Mastercard is launching new best rate and service guarantees, which should help woo some travel-focused customers away from American Express.
New perks are coming down the line for Mastercard holders with mid-range and premium credit cards. Starting this week, members who hold World and World Elite cards are able to take advantage of a new Hotel Stay and Lowest Hotel Rate guarantee offered through the service, giving elite travelers an extra layer of protection for any booked travel.
The new Hotel Stay Guarantee effectively takes advantage of a network of concierges that Mastercard is launching to troubleshoot any issues that a member might have while staying at a hotel.
The service, which is offered by Ten Lifestyle Group, is limited to 3-star or above hotels, but is pretty broad in scope. If a traveler finds that a hotel is under construction or a certain advertised service is not available, for example, the concierge can be employed to reach out to the hotel directly and find some sort of solution. And if a solution can’t be found, the concierge can also assist in booking another hotel, covering the full cost of the new room.
According to Mastercard, concierges will be available in more than 35 countries and in multiple languages, with service offered 24/7.
Mastercard’s Lowest Rate Guarantee will work like many similar products currently on the market. If a World or World Elite Mastercard holder finds a lower priced room after the initial reservation is made, the difference between prices will be refunded to the customer. Claims must be made to the Mastercard concierge and may take up to 24 hours to process.
Mastercard’s Hotel Stay and Lowest Rate Guarantees will only apply to World and World Elite Mastercard brands, which include a portfolio of over a dozen mainstream and premium travel credit cards. Most of the cards in that portfolio come with an annual fee (some up to $450), though a few are free. Prior to using the service, however, cardholders need to register for the service online.
Each of these two new services should help Mastercard better compete with American Express, which also offers a concierge, with its higher-tier cards and has its own version of the Hotel Rate Guarantee.
Mastercard’s take on the service, as well as the inventory that it supports however, is slightly different. “With both of these guarantees paired with our lifestyle managers and enhanced travel services, our travel offerings provide our cardholders with best in class options,” Francis Hondal, president of loyalty and managed services at Mastercard tells Skift. “The excellent consumer experience that Mastercard provides does not stop with the digital platform and guarantees though – cardholders also have access to cross border retail offers and other available travel services and deals. Our solutions bring simplicity, value and peace of mind to every step of our cardholders’ journeys.”
The Hotel Stay and Lowest Rate Guarantees officially went live in a blog post on Tuesday.
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Photo credit: An employee stands behind a MasterCard logo during the launch of the international credit card issuer's first ATM transaction in Myanmar, in Yangon November 15, 2012. Soe Zeya Tun / Reutuers