What are the best hotel promos for March?

Our monthly credit card round-up has always been a popular article, so I’ve decided to trial a similar monthly round-up of the best hotel offers from the major chains.

All of the information in this article can be found on our ‘Hotel Promos’ page which contains details of all of the current offers, together with links to our major articles on each hotel scheme.

Where should you credit your stays this month?

IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Indigo, Staybridge Suites etc):

The Spring version of IHG’s ‘Accelerate’ is probably the best choice for most people with lighter schedules.  As targets are personalised it is totally dependent on what you were offered but you should be able to rack up a significant number of bonus points with just a few stays.

‘Accelerate’ runs until 15th April.  This was the article I wrote on it.

Everyone has individual targets, but they are generally fairly easy.  You can earn around 30,000 bonus points with the points starting to flow from your first stay.

My wife, for example, got this for 41,000 points:

  • 3,000 points on her next stay
  • 1,000 points for a stay in January
  • 10,000 points for staying five nights
  • 2,000 points for applying for an IHG Rewards Club credit card
  • 3,600 points for booking a Bonus Points Package
  • 21,400 points for completing three of the four targets above excluding the January bonus

This is exceptionally easy.  All she has to do is make ONE stay, for one night, on a Bonus Points Package rate!  As long as she also applies for the free IHG credit card, that will be 30,000 points banked.

You need to register for ‘Accelerate’ – the link is in the article above.


Hilton (Hampton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria etc):

The Hilton offer also looks good.  You will receive 2,000 bonus Hilton Honors points per night, which I would value at £6-£8.  This offer stacks with the ‘earn up to quadruple Avios’ deal so you can earn both on the same stay.

I wrote about the ‘doubling up’ aspect of this offer last week.  Here is my main article on the ‘2000 points’ offer.

Both of these offers run until 30th April.  Importantly, the ‘2,000 bonus points’ offer kicks in from your first stay so it is a bonus you can hit even if you’re only doing one stay over the next few weeks.

Both offers need registration – the links are in the articles above.

Club Carlson for hotel page

Club Carlson (Radisson Blu, Park Inn, Park Plaza, Radisson Red):

For hotel stays before 31st March, the Club Carlson offer is attractive too.  You will receive 5,000 points, worth £15-£20 on my valuations, per night.  The only snag is having to guess in advance how many nights you will do in the quarter.

Anika used this in Hamburg recently and picked up 14,000 points for a weekend stay that cost her under £200 which was a good return.

Full details are in this article.  Remember that Carlson points can be topped up at a generous 1:3 ratio by American Express Membership Rewards points.

SPG Starwood

Starwood (St Regis, Westin, Sheraton, Element, W, Luxury Collection etc) and Marriott (Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton etc):

This is less exciting, unless you have an expensive stay planed.

Starwood and Marriott are basically running the same promotion following their merger – double points for your first three stays at each chain.  It certainly isn’t a reason for shifting business to either chain but you should obviously register if you will be doing a stay anyway.

You must register by 15th March even though both offers run until 15th April.  Full details are in this article.

Le Club AccorHotels logo

World of Hyatt and Le Club AccorHotels:

Neither is running a global promotion at the moment.  Le Club AccorHotels is running a 3-4-2 promotion for bookings made by 28th March – see here for details.

Points-based online travel agents

If you need to book an independent hotel instead of a chain, don’t forget these offers from the ‘we pay you a load of miles for booking’ hotel bookers.  Click to read the relevant article:

Up to 15,000 bonus Avios with Agoda PointsMAX (book by 31st March, stay by 30th June)

50% bonus Etihad Guest miles with Kaligo.com  (book by 30th April, stay by 31st December)  

50% bonus Virgin Flying Club miles with Kaligo.com  (book by 31st March, stay dates unknown)  

You can, of course, also book chain hotels via these sites but you won’t receive points in the hotels own programme or any status benefits you are due.  This is because they are treated as non-qualifying third-party bookings by the chains who want you to book direct.


There are plenty of options out there this month.  My personal preference amongst these ‘big chain’ options is IHG’s Accelerate or the combination of Hilton’s ‘2000 points’ and ‘quadruple Avios’ offers.

PS.  If you booking a luxury hotel, remember that we can offer you exclusive additional benefits at Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula and similar hotels.  Click here for details of our luxury hotel booking service in association with Bon Vivant / Virtuoso.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: New Starwood O2 concerts bookable, double PartnerPlusBenefit points to USA
Bits: reader gets a 7-minute IHG / Barclays refund!, ParentPay drops Amex, Etihad A380 First clip
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. Roger says:

    OT- Technical Issues

    Not sure if this is just me but from yesterday evening HfP website shows some glitches for me.
    When clicking on any links on article, recent comments etc. does not work for me.
    Even clicking HFP logo at top should take you to home page that also does not work for me.

    I am accessing this on a Chromebook.

    • This is happening to me using safari on iPhone, although when I open the link through twitter it seems to work as expected.

    • Same here. On mobile Android I can’t follow any link on the site unless I use “open in new tab”.

  2. David says:

    The AmEx Hilton deal is worth a mention too for the £50 off £250 spend (in seemingly as many hotels in as many transactions as you like, despite the T’s&C’s). Mine just credited an I was very happy!

  3. I want to transfer MR points to a hotel program for a 4-night stay in New York. Do you have any suggestions for a value for money hotel in NY using points?


    • Peter K says:

      It depends on whether you have status in any of the hotel schemes and also where you want to be positioned.

      • Jonny says:

        Some of the Marriotts offer decent value (via SPG). The Edition was “on offer” at 40,000 points per night, and is meant to be great, though I think it has gone up to 50k now.
        Also if you can get a 5th night free with Hilton/SPG/Marriott if you are able to do this.

  4. BigDave says:

    also worth a mention is Meliarewards spring sale are offering up to 45% off though the london hotels I looked at were more 35-37% off but with meliarewards you also get £15 credit per room per night… plus the points which you can as you know transfer to iberia onto avios onto ba etc…

  5. Dominic says:

    Just booked my free night using Barclays certificate at Hilton Park Lane in London this weekend. Pretty happy with the value as cash price is currently £258.

    Anyone know if the 2,000 points per night promotion includes rewards stays? I couldn’t see it mentioned in T&Cs.

    • If you charge something, anything, to your room it will trigger. It may trigger with nothing but best to spend $1 equivalent as that triggers base points.

    • Stuart says:

      It does but you will need some spend on the folio to trigger the points, a bottle of water from the mini bar should do it.

  6. Brighton Belle says:

    Beware IHG rules. When the Spring Accelerate was announced before Christmas they ran banner adds promoting it splashed BUY NOW. I booked 3 separate stays all within the specified date window to qualify for the promotion. They have refused all the stays as qualifying stating I booked them before the promotion started despite the ads. Conclusion. Book and stay inside the Accelerate dates. Roll in the Barclays IHG rewards cards nonsense and Hilton will be the beneficiary of it all.

    • Brian W says:

      @Brighton Belle, I also had this problem with two bookings I made in December but after persisting with IHG Service via email using out the very point you make about the ‘book now’ buttons on the dashboard being active and therefore misleading, they relented and credited me the same amount of points for those tasks.

      Worth trying again.

  7. With the Hilton offer do you get 4000 points if you book 2 rooms for same night?

    • No.

      • I thought you did if you asked them to be charged separately, I didn’t bother with a stay last month as it was late when I checked in and I checked out early.
        I just got 2k, but someone posted previously, its 2k for up to 2 rooms a night.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I had two rooms booked for two nights each and bought one in-room chcolocate bar from one room. I got ~4000 points. I wonder if I’d bought the same chocolate bar from the other room whether I’d have got ~8000 points.

    • Unless you merge both rooms onto 1 bill, 1 will be totally no qualifying for all points.

  8. Andrew says:

    If your employer runs a Brinc benefits scheme, some are currently offering 20% cash back on Marriott stays until 14th May.

  9. newbie says:

    Re the Accelerate target “10k points for staying 5 nights”. Is this a five-night stay during the promotional period or could this be 5 separate one-night stays?

  10. A monthly hotel update would be really useful from this seat as we often decide to just pop over to Europe for the weekend and forget which hotel would be more suitable points wise.

    Incidentally, does anyone know when the Intercontinental Shimao is due to open next year? Thank you.

    • This stuff is always on the ‘Hotel Promos’ page of the desktop site, but with increased readership via email and mobile (it is on mobile but the menus are hidden) I thought putting it into an article made sense.

  11. It’s easier to read in an article as one wouldn’t necessarily tie up the 50% Etihad miles promo with the 2000 extra Hilton points. Thanks Rob.

  12. Sorry slightly OT… if my partner books a room at a marriott for me but only I’m staying there…. will it count as a qualifying night for her account? Tryna push her into platinum but will only book the marriott option if that works

  13. Peter K says:

    OT but hotel linked. I’ve been looking on BA.com at what options there are available for hotels. I discovered that there are different lists of hotels when looking to use Avios as compared to cash for booking. The list for using avios is MUCH restricted.
    I wonder if this is a new thing however as a hotel I had my eye on a few months ago had vanished from the pay with Avios section but was still in the pay with cash section. Another reduction in the value of Avios?
    (Oh, and the cash prices were cheaper on hotels.com so I decided to leave well alone).

  14. Lewis Watson says:

    I got the credit card target on my accelerate too. Only problem is I already have the card. I applied anyway for the points. Would have canceled as 2 identical credit cards seems pointless. But my application didn’t work guessing because I already have the card.

    Why would ihg give me an impossible target? It’s stopping me getting 30k in bonus plus 2k for card. Any advice?

    • I remember this happening before, sadly poor IT on their part! Worth contacting Their Twitter team to see if they can do anything although IHG customer service isn’t the best!

    • Genghis says:

      I have the accelerate target of IHG cc spend at an IHG hotel. I did this in mid Jan and I know it can take a while to track but has anyone else had this track and got the points?

      • Danny says:

        I spent on 21st January and have not received the points; I emailed them and they said to allow 8 weeks for the bonus points to post on the account.

  15. Simon Schus says:

    🙂 Hilton are also offering a 500 point bonus for mobile app bookings, stacks with the 2000 points. The mobile app bonus is for stays during the rest of the year.

  16. j harvey says:

    Re IHG accelerate – i have not received points when I thought I would eg stay one and get 3000 points for a stay in February – is this because i didnt book in the accelerate period – i booked it in 2016?

    • Possibly. Different Accelerate targets had different booking windows. Very very sneaky on IHG’s part given the big banners on their website saying to ‘book now’ in Dec 2016! I made sure to book from 1st Jan onwards and that has seemed to work.

  17. Getting an offer on IHG app saying 40000 for the premium creation card and 20000 for the free one. Website still offers the old bonus amounts

  18. Capecam says:

    I am currently IHG spire elite but definately will not make renewal this year. Do IHG operate a soft landing policy like BA exec club, where I will drop down through the tiers annually? Goes anybody have experience of this?

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