UPDATE – OCTOBER 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
IHG Rewards Club has launched a new promotion letting you earn up to quadruple points on your next stay.
I called it a ‘new’ promotion, but it was actually launched a month ago for residents of the United States. It has now been opened up to everyone.
IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty scheme covering InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo among other brands.
How does IHG’s new ‘4x’ promotion work?
This is how it goes:
You must register in advance via this link
You earn 2 x base points on your first two stays after registration
You earn 3 x base points on your third stay after registration
You earn 4 x base points on your fourth and subequent stays after registration
You must complete your stays by 8th September
Existing bookings DO count so there is no need to rebook anything. Only one room per stay counts towards the offer, so if you are booking multiple rooms you should put each in a different name. There is a maximum of 100,000 points earned per stay, and 400,000 points earned over the life of the offer, but that is unlikely to have an impact!
You should assume that rewards stays do NOT count as qualifying stays, although I could be proved wrong. This means that if you do one cash stay and then a reward stay, your next stay would only earn 2x points because it would be treated as your second and not your third stay during the promotion.
How many points will I earn?
The standard earning rate in IHG Rewards Club is 10 points per US$1 (78p). I value an IHG Rewards Club point at 0.4p although you can often do better, which means your base return is 4p per 78p spent, ie 5.1%.
Under this offer, a member with no IHG status would receive:
10.2% back on their first two stays
15.3% back on their third stay
20.4% back on their fourth and subsequent stays
It gets better though. Most HfP readers will have some sort of IHG Rewards Club status. These come with a status bonus (applies to base points only):
10% bonus for Gold Elite
50% bonus for Platinum Elite
100% bonus for Spire Elite
This means that a Spire Elite member, on their fourth and subsequent stays, will be earning 50 points per $1! This is 20p of points for every 78p spent ex-VAT, or a return of 25%!
Of course, I’m not sure many of you will be doing four IHG stays before 8th September.
Is it worth a mattress run?
Not really, unless you are planning to spend substantial sums. Let’s look at the numbers.
Imagine if you have already done one stay and you have a $2,000 holiday coming up.
As it stands, the $2,000 stay would be your 2nd stay after registration and so you’d earn (on top of your 20,000 base points) 20,000 bonus points, worth £80. If it was your 3rd stay, you’d have received 40,000 bonus points, worth £160.
A mattress run would make sense if you could get a stay for well under £80, which is the ‘extra’ you get from this being your 3rd stay – and earning 3x – versus your 2nd stay, earning 2x.
That said, there are some VERY cheap deals around at the moment. The Holiday Inn Express Wandsworth in London, for example, is selling rooms for £30 in October (see 23rd October) which sleep 4 AND come with free breakfast! This is outside the expiry date for this offer, of course, but similar deals may be available near you for July or August.
Let’s be honest. IHG Rewards Club is NOT the loyalty programme you join if you are interested in great status benefits. There is no free breakfast, no guaranteed upgrade and no guaranteed lounge access, even for Spire Elite members.
It IS the programme to join if you want to be flooded with points, however. The ability to earn up to 50 points per $1 spent this Summer is very interesting, although realistically I’m not sure how many people will do 4 x IHG stays before 8th September.
Click here to register for IHG’s 4x promotion.
IHG Rewards update – October 2021:
Get bonus points: You can earn up to triple IHG Rewards base points with IHG’s new Autumn promotion. It runs from 1st October to 31st December. You can register here and our full article on the offer is here.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG 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.