IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) opened up their fall promotion – “Into the Nights” – for registration yesterday. The registration period did not start hiccup free – I and others had errors trying to register but now it all seems to be working well.
Targeted Offers To Complete
This IHG promotion is targeted in that the offers vary according to member. While I am sure they have some system which does the targeting based on a wide range of factors, there is no apparent rhyme or reason to the targeted offers. While some high value customers received point-rich promo offers, others were stiffed with very minimal offers. Other customers who have no stays at IHG and no credit card affiliation with them received quite lucrative offers with others in that same category receiving nothing special.
To sign up and enroll for the promotion offer (and to find out what you get!), head on over to this page and enter your IHG member number. To sign up costs you nothing and you may be surprised by the offer you get!
The promotion is good for stays between September 4 and December 31 so it is a good long time to fulfill all your various offers!
The reward to those who complete their different challenges is a certain amount of points or free nights. While the terms do not speak to the definition of the free nights, Gary (View from the Wing) spoke with IHG and confirmed that the free nights can be used at any IHG hotel that has reward availability. While I am not doubting IHG or Gary, I am a little surprised that they give variable point offers but offer everyone the option for two free nights. Considering that some of their hotels can be very pricey, those two free nights could be very lucrative and may end up being the option of many people.
But, some people may have received high point offers that make the decision a little more difficult. The part that makes it very difficult is the IHG Points Break hotels – a rotating list of hotels that can be had for 5,000 points per night. If those nights work out well for you then the points would be preferable to the free nights, as long as the point total is high enough.
In my case, I received an offer for a total of 60,500 points! I will certainly be going for those since it opens up the ability to stay at 12 different Points Break hotels. That is not saying that it is what I will use them for, but that gives me a lot of options!
Running the Numbers
Of course, you will need to stay at some IHG hotels as part of the offer and to get the bonuses. Some of the offers are things like using the app and booking through the app, but you will need to stay at IHG hotels at some point to earn the full amount. If you already have IHG stays coming up, then it is worthwhile to enroll in this and play the game. But, if you do not have IHG stays planned, the next job is to run the numbers to see if it makes sense to go ahead and complete the offers.
To start with, it is always possible to “buy” IHG points for .7 cents each by using this method. So, we need to use that as our baseline for evaluating this offer to find if paying for hotel stays makes sense. In my case, to purchase the 60,500 points, it would cost me $423.50 using that method. Obviously, I am not going to do that! But, if I was willing to do it, I would need to see if I could get these offers completed for less.
In my case, it is extremely easy to complete my offers as I only need three hotel stays of which two have to be at Holiday Inns. Since I have one Holiday Inn that is local and only costs $60, that will make that very easy. I have access to another Holiday Inn at a similar price, so my all-in cost to complete my stays would be a max total of $180. That would mean that I was purchasing these points at a price of .3 cents each. If I use these slowly for Points Break stays, it would mean that each night would have cost me less than $15 per night! That is an incredible deal!
Of course, not everyone has my nice offer, so you need to use a similar method of calculation to find if the offer makes sense for you. Some of the offers will only give around 20,000 points and will require you to make more difficult stays (like international destinations, more expensive brand hotels, more nights).
Calculating what you should pay to make this worthwhile is difficult to do because it is not as simple as staying below the .7 cents per point number. For sure, any offer you have should cost you less than that, but you need to take into account different things – the potential inconvenience of staying at the hotels (if not already planned), your time necessary to do the offers, how much you would be willing to pay to get free nights, whether you have an interest to stay at Points Break hotels (the value breaks down if you need 40,000 for some hotel and it will cost you $300 to get that), etc. On the flip side, the positive valuations come into play that you are actually getting multiple nights while completing these offers. So, I am still getting to stay at three hotels using that price as well as receiving the points for future nights. Again, in my situation, it is a no-brainer.
What were your offers and are you going for it?