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Last month I wrote a pretty extensive guide about the IHG Best Rate Guarantee. In it, I talked about booking the Crowne Plaza Changi in Singapore and how I was able to fish for information before booking a nonrefundable rate. I want to follow up with a few quick pieces of information that I have learned since.
Crowne Plaza Singapore
Before I start, I want to mention how much I enjoyed my stay at the Crowne Plaza Changi. (Full review.) Even though I was there for free on an IHG Best Rate Guarantee, I was still given all of the Platinum benefits including a free drink and a room upgrade. In fact, the upgrade was from a standard room to a suite which was fantastic. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to talk my way into the lounge, but no complaints here.
Canceling A Stay After The IHG Best Rate Guarantee Claim Is Accepted
Shortly after booking the Singapore stay, I also did a similar IHG Best Rate Guarantee claim for the Holiday Inn in Abu Dhabi. The original booking was nonrefundable, but the claim was approved and I noticed that the price was changed in the system to $.01 AED per night. It also mentioned the rate type as “House Comp”.
Two days before I was scheduled to stay, I was asked to stay in India a little bit longer, thus pushing my Abu Dhabi plans back. I was immediately worried that the hotel would charge me for the original rate of the room since I would be canceling. In the end I decided to email the hotel.
In their response, the hotel urged me to cancel the booking if I wasn’t going to make it since they were fully booked. They even offered to push back the stay one night, but that didn’t work for me. My question still remained though. If I canceled the booking, would they charge me the original rate as a cancellation fee?
It turns out that changing the rate in the system to a “House Comp” also made it fully cancelable. Essentially, all I had to do was cancel the booking on their website before 6pm on the date of check-in and there was no issue. Out of respect for the hotel and so they could offer the room to someone else, I quickly cancelled and was not charged anything.
I highly suggest that you don’t go around making speculative IHG Best Rate Guarantee bookings. That is an abuse of the system and something that I am sure they are monitoring. This is the only time I have ever had to cancel a booking for an IHG Best Rate Guarantee. Unfortunately plans change sometimes and that is what happened here.
It’s really nice to know that it is possible to cancel if you book a nonrefundable rate and the IHG Best Rate Guarantee is accepted. Of course, some hotels don’t change the rate in the system, so I wouldn’t count on this as a hard rule. My experience is that they almost always do change it though.
For everything that you ever want to know about the IHG Best Rate Guarantee, I highly suggest reading my “Guide to Avoiding Pitfalls With the IHG Best Price Guarantee” – Parts 1 & 2. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
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