IHG’s Black Friday / Cyber Week Promos have just launched for the week ahead. 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’.
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 hotels. Rob 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.
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.
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 Points. This offer may be the easiest way for you to attain or retain Elite status for next year if you’re running short.
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.
(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.)