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IHG brings back its generous ‘Accelerate’ promotion for Spring

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IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn, HI Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc loyalty scheme, has launched its new Spring 2018 promotion – IHG Accelerate. Yes, it is repeating the Autumn 2015, Spring, Summer and Autumn 2016 and Spring, Summer and Autumn 2017 offer!

But that is not a bad thing.

To be honest, during the last two years IHG has been the only major hotel chain offering global promotions which offer genuine outsize value.  Everyone has their own personal target but, for most of us, the challenge is pretty straightforward.


Here are the headline details:

IHG Accelerate (Version 8) covers stays from 1st January to 30th April 2018

All hotels are participating

Your bonus is personalised – you need to log in here to discover yours 

This was my target for 49,000 points maximum, comprising:

  • 2,000 points for a stay in January
  • 5,000 points for referring a friend to IHG who completes a stay by 30th April
  • 2,000 points on my next stay
  • 10,000 points for staying five nights
  • 2,200 points for two stays booked via the IHG app
  • 7,200 points for staying three weekends
  • 2,500 points for two stays booked via my corporate rate (the company I haven’t worked for in 6 years!)
  • 2,800 points for booking two stays on a Bonus Points Package
  • 2,000 points for getting the IHG credit card
  • 11,300 points for completing six of the seven targets above, excluding the January and referral bonus

This is a pretty weird selection to be honest.  In theory I could trigger it with just five nights, but that assumes I stay at two hotels with a Bonus Points Package and, tougher, at two hotels where my old employer has a corporate deal.  And I need to pretend I still work there ….

My wife got this one for a whopping 82,300 points:

  • 2,000 points for a stay in January
  • 5,000 points for referring a friend to IHG who completes a stay by 30th April
  • 2,000 points on her next stay
  • 10,000 points for staying five nights
  • 10,800 points for staying three weekends
  • 2,400 points for booking a ‘points and cash’ redemption
  • 21,600 points for staying in three different countries outside the UK
  • 1,500 points for paying for a stay with her IHG credit card
  • 5,000 points for renewing her InterContinental Ambassador membership
  • 22,000 points for completing six of the seven targets above excluding the January and referral bonus

This is not going to happen.  There is very little chance of hitting the ‘three different countries’ target, which means she needs to get all the others.  Since there is zero chance of doing 3 x 2-night weekend stays in the next four months we can forget about Spring 2018.  We will obviously pick off individual bonuses if we can (5,500 points for a stay in January paid for on her IHG credit card is worth having) but the full target is not happening.

Note that if you have a target which involves meeting a certain ‘food and beverage’ spending target, this is EXCLUDING VAT for UK stays.  IHG also uses a weak exchange rate when converting your spend to US$.  If you were asked to acheive $39 of cumulative spend (£31), you actually need to spend £37 due to the 20% VAT and in reality probably need to do £40 due to the FX rate IHG uses.

A note on rebooking

Most of the time, existing bookings – ie bookings made before 1st January – made online do count for this promotion.

However, if you have an app booking target it DOES specifically state that stays must be booked after the 1st January.  And they mean it, as I found out to my cost once last year.  If you have a ‘book stays via the app’ target then be prepared to rebook in the new year.


As long as your target is sensible, this is highly likely to be the most generous hotel promotion you are likely to see this Spring.  And, with four months to hit your target, you have plenty of time to make the necessary stays.

Log in to the Accelerate website here, register and see what your target is!

(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.)

Comments (82)

  • Stuart says:

    Is it possible to earn the food and beverage challenge without staying?

    I.e. Can I walk into the bar at my local holiday Inn and the points for a drink accredited to my IHG account?

    • Andrew Lee says:

      No, has to be billed to room and paid on checkout.

      • Stuart says:

        Thanks I didn’t think it would be that easy. I only need $5 and no nights left this year 🙁

        Poor planning on my part

  • Kathy says:

    Hmm, am I reading the terms of the referral bonus wrong, or does the person referred have to be a US resident?

    • Simon J says:

      Same for me.

    • Paul says:

      “who reside in the United States and who enroll”

      What an utterly rediculous target for U.K. members from a business listed on the U.K. stock exchange.

      I have just 4 targets and need 3 but it’s simply not worth it. If I can get 60000 plus points then it’s fine but I am not chasing the equivalent of a night in a HIX.

      Back to free breakfast and lounge access at Hilton.

  • Graeme says:

    Even though I have the credit card, that bonus never posts for me – have been through it twice with customer service, no points added – anyone got any advice?

    • RussellH says:

      No advice, sorry. My partner had a similar experience this summer, though.

      During the current Accelerate, it looked as if it would happen again to her, but the points did finally post about 6 weeks later. Mine, however, posted before they actual hotel stay points!

    • Stuart says:

      I had this problem in the last 2 promotions.

      I emailed and they adjusted the points within 1 week but never posted automatically

  • RussellH says:

    Can anyone explain why they are so keen to get people to book using the app, rather than a [proper computer? I hate using the app (apart from the shere pain of using a finger to select things instead of a mouse) because of the lack of confirmation of what it is that you are booking when you have to confirm.

    I also have the ‘Refer a Friend’ offer, but it is outwith the accelerate offer as such – it does not contribute to the completion bonus, and the Ts+Cs do specify a friend resident in the US. I wonder if this is a mistake, though.

    I shall try to do a single stay in January and pay with my IHG card, but the rest is eminently ignorable – a single stay of 4+ nights(!! – shurly shome joke), nine nights in total, two weekends, 3 app bookings… I think I would rather stay at home!

    • Graeme says:

      Re:app – I really like the app interface and my phone is a more powerful ‘computer’ than my laptop. I understand the frustrations on smaller screen devices but on the larger smart phones apps are a more streamlined interface IMHO.

      I always find there is plenty of information on what you are booking, horses for courses I guess…

      I suspect the days of the mouse are numbered, never had one for my Mac Book and never missed it..

      • RussellH says:

        I sincerely hope you are wrong about mouses. IMHO touch pads on laptops and touch screens anywhere stink! I always carry a mouse with a laptop. Trying to control anything through touch is a nightmare

        As to the App – have only used it on an iPad (not mine), and there is no detail at all there of what I am booking on the screen with the confirm button. And there is no option IIRC to use a different cardit card either.

    • Rupert says:

      By using the app there are no commission fees to pay to referrering website (such as HfP).

    • Lady London says:

      If you use the app then that means you are booking directly with IHG so they are not paying anyone commission. In theory they give you a better rate on the app if you are a member of their scheme but I have not always found this. Additionally if you use the app then any other way you might have gained something by going, say, via website or travel agent or portal etc., is also excluded so IHG will get to keep more of the room rate you pay them if you use the app.

      • Lady London says:

        PS apps are always “switched on” on your phone. If you look at the permissions they demand from you on installation, you will see you could theoretically be tracked by, say, an airline app wherever you go. If the app notes you are in Tunis and the airline did not fly you there, they know there is money you are spending on travel to Tunis that is not recorded as spending with them…. etc.

  • rams1981 says:

    Got stay once for 2000 and globetrotter bonus for staying at one ihg outside home country.

    Yesterday I booked a stay in Cape Town on 6 Jan using points. Does that count for this?

    • rams1981 says:

      And just noticed 4000 for staying in Jan. So if stacks and points stay counts i get 14k points back? Redemption cost 15k points so that would be a result 🙂

    • Relaxo says:

      Point redemption stays will not qualify for accelarate targets

      • RussellH says:

        I have had both points and cash and points only targets in the past, but unless you have these as a specific target, points stays do not count.

        • Fenny says:

          I had points & cash target, which didn’t stack with the “stay x nights” and ended up costing me more than it earned. Be very careful with these particular targets.

    • Lady London says:

      Hum. IIRC stays had to be both booked and consumed from 1st January and not before.

  • Craig Strickland says:

    Change one reservation to bonus points for a total of 70700! Wowser!

  • Kathy says:

    Hmm, it looks like I won’t get any easy bonuses except the ‘stay once’ one, despite having a 5 night stay booked, due to using an Ambassador cert for it – only 4 of the nights will count.

    Theoretically my stays are very achievable – 5 nights, including 2 weekend stays at HIX on bonus point packages, booked via the app, paid for by my credit card, for 45000.

    I’ve got no need to book any more hotel stays, though, and I don’t think it’s worth a mattress run – by the time I’ve paid out c. £150 for the nights on a bonus point package I may as well have just paid for the hotel room that the 45000 points would get me. It would be different if I was going to be somewhere with super-cheap HIXs.

    Stay Once Get 2,000 bonus points
    Stay More, Earn More
    Get closer to the rewards you want when you stay 5 night(s) and earn 10,000 bonus points
    Stay at 2 Holiday Inn Express® hotel(s) and earn 5,600 bonus points
    Book 2 stay(s) with the IHG® App and earn 2,200 bonus points.
    Stay 2 weekend(s), including a Saturday night and another night, and earn 8,000 bonus points
    Your Rate Bonus Points Package
    Earn 2,800 bonus points when you book and complete 2 Your Rate Bonus Point Package stay(s)
    Book and pay for one stay at any IHG hotel using your IHG® Rewards Club Premium Credit Card and earn 1,500 bonus points.
    Complete 6 of the 7 offers and earn (an additional) 11,000 bonus points.
    Stay once in January and get 2,000 bonus points.
    Refer a friend to enrol into IHG Rewards Club, and receive 5,000 bonus points.

  • Robert Sharp says:

    Mine is for 158000 points!!!

    Shame I don’t travel for work any more otherwise I’d be raking it in 🙁