In an era in which hotels are pushing harder for travelers to book direct and away from third party travel agents, Red Roof hotels is launching a new price-match guarantee to double down on its in-house channel. Starting this week, the Ohio-based hotel chain is rewarding travelers who find lower hotel rates on third party sites like Expedia or Priceline with not only a price match to the competing rate but also enough loyalty points for an additional free night.
Red Roof’s new RediPromise program is an improvement over its old policy, which gave visitors 15 percent off of the matched room rate, and a new standard for generous best-rate guarantees. At Marriott, for example, successful best-rate guarantee claims are met with a price match and either a 25 percent discount or 5,000 loyalty points, which is about 10-20 percent of a free award night. In Red Roof’s case, though, the points aren’t exactly equal with Marriott’s, RediPromise gives enough points for an immediate free room.
Red Roof’s aggressive offer seems to be a strong statement in its belief that it can provide customers the best pricing directly through its website.
“The proliferation of third-party sites continually informing potential guests that they offer the best rates possible may mislead the public into thinking these discounted rates are only available through these sites,” said Andrew Alexander, president of Red Roof in an interview with Skift. “A best rate guarantee drives potential guests to our website to book directly and helps assure them that the brand has their best interest at heart and that the best rate is always available from the brand.”
Indeed, price-match guarantees have long been a useful tool for hotels to use as an incentive to encouraging travelers to book direct rather through an online travel agent. As companies have gotten better at managing inventory and distribution channels, however, pricing across the board has stabilized and customers are finding fewer rogue cheap rates on third party sites. As a result, use of best-rate guarantees has declined precipitously in the last years.
Still, the tools remain popular among many travelers — particularly those who like to shop around — and a generous program like this may help coerce more travelers into shopping for Red Roof rooms. Speaking to the company’s need for a more generous guarantee program over competitors, Alexander said that “having the best rate guarantee available is a competitive advantage and underscores Red Roof’s commitment to listening to our guests and continually offering elevated value. Yes, there are [competitive] 10 percent deals out there which are good, some deals are 25% which are better, but we are committed to going above and beyond by offering the best rate guarantee and a future free night.”
A landing page for Red Roof’s new RediPromise program officially launched this past weekend.
Grant Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.