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AT LAST: Mr & Mrs Smith hotels bookable with IHG Rewards Club points

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A long, long time ago ….. 23rd September 2019 to be precise ….. IHG Rewards Club announced that it was launching an ‘earn and burn’ partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith.

It is, finally, live – but at fewer than 10 hotels this week.

You can learn more about the partnership on ihg.com here.

IHG Rewards Club partners Mr and Mrs Smith

What is Mr & Mrs Smith?

Originally launched as a pure booking agent, Mr & Mrs Smith has evolved over the years to become a ‘marketing brand’, in the same way as Design Hotels or Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  Hotels remain fully independent but benefit from being part of a broader marketing consortium.

Recent years have seen Small Luxury Hotels become a Hyatt partner and Design Hotels become a Marriott partner. Do you spot a trend?

This new deal, at a stroke, doubles the number of luxury hotels where you can earn and redeem IHG Rewards Club points.  Many will be unique boutique properties.

Amazingly, it also puts IHG into 11 countries where it didn’t previously have a single hotel.

How will the integration with IHG Rewards Club work?

This is, as I said at the top, an ‘earn and burn’ partnership.

To quote from the 2019 press release:

“IHG Rewards Club members will be able to earn and redeem points across hundreds of luxury and boutique hotels around the world, including some of Smith’s most seductive stays, such as Jasper Conran’s self-styled riad hideaway L’Hôtel Marrakech, 18th-century organic Tuscan estate Borgo Pignano, high-in-the-Himalayas retreat The Kumaon and the charming Old Rectory on South Africa’s famed Garden Route. IHG’s most loyal members can expect free room upgrades whenever available and a free gift, called a Smith Extra, on arrival at each Mr & Mrs Smith hotel.”

Are there status benefits for IHG Rewards Club elite members?

Yes there are. To quote:

  • InterContinental Ambassador and Royal Ambassador members, plus Kimpton Inner Circle members, will receive: (a) complimentary room upgrade when available, and (b) Goldsmith welcome amenity when available
  • Elite IHG Rewards Club members will receive their tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates (10% Gold Elite, 50% Platinum Elite, 100% Spire Elite)
  • All IHG Rewards Club members booking through IHG channels will receive select BlackSmith program benefits

How is the rollout going to work?

Yesterday IHG launched Mr & Mrs Smith at a handful of properties. This is, I am told, to ensure that the system works properly.

By the end of October, IHG hopes to have 100 hotels bookable.

By the end of November, IHG hopes to have 400+ properties available.

Villa Cora Florence Mr & Mrs Smith hotels

The million dollar question …. are IHG Rewards Club redemptions via Mr & Mrs Smith a good deal?

You’re expecting me to say ‘No’. However ….. it’s not bad.

Regular readers will know that I value an IHG Rewards Club point at 0.4p. You can do better than this, on peak dates, but I am happy to redeem if I achieve this.

Let’s look at some random bookings for 10th November. IHG told me that hotels may come and go during the trial so you may not see these properties as bookable today.

UK: The Crown, Amersham

£105 or 22,500 points = 0.47p

US: Cambria Beach Lodge, Cambria, CA

$167.92 or 30,000 points = 0.44p

Italy: Villa Cora, Florence (picture above)

Not available as a reward on 11th November. I did find reward nights in February which priced at:

€324.50 or 67,500 points = 0.41p

It is worth noting that, even though these are ‘revenue based’ redemptions (ie the points price moves with the cash price), IHG is still only making standard rooms available. This is a big missed opportunity in my view, since IHG should be ambivalent over which room type is booked.

What I don’t understand is why Villa Cora was not bookable as a redemption when IHG was offering rooms for cash. There is clearly more to it than simple revenue based pricing.

If the redemption rate remains around 0.45p then the IHG / Mr & Mrs Smith partnership could prove valuable. Let’s see if the pricing moves once the main batch of hotels is loaded.

You can learn more about the partnership on the IHG website here.


IHG One Rewards update – December 2022:

Get bonus points: You will earn bonus IHG One Rewards points on stays between 13th October 2022 and 31st December 2022. You can choose between 2,000 points for every two nights or 10,000 points for every four nights (not cumulative). Read this article for full details. 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.

You will receive a 100% bonus if you buy IHG One Rewards points by 29th December 2022.

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 (37)

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  • Alex W says:

    Sounds relatively promising. One hopes it will be capped at 70k points which would be even better for the really high end hotels.

    Is it just these 3 properties currently available, or where can we find the list of available hotels?

    • Rob says:

      Apparently I will get a list when the main batch go up. These were found by people at random – I found Amersham, Flyertalk found the other two.

  • BJ says:

    It’s a pity accelerate has gone as I’m down to my last 60k points with reservations locked in. I would like to have burned on some Smith hotels but difficult to see myself rebuilding my points balance in the next year.

    • Andrew says:

      +1 – much harder with no Accelerate and as I’ll not be travelling for work for the next year or so there’s no chance of earning many more points. So I too am going to be much more careful with how I spend them and probably book a solid CP rather than anything more lux.

      • BJ says:

        Hilton is my primary scheme but I’m now thinking of switching IHG which is my secondary scheme to Marriott. It’s a difficult choice but the ability to transfer in from amex MR and the option to redeem on miles might swing it. More fundamentally, there is probably little merit in a secondary scheme for me at all in the short to medium term. If primary scheme options are not suitable then my second choice should probably just be best available option regardless of scheme, mode of booking etc.

        • Harry T says:

          @BJ
          My main scheme is Bonvoy and then it’s whichever hotel Emyr can get me a decent deal with. I jest a little. I have Hilton and IHG points too but find their hotels less interesting apart from a couple of ICs and Waldorfs. Hyatt status looks excellent but very hard to get over here.

          • Harry T says:

            I really rate the HIX in Melbourne though! Love a good HIX. Wish Accelerate would come back.

          • BJ says:

            I am generally indifferent to hotels, only get excited about them for the wrong reason and I need to have them fix something. They all ultinately boil down to the same common denominators anyway. I cannot honestly say I ever stayed anyplace that made me think wo but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate nice, well run places. Same with airlines, I don’t generally crave F over J or one hard J product over another, just always happy to be flying any old J and not Y.

  • Olly says:

    The crown isn’t showing any availability in the IHG app from what I can see (even on the 10th November). Seems like a short-run test!

  • Leo says:

    What about using free night certificates?

  • mark2 says:

    Will we be able to use IHG free nights?

    • mark2 says:

      The one in Amersham is not available free at present according to a search on IHG for next year.

  • southlondonphil says:

    I think you probably meant to say that IHG should be “agnostic” about which room types are available for redemptions. “Ambivalent” suggests that IHG have mixed or contradictory feelings about it.

    • Phil says:

      I would have said “ indifferent”.

      • memesweeper says:

        It would create an anomaly if only basic rooms were available in IHG flagged properties but not in partners’ hotels. I’d like IHG to fix above-basic redemptions in their own hotels first — Marriott’s system using either cash or points to upgrade is ideal.

  • Harry T says:

    This looks promising. Not a bad year for IHG fans.

    • YC says:

      Still waiting for six senses to be integrated! Anyone know the latest on this (besides the SG properties)?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The two SG properties have left and will join Marriott next year.

        • Rob says:

          Istanbul is bookable.

          • Matt says:

            Are you sure about Istanbul rob? You can book using cash but no points redemptions anymore AFAIK. A few months ago, seemingly overnight, all reward inventory was removed.

          • Rob says:

            No, not sure. It definitely was bookable because we wrote about it.

  • C says:

    Would be nice if there were a bit more recognition of status members–at least a welcome gift. As best I can tell, BlackSmith benefits are practically nil. Still, a useful partnership. In particular, it appeals to those of us who find the CP / HI / HIX brands a bit unexciting (nothing bad – my last 2 x CP and 1 x HI stays were entirely satisfactory, which is more than I can say for Hilton or Marriott, but they also had nothing except convenient location to recommend them).

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