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While we normally write about credit card issuers increasing their benefits, this time a payment processor is making welcome changes to its terms. Mastercard has announced that it’s adding two new benefits that could help travelers during their next hotel stay.
All Mastercard World and World Elite cardholders will now be able to take advantage of Mastercard’s Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee program. If someone books a hotel on their eligible World or World Elite Mastercard but then finds a lower rate for the same hotel online, they can contact Mastercard, which will refund the difference in price. Unfortunately, you have to book a prepaid hotel through Mastercard’s Travel & Lifestyle Services program. This means you can’t earn any points or elite credits by booking direct at hotels like Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt.
Specifically, the terms state:
- If you book a qualifying prepaid hotel rate through the Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services program either online or through a program lifestyle manager using your Mastercard or Masterpass (where available) and then find the same hotel room type, in the same hotel, for the same dates, the same number of children and adults, at a lower price online, before taxes and fees, we’ll refund you the difference. To make a claim in connection with this Offer, your claim must be submitted in accordance with the instructions set forth in Section 5 below prior to your stay and seventy-two (72) hours before the date of your reservation check-in.
Many hotels already offer similar best rate guarantee programs so it may be a better option just to book through them since you’ll be able to enjoy additional benefits and points earning. Or for a prepaid rate, booking with a Capital One Venture for its 10x points at Hotels.com in addition to the website’s own “price guarantee” program.
However, if you do want to book a prepaid hotel, which can sometimes be cheaper, it’s nice to see Mastercard offering a best rate guarantee of its own. Note that Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services are provided by Ten Lifestyle Group and not Mastercard itself.
Additionally, the financial services firm has rolled out another perk for World and World Elite cardholders’ dubbed the Hotel Stay Guarantee to help with any issues you may encounter during a hotel stay. Specifically, if you’re staying at a 3-star hotel or higher and you’re having some sort of mishap with the property, a Mastercard Lifestyle manager will work with the hotel to “make it right” — and if they can’t resolve the problem they’ll book you in another hotel.
Unfortunately like the other new perk, you’ll have to book through Mastercard’s concierge at a prepaid rate. However, where Mastercard really demonstrates its value proposition is if the concierge determines the problem is unresolvable and they book you another hotel, they’ll cover up to $1,000 of your new stay.
It’s unclear which Mastercards are actually eligible for this program — I tried registering my Citi Prestige card, which is a World Elite-branded Mastercard, with Mastercard® Travel & Lifestyle Services for World & World Elite Cardholders. After entering my card number, the website said my account was ineligible. Other World Elite cards like Citi ThankYou Premier or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard should work.
*Update 10/11/18: A previous version of this story said that Mastercard would not cover the first $1000 of your stay if you were rebooked in a new hotel after an unresolvable problem. However, Mastercard will cover up to $1,000 to re-book cardholders in a new hotel if the problem is unresolvable at the originally booked hotel.
Featured image by @kalinich24 via Twenty20.
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