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A detrimental clarification to IHG ‘Into The Nights’ rules

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I devoted two articles last week (here and here) to discussing ‘Into The Nights’, the Autumn promotion from IHG Rewards Club.  This offers, for most people, a relatively easy way to earn two free hotel nights across the IHG (InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn) portfolio.

When the promotion was launched, IHG did not outline the conditions attached to the free nights.

Now they have.

IHG Rewards Club

It is partly good news and partly potentially bad news.

Loyalty Lobby has persuaded his contacts at IHG to send him the terms and conditions of the free nights.  This is what will be posted online at some point:

Free Nights earned are applicable only to the room nights and privileges specifically provided by this Promotion and supporting Offers, at IHG’s discretion, and are not comparable with IHG® Rewards Club Reward Night (redeemed by points) or any other room nights.

Free Nights earned from Stays, as defined in the Into the Nights terms, completed during Registration must be redeemed by 31 December 2015. Free Nights earned must be claimed by 31 January 2015 or members will automatically be awarded applicable points.

 Free Nights can only be used in participating IHG hotels and may not be transferred. A Free Night is valid only for one standard room night rate and applicable taxes (not including breakfast). Redemption is subject to availability of the rooms of hotels specially provided for this promotion.  The hotel rooms hotels specially provided for this promotion shall be determined at IHG’s discretion.

Free Nights shall be redeemed on first-come and first-served basis. Redemptions must be made 24 hours in advance by logging in to the member account on Cancellation or changes must be made 48 hours prior to 6 P.M. of arrival date. Any changes or cancellation after that will be deemed to be a no show, and the Free Night credit will be removed from member’s IHG Rewards Club account.

Free Nights cannot be exchanged for cash and are not transferrable in the system to other members and guests. IHG reserves the right to remove a member’s Free Night reward if fraudulent use of the Offer is detected. IHG Rewards Club reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion/Offer at any time with or without notice.  IHG reserves the right of final interpretation of this Offer.

So ….

The good news is that your free night vouchers will be valid until December 2015.

The bad news is that the vouchers will NOT be valid at any hotel which is showing reward space.  It seems that there will be a separate pool of – presumably more restricted – availability.

IHG did this for a China promotion this year so it is capable of doing it from an IT perspective.  The Loyalty Lobby article states, in that scenario, IHG released a limited number of rooms for redemption at every hotel. 

On that basis, there WILL be rooms available at every IHG hotel – including the flagship InterContinentals – but you would need to be prepared to book as soon as the vouchers hit your account.  By December 2015, when the vouchers are close to expiry, you should expect only the dregs of the IHG portfolio to still be available.

I honestly don’t know where this leaves me now in terms of this promotion.  I am NOT going to do a mattress run without knowing how difficult it will be to actually use the free nights.

The nature of my travel is that I only have a few occasions each year to use the vouchers.  On those trips, I would want to stay in an InterContinental if possible.  Should I go to New York for a couple of days, I don’t want to find myself effectively forced into a Holiday Inn Express because the InterContinental Times Square sold out its allocation of free nights by January 2nd and I wasn’t ready to book until Easter.

For me, it is not worth spending money on mattress run nights if I cannot effectively gauge the value I will get back.  I am pretty sure that I will NOT be in a position in January to lock in rooms at premium hotels for stays in the Summer.

If you have got a high points alternative, your situation may be different.  If you have an offer of 50,000 points or two free nights, your worst case scenario would be taking the points instead of the free nights and you would still come out ahead.

My points alternatives are quite low though.  There is no way that it is worth going for this promotion if I end up not taking the free night vouchers.

I don’t think IHG is approaching this promotion ethically.  Who knows when they intend to actually publish the above rules online?  At the moment, people are moving business to IHG in the belief that they will get two free nights valid anywhere, and that may turn out not to be the case.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

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.

You will receive an 80% bonus when you buy IHG One Rewards points by 10th June 2022.

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 (51)

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

  • N says:

    Have anyone’s stays shown up on the intothenights site yet? I had a stay post to my account on Sunday, but no progress shows on intothenights

  • Lostantipod says:

    I just can’t believe how clueless IHG’s loyalty department is when it comes to execution of these things. A few years back I belonged to a focus group of theirs where we were rewarded with points for giving feedback about upcoming adverts, specials, or other aspects of their activities. It was a nice little earner to be fair. This project has long been disbanded , but their ability to not take on board the feedback of the many members contributing was startling … For example we were all crying “free wifi please for members !” For at least 18 months before they introduced it for status members. I don’t trust them not to mess us about with this ….and deciding against a mattress run without clarity of the prize is a wise move !

  • David says:

    I am amazed that I still cannot correctly view my offers online. I have been told to wait 48 hrs and then for 14th Sept, but it still isn’t working. Customer Services asked for my PIN to look into it. I refused as it should not be necessary to provide this information. They said wait another 72 hours… we shall see! I was also given different advice for the use of the “free night” voucher to what has been stated above – so until the terms are officially released I will likely book elsewhere.

    • Pszczolka says:

      Yep, I’m in the same boat. I’ve emailed them from the beginning (4 emails now) with the last one saying they’ll get back to me in 5 working days and ‘not to worry’ as any stays that I do have from the beginning of registration will count so I won’t miss out…umm…how am I supposed to know if I’m booking a qualifying stay?! Ridiculous and poor customer service to boot…

  • Steve says:

    Sigh… Just got my offers:

    Stay 38 nights
    Try 5 Brands
    Stay internationally 3 times (read the fine print….in different countries!)
    Extend weekend 4 stays inc a Friday or sunday (2 day stay min)
    1 stay bonus points package

    … That’s a pretty tough way to earn 2 free nights or 23,000 bonus points.

    As already said the individual points aren’t bad totalling 70k + but I am annoyed like David that someone else gets a much lower hurdle.

    Guess that’s their marketing trick to incentivise people with different ore existing purchase patterns, but personalised offers in a world dominated by sharing on social media can back fire when people learn how differently they’re being treated.

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