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Black Friday 3: 25% off IHG hotels, 10000 points with Ambassador and other good IHG Cyber Week bonuses

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IHG’s Black Friday / Cyber Week Promos have just launched for the week ahead (writes Rhys, the HFP intern).  They expire a week today (30th November) giving you plenty of time to consider your options.

This year the promotion comes in five parts.  There are some decent nuggets here – and some tat.

Full details of the five offers are on this special page of the IHG website.

Offer 1:  Save 25% off participating hotels

The headline deal for this promotion is a 25% saving on participating hotels.  As we are writing this on Thursday, we do not know which hotels are included.

You must book between 23rd and 30th November, for stays between 26th November and 31st March 2019.  I am guessing that the 25% saving is based on ‘Best Flexible Rate’ and that the sale rooms will be non-refundable, so the actual saving – compared to a non-refundable Advance Purchase Rate – is probably nearer 15%.

Offer 2:  Save 15% on selected merchandise

If you’re someone who would rather not see the inside of a hotel room ever again, IHG offers a catalogue of consumer goods on which you can spend your points. 113 products are being offered as part of the sale, mostly tech products such as speakers, headphones, TVs etc, though there are some jewellery and other offers (including a BBQ and chainsaw!)

One of the offers is for a Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II, selling at a price of 48,875 points (already down from 57,500). A quick google search reveals that John Lewis and Amazon are selling the same speaker for £114. This would value your IHG points at just over 0.2p per point, almost half the 0.4p we usually assume you can get when redeeming for free rooms.

This is poor value for money. However, if you are someone who finds it incredibly hard to spend your IHG points and earned them all via stays rather than credit card spend, you may be less concerned with the ‘value per point’.

InterContinental Kiev

Offer 3:  Get 10,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points with Ambassador

Ambassador is the ‘pay to join’ loyalty programme which focuses exclusively on InterContinental hotelsRob analysed the pros and cons of joining in this article.

If you have been considering joining the Ambassador program, you will rarely find a better non-targeted deal than this.  IHG is offering 10,000 bonus points for all new members.  Ambassador has a $200 annual fee but comes with room upgrades, 4pm checkouts and free weekend nights.

Joining Ambassador makes a lot of sense if you’re planning on a weekend stay in a high-value hotel, when the “free weekend night” voucher comes into play. If you book a two night stay over a weekend – Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday – the second night is free. In a city like New York, where you are paying over $200 a night anyway for a five star hotel, joining Ambassador would pay for itself purely for the voucher and you would have the guaranteed 4pm check out for a more relaxed last day.

InterContinental Vienna

Offer 4:  Save 15% on Points and Cash bookings

This is a more limited deal than the cash room sale.  It is only available for stays from the 26th November until the end of the year.

Instead of booking a redemption room 100% on points, ‘points and cash’ lets you use a smaller number of points in return for a cash co-pay.  This is generally not a bad deal, and with this offer you save an extra 15% on the cash portion of the booking.  The number of points required does not change.

Note that if you cancel a ‘points and cash’ booking you do NOT get the cash back.  Instead, you get back the equivalent of a full points booking.  For example, if you paid 60,000 points + $40 ($34 after the 15% discount) for a 70,000 points room, you would get back 70,000 points and no cash if you cancelled.

InterContinental Amstel

Offer 5:  50% more bonus points on Bonus Points Packages

If you’re a little short of qualifying for IHG elite status for 2019, this deal might be attractive to you.

Some IHG hotels offer ‘Bonus Points Packages’ when you book.  You pay a little more for your room but you receive a guaranteed number of bonus points with your stay.

Generally, ‘Bonus Points Packages’ are a bad deal if you do it purely to earn points to redeem since you usually pay more than they are worth.  This 50% bonus, however, pushes you towards break-even.

More importantly, these are Elite Qualifying PointsThis offer may be the easiest way for you to attain or retain Elite status for next year if you’re running short.

Conclusion

Kudos to IHG, which has put together an interesting range of IHG Rewards Club promotions with something for almost everyone.

And if none of these worked for you, we are expecting the latest batch of IHG PointBreaks redemptions to launch on Monday.

Full details of all of the IHG Black Friday deals are here.

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Comments

  1. If you normally book best flex / your rate with IHG then I often find the bonus point packages are worth doing. I recently got 3000 points per night, worth £12 – £15, for about an extra £8 per night. As well as being elite qualifying, the higher room rate also qualifies for base points, status points and plop flash crack. Quids in all round.

  2. The intercontinental ambassadors got also 15000 bonus point offer for new customer, but targeted as I knew from friends.

  3. Simon Barlow says:

    Slightly O/T – my first ambassador weekend in a week, Ljubljana Intercontinental. Hoping for a super upgrade!

    • We’re at the Amstel this evening. Already got a decent upgrade but will work some charm at check in

      • Lucky sod.

        Nicest hotel room I’ve every stayed in, corner suite at the Amstel. Back in the RA days (wistful look into middle distance)

        Flight home cancelled due to Schipol being closed the next day, BA left us to book our own accomodation but I didn’t risk it and just stayed at the Radisson at the airport. Not quite the same experience

  4. Another black friday deal is slh.com 50% of suites. You can also join invited at the second level up with various credit cards (i think there may have been an article.) I did this last year – it was a solid offer that I used for a weekend break in Eastbourne (also got upgraded from junior to 2 bedroom on arrival).

  5. RussellH says:

    Re: Bonus points deals.

    I once got offered 5 000 bonus points for just £5. Probably a mistake on someones part, but it was definitely too good to pass up. Just that one time, though I keep looking!

  6. FlyingChris says:

    How likely is it to get Ambassador benefits on award stays? Looking at an upcoming trip and considering booking a number of IC’s (inc. Tokyo Bay, Osaka, Singapore) – and wondering if worth investing in if benefits often denied on points? Is it a YMMV situation, or hotel specific.

    • Tends to vary by property – some items you get regardless…

      You should “receive fresh fruit, sweet or savoury snack and water in their room on arrival, with mineral water replenished daily along with a personalised welcome letter and in-room gift”.

      Key bit is “when staying on Reward Nights all Ambassador Privileges apply with the exception of upgrades, free Pay-TV film per stay.”

    • In my fairly limited experience I don’t recall any issues getting AMB benefits on reward nights. I think free movie benefit has gone now, though.

      • I was denied an upgrade on a reward stay. Pay movie definitely still a benefit – on website and in renewal pack I just received. Not always much of a choice though so don’t really value it highly.

        On a related note – renewal pack came through within a fortnight this time, months quicker than before!! – although on the downside only one AMB voucher this year 😉

  7. Memesweeper says:

    If I book points + cash, and then cancel , are the extra points that come back instead of money elite qualifying?

    • RussellH says:

      Well, the extra points are one that you have bought, and bought points are not qualifying.

      But it seems impossible to tell these days, since IHG ruined their website. They used to tell you on your account, exactly how many qualifying points and how many other points you got per entry..

      TBH, I never really think about qualifying points – only about 10-15% of the IHG points I get are qualifying, so it is all pretty irrelevant.

      • Thankfully the app still shows them – I find it annoying though, proper points breakdown better shown on website but other aspects better in app!

        Agree non-qualifying though, that would be too easy to buy status! (although IHG Prem MC did the trick for that for me anyway)

    • No

  8. I was going to join the Ambassador programme anyway, so this seems like a great time to do so. But I can’t see any reference to the 10,000 bonus IHG miles – is there a special link to use?

  9. Are all the offers above valid until nov 30?

  10. Checked the website seems it is all until nov 30 except Ambassador offer which it doesn’t state

    • Don’t know anything more than what the site shows.

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        well, I tried the link to AMB,filled out details etc , but it didn’t seem to work. Phoned IHG…..the lady I spoke to didn’t seem to know about the offer! then said if it wasn’t working, it was a known glitch. she opened a case, so I have a reference number, and says I’ll get communication in 5 days.

  11. I just did the Ambassador purchase today (24th Nov) and as soon as I had paid the fee the 10,000 points were in my account immediately

  12. Was planning to sign up for ambassador anyway so doing so in the next 5 days makes sense. Presumably the 10k points will stop my existing IHG points expiring for another year?

  13. Thanks Rob

  14. Alessandro says:

    Has anyone actually managed to register to the Ambassador thing? I have tried multiple times over the past week and I seem to not be able to get passed the confirmation page which seems to stick in a loop – contacted their contact center and every time there is a clueless reply as per what is going on, in one occasion they said IT department was aware of the problem and were “working around the clock” to fix it, on another I was told “there are no other reports of the registration having any problems”, and my all time favourite: “we can’t see this promotion in our systems”

    • Hi
      I had a lot of problems trying to enroll for IHG ambassador over the last few days. Tried every browser I could find, would get to point of entering payment card details and it fell over (fortunately without taking any payment). Or would change to an ambassador screen but calling me “FirstNameLastName” then crash. So I ended up phoning today (02033499034) and have now enrolled and got my 10k extra points immediately.
      (The IHG App still claims my other points expire in Feb 2019 but hoping that’s just a glitch?)

      • Alessandro says:

        sounds exactly the kinda of troubles I was having / still have …

      • Alessandro says:

        had to call in the end – will give the scheme a try – in the end it cost me less than $200, I bought 15k points for U$172.00 which gave me 30k points due to double bonus when buying points, so cheaper than the U$200.00 and my points balance before and after transaction stays exactly the same

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