Not many people know that IHG – owner of the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc hotel brands – has a scheme aimed at travel bookers and small businesses. It is called IHG Business Rewards.
IHG Business Rewards was launched five years ago and replaced the old UK IHG Meeting Rewards scheme as well as three other regional schemes used elsewhere in the world.
How does IHG Business Rewards work?
IHG Business Rewards is a very simple scheme.
The person who makes a hotel or meeting room booking – but who cannot be the traveller themselves – earns 3 IHG Rewards Club points per $1 spent.
We value IHG Rewards Club points at 0.4p. This means that the travel booker gets 1.2p of points for every 78p ($1) spent. This is a decent deal given that, for room bookings, the traveller also earns their points as usual.
These are deposited into the personal account of the booker. Accounts cannot be opened in the name of a company. There is a cap of 60,000 points per event but, given that you would need to spend $20,000 to hit this, it is unlikely to be a major problem.
It is worth noting that, for meeting or events where multiple people may be organising, the rules allow for the IHG Business Rewards points to be split between two people. This needs to be agreed in advance in the contract for the event.
The rules state that points may take up to 45 days to arrive.
IHG Business Rewards is bolted on to an existing IHG Rewards Club account, so a travel booker does not need to have two separate account numbers.
Points earned via IHG Business Rewards DO count for elite status. However, they do not qualify for any elite status bonus. A Spire Elite member earns the same amount of points as a base level member.
I presume, if you are a very small family business, you could potentially set your partner up as the booker if you are the one who undertakes most of the travel.