A hotel chain's Best Rate Guarantee (or equivalent) can make or break a brand. While different hotels have different Best Rate Guarantee policies, I have had some successes with Hyatt recently when I was shopping for rooms at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne where I might be staying in a month or two. Hyatt guarantees the best rate when booking directly with them and they will match a lower, qualifying rate published on another site before beating that by an additional 20% - remember you will still earn your elite qualifying points and nights this way! While it isn't always easy to find a lower competing rate elsewhere (since the terms of the booking have to match entirely), it isn't at the same time, impossible.
Since I will be traveling to Melbourne, Australia pretty soon, I wanted to check if it was more affordable to stay at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne instead of the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf which I loved. A quick check reveals a Standard Rate from AU$275 (and a My Hyatt Rate for AU$262 which has the same cancellation policies). Since I will be staying there for 8 nights, this will be approximately AU$2,200 before the ridiculous credit card charges that the country still practices.
After shopping on an OTA, I managed to find a competing rate of approximately AU$238 a night with the same cancellation policy. After submitting a Best Rate Guarantee claim (remember you can submit a BRG Claim with Hyatt without an existing reservation), I was quickly informed (within 24 hours even on a weekend which is great!) that the competing rate has been matched and a 20% price beat has been given. All I had to do then was to make the booking via Hyatt and then contact the service representative who would then adjust my rate down to approximately AU$190. With a little time and effort, I have managed to reduce the total rate of my stay from AU$275 a night to AU$190 while still earning elite qualifying nights for status renewal - approximately 30% - which is not bad at all!
At the start of 2017, some significant changes have been made to the Le Club AccorHotels program but if you are a Platinum member, you will still be able to earn up to 8.8% rebate (in equivalent points) on all eligible stays. From now until 18 January 2017, earn up to 8% in rebate when you make an eligible booking for any participating hotels by AccorHotels via ShopBack.
Remember that amazing deal where you can get up to 9% off in cashback via ShopBack and 6 miles per dollar on Expedia using an eligible Citibank credit card? Well, that promotion is dead but the good news is that there is now the opportunity to earn 6 miles per dollar on Citibank when you use a specific landing page - the only caveat is that you can't use ShopBack as it needs to be booked directly below.
If you are thinking about checking out the First Class Cabin of Garuda Indonesia, you can save up to 90% off the required miles (that's right, you only pay 10% of what is generally required!) on all domestic and international routes for bookings made between 22 December 2016 and 31 December 2016 - you will have to travel between 01 February 2017 and 31 May 2017 though!
Hilton is currently running a sale of up to 35% off for all participating Hilton hotels in Asia-Pacific. All reservations have to be made before 20 January 2017 and stays can be as far out as 31 December 2017.
Accelerate is back for 2017 and you now have the chance to rake up some IHG Rewards Club points for eligible stays between 01 January 2017 and 15 April 2017 - perfect if you already have plans to stay in participating InterContinental Hotels Group properties in the coming year! As mentioned previously, InterContinental Ambassador members seem to get a set of offers that are tailored towards InterContinental hotels (which means it is generally more expensive to complete these challenges) and my offers for 2017 seem to confirm this.
While looking on KrisFlyer Spree, I realised that ZEN Rooms Singapore is currently offering (up to 31 December 2016) a whooping 106 KrisFlyer Miles per US$10 on eligible transactions - this is on top of whatever you earn with your credit card. Therefore if you were to charge it to your DBS Woman's World MasterCard (click here to find out which credits cards to have in 2017), you can essentially earn up to 162 KrisFlyer Miles per US$10 of eligible spend.
There are only ten days left to take advantage of the bonus Citibank miles offer on Kaligo - until 30 November 2016, you will be able to earn 12 miles per dollar on all hotel bookings made on Kaligo. If you spend around S$10,000 a year on hotels, this is around 120,000 miles that you can use on free premium cabin travel - almost enough for a return flight in Suites to New Zealand!
As my birthday is around the corner, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts have once again sent me a birthday offer. While I have gotten the opportunity to earn triple Golden Circle points last year for dining in any participating restaurant during the stipulated period, I have been targeted with a 5X Golden Circle points offer this year. If you have read about The Table by Golden Circle, you will know that every member (free to sign-up!) will earn 10% back in equivalent points if you choose to redeem them for dining credit. Since I am a Jade member, I will receive 12.5% back in equivalent points. I do believe that the 5X bonus is on base points only and therefore this offer will actually let me earn back 52.5% in points.
Now that the integration of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards has begun, it is possible to get the Marriott Rewards Gold status with just ONE stay if you hold an eligible World MasterCard credit card - they are not hard to get and the lowest income requirement from Citibank requires just S$30,000 income per year (unlike the Visa Infinite ones that start from S$120,000). With this promotion, you will also be able to get SPG Gold and Gold Elite status in The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program - all in one stay!
Changes to the Le Club AccorHotels membership program are happening very soon and if you have not updated yourself about the changes, it is high time you do so because it is going to be very much more difficult to earn and retain status beginning 2017 (unless you are a huge spender!). If you have not earned or retained your Platinum status for the year ahead, you can now earn quadruple (four times!) points with the program whenever you make an eligible stay at any one of the participating AccorHotels properties in Asia-Pacific before 28 December 2016 - registration is absolutely necessary.