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IHG One Rewards cuts the cost of Mr & Mrs Smith hotel redemptions

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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.

IHG improves the value of Mr & Mrs Smith hotel redemptions

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.

Mr & Mrs Smith IHG redemptions

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:

Mr & Mrs Smith redemptions

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:

IHG One Rewards Mr & Mrs Smith

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 – June 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

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.

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 (22)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Barnes Station says:

    Last month I redeemed my free night at a Smith hotel with the lowest room rate pushing £1k. I’m devastated to see that such hotels are no longer bookable using reward nights.

    • Rob says:

      It was a mistake. Smith hotels have always been excluded from credit card voucher free nights, because IHG had to pay real money out of the door.

      • JerrySignfield says:

        Except I just booked one with the free night voucher £600 cash

  • Sam says:

    It’s worth mentioning a lot of a the IHG branded hotels have gone skyrocketing since the announcement of One Rewards – looking for an insider to explain this as it seems they have changed the calculation of the redemption rate again?

    Examples include IC Park Lane which now has a whopping 90k+ per night at £400 cash rate, compared with the then 70k points only at a similar cash rate level. There is also a CP near Gatwick whose cash rate staggers at £90-100 per night, used to be around 15k per night but it has gone up drastically to 20k per night nowadays when the cash rate stays the same…

    It used to be calculated by the ADR and the multiplier of occupancy rate, which was introduced just last summer – the only conclusion I can draw, is that the multiplier to the occupancy rate is updated as the restrictions were lifted gradually in late 2021.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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