IHG Rewards has launched its Autumn promotion and you can register now via this link. It bears a striking resemblence to the previous May to August promotion ….
It could be very lucrative if you have some high value IHG stays coming up over the next few months, although the small print makes things a little fiddly.
You will receive:
- nothing on your first stay
- double points on your second stay
- triple points on subsequent stays
How does the new IHG Rewards promotion work?
Here are the rules in a nutshell:
- the offer is valid for stays from 1st October to 31st December
- existing bookings count – you don’t need to rebook anything
- you must register in advance via this page of ihg.com – and registration is open now
- you earn nothing extra on your first stay after registration
- you receive double base points on your second stay after registration
- you receive triple base points on your third and subsequent stays
The number of bonus points you can earn is capped at 70,000. If you book multiple rooms at the same hotel, you can credit up to nine to your account in most countries but you only receive the bonus on one room.
Reward nights appear to be excluded. My best guess is that a redemption does not count as your first or second stay in terms of building up to the ‘3x’ level.
Mr & Mrs Smith bookings DO count. This could swing you between deciding whether to book one directly or via the IHG site.
How valuable is this offer?
Once you get to your third stay, it is looking pretty good. Let’s assume that an IHG Rewards point is worth 0.4p (which we usually say it is) and that you have Spire Elite status and earn a 100% elite bonus.
- You spend £100 in a UK hotel …..
- …. which is £95.23 before VAT
- …. which is equivalent to $131.58
- You earn 10 base points per $1 at most brands, x3 as part of this offer, plus a 100% Spire Elite bonus on top
- You therefore receive 40 points per $1
- You receive 5,263 points for your stay ($131.58 x 40)
- At 0.4p, the points are worth £21.05
- You receive points worth 21% of what you paid
The snag, of course, is that you receive no bonus on your first stay and only 2x points on your second stay. This puts you in a frustrating position if you have an expensive IHG stay coming up.
You may even find that you would be better off doing a cheap one-night mattress run before your main stay just to push you into double or triple points. This is not necessarily the sort of behaviour that a promotion should be encouraging at the moment.
How does this compare with other promotions on the market?
Hilton Honors is offering something similar. You receive double base points all stays between now and 31st December.
Hilton has no ‘valid from your 2nd / 3rd stay’ rule unlike IHG. This means it is more attractive if you are only planning one expensive booking during the promotional period. If you are back to regular hotel stays, the IHG Rewards promotion will be better as the bulk of your stays will trigger triple points.
Marriott Bonvoy is offering a flat 1,500 bonus points per stay until 12th December. This kicks in from your first stay after registering. The IHG Rewards offer is likely to work out better if you are making regular stays, unless you are doing lots of c £50 one night bookings.
IHG’s new Autumn promotion may work well for you if you are planning multiple stays over the next three months. It is less useful if you are only planning one or two IHG stays.
That said, it would be silly not to register even if you don’t have any nights booked yet.
You can register now on this page of the IHG website.