IHG Rewards Club has paid me back for my ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ stay!

Here is a coda to the article I wrote last week on how I stayed at the InterContinental in Paris for free using IHG’s ‘Best Rate Guarantee’.

As a reminder, whilst InterContinental had promised me that I would not have to pay the €690 for my room – as I had found it cheaper on another website – the hotel had not agreed this by the time I checked out.  I therefore had to pay for the room and let IHG send me the money back.

IC LeGrand ballroom

This is what happened:

Three days after I checked out, when the card charge of £596 appeared, I emailed IHG and asked them to pay me in Sterling and not in Euro.  This meant that I wouldn’t lose out on any movement in the exchange rate.  I had also paid the bill using a credit card with a 3% foreign exchange fee, so I wanted to ensure I didn’t lose out there

It took 28 days from checkout for the money to arrive in my account.

IHG paid me the full value of my credit card charge in Sterling as I asked, even though the room charge was in Euro. This meant that I got back exactly what I paid.

However, £20.00 disappeared somewhere! I received £576 and not £596.  It does not seem to be my bank so it seems that IHG’s US bankers or their intermediary took a fee!  I have had this issue before sending money to or from the US.

I do not intend to chase up this £20, however, as it is offset by the 15,500 IHG points earned on the stay because I had to pay for it!  I would not have got these if the hotel had been more efficient and agreed to comp my stay before I checked out.

All in all, the process worked OK.  It certainly was not easy, though:

I had to email IHG twice before they originally agreed to give me the night for free

There were further emails whilst they tried (and failed) to persuade the hotel to comp the night

I had to effectively loan IHG £576 for a month!

That said, compared to paying €690 or using 50,000 points (on points I would have had a far smaller room) it was still worth the trouble!

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Comments

  1. Robert – Well done for displaying such resourcefulness and persistence, and acheiving such a good result. In the spirit of sharing, may I be bold and ask you to kindly identify the website where you obtained the cheaper rate as you, understandbly, decided not to reveal it in your original April 16 article? Thank you for considering my request and keep up the good work!
    Kind regards Peter

    • Nice bit of suck up there :)

    • Nick Burch says:

      You’ll rarely find it on the same website twice – you need to check the aggregator sites to find who has it (if anyone) for the time you look. Craig from Flying Piggie has done quite a good guide to it all on his blog – http://flyingpiggie.com/2014/02/best-rate-guarantees-part-1/

    • Andrew S says:

      If its published, then any discrepency will be “fixed” in a matter of hours… so no-one wins :(

    • Prices change often, the best way to search is via an aggregator site as Nick suggests, some are good as they will search the IHG rate as well as the rate offered by booking websites, making comparing very easy. But the devil is in the small print, whatever you identify as cheaper must match the IHG description and conditions exactly.

  2. Completely unrelated but does anyone know whether the travelmoneynow (i.e. Amex travel currency) website still allows use of Amex without additional fees? Been a while since I last used it so just want to make sure I’m not going to get hit with loads of fees!

  3. Slightly off-topic – after months, the ‘Book through us’ part of the Big Win finally posted for me. I believe that many people had been experiencing issues with this particular challenge.

  4. Lady London says:

    Nice one Raffles.

  5. Positive report for IHG customer services- I had a 4 day stay in a Holiday Inn last week- booked with a partner rate 30% off but the booking confirmation said I would earn 3000 points. When it posted on Monday it said non-qualifying stay and 1000 points. I emailed the IHG rewards people (although a little hesitantly as I had stacked up codes) but within 12 hours had adjusted it into a qualifying stay. Definitely worth it as they adjusted it 27500 points!
    Also- the 40000 points for the PCR visa posted today- thanks Raffles for the link.

  6. Brendan says:

    Sorry Raffles, completely OT but due to a medical emergency I’m booking some flights using Avios at short notice. Does anyone know if its quicker to convert Tesco or Amex to BA Avios? Thanks

    • Sorry to hear that. Probably Tesco. Definitely Tesco if your BA account is not already ‘verified’ by Amex as this adds a couple of days to the first transfer.

    • RIccati says:

      With AMEX MR you can always call and chase.

    • Brendan says:

      Thanks guys. Ive just done both to improve the chances so we will find out, Ive already transferred with both before so they are linked. I’ll probably have to book tonight so I might give Amex a call. Ive also booked some domestic US flights with AA that I can cancel and only pay the £1.50 charge (there are still seats so I can re-book) so that is another option if the avios are refunded quickly! Flight prices from Belfast to London are around £140 each and BA is my only option as its the only carrier that doesnt require photographic ID and my mum has none, her passport was sent in the post last week to be renewed and she doesn’t drive!

      • Brendan says:

        Actually less of a panic now because I forgot that you can choose to pay with less avios and more money. I have just over 5k in my account which is enough for the bottom rung of avios required + £85 instead of 9k and £35 (for 2 tickets) Means I’m buying 4k avios for £50 but its a whole lot better than buying them outright from ba.com or paying cash at a total of £284!

      • Nick Burch says:

        Can’t you go for ferry+train? That should be fine ID wise, and is 52 quid one way from Belfast to London! Seat61 has the details – http://seat61.com/NorthernIreland.htm

  7. James67 says:

    OT: some amazing flights in BAcom today. I was looking for a Valentines day treat from Edinburgh to London next year. I was offered a flight departing EDI 10.35 14/2 arriving into LHR just after 6pm … on 18/6!!! CV frequently reports on booking options but this is something else!

    • I usually do like a rant about the randomness of the search results. While testing it out, and by accident, I did a one way search for EDI – GLA – comes in at 4500 avios, but I can’t get the stopover above an hour!

      You may getter a more sensible result on Avios.com.

      • James67 says:

        lol I triedcthe EDI-GLA trick a long time ago and it failed then too. I guess they were on top of that from day one. There were sensible options in addition to the one I reported here.

  8. mitpat474 says:

    I just been paid one today for £163 – it was bang on, same as last week for £305 at IC Westminister. 4 weeks paid in full for both.