IHG One Rewards, the loyalty scheme for Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc, allows you to redeem your points for various independent luxury hotels which are part of the ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ marketing group.
You can learn more about the partnership on ihg.com here.
Whether by accident or design (it could be due to currency moves), ‘Smith’ redemptions seems to have become more valuable.
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 deal, at a stroke, doubled the number of luxury hotels where you could earn and redeem IHG One Rewards points. Many are unique boutique properties and there is a strong focus on Europe and in particular the UK.
Amazingly, the deal put IHG into 11 countries where it didn’t previously have a single hotel.
Are there status benefits for IHG One Rewards 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 One Rewards members will receive their tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates
- All IHG One Rewards members booking through IHG channels will receive select BlackSmith program benefits (BlackSmith is Smith’s own reward scheme)
Are these redemptions a good deal?
IHG is using dynamic pricing. When we first looked at Mr & Mrs Smith, you got around 0.45p per IHG point vs the cost of a cash booking at ihg.com.
Here is an old example at The St Mawes Hotel in Cornwall, for example, which worked out at 0.44p.
We value an IHG One Rewards point at 0.4p so Mr & Mrs Smith hotels were actually better than our target.
Pricing seems to have improved
As pointed out in our forum last week, the value you get at Mr & Mrs Smith seems to have improved further.
If I stick with UK hotels purely to avoid currency issues …. here’s St Mawes again:
The room here is £245 or 47,500 points (ignore the ‘cash and points’ pricing shown in the image). This works out at 0.52p per point.
Also in Cornwall, here is The Artist Residence in Penzance:
Here the room is £205 or 40,000 points. This works out at 0.51p per point.
Trust me that other redemptions you price up will come out at the same level.
On this basis, IHG redemptions at Mr & Mrs Smith properties have got about 12% cheaper since launch.
This comes with two caveats, of course:
- Oddly, despite dynamic pricing, IHG only offers standard rooms for redemptions. This seems like a bit of an own goal and I don’t see the logic behind it. Why not offer all room categories at 0.51p per point?
- 0.51p of value assumes that ihg.com is offering the best price. It seems to match the Mr & Mrs Smith rate but hotels may be offering special deals via their own websites.
Note that redemptions must be cancelled more than 30 days prior to arrival. This is substantially worse than the standard IHG policy for its own hotels. Find out more on the IHG website here.
IHG One Rewards update – March 2024:
Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not running a global promotion at the moment, but some members were sent targeted offers for their stays in February and March
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.
IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here to buy.
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.