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Bits: IHG Advent game, Priority Pass deal extended, new IHG luxury booking scheme

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News in brief:

IHG Rewards Club brings back its daily Advent Calendar game

IHG Rewards Club is re-running its Advent Calendar daily quiz again this year featuring Iggy The Snowman.  There are new prizes to be won each day.

Last year it was a virtual Where’s Wally? game and I seem to remember there were problems with points posting.  I am not going to focus on it, unless it turns out to be ludicrously lucrative, but you can register over at the IHG Rewards Club website here.

Priority Pass

Priority Pass extends its Black Friday deal

If you’ve been thinking of getting a Priority Pass airport lounge card the company has extended its Black Friday discount until 1st December.

You will save 40% on Standard memberships, 25% on Standard Plus memberships, and 25% on Prestige memberships.  Full details are on the Priority Pass site here.

IHG launches its own luxury travel agents partnership

Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, who runs our luxury hotels booking service,  tells me that IHG has launched a new programme.

Luxury travel agents such as Bon Vivant will soon be able to book special deals at 87 InterContinental hotels, 24 Kimpton hotels and some Hotel Indigo properties.

We do not have the details yet, but I would imagine benefits may include free breakfast, a $100 or so hotel credit per stay and guaranteed late check-out.

You will need to pay Best Flexible Rate to get these benefits.  Stays should qualify for IHG Rewards Club points.

Remember that Emyr can already get you special deals on some InterContinental properties.  At London Park Lane and Paris Le Grand, for instance, you get FREE access to the Club Lounge when you book via Emyr at Best Flexible Rate.  Paris bookings for a Classic Room get a guaranteed upgrade at the time of booking to a Superior Room, and all bookings get a ‘subject to availability’ upgrade.

(When Emyr booked a junior suite for me in Paris in August, the hotel actually sent me photos of some full suites and asked which one I wanted to be upgraded into.  The photo above is the very modest ballroom at Le Grand.)

Details of our booking service are here.

IHG One Rewards update – February 2023:

Get bonus points: Click here for our article on IHG’s ‘2k Every 2 Nights’ promotion, which runs from 9th February 2023 to 14th April 2023. You can register here.

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 (87)

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  • Louie says:

    First to take things off topic…. I booked the Qatar deal from Stockholm to Oz and we’re planning three nights in Stockholm before the early flight to Doha. I can’t now find the discussions about Stockholm at the time so would love some suggestions about where to stay and what to do (or to be pointed to the relevant posts). Thanks!

    And whilst I am at it…. is crediting a Hertz hire (£316) to Virgin still thought to be the best approach? I won’t qualify for Hertz’ own double points offer as the hire period spans the offer dates.

    • Rash says:

      Regarding Hertz depends on how often you rent with them. Its 800 points for a free weekend day, you’d get 316 (more if you have presidents circle status) for your rental. I credit to Virgin if the rental costs me less than 70, but thats my own logic no science behind that!

    • Alex W says:

      Marriott has a good deal with Hertz, 5000 points for a 5+ day rental. If saving for a travel package that’s worth £50. 2000 points for a 2-4 day rental.

      In Stockholm you should visit the Vasa ship museum. Very impressive.

    • John says:

      The Hilton is OK if you need a Hilton stay, good breakfast and reasonable lounge but rooms a bit small unless you get upgraded several steps

    • Ade says:

      We did a similar stopover on the way to NY last summer, if you are travelling as a family I’d recommend the museum/zoo (not sure what its called), but it was a stop on the sightseeing boats.

      I great day out for both the little ones and the grown ups,

    • Ben says:

      Elite hotels are good in Stockholm – and the ABBA museum is fun! Try the living museum too out on one of the islands. Try frantzen and carousel for dinner – and if coming from Alexandra, the city express train whilst expensive is very convenient as is the flyggbusarna express coach (taxis are c £50 and are unregulated so prices are all different) – taxi kurir are cheapest from airport and taxi Stockholm’s are reliable in the city. There are great apps you can download to book too.

  • the real harry1 says:


    After Ryanair’s rostering debacle, American Airlines messes up its flight crew schedules. A glitch in the system with which flight crew bid for time off granted the Christmas week off for far too many pilots. It is believed 15,000 flights do not have sufficient crew assigned.

    • roberto says:

      Great news (not) …. I only have 4 AA flights booked between the 27th Dec and the 7th of Jan.. Grrrrrr

      • Alan says:

        Don’t worry, they’ve now thrown cash at the issue (100% bonus payments for pilots) so shouldn’t be a problem now.

    • Richard says:

      15,000 flights over 2 weeks call it 1,000 flights a day. Their website says they run 6,700 a day on average. Losing a 7th of your capacity over Christmas sounds fun.

  • Andrew says:

    Haven’t got the BP one which is disappointing.

    I do have £10 back on £80 at Jones Bootmakers.

  • lammy52 says:

    OT. I have 3 x Vietnam Air and 1 x Cambodia Air flights upcoming and would like to credit miles to something I may find useful. Currently have both BA and Virgin can anybody suggest a way of getting them to either of these. I notice that Delta is listed for Vietnam, but didn’t think that they would be transferable.

    • fbrj says:

      O/T (but possibly relevant for you). Next year I have some VN economy flights in Asia. I am BA gold and have just got a 3 month match to Skymiles Platinum through Delta (BA Silver will match to Skymiles Gold also). Skymiles Plat and Gold give you SkyTeam Elite. VN (and a host of other airlines) are members of SkyTeam. Skyteam Elite will give you priority check-in, boarding, security (at some airports) and lounge access all while you are on VN economy.

      • lammy52 says:

        Thank you, very interesting

        • fbrj says:

          As I can’t edit my original comment – Skymiles Plat and Gold gives you SkyTeam Elite Plus (not just SkyTeam Elite). It is the latter status (ie with “Plus”) that gives you the benefits I listed.

    • JamesB says:

      Not sure how many miles you are looking at but Flying Blue could get you close to European shorthaul if any of your flights with Vietnam Airlines are longhaul. Flying Blue to pointshound is also possible.

    • New Card says: should help, at least for Vietnam Airlines

  • Dave says:

    OT: Looking to fly LON-MEL and then have a stopover in asia on wayback home. Thai Air looking cheapest so far. Any recommendations of family friendly accommodation with 90minutes of BKK?

    Also any suggestions on how to get better stopover deals on return leg.

    • Alan says:

      Tangentially related – on your return leg remember Priority Pass now has two bar/restaurant options at MEL (see my comment a day or two ago) – $A 36pp credit to use, look decent.

    • JamesB says:

      City break or beach break and how many days? Why not do one each in either direction, break the journey?

      • Dave says:

        Beach/pool break.
        Maybe 4 nights.

        • JamesB says:

          Without any more flying … Koh Samet. Taxi from airport to the pier in 2-3h depending on traffic, followed by short ferry ride.Koh Chang If you are happy to go a little further. If you don’t want to go to an island a resort around Rating, beaches are very quiet and clean but the islands are worth the extra ferry ride. If you must have the bug chain hotels Hua Him but would not be my choice. Apart from these suggestions you are looking at another flight.

        • Dave says:

          JamesB – thanks. Rating? wheres that?
          anywhere in BKK itself with a good pool to chill?

        • JamesB says:

          Sorry Dave, predictive text…Rayong, about 40 minutes west of Pattaya. There are numerous resorts and it’s popular with Thai people wanting to get out the city for a few days peace and quiet. Search Novotel Rayong but be aware there are many nice non chain resorts to choose from. There is also some great reastaurants along the beach in this area. For better beaches though head to Samet or Chang if time permits. In Bangkok itself most large chain hotels have extensive leisure facilities. However, with family and pool needs one that might work well for you is the all suitee Grand Mercure Residence Asoke. Also good location for getting to both the airport and around the city. Have never stayed there myself but looks good with decent reviews.

  • mark2 says:

    thanks for the tip; I would struggle to get £45 worth in normally.

    • JamesB says:

      Anybody with nectar might have the 250 bonus points offer there too, swiping will be worth another £1 25+

  • Rob says:

    I had an email yesterday from a readers whose PO was refusing credit cards for One4All cards, so proceed with caution.

    • Tom says:

      Really, wow, my cashier laughed when I explained why I was making multiple £10 transactions with my AMEX. Didn’t realise the 24hr rule, though, and let’s say M&S and I were confused when they didn’t work when I was trying to buy some food!

      • mark2 says:

        They find it hard to understand that you do not care about the pattern on the card.

    • Peter K says:

      My local post office refuses to use credit/charge cards for One4All gift cards.

      • the real harry1 says:

        it’s just the staff, not the system

        if you could be bothered to complain, head office would probably give them a spanking as PO HQ presumably wants all POs to stick to the script

        could just be ignorance, ie you could try, a la Tesco: ‘shall I just put the card in and see if it works?’

  • rams1981 says:

    OT not received my priority pass for getting Amex gold. Usually quite quick isn’t it? Amex gold arrived last week.

    • Genghis says:

      Not had Amex Gold for a while but IIRC Lounge Club cards seem to take a bit longer than Priority Pass (with Plat) to arrive.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, when my wife got her last Gold the Lounge Club card arrived first.

      • Jay says:

        My wife is still waiting for her Lounge Club card after getting Amex Gold 10 days ago…don’t recall it taking as long when I got mine earlier in the year so might be a delay currently.

        • the real harry1 says:

          mine was late arriving so I went on Chat a few days ago – official answer is that it can take up to 28 days so you’ll have to wait

          it arrived yesterday so that was just under 3 weeks from Amex card issued

    • Peter K says:

      Earlier this year this happened to us when we wanted it for a soon to be taken flight. We rang lounge club and got the card number and expiry date. Make sure they give you ALL the card digits however, as we were initially only given the account number, not the first 5 common digits so had to ring a second time at the airport.
      Once we got all the details however we got in the lounge without needing the physical card.

      • ankomonkey says:

        We did the same last month. I gave the lounge receptionist a bit of paper with the Lounge Club details hand-written on it. I was prepared to convince them I should be allowed in, but no problems at all.

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