IHG launched their fall promo – Accelerate – the other day and they are really trying to draw new members into the program. As a result, they were targeted with the most lucrative reward for the simplest of tasks – stay 2 nights in any IHG hotel (like Holiday Inn Express) and receive 1 free night at any IHG hotel! There are some real gems in the IHG system so that can be very valuable! I recently used a free night at one of the best hotels in IHG’s US portfolio – The Willard Intercontinental (review here) and it was fabulous! To be able to stay there for a night for only doing two nights at cheap hotels is a great deal!
Not only that, but they have doubled the potential. New members can get 2 free nights by staying a total of 4 nights at any IHG hotels. This post will give you some ideas on how to lock up those free nights at top tier hotels for as cheap and easily as possible.
How To Get 1 Night At Any IHG Hotel For $130 Or Less [New IHG Members Only]
It is important to note that this part of the promo is only for new IHG members (accounts). If you are already a member, there has to be someone in your home that is not, right? Get them signed up and start staying! This works great for couples that may want to use that free night as a getaway since one of them may not be in the program yet. Check out this post for the details of this promo. The free nights earned with this promo can be used based on availability anytime between day of issue and December 31, 2016.
Getting Cheap Rooms/Rates
The key to getting the best value is to look for IHG hotels that offer rooms at a very cheap rate. There are a lot of them all over the world to look for, but I will give you an idea of some locations and tips to find some that may be near you. The following are just a sampling of cheaper hotel options in the US. There are certainly many more but it gives you an idea of what you can look at and for.
Chances are pretty good that if you are flying on the East Coast or overseas, you may be near Washington-Dulles airport (hub airport for United). You easily book a night before and after your trip to take advantage of rates like this.
Huntsillve, Alabama is not exactly in the center of all things, but it is not far from I-65 if you are traveling. Not only that, but it is a great option for the Rocket City Marathon in December!
Yet another airport location – this one out west. If flying through there on any of the number of airlines that serve that part of the US, consider adding a night. It can especially be handy if you have an early flight.
Staying 2 separate nights at any IHG hotels will earn you that fantastic free night. That means that you cannot stay just 2 nights in a row – it has to be 2 separate reservations. If the above hotels do not work for you, here are somethings to look for to get cheap rates.
- Major airport locations on weekend nights (business travelers have left the city and most people are not staying over the weekend at airport hotels)
- Non-tourist season destinations (places like Niagara Falls are beautiful, but not as visited in the colder months. You can stay in Niagara falls much cheaper during November – December)
- Locations along interstates (very popular, especially down South for people driving on long trips. They can be very cheap)
- Southeast Asia (while you can often find more local-type accommodations for around the same price, consider at least booking and checking-in at one the cheap locations all over this part of the world)
- Las Vegas can work on slower days
- Cheaper European countries (some cities in Europe can be traveled quite inexpensively, especially in the cooler months)
- Look at weekend nights in business districts and weekday nights in tourist locations
In the above situations, you do not actually have to stay in the hotel. All you need to do is to check-in and check-out. Some hotels may go credit you the night based on whether your room was entered, so just run up there and check out the room. If it is a prepaid rate, you do not actually have to visit the front desk to check out. You could just leave or call in after you leave and ask them to check you out. I have done both without issue (except for the time that they could not find my credit card info and I forgot I had booked a rate that I needed to pay at checkout!).
Of Course, You Could Actually Stay Someplace!
But what if you really do want to stay someplace? The above scenarios are ways to get you your “free” IHG night at the cheapest way possible. However, it is very possible that you will want to go someplace and stay there. If that is the case, just break up your IHG stay. So, instead of spending 2 nights at the same location, consider checking out and into another IHG hotel in the area. Another possibility is to book the 1st night under your name and account number, the next night under a traveling companion’s information, and a 3rd night under your name and number – all at the same hotel.
This way, you are essentially getting 3 IHG hotels for the price of 2 stays. Not bad! Of course, you have up to 2 free nights to earn with this promo. That will require you to stay a total of 4 separate nights/stays at IHG hotels. If you want to stay at a high-end IHG property on a trip, this would definitely be worth doing. Since IHG has such a tremendous amount of hotels around the world, it should be easy to find a hotel near you that may be cheap enough to justify this.
While it is always nicer to get nights without any spending or trouble, there are sometimes that it will take some money/work. In situations like this, it is actually worth doing. By spending $120 or less for 2 stays, you can redeem your free night at a hotel that very well may cost over $500 for the night you want to stay there! It is all just part of the game.