Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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)

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

  • Kathy says:

    Since I have already booked my 4 nights at the local HI, I’m quite relieved to see that it’s still £49 in the sale, so I would have only saved a few quid a night.

  • CV3V says:

    The rooms being offered at the HI Kensington Forum are the Deluxe rooms which are described as Executive rooms with lounge access. (£89)

    • Rob says:

      Not bad. Worth noting CP Kensington gave me (as a Spire) free club access as a Spire member recently and that is far nicer property – although there is no guarantee that they give lounge access to every Spire, every night.

      • CV3V says:

        Unfortunately the CP doesnt price in the sale for the dates i require, have the HI booked on points (in Exec room, the suites look rather 80’s).

      • Waribai says:

        Are there any official Spire benefits at CP? Just got back from Heythrop Park.
        Aside from a room upgrade to King Exec, we also got 1 free drink per person in the bar.
        But breakfast was not included and even though it was relatively quiet, a suite upgrade was non-forthocming too…

        • Rob says:

          No official Spire benefits anywhere! In theory you should the offer of a free drink or a few hundred points at check-in. Nothing else is guaranteed or even promised. You will never get free breakfast, the best you could expect is club lounge access which would give you the reduced breakfast in the lounge.

          • Waribai says:

            Ok, maybe I’m getting my expectations up. Yes, I tried to do my usual ‘turn up for breakfast and see if it appears on the bill’. Often it doesn’t. But it was clear that being so empty they had the breakfast list well and truly under control 🙂
            In the old days was breakfast not given free if there was no lounge?

            Anyway, it was a great stay. A lovely estate with beautiful scenery and walks. Lots of interesting wildlife and a decent childrens adventure playground!

      • Brian says:

        Must say that the lounge in the HI Kensington Forum is much better than the CP one – and, unless you fancy your chances of an upgrade and/or lounge access at the CP, I’d have thought an Exec/Deluxe room at the HI wouldn’t be much worse than a standard room at the CP. Yes, the CP is a nicer property and has a lovely garden at the back, but a) how much time would you be spending in the hotel itself in London? and b) the garden isn’t so attractive in winter.

        • CV3V says:

          I’ll be at the HI Kensington in January, so hanging out in the gardens wont be on the list. Thanks for the opinion on lounges, helps take the doubt out of where to stay! The CP wasn’t a real option as i never seem to get an upgrade, even as Spire, my account must be black flagged!

  • Gulz says:

    When you do a mattress run, don’t you need to return the key/keycard back to the reception when leaving. So if you left just 20 min after checking in, would that not be a problem?

    • Nigel says:

      No you do not need to return the key.

      You can either keep it or leave it in the room.

      The room needs to be a prepaid rate.

      • JQ says:

        What do you do with the key then?

      • trickster says:

        Why does it need to be pre-paid – as long as you check in and give them a card to charge to, surely they will charge you the next day.

        • Rob says:

          I always pre-pay when I do this, it seems easier.

          • Waribai says:

            Careful if you do this for more than one night though. At HEX T5 I had a two night mattress run a couple of years ago and left after 5 minutes. I then found I had only been credited for one night. A quick email to IHGcare sorted it all out though.

  • EvilGazebo says:

    Slightly OT but my Accelerate target includes getting the IHG Visa. Problem is I’ve already got it! Suspect it was probably a timing thing where I applied for it just as they were generating the promo targets. Anyone else had this and had any joy getting them to either mark it as achieved or substitute another target?

    • carpentr says:

      I have the opposite problem – they want me to use my Credit Card which I cancelled just before the promotion. Three attempts on the phone have yielded no results, sadly.

      • Kai says:

        I managed to convince them to deposit the bonus points (1,500) into my account. Just tell them you are disappointed as it will be impossible to accomplish all tasks, and you will consider switching your business to other chains for the rest of the year…

        It seems that they are not able to change the tasks for technical reasons.

    • Rob says:

      In theory, they should do it. In reality, all these requests end up going to the Philippines contact centre and I wouldn’t put money on it. I would put in a request now and definitely not book mattress run nights until you have clarification, even it means you end up paying a few £ more.

  • Fad says:

    I appreciate this will depend on what’s available in your area, but these sale prices aren’t great for a mattress run to get the new member Accelerate bonus. When that launched I was able to book rooms for under £30.

    • Brian says:

      I don’t think IHG has organised the sale in order to help people get the Accelerate bonus, to be fair…

  • Helen says:

    Managed to get 3 bookings at the HI Express in Glasgow for £39

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    MAN Airport at 5 miles from me and for £39 it appears a decent outlay with regard getting two free nights elsewhere in 2016. I’m tempted but undecided.

    I’ve a ton of Hilton Points so I tend to favour their properties but coverage in Europe can be sporadic. Are IC hotels generally decent or do they vary significantly?

  • Ammar says:

    Need some advice on how to get Spire Status the cheapest way:
    1) I need around 4000 qualifying points to get to Spire Status, my current plan is to transfer my Virgin FC miles to IHG and trigger the status that way…However, I was wondering

    2) If I stay one night with the accelerate promotion i get 5000 bonus points – do they count towards status? as a £89 stay even if paid with my IHG card is probably not going generate enough points. I think I would need to spend £2000 to get enough qualifying points..

    Any thoughts and comments welcome….

    • Rob says:

      If you book a ‘Bonus Points’ package at a hotel (ie those hotels which offer a room for £99 or a room and 5,000 points for £120) then, yes, those 5,000 count for status.

      However, the points from Accelerate do not.

      If you’ve got the Virgin miles then I would just move those over. Your alternatives are slim – even if you applied for the IHG credit card today, for example, you probably wouldn’t be able to earn 4,000 points via spend (the sign-up bonus does not count) before the end of the year because of the delays in the points posting.

      • Ammar says:

        Thanks Rob. I already have the IHG Premium CC, just want to confirm the VISA Spend points ie 2 points for every £1 spent count towards status, I can’t find your old article about which earning methods count towards status.

        • Liz says:

          Your credit card spend does qualify at 2pt per £1 but the points can take 3-6 weeks after your statement to post to your account so that could be too late to hit the target you want.

      • Ammar says:

        Also, how long did Virgin take to post the points on your IHG account, i.e if i do it today, it should be done before calender year over?

        • Rob says:

          Takes about a week

        • FormalHall says:

          Similar question, how long do they take to update your status to Platinum? I have just received my first statement for the IHG Platinum CC and the 40,000 points posted some time ago but my status has not been upgraded.

    • Andy says:


      I regularly book the 5,000 point package and the points from that are credited as qualifying points. Hope that answers the question.


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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.