Getting discounts at Holiday Inn, HI Express, Crowne Plaza, Indigo and InterContinental hotels

I spent last night in the true luxury experience that is the Holiday Inn Rotherham / Sheffield M1 Junction 33 (catchy name!). That is as good an excuse as I need to remind people of all of the special discounts that are available on Holiday Inn and their sister hotels.

All hotel chains offer discount codes to big companies or special interest groups. However, whilst these codes are often available on websites such as Flyertalk, they should not in theory be used except by authorised employees. It is not unusual to be asked for ID when booking on a corporate rate, especially if you do not walk in looking like a business traveller.

InterContinental Hotels Group – which in the UK encompasses Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites – takes this process a bit further, though. It offers a number of discount codes which can be used by anyone, as long as they know the special codes required. And these codes can lead to substantial savings.

Let’s assume that you fancy spending the weekend at the main Holiday Inn in Edinburgh (pool picture below!) for a short break. This is only an example, though, and the links below will get you a discount at most of the group’s properties in the UK, Europe and Middle East. The Friends & Family code is also valid worldwide. Note that these prices were pulled up two weeks ago and may have changed by now.

HI Edinburgh

Standard rate

First we need the standard rate for comparison via the IHG website. For 27th to 29th September, 2 adults, a standard room on the pre-paid Advanced Purchase rate is £100 per night.

This rate does earn IHG Rewards Club points and they post without difficulty.

Friends & Family rate

For a couple of years, the InterContinental group has had a Friends & Family rate plan, which in practice is open to anyone.  This link (click) was actually supplied to people who were members of an IHG online forum, and they are happy for it to be used widely. The rate offered here is £85.

This rate does NOT earn IHG Rewards Club points, but for a £15 saving I would take it.

Exclusive Prepaid Rate A

(EDIT, March 2014 – these rates are now harder to find than they were when I originally wrote this article)

Available via this Leeds United branded website, it offers a 35% discount per night.

Holiday Inn Edinburgh comes out at £72 per night using this rate, which is still a decent saving (albeit not 35%, because it discounts from the Best Flexible Rate) on the Advanced Purchase rate. It is also cheaper than the Friends & Family rate.

In theory, this rate does NOT earn IHG Rewards Club points because your nightly rate is discounted by more than 30% from the standard rate. However, you will often get lucky.

Summary

Using these codes brought up a wide variety of savings:

Advanced Purchase (standard rate) – £100

Friends & Family – £85

Prepaid Rate A – £72

All of these are for a non-refundable, prepayable room. In this example, the 2-4-1 rate was by far the best available.

(By the way, I am NOT recommending the Holiday Inn Edinburgh, where I have never visited!)

As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from if you are looking for a discount at a Holiday Inn or related hotel. Whilst some of the links above say that the discounts are only valid on certain days (ie weekends) or until a certain deadline, this is often not true. Individual hotels often load rates outside of these periods – you won’t know until you search.

PS. If you do make a booking at an IHG hotel using any of these links, please don’t forget our affiliate link. If you click here it will open the main IHG website. If you then follow up by clicking any of the links above, Head for Points should still receive a small commission on your booking. Thank you!

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£15 discount code off your next Lufthansa flight
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Comments

  1. It maybe worth noting that booking with these rates might make your stay a non qualifying stay for the “Big Win” promo.

    • I was wondering about that myself as I have some of my Big Win stays planned but as yet unbooked. I don’t think I’ll take the chance. Great information though.

      • The 241 should work, but it often posts as non-qualifying and needs a little ‘chat’ with the service centre.

        Nice new code for 2000 points per stay for 60 days – http://loyaltylobby.com/2013/09/20/ihg-rewards-club-promotion-2000-bonus-points-per-stay-for-60-days/#more-9627

        • I am an IHG newbie. With the 4-digit codes, is the idea to just apply as many of them to your account as possible?

          I’m going for the Big Win as mine is 100K points for 5 nights. A few questions for anyone who can help…

          1. If I get a bonus with the 4-digit codes, will the stay still count for the Big Win?
          2. Would the 35% off rate work with it, or do I need to “get lucky” as Raffles says??
          3. Has anyone managed to do the Survey?? Mine still says “coming soon”

          Thanks

          • 1. Yes – these codes don’t do anything to change the eligibility of the stay. As you say normally just pop them all on the account and see which ones post! I managed almost 20k from a one-night stay in London a few months ago thanks to bonus codes. In the old Priority Club days these used to all count towards status too! Sometimes the codes are targetted so won’t add to your account, other times they add but then don’t do anything. Although you could change the country on your account, personally I’m not doing this during the Big Win promo just in case!
            2. Sorry, haven’t used them so I don’t know – personally I’m not risking any special rates for Big Win stays
            3. Same – don’t think they’ve made it available to anyone yet

          • 1. Yes
            2. 241’s should pay but you can’t guarantee it, even after an appeal
            3. Was still ‘coming soon’ when I looked on Thursay!

          • I’m guessing the survey is “coming soon” to everyone who hasn’t finished the Big Win challenge – a bit tricky to complete a survey of your experience if you haven’t been there yet!

    • I had two stays in London recently, both using Prepaid Rate A. One posted with no problems whatsoever, and I got all the points plus Big Win credit. One posted as a non-qualifying stay, giving me nothing. I contacted IHG, telling them that the booking page tells you that the stay is eligible for x points when using Prepaid Rate A. They said that because of the discount, the rate is non-qualifying (as Raffles suggests), but they would add the points as a gesture of good will. So I got the points, but have not yet seen any effect on my Big Win page, although the stay should have triggered the bonus for staying at different brands. I shall have to get on to them again, should that particular stay prove to be crucial for my fulfilling all the Big Win tasks.

      When you book using the 2for 1 rate, the booking page tells you that you are eligible for 0 points for the booking. I asked IHG about this once and they told me that the rate is non-qualifying because it is so heavily discounted. So although Raffles suggests that a 2for1 stay should be okay for 1 night of points/credit, don’t bank on it – although good for anybody who has had this happen.

      The moral of all this seems to be that you should use discounted rates for stays in general, since the saving is certainly worth more than any points you might get for individual stays (and if status is important, then just pay 99GBP for the Black Visa!), but if you need the stays to be credited to the Big Win promotion, then use a normal rate to be absolutely sure.

  2. As a largely leisure traveller, its the 2 4 1 rate or nothing… i dont think ive paid the best available for years… 😛

  3. Chillibenny says:

    Thanks Raffles. We were going to stay in London during the October half term and I was going to pay for Hilton as I now have gold status. One night even with the public sector code was 170 plus for central London so I have now gone Holiday Inn Bloomsbury for two nights for £195. Would rather have two nights at £97.50 per night room only than one night at Hilton albeit with breakfast and wifi as a Gold Honors member. Master Chillibenny and Mrs Chillibenny can now have an extra day in London.

  4. George Mitchell says:

    Hi there.

    I’ve tried all 3 links for an upcoming trip to London in October and can’t seem to get any discounted rates. I click on the 2 4 1, 3 4 2 and 35 partned discount, but rates come up exactly as going through normal site. Any advice?
    Cheers

    George

  5. Just to confirm, if a rate says it’s non-qualifying, I realise you won’t earn your normal stay points. But will that also mean that you don’t earn your bonus code points either?

    • Correct. It must be a qualifying rate to trigger the bonuses.

      Loyalty Lobby listed these recently on top of the others I’ve quoted:
      1027 – 3k per stay for 90 days
      4041 – 3k next stay
      1037 – 5k next stay
      1023 – 3k next stay
      1027 – 3k per stay for 60 days
      1012 – 5k next stay
      1041 – 2k per stay for 60 days

      • Thanks for the confirmation, and the codes which I’ve already made a note of to use during Big Win (but useful for others to be concisely listed). Normally I’d go for the cheapest discount available as generally worth more than the points, but in this case I’d have to weigh it up – my Big win ain’t that big. At least 1 normal paid night would be worth it though (as you’ve pointed out in previous articles) to trigger all the current bonus codes though.

  6. Jens Moller says:

    Great list of promo codes!

    I booked a weekend stay at crown plaze at Marlow for a total 80 pounds – what a bargain.

    I wrote with customer service, 2for1 is good for points! I got a screen print of the conversation!!

    @raffles – what is the best way to get to London on a saturday morning (is the train station walkable with a 6 year old)

    • Not walkable. (Well, if its sunny and dry, it is a pleasant mile walk down the river bank.)

      There is a taxi firm based in the hotel car park. However, Marlow requires a train change at Maidenhead and the service is thin (1 or 2 an hour). Best thing to do is take the taxi to Maidenhead – it costs a few pounds more but you save on the train ticket and substantially quicker overall.

      • Jens Moller says:

        Thank you for the fast reply.

        We’ll just drive to Maidenhead head train station – I assume it is possible to park there.

  7. I got married at the CP Marlow. A fantastic hotel – enjoy!