more like hopes and prayers, Hilton is putting their money where their mouth is. The hotel group will now allow guests to submit best rate guarantee claims before they book, and if they do better… there’s 25% in it. Anna Kendrick will explain…
Hilton Price Match Guarantee
Most hotel “best rate guarantees” are a last ditch hope to get some money back on reservations you’ve already made, if you find a lower price. Hilton has upped the ante, encouraging travelers to book direct and feel good about it, via their own price match guarantee.
Unlike the others, you can submit a price match claim before you actually book, potentially saving tons of hassle. On top of that, if your claim is accepted, they’ll give you 25% off for each night you found lower.
How It Works
You can submit your claim “price match guarantee” online any time before booking or within 24 hours of booking, and Hilton says they’ll get back to you within 24 hours. If you prefer the phone, phone claims will be handled instantly. This even applies to same day reservations.
Basically, it’s your choice – phone or web. If your lower price elsewhere claim is approved, you’ll get the lower rate honored, plus an additional 25% off the room rate per night. Here’s the T&C’s…
A Step Up
This price match guarantee encourages transparency in an exciting way. If you find a lower rate elsewhere, you’ll have a chance to save a great deal on your vacation. Booking direct with a hotel chain always ensures that you: earn points, elite nights and elite benefits, but the addition of not having to choose between these perks and potential financial loss is a big step up.
What do you think of Hilton’s New Price Match Guarantee?
Featured image courtesy of Conrad Bali.
About time! As a gold card member I’ve often found much better prices elsewhere and didn’t fancy booking with Hilton and trying to claim later.
This scheme seems much better and easier and should mean I always book via the Hilton website.
It’s becoming harder not to be Hilton loyal…
I just tried this – the online chat agent said I would get the reduced rate and told me to book the room and submit the form. I get a reply less than 30 minutes later saying the booking site i used was “ineligible”. No information is given about which sites are eligible.
There was a significant difference in price too – 146 euro vs 98 euro.
Next time i’ll be booking the cheaper 3d party rate.
Be careful – this may not be what it seems. I had exactly the same room, same dates, same # of people, same cancellation policy. I spoke to several people at Hilton and ultimately told that they do not honor price match from the particular site I used. I was disappointed because I found a lesser price that should have been honored by this price match and it was not. Lost my confidence in Hilton advertising.
Yeah this is a gimmick I found a lower price on Travelocity submitted and it was denied because the cancelation policy of the Priceline reservation was 2 days earlier than Hilton’s. Not to mention I was doing it for a stay 60 days out. Seems like they just find any reason not to honor that price match and just assume you won’t look anywhere else because of price match Guarantee
I’m sorry to hear that. Seems like this is the new consensus. Will do some digging and perhaps take them to task on this.
I had a similar problem last night. I found a Hilton room that had a ‘special rate’ on hotels.co.uk which was £20 cheaper per night (for 10 nights) than on hilton.com. I phoned the helpline BEFORE BOOKING and was told that they would not price match as hotels.co.uk was offering a special rate. The person I spoke with told me that I should just book on the 3rd party website (which I did). This makes no sense to me as we all know that Hilton will only receive a fraction of the price I paid, as hotels.co.uk takes a huge cut, but their loss!
Time for us to call BS on this guarantee then! Thanks for sharing yet another disappointing data point!
found a lower price on Agoda, linked from a TripAdvisor search. I called, and I first asked the Hilton rep to confirm the lowest rate available (I was afraid that she would magically find the lower rate direct from Hilton after I told her the third party rate). Instead, she gave me an even higher rate for the room than the one I found on Hilton’s web site.
Next, I told her the Agoda rate and then she claimed that she couldn’t find the rate on the Agoda site. I started a new browser session, again found the rate and then gave her the exact steps I followed to find it. She continued to claim she couldn’t find the rate and said that the best Agoda rate was the same as the one I had found on the Hilton web site.
I said, “OK, well that rate is still much less than the rate you gave me so processs the guarantee with those rates”. Instead, she now “forgot” about the rate she had quoted me and claimed that the lowest Hilton rate matched the Agoda rate.
I went back to trying to help her to find the better rate I had gotten on Agoda but she kept insisting she couldn’t find it. I finally just booked the rate on Agoda. It was a prepaid rate (as was the Hilton rate), so now I knew I was stuck since I didn’t book through Hilton.
So, not only is the guarantee completely bogus, Hilton is prepared to screw you over four different ways:
1. Give you a higher rate than their own lowest rate when you call them and ask for their lowest rate.
2. Deny a “Price Match Guarantee” claim by saying that they “Can’t find that rate” when you present them with a lower third-party rate.
3. Deny a “Price Match Guarantee” claim by lowering the rate they gave you in step 1. to now match their lowest rate while continuing to claiming they can’t find the even lower third party rate that you found.
4. If you then choose to book the third party rate, which is the only way to actually prove that the rate is available, they will deny the “Price Match Guarantee” claim because you didn’t make the reservation with them.
Tl;dr – Total scam – don’t book directly with Hilton unless you want to get screwed.
I had the same problem as Jonathan. Found a better price with Agoda but Hilton said this site was not eligible. total BS!
Total farce, first the agent said he can see the rate I found on priceline, then when I told them to match it after 20 mins on hold, he said the price has now changed and can no longer match it.
I have tried to use this on 4 occasions and always painful, and they always looks for a way out.
The price match guarantee is BS. Never works. In the end even if the they find the lower rate they will just hang up on you.
Shame on Hilton!
Agree with everyone else. I’ve tried to use the price match guarantee 4 different times. Even booked the same room £200 cheaper elsewhere, and they still wouldn’t match. They will NEVER match, because they only match a limited set of websites, on which they control the pricing. It’s a scam.
Tried to do this today, found the exact room, same cancellation, lower rate on hotels.com. Rep said oh, this says Deluxe king suite which is different than a king suite. Called the Hilton Grand Vacations property and they confirmed they only have one type of king suite. Called reservations again and they said its called something different so we can’t honor it. I then said, hey look at the square footage of the “deluxe” room, is 772 which is exactly what your website says or the king suite, same amenities, etc. Nope, they seem to think it’s different. Told them to call the property to settle it as the property told me it’s the same thing, they said no. The price matching policy is complete BS.
I have a claim in progress right now – I tried to call Hilton directly because I thought that would be the fastest way. I booked my reservation yesterday afternoon and checked this morning and price went down from $845 to $761 which is a huge difference. Everything was exactly the same and booked directly on their website. When I called, the person said I was ineligible because I already paid for the deposit with my credit card. I explained the policy is either before or within 24 hours. She put me on hold to confirm, and again told me that the guarantee doesn’t apply to my reservation. I explained AGAIN the policy and put me on hold again and then said she would try and verify. At this point I lost total confidence. I decided to abort and submit a claim online though I was concerned about the time difference. I had taken screen shots to provide though the form doesn’t have any ability to upload. After submitting, I checked again and the price was back up to $845. So, at this point, I fully expect my claim to be denied. I don’t want to sound paranoid but I feel like they moved the price back up, after I called and provided them with all my details. I would really hope not, but it’s quite a coincidence that all this happened within the same 10 minute period when the price was clearly lower when I checked a few times this morning.
I have benefitted from this twice now. An upcoming stay in Barcelona just got me 25% off a hotels.com rate that was lower than the Hilton direct rate. I had never even heard of this. I called the diamond desk Because I want to book direct only for the purpose of getting my full HHonors points, not because of the price difference. The very nice agent explained to me that I was likely owed a 25% reduction based on this policy. She compared the rates to ensure that they came with the exact same terms (cancellation 3 days prior, reserve now pay later, identical room type.) I felt so empowered I have been price comparing for a Lisbon stay on the same vacation and voila. Expedia is less. I called and they verified it on the spot, then reserved for 25% off the Expedia rate. Love this.
Terrible program. The Hilton price match guarantee is a fraud, they confirmed that they will honor same day, Expedia posted price for identical room and hotel but asked me to fill their form. I did and they denied it, with identical dates, times, hotel room and screenshots with time stamps all submitted at the same time as the reservation was made on their site. Stay away from Hilton honors and Hilton if you can. They never honor their commitments to members.
The price match is a complete scam..false advertising. I spent hours on the phone, 4 times to different agents. Found lower prices on a few different websites. There was always an excuse even though I stated the policy terms were matching, everything was matching. I was hung up on after 45 min on one call after she confirmed she found the rates…I guess she had nothing else to do, as she had never planned on beating the price. I complained to their staff many times about the fraudulent statements, but there was always a way out for them. Very frustrated and disappointed I wasted my time dealing with Hilton!.
For an Amex Platinum card holder that doesn’t have mention worthy hotel status without the card, to me Hilton Honors is the best of all included programs, because of the breakfast and the upgrade.
I just booked using the Price Guarantee referring to booking.com/agoda.com (same group, different brands, equal prices) three times in a row. It was a pain in the butt.
Here is something, in case you don’t know:
Pricing nowadays is very dynamic – after all the whole goal of marketing is getting each customer to pay exactly as much as he is willing to pay. This is done to maximize revenue overall. That translates to selling the same good with different prices to different people. At cost or even cheaper to somebody who would otherwise stay elsewhere, to take away business from a competitor, and with an inflated price to people who are lazy and “loyal” and affluent.
To be able to price dynamically you need to know something about the potential client. Cookies and other data give at least an idea. If you browse on an expensive iPhone it is assumed that you don’t have as much time and ease of research as if you would browsing on a desktop, and also that you are more affluent than somebody browsing on an Android. If your battery is low, you will even see higher prices if your phone gives out that info, because it is assumed you don’t have time to compare. If you access having traces of meta search engines and having invested a bit of time into finding the best deal i.e. you have rejected a lot of offers, prices go down for you.
People in the US are more affluent on average than people in Europe. Booking.com and others quote higher prices to US IP’s than to European IP’s e-ve-ry time! That is why using a VPN is the new tool to get better prices. I often do this and connect to Indonesia or so and it works, not only for flights but also for hotels. AirAsia BIG Hotel is a rebranded agoda that does just that, offer the same stuff cheaper having the Indonesian income level in mind.
Now in this case I only wanted to legitimately use the Price Guarantee that I am promised, having found a way cheaper price without the VPN. But here is the problem:
All Hilton Contact centers, the price matchers in Glasgow, India or Hong Kong, all use a VPN to Tennessee. And they can’t verify my findings even though they perfectly fit the Guarantee’s conditions and always deny at first. Don’t even try to have the price adjusted on the phone while booking.
Now, to get through, answer to the denial with screenshots, and give it a few tries, in other words, reply with a PDF printout, a screenshot from here, one from there until you are in the hands of someone capable and willing to believe and understand.
The first price match took me an hour, the second half an hour, the last one less than 10 minutes.
Maybe we should complain to Hilton regarding this; saying that it is not fair to only look at what customers in the US are quoted if they demand this verification process (travel and hotels are something international after all) – but I think we shouldn’t complain, because Hilton might just have forgotten about the fact that they offer cheaper prices in other countries. In other words, they offer the generous 25% off only because they more or less dictate what appears on priceline/booking/agoda etc. in the US and don’t expect Guarantee Claims to get through that often. All agents I spoke to seemed to be in disbelieve when I told them on which sites I found the lower prices.
Other countries also affect how the prices are displayed. Non-US people would go through the roof if they would only be shown resort fees, local taxes, hotel taxes etc. in the very last step. So they are visualized differently.
Other countries also have different cancellation policies for the same rooms. Agoda shows weird dates in the US, more restrictive, than in Europe, where they match the dates of honors flex, honors semi-flex and honors non-refundable.
If you make an online claim do it during US business hours to reach a good team if your case escalates, which it will because of the screenshots contradicting what they find.
I was denied the “Price Match Guarantee” because they “couldn’t find the rate”… I sent the exact link and a screenshot, but they continued to reject the claim. Shame on Hilton.
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