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IHG Big Win: My fun Tuesday in Croydon

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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.

Holiday Inn Express Croydon

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.

Nights 2, 3, 4 – Holiday Inn Express Alcorcon, Madrid (report here)

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 article 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 wife’s account, as her targets were very low given her average of one stay per year!

IHG One Rewards update – July 2024:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global promotion.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (55)

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  • Jay says:

    I kind of getting serious with Big Win now, may be it’s late.

    I had 2 nights with HIX already.

    I need 3 brands, 2 nights and 1 weekend nights to complete big win
    1 HI and 1 Crown Plaza with a saturday stay woud be the easy thing. Do you know the cheapest Crown plaza to stay ? I found one in Birmingham NEC to be just £35. Hope, staying there will be counted as a stay in Big Win. Anything around Manchester area or London ?

    • Rob says:

      Marlow, although you would need to stay there as its too far out just to check in and check out. Lovely place, though (Marlow, not the hotel, although it is pleasant enough!).

      Heathrow Crowne Plaza is presumably also cheap at weekends.

      No idea about Manchester area ….

  • Jay says:


    I found an easy way to find IHG Hotels with lowest fare. Here is what I have done.

    In the IHG booking website, select Nottingham as the city and search for a particular date. Under the ‘Distance from Destination’ section. Select 100 and Miles. And search again. Now, when the results page loads, look at the URL on the browser and replace qRad=100 with qRad=200 to search for 200 mile radius. I would not advice to go beyond that, it could crash the servers, eventually them taking a note.

    Since I have selected Nottingham as the centre, I kind of get the length and width of at least England covered. Sort by Rate and here you go!

    May be people are already using it . Just wanted to share.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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