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IHG UK flash sale underway – rooms from £39, guaranteed to count for Accelerate promotion

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IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc) launched its 72-hour Winter flash sale yesterday.

You can book via the special flash sale page here.

You need to book by 9am (note, am) on Sunday 8th November.

You can book for stays between 1st December and 29th February 2016.

The deals

At first glance, the prices are certainly not as generous as we have seen in recent Winter sales.  Anyone expecting rooms in Central London for £20.12 again will be disappointed.  Even Crowne Plaza The City, which I got for £49 last time, is at £89.

There is nothing in Central London at £39.  At £49, the new Indigo in Newcastle caught my eye.  Crowne Plaza Ealing and the Holiday Inn Express at Excel are the ‘best’ London options I think, although I’ve never visited the Holiday Inn Brent Cross.

At £69 your pickings improve – you’ll get the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum here, which is ugly but well located.  The Indigo in Glasgow is also £69.  To be honest, the best value is at the £89 level where you will get genuinely good hotels such as Crowne Plaza Kensington (reviewed here) and Crowne Plaza The City.

For an extra £10 you can add breakfast. This is worthwhile in most cases.

All nights are qualifying nights

Here is the good news – rooms booked in this sale are guaranteed to receive IHG Rewards Club points.  This means that they will also qualify for the Accelerate promotion currently running.

Annoyingly, the guarantee that the rooms will qualify for points does not appear  on the special booking page or in the terms and conditions.  It was flagged clearly in the promotional email sent out yesterday, however.  It is also logical given that you must be an IHG Rewards Club member to book these deals.

A great arbitrage here via Accelerate

There is an opportunity here to get yourself a great deal on a hotel stay in 2016.

If you have been a long-time member of IHG Rewards Club, you will have been given a personalised target for the Accelerate promotion this Autumn.  Only you will know whether it is worth booking a mattress run (booking a hotel, turning up to check in, ruffling the sheets and then immediately leaving) to hit your qualifying target.

This is my original article outlining Accelerate if you want to know more.

A great opportunity for new members

If you sign up for IHG Rewards Club from scratch and then register for Accelerate via this page, you will get a specific offer – complete four stays and receive two free nights at ANY IHG hotel during 2016. 

The only ‘catch’ is that the hotel must be showing standard reward availability for the nights you want but this is rarely an issue – IHG forces its hotels to make 5% of rooms available every night for redemption. 

With sale nights running at £39 in this sale, you would be paying £156 for four nights if there is a suitable hotel near you.  If you used your two free nights at a top InterContinental hotel in New York, London, Paris etc, you would be getting around £500 of free rooms.  That is an impressive deal.

For clarity, your four stays cannot be back-to-back stays at the same hotel – the hotel or IHG will merge them together when they post to your account and they will only count as one stay.

Personally, I am two nights short of my Accelerate target so I will be looking to book two cheap nights under this promotion.  I just need to weigh up the arbitrage between paying a higher price for a hotel near my house or travelling out of London to get a far cheaper rate …..


IHG One Rewards update – August 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.

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 (83)

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  • Dean says:

    Shame that this starts in December trying to get the holiday inn at Gatwick in November for the accelerate program. It’s £60 but don’t want to pay that. Has anyone stayed at the ones further out?

    • Simon says:

      Stayed in the Crowne Plaza Gatwick recently – this was even cheaper (£53 for a standard) and seems to have a lot of rooms at sub-£60.

      To be honest I am not sure that it is worth that much more, the rooms are a little nicer but the hotel location isn’t particularly great for the airport – you still have to catch a bus in the morning or take an over-priced taxi-ride.

      • Concerto says:

        Thanks for this feedback, it’s helped me choose which hotel I stay at in Gatwick. With a 09h30 departure Holiday Inn is better. There is a £3 charge for the airport shuttle, apparently.

  • Brian says:

    One thing to note – you can get better-quality rooms for a cheap rate, too. The Crowne Plaza Heathrow, for instance, has deluxe rooms with lounge access for £69. That’s not a bad deal.

  • Simon says:

    I am two nights short as well. Annoying one of these nights has to be on the bonus point package, which doesn’t seem to be combinable with the cheap rate.

    HIX Hemel Hempstead is a good one, very near to the train station, had this in the sale last year, looks to be more expensive this year.

    HIX Redditch, HIX Bradford also used to be pretty cheap.

    Another other hotels that are close to train stations?

    • AndyS says:

      HIX Slough is right next door to the station, and Derby Pride Park is 5 mins walk. Not quite so close, the HIX in Croydon is within 10 mins walk of East Croydon station

    • Me says:

      HIX Hull is next to the station

    • trickster says:

      I’m in the same boat – need one 1 night, and a bonus point rate.
      I have a booking for next weekend that is flexible that I’m considering upgrading to the bonus rate, but it’s a decent uplift from £62 to £85 for a HIX. but this is probably best as I am sure I can find a £39 room for the last night I need.

  • Mark Phillips says:

    I managed to book the Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport on a Monday night in December for £39. The previous day it was selling at £99!

  • Eleanor says:

    Got excited for a minute as the search box on the flash sale page is headed ‘Search IHG hotels worldwide’ …..as I’ve been looking at the IC’s in San Francisco and LA for a December trip. Unfortunately though it’s only UK & I according to the T’s & C’s.

    Raffles – is a similar sale likely to run in other regions do you know, accessible to UK residents?

    • CV3V says:

      IHG run a lot of regional sales, but they are restricted to residents of that locale. You can read about them elsewhere on t’internet, it’s quite annoying for a global travel brand to target residents of specific countries. But then airlines do the same.

  • Simon says:

    Went for the Crowne Plaza Heathrow – the £59 for two with breakfast is not too bad.
    Any ideas for the cheapest hotel on standard rate for the bonus points package? Not seen cheaper than the HIX Northampton and that is £55.99.

    • Nigel says:

      HIX Rotherham North is £50 for the 1000 bonus package.

      As I said in an earlier post, watch these “bargain” rates as they can be easily beaten by many a hotel advnace purchase rates which need only be bought at maximum 21 days out.

      Not sure why Hotels have to be near train stations as if this is a matress run it could be done for you 🙂

      • Simon says:

        Cheers Nigel. I suppose it’s just easier for me to tag on to the end of the day, if I am on the train already. For instance, the Hemel was good as you could just turn around and go back to the station (have had it for £2x in previous sales). If I told someone to do it they would probably think I had gone mad. Unless, of course you mean calling the hotel up and explaining?

        24-26 Dec looks pretty good for rates across a lot of them, so will probably get one done then.

  • Liz says:

    OT: But IHG related. I’ve just received my new Barclaycard IHG credit card bill with the points to be transferred. Every month though the points gained do not tally the spend and I can’t for the life of me work out how they get the points number. Amex’s system is nice and easy but with IHG you just get a number. I only had one foreign transaction with my Supercard at 4 x and all the rest were straightforward UK purchases at 2 x. Is there somewhere on the credit card page that I can’t see that gives you the breakdown of points? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      I know there have been huge issues with this, mainly over IHG stays not counting double as they should. Wasn’t aware of issues over FX spend though.

      • Liz says:

        It’s not an issue with FX – it’s just the points don’t tally with the spend and I can’t work out how they get to the total figure. It’s always in my favour by a hundred or so points but I would still like to know how they get to the total figure. Was hoping It was listed somewhere like the Amex ones are.

        • Chris says:

          Yeah most of the ranting about it on FT has been me tbh.

          Drop them a secure message detailing what you should have and if you have an idea where they have went wrong let them know. If you get no joy with the first response ask for it to be escalated straight away to the reward management team that normally gets them to look at it a bit closer.

          • Alan says:

            Haha was waiting to see if you’d see the Batsignal go up in this thread, Chris 😛 I’ve been active on that FT thread too – remember the web relations team (WR at Barclaycard.co.uk) are helpful at escalating things too. In general though MBNA are much more reliable than Barclaycard at correct points calculations and posting them promptly. I had lots of issues with my Barclaycard-issued Hilton card, as well as the IHG one.

    • Nigel says:

      They never do 🙂

      Only sure way is to work it out yourself, send them a secure message as to how may points they owe you (show your working out !) and they usually agree and psot them the next month.

      On your IHG account the points do appear as a split group of three so you can see their maths.

      Never had a correct month yet.

      • Liz says:

        OK – it’s not just me then. As long as it’s in my favour then that is fine. If and when it’s not I shall query it. Thanks

    • JQ says:

      I have just checked and always received exactly the correct number of IHG points for my spend, except for once when I made a manual payment…. I received points (or shall we call it a free night) on the amount of the manual payment!!! From now on I shall be paying manually!

      Points are received on the total amount per statement, rounded to the nearest £, unlike Amex and Tesco which round individual transactions

      Various transactions count as overseas, because they are processed outside the UK for reasons only known to the retailer. These earn 4 points per £, and in my case include paypal, east midland trains and admiral car insurance

      • JQ says:

        and just to add, Supercard is processed in the UK, so doesn’t count as foreign.

        Barclaycard shows quite clearly where the transactions are processed, if you read carefully

        • Liz says:

          Thank you JQ for explaining it. i just checked back on previous statements and they are correct based on your explanation. i can’t get this months one to tally though. i have recalculated taking out the super card transaction and I forgot we had a Holiday Inn X booking paid for with IHG card so that should be 4 times. So even taking everything else at 2x I have been short changed! Will wait to see how it appears on my account first then raise a query with them.

    • wetboy1uk says:

      Barclaycard are completely useless and have had to phone them a number of times. Also just done one of their so called deals for a purchase plan where you are supposed to split the payment over the next 6 months yet my statement is showing that the full amount (including the purchase plan and the fee for this) will all be taken by direct debit at the end of the month. Their customer service is useless too. Have told them if its not sorted this time I will take my custom elsewhere.

      • JQ says:

        If you need to use “purchase plan” you shouldn’t be bothering with reward credit cards….

  • Phil says:

    Disappointing to see no City Centre Manchester options.

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