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Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza etc to offer free internet to NON-GUESTS from January

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It has been publicised for a while that IHG Rewards Club will be offering free internet to all of its members – even those at the basic level who have just signed up – from January.  (Gold and Platinum members already receive free internet.)

Ric Garrido of Loyalty Traveler recently interviewed Don Berg, who heads up IHG Rewards Club.  The key thing which slipped out during this conversation is this:

IHG will offer free internet to all IHG Rewards Club members in all of its hotels from January – even if they are not a guest.

InterContinental Park Lane

This is a pretty radical departure, albeit something that Radisson tried a few years ago for Elite members (and then dropped).  Fundamentally, as of January 1st, you have a choice.  You can either take your laptop down to Starbucks, or you can take it to the lobby of your nearest Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Indigo or InterContinental hotel!

(As the InterContinental Park Lane – pictured above – is two tube stops from me, this could work out nicely!)

There is a lot of other interesting stuff in the interview.  Importantly, it seems that IHG’s IT is powerless to stop people registering for multiple promotional codes, and that IHG is happy for them to continue to be stacked (or, alternatively, finds it cheaper than the IT cost of fixing it).  I signed up a friend recently and he got 35,000 points on his first stay ….

On a separate note ….

I have predicted a few times on Head for Points that IHG’s new way of counting points for status (ie no longer counting bonus points) would leave to a massive drop in Platinum members next year.

I assumed that this was the plan ….. slash the numbers and then improve the benefits.  However, no improved benefits have been forthcoming – Platinum will now be very hard to earn and still won’t get you much!

Someone at IHG is now panicking a little.  A lot of Platinum members who will not requalify have been targeted by IHG, offering them another year of Platinum if they do three stays between now and the year end.  One person I know had only 9 nights this year, well short of the 50 nights required, and still got it.

I still feel that this is very unfair on non-UK and non-US IHG members.  You can, after all, get Platinum for free in the UK by paying £99 for the IHG Rewards Club Black Visa card.  Outside the UK, you now need to spend a crazy $6,000 in IHG hotels …..

(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (27)

  • CV says:

    The speed of the free wifi is variable between properties. At some its restricted to 256kbps, which is almost unusable, 3g personal hotspot on phone is faster. At the HI Stratford City they advise Platinum guests can get high speed wifi for free – you need to pay for it first then they refund it, not tested it out to see if indeed it works out that way (the 256kbps wi fi is free). In the UK, its been of little value, perhaps if roaming abroad it would worth trying out, patiently.

    The IHG elite benefits are incredibly inconsistent e.g. the free drink voucher at some hotels is per person whilst at others it is per guest. Although some are trying to be more generous the inconsistency leads to confusion. The benefit of staying with IHG is the points game and the value that can be had.

    • Rob says:

      At the HIX Croydon last week, the wi-fi was 18 Mbps – stunningly quick, twice as fast as we get at home!

  • James67 says:

    I have been platinum for a number of years already but despite not having a single paid stay so far this year I gota letter informing me my status would continue next year. It included my new card. There was no requirement for any stays before year end.

  • Jay says:

    Thank you Raffles, I stacked up the codes and I got 35,000 points for my two night stay in HIX. But my Big Win and Book Direct promotion has not been considered. Will it take more time or Do I need to report a point discrepancy ?

    This was my first stay since I did a status match with IHG to become Platinum. I don’t have the membership card, do I have to request oe , or I get it after my first stay ?

    • Ed E says:

      The Big Win seems to take longer to post than normal points. I read somewhere that they seem to do a big sweep through all the bookings on a Sunday (if I remember correctly) and pick up what has been going on in the last week and update all the details. I am in the same boat as you. Now you have the stay on your account, any adjustments for Big Win should be pretty simple.

    • Rob says:

      The card should now come, but may take a month.

    • Ian says:

      For me big win points have posted 2 to 3 days later after the normal points. The book direct codes haven’t worked for me.