IHG 48 hour Winter Sale on its way – but not as good as 2011-2013

For the last few years, IHG – owner of Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc – has launched very aggressive sales for rooms over the fallow Winter period

When I say aggressive, I mean aggressive.  In 2011 and 2012, rooms were priced at £20.12 to celebrate IHG’s links with the London Olympics.  Last year, they offered rooms at between £25 and £45 depending on brand.

I snagged a couple of deals which I used as cheap office space for writing HFP!  I paid £35 for the Holiday Inn Mayfair and £45 for the Crowne Plaza Blackfriars, which included an upgrade to the executive floor with my IHG Platinum status.

The good news is that the sale is back.  This year over 600 hotels in Europe will be taking part.

Availability is usually limited.  The sale will cover the period from December 15th to February 14th.

Here is the bad news:

In 2014, the sale is going to be a damp squib for most people.

As you can see from this page on the IHG website, the list of participating hotels is priced from £29 to £169.

The UK £29 list only comprises Holiday Inn Express hotels.  The first semi-decent London hotel is Holiday Inn Kensington at £49.  The Holiday Inn Stratford I used to get for £20 is £89 – close to its normal price in the dead season.   The HI Wembley is a joke at £89 given that it is 10,000 points to redeem.

If you want a luxury break, the £169 level is more interesting.  InterContinental Park Lane is there, as the IC Paris LeGrand – a Valentine break may be possible.

Outside the UK the deals look a little better but there is nothing to make me pull out my credit card.

The website states that the sale starts at 00.01 on October 31stIf you are an IHG Rewards Club Platinum member AND you book via the IHG app, you can get access 24 hours earlier at 00.01 on October 30th – ie tomorrow morning.

These rooms are not explicitly blocked from earning IHG Rewards Club points and stay credit, or counting for Into The Nights. If your night costs less than 70% of the Best Flexible Rate for that night, your points are at risk though. This is the threshold that hotels are meant to use when deciding whether to give points although some properties ignore it.

Note there is a breakfast quirk. You can add breakfast for a flat £10 per room – a great deal. InterContinental properties will add £30. In Europe it is even cheaper at €10 per room.

As always, if the sale has a property in a place you need to be, you’ve got a bargain, however good or bad the overall list may be.  I recommend you click here, take a look and decide for yourself.

Exclusive: Tesco Clubcard to Avios November promotion revealed
Last chance to get 10,000 - 25,000 Virgin miles with the Virgin credit cards
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. The app didn’t work but when I signed in on my ipad (regular ihg site) I could access the rooms

  2. Rooms are bookable. Use the link above in the article, then log into account. Only bookable on the 48 hour sale page. Remember today is Plat members only.

  3. Raffles – re the 70% threshold, is this published anywhere? Does this mean that if I book an Advance Saver rate which is less than 70% of the Best Flexible Rate, I don’t get stay credit? That would just seem to be quite strange, given that it isn’t mentioned anywhere when you book – but then nothing with IHG would surprise me… I just want to check before booking stays for Into the Nights

    • A published standard rate on their site will always get points. Is AdvPur ever 30% below Best Flex? Doubt it. However, any promo code, special deal etc will often not count and if you query it they always come back with the 70’per cent rule. I think it is in the rules somewhere. That said, some hotels give you the points anyway.

      • This is the relevant section of the rules. As you can see, the 30% discount rule applies only to “locally negotiated rates” at hotels in the Americas. Any agent who tries to cite it in other situations is confused and should be challenged.

        “Eligible Charges Worldwide include the following Qualifying Room Rates paid for hotel room nights: including the hotel’s Advanced Purchase Rate, Best Flexible Rate, worldwide sales negotiated rate, national/regional/local government rate and specified leisure rates as confirmed by IHG’s HOLIDEX® Plus reservation systems. Points will be awarded for Qualifying Room Rates booked through IHG central reservation offices, IHG web sites, travel agents or directly at the hotel. In addition, in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, points may be collected on locally negotiated rates if these rates are discounted less than 30%. At Asia Pacific hotels, Qualifying Room Rates also include all locally negotiated rates. Eligible Charges Worldwide also include food and beverage, telephone, laundry, and in-room movies charged to the member’s room. Charges at restaurants not operated by the hotel may not be eligible for points. Hotels may choose to award points for other charges at their discretion. At U.S. and Canadian hotels (except InterContinental Alliance Resorts), you can collect points or miles on all Eligible Charges for multiple hotel rooms (less than 10) provided those rooms are used in conjunction with the member’s stay at the same hotel, and that their IHG® Rewards Club member number is recorded on each reservation, or the charges from those multiple room reservations are referred to on the hotel room bill associated with the member’s reservation.”

        • Disagree. As it says above, only ‘specified leisure rates’ count. We have no idea if a rate is ‘specified’ in HOLIDEX or not but 30 per cent does seem the cut off.

  4. Seems our option to do a (curtailed) mattress run may have been stymied (ie. like Rob’s “stay a while, ruffle the sheets,then leave a bit later” tactic) by a £50 fee!… Clicking the full rate rules on the payment page brings up a box with various extra charges, incl £50 for “early departure” !!! No definition of “early” was obvious. Anyone know what this means in practice? and is it a new rule?

    • trickster says:

      Surely that means leaving after 1 night on a 2+ night stay?

    • Take no notice of the early departure rule. I believe that’s only if you’ve got a two night stay and leave after one night.

  5. Kilburn Flyer says:

    Will stays at these sale rates count as qualifying nights for the “into the nights promo”?

    Is there anyway of knowing for certain or does it fit the “less than 70% of Best Flexible” rate rule (ie not accuring points/qualifying nights)

    • On the confirmation page it says “You will earn xxx points for this stay”, which theoretically means it earns points and thus counts a qualifying stay. In practice though, I have no idea.

    • Look at the Best Flex price for that night and get your calculator out, and keep a screenshot just in case

  6. Anyone got the app working on these rates yet?

  7. Does anyone know how you book breakfast? Or will they just honour £10 per room in the hotel without any printed confirmation?

  8. Is there a limit to how many you can book? Cant see anything in the terms and conditions.
    I’d hate to have IHG stop my account!

    Looking to book 2 rooms at same hotel for the same night.