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A detrimental clarification to IHG ‘Into The Nights’ rules

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UPDATE – OCTOBER 2021:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.  We produce a monthly summary of the top hotel bonus point offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ menu above.

You can earn up to triple IHG Rewards base points with IHG’s new Autumn promotion. It runs from 1st October to 31st December 2021. You can register here and our full article on the offer is here.

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 Rewards update – October 2021:

Get bonus points: You can earn up to triple IHG Rewards base points with IHG’s new Autumn promotion. It runs from 1st October to 31st December. You can register here and our full article on the offer is here.

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

Buy points: If you need additional IHG 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 (51)

  • Max says:

    Not surprised. The promotion has not been well run from my perspective. It has taken me 3 emails to even get my offers listed. I do have one IHG stay this year but this is booked on convenience and nothing to do with this promotion.

    • Pszczolka says:

      At least you’ve gotten yours after 3 emails! I’ve sent 4 and each time I get the same response – it’s an IT issue and we’re working on it and we don’t know when it will be fixed.


      And I actually have 40 nights in hotels coming up that I need to book which I told them but they don’t seem to care.

  • vindaloo says:

    Bit like collecting Avios and 2-for-1 vouchers really, but at least with them you know before you start that you have naff all chance of using them for anything you’re likely to want!

  • luckyjim says:

    Same here. Not worth putting effort or cost in if the value of the reward is unknown.

    I shall be focusing on the Hilton Honors ‘Stay More’ promotion. 15000 extra Virgin Flying Club Miles for five stays between now and the end of November.

    • Trevor says:

      Mmm, extra Virgin miles which will only take you across the pond at this rate, and I have enough Avios and AAdvantage miles to do those trips. Having only recently joined Virgin, they’re already off my radar thanks to their recent route cuts.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    In this country, “Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications.”

    If you are not happy about the way this promotion was advertised, it takes only a few minutes to file a complaint online with the Advertising Standards Authority. They are very good about handling complaints: quick to take action and no canned responses.

    • Martin says:

      It’s true the ASA are getting better, but, in my experience, their resolution is to get the advertiser to fix/remove the advert, not recompense anyone misled.

  • Gavin says:

    So you have to claim/book your 2 free night stays by 31 Jan 2015 for hotel stays up until 31 Dec 2015. If you do not book or feel the hotel options are not suitable you still get the points offered?

    It now seems unlikely that you would be able to get 2 consecutive free nights at an InterContinental with this offer.

    • Rob says:

      I think you would be able to get the IC nights but only if you knew the dates you wanted by early January. I reckon there will be something like, say, 100 nights per hotel and that will be it.

      • Trevor says:

        If your guess at 100 nights per hotel was in any way correct, then since there are 365 days in a year, there is still a large chance that there may be no consecutive nights offered, a ploy to offer with one hand and take with the other if you intend a stay of more than one night. Considering the total lack of public knowledge regarding the “2 free nights” offered and the lack of flexibility already divulged, this offer is beginning to smell off and I wouldn’t put I past them to restrict availability further and try generate revenue off their use.

        Considering my offer is a paltry 33k points if I don’t use the nights, ie possibly redeemable for only one night (unless by some miracle I managed a Point Break which is seeming less and less likely each time I view the offers), to invest at least £350 in 7 unnecessary nights with so little discount available these days, and too few bonus codes to generate a good dose of extra points, I’m pretty sure I’m out of this promotion. My OH’s offer is slightly better at 43k/2 nights for 6 nights, but still not really worth it and decidedly poor compared to some other offers I have seen.

  • david says:

    I have asked to deregister from this promotion and associated emails. They are asking me to buy 20+ nights when new registrants can get the same rewards with far fewer stays, so much for brand loyalty.

  • Alan says:

    This actually makes me feel a bit better – my offer was so rubbish I knew I wouldn’t achieve it, but at least now I know the free nights on offer were nowhere near as valuable! Can’t believe they still haven’t published these T&Cs though!

  • Danksy says:

    I changed three very nice SPG reward stays in Texas next month for 3 lesser holiday inns and booked a Christmas shopping weekend (god help me) and a weekend on the beers for me and SWMBO , so I haven’t incurred too much additional cost (aside from a large Xmas shopping bill).

    Bit gutted about the reward nights but with a whole year to redeem I’m sure I’ll find something of use. The average price of my hotels booked per night was approx £80 and across mine and SWMBOs IHG accounts we had to book 5 stays to get 3 free, so all in all I will get some value!

    For those looking for an interesting IHG stay… Check out the holiday in rugby, on paper it looks ok and for £65 (earlybb rate) it has a spa and pool …bit bothered by the close proximity to m1 though 😀

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