Two Tuesdays ago, I found myself in the Holiday Inn Express in Croydon city centre. Not somewhere I would usually spend time, to be honest, but I needed one IHG hotel night in London to complete The Big Win promotion.
And, at just £55 for a Tuesday night, it was cheapest convenient hotel I could find.
I didn’t actually stay, I just checked in, did some work (internet is free for IHG Rewards Club elite members) and left!
(I should say, in all fairness, that this is a decent hotel. The room was bigger than you usually get at a Holiday Inn Express, and the location could not be more central. The receptionist was also very friendly and worked hard to find me an empty room when I turned up well in advance of the advertised check-in time.)
I thought it would be interesting to look at what I have earned from The Big Win and to justify the expenditure I ran up.
My wifes account only required five nights to trigger the full The Big Win bonus. One of these nights had already been booked before the promotion was announced, so I haven’t included that in my calculations as we would have done that night regardless.
Total cost £125
Points earned from stay: 27,207 points
Night 5 – Holiday Inn Express Croydon
Total cost £55
Points earned from stay: 8,408 points
The Big Win bonus: 70,700 points (technically it was 71,800 but 1,100 of those triggered with the first night which was already booked, so I would have received those regardless)
Total points earned: 106,315
Total expenditure: £180 + £10 travel cost to Croydon = £190
So, at the end of the day, 106,000 points for ‘mattress run’ expenditure of £190.
I will – almost certainly – end up using those points for InterContinental properties where I will get £5 per 1,000. That would value the bonus points at £530. As I do, on a regular basis, pay for InterContinental-type hotels, I can consider this a real saving.
That is not a bad result. Some people had more generous targets than this one and, of course, some people had targets which they could hit entirely with business travel. Those people got an even better deal. My original post on The Big Win is here if you want to find out more.
Ironically, people with fairly regular IHG hotel stays got a raw deal, with stiff targets to hit. That is why I was using my wifes account, as her targets were very low given her average of one stay per year!
(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.)