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IHG Rewards Club brings back its generous ‘Accelerate’ promotion for May-July

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UPDATE – JANUARY 2023:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.  We produce a monthly summary of the top hotel bonus point offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ menu above.

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

As I trailed in an article yesterday, IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn, HI Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc loyalty scheme, has launched a new promotion – IHG Accelerate.  Yes, it is repeating the one it has run every quarter since October 2015!

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 9) covers stays from 1st May to 31st July 2018

All hotels are participating

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

This was my target for 55,700 points maximum, comprising:

  • 2,000 points for a stay in May
  • 2,000 points on my next stay
  • 10,000 points for staying five nights
  • 9,600 points for two stays booked via the IHG app
  • 2,500 points for three stays booked via my corporate rate
  • 12,000 points for two stays in any country in North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean, Greater China, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa
  • 1,000 points for ANY redemption, including a cheap digital download
  • 2,000 points for getting either of the IHG credit cards
  • 14,600 points for completing six of the seven targets above, excluding the May bonus

This is a pretty weird selection to be honest.  It is unlikely that I can hit the countries bonus based on my current travel plans.   I will be in the US in May but New York is the sort of expensive city where you should redeem points and not pay cash.

A reader told me that ANY corporate rate code triggers that target.  It does not necessarily need to be the one stored in your account.  This can be handy if you are a contractor and have various different clients over the promotional period.

My wife got this one for a whopping 67,700 points:

  • 2,000 points for a stay in May
  • 2,000 points on her next stay
  • 10,000 points for staying five nights
  • 9,600 points for two stays booked via the IHG app
  • 6,000 points for staying one weekend
  • 18,000 points for two stays in any country in North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean, Greater China, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa
  • 1,500 points for paying for a stay with her IHG credit card
  • 18,600 points for completing five of the six targets above excluding the May bonus

This is more achievable although, unless some work travel comes up, she won’t be hitting the countries one.  5,500 points for a one-night stay in May, paid for on her IHG credit card, would be a decent result.

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 achieve $39 of cumulative spend (£27), you actually need to spend £33 due to the 20% VAT and in reality probably need to do £36 due to the FX rate IHG uses.

Here is a little tip.  If you travel with your partner, or even if you don’t but you don’t mind booking in their name, you might be able to maximise your points by splitting bookings across accounts.  This makes it less likely that you can get the ‘all targets hit’ extra bonus but, if that is unlikely anyway, mixing and matching may work best.

A note on rebooking

Most of the time, existing bookings – ie bookings made before 1st May – 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 May.  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.


As long as your target is sensible, this is highly likely to be the most generous hotel promotion this Summer.  And, with three 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.

IHG One Rewards update – January 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 (67)

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  • guesswho2000 says:

    First decent one I’ve had in a couple of years, and with a couple of cancel and rebook using the app, I can hit it with my existing travel plans:
    1,500 – Stay Once
    6,000 – Stay 4 nights
    12,000 – Stay at any two HI hotels (HIX excluded)
    4,800 – Book two stays using the app
    5,000 – Join Intercontinental Ambassador
    11,700 – Complete 4x of the above
    1,500 – Stay once in May

  • Charlie says:

    I’m relatively new to IHG, having joined in December to get the credit card to pay my tax bill.

    I’m just waiting for my most recent stay to post and I’ll have completed all my Q1 Accelerate goals. I’ve just registered for Q2, and my goals are identical to the Q1 goals I was given:

    500 – download the app (which I’ve obviously already done as part of Q1 – can I delete/download it again, will this just post automatically or is it impossible to achieve now?)
    2000 – stay 3 nights
    2000 – 2 stays using Your Rate
    2000 – discover 3 brands
    23,500 – complete all 4 of the above

    Is it usual to get an identical offer for the 2nd quarter? I was hoping for something a little more exciting!

    On a related point – I also got a New Member Offer:
    2000 – stay 2 nights
    2000 – book 2 stays direct with IHG
    2000 – book 1 bonus points package
    2000 – 1 weekend stay
    7000 – bonus for completing all 4.

    However, none of these have posted/triggered. I was under the assumption that they would stack with Accelerate (which points have posted from my first 2 stays, just waiting for the 3rd to post), as I couldn’t see anything about it not stacking.

    Does anyone have any experience with the new member offer and accelerate running at the same time?

    • Nori says:

      Charlie, I ‘ve the same – my Q2 offer is the same as Q1. I may just delete and download the app again. Or maybe when you book via the app it automatically knows that you have the app and you don’t have to do anything. I’ve no idea.

      • John says:

        Delete now if not using. Re-download later (had to do this 3 times now, with 4th coming up after May 1st).

        Weird being repeatedly given this very easy target, but points always post.

        Strange target setting algorithm they have at IHG.

        • Charlie says:

          Thanks for the tip John – I can’t see me hitting the target this quarter, but an extra 500 points just for downloading an app can’t be sniffed at!

  • rossmacd says:

    You guys got it easy – my target is 16 nights for 21,000 points. Shouldn’t be too difficult but will require diverting stays away from other chains.

    • Brian says:

      21,000 points will get you half a night in London. Is that worth it??

      • Matt says:

        agree thats really poor 21,000 points for 16 nights.

        I have 47,600, I can in theory get 35k from two stays carefully done to tick the boxes.
        2,000 Stay Once
        10,000 5 night(s) and earn 10,000 bonus points. Terms
        9,600 Travel with the IHG® App Book 2 stay(s)
        6,600 book 2 Bonus Points Package stay(s)
        3,000 Stay 1 nights at participating IHG® hotels in Germany
        1,500 Book and pay for one stay at any IHG® hotel using your IHG® Rewards Club Premium Credit Card
        1,000 Redeem your points for anything, from a digital download to a Reward Night
        11,900 Your Achievement Bonus Complete 6 of the 7 offers and earn (an additional)
        2,000 May Bonus Offer Stay once in May and get 2,000 bonus points

    • Pangolin says:

      How is that possible?

      A stay based bonus (stay X nights and earn Y points) can’t be worth less than 1K per night, and I thought the completion bonus cannot be less than 10K.

      Was the completion bonus 5K? I think you should post it here as I thought what I received last year was as bad as if could get, but yours looks worse.

      I agree with others that it’s hardly worth it. 16 nights at Hilton properties would get you a lot more.

  • PJK says:

    Does anyone know whether the food & beverage spend has to be in one go or can be cumulative?

    My target is $136 and, normally travelling on my own for single nights, I’d be hard pressed to spend this in one stay.

    Must remember to book a room rate without breakfast!

    • William Dolling says:

      It doesn’t have to be one transaction. Just make sure you’re able to charge it to your room and settle at the end of the stay. Settling the bill in the bar or restaurant won’t count.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Mine is $102. Where do they come up with these numbers? Also is it inc or ex vat?

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Ignore me, just seen it above, it’s excluding VAT

      • Lady London says:

        Ex VAT and to be really safe I’d spend very close to the number of dollars they want, ex-VAT, in pounds.

    • John says:

      Actually, I booked a room with breakfast last summer, and surprisingly the breakfast charge contributed to my F&B spend target (but I didn’t hit the target as I wasn’t expecting it to count, and I rarely pay to eat in hotels).

      I think it would work as long as the rate is bookable without breakfast and you select the option to “add breakfast for €15” or however much.

  • John O'Sullivan says:

    I got an easy 54k points off them last time. I have a very achievable 42k this time that doesn’t fit with my forthcoming travel plans. The targets themselves are simple e.g. stay five nights.

    I’ve not been a frequent user of IHG and my targets seem to be aimed at drawing me into more frequent “achievable” usage.

    It has worked for them and so far this year I’ve stayed Cardiff Indigo, Vilamora CP, , HIX Exeter. I’m also booked in to IC Istanbul, Estoril and Park Lane, plus CP Rome. I suspect next years accelerate targets will be more complex. If status match continues next year however could be more of a Hilton year.

    Status value hasn’t been consistent from IHG. One Cardiff stay was upgraded to a room with free mini bar (nice), one Cardiff stay wasn’t. Vilamoura (a higher room upgrade) and a drink for two at the bar, HIX drink at the bar.

    For me as a leisure traveller with two retirement celebrations, a 30th wedding anniversary and a trip to Rome to see Ire in the 6 Nations the value is in the access to a significant number of points (also using reward nights from two CC’s) that has allowed me to heavily subsidise stays at IC’s that I otherwise wouldn’t want to pay out on. One reward/free night at Estoril, Two at Istanbul, Two at Park Lane , Two at Rome CP.

    For others that may be small potatoes, for us it is a pattern of stays that would be in a price range that would make us wince, even for special occasions.

  • Neil says:

    I’ve got 94,100 points up for grabs! It requires the following:

    Stay once 1,500
    Stay 8 nights 12,000
    Stay at 3 different HI 10,800
    Book 2 stays via app 9,600
    Stay 2 weekends (2 x 2 nights) 28,800!
    Redeem points 1,000
    Get IHG Credit card* 2,000
    Complete 6 of 7 above 26,900
    Stay in May 1,500

    *I took out the IHG Premium credit card in March, this was on last quarters targets, however the terms of the new credit card offer state I must take out a credit card between 19th Feb & 31st July – then make a murchase between 1st May and 31st July. As long as I make a purchase in that period am I likely to qualify for next quarters target, despite qualifying for last quarters target?

    In general I think IHG are really clever with their Accelerate promotion, the number of nights required is always slightly more than I did the previous quarter (including reward nights) for me I have not booked a weekend stay with IHG not using points for around a year, however used to do so every month or two. It pushes all the right buttons for me, it looks achievable in general and rewards me enough for putting my spend to them.

    • Fenny says:

      Mine was similar to this – but spend on the cc as I already have it – for 50,100 points. I haven’t done the Accelerate for the last 2 quarters as the requirements were so far outside my normal usage it wasn’t worth even going for the stay 1 night targets.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    I didn’t complete my Q1 challenge as I didn’t visit anywhere outside of Europe. So they give me the challenge again!!!

    Looks like 1 night will be worth a 5.5k bonus. Don’t think I’ll make anything else, unless I go to a conference in Vegas and do 2 mattress runs there (probably not worth it as prices will probably be high).

    Complete all of your Accelerate offers and earn 65,000 total bonus points.
    2,000 Happy Birthday Bonus
    10,000 Stay 5 night(s)
    9,600 Book 3 stay(s) with the IHG® App
    12,000 Have 2 stays in any country in North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean, Greater China (China Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa
    9,000 Book and complete 6 Your Rate Bonus Point Package stay(s)
    1,200 Spend $102 on food and beverages when you stay at IHG® hotels
    1,500 Book and pay for one stay at any IHG hotel using your IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card
    17,700 Bonus – Complete 6 of the 7 offers
    2,000 Stay once in May and get 2,000 bonus points.

    Stay during the final week of Accelerate, 25-31 July, and get 2,000 bonus points.

    Stay once in June and get 2,000 bonus points
    Stay once in July and get 2,000 bonus points

  • Adam says:

    stay at 2 brands for 26,700 points – now that’s what I’m talking about
    8000 for 4 nights, 8400 for staying at 2 different HIX
    2000 for a stay in May (prob not), 2000 for a stay by end of July (prob yeah)
    1500 for booking with black card (easy)
    6600 for booking a Bonus Points stay
    5000 for joining Ambassador (yeah, right)

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