Middle Age Miles

Update on IHG Double Points Plus More Promo – Extended to 12/31/18, Bonus Points Uncapped

A few weeks ago we wrote about IHG’s 4th-quarter “Double Points Plus More” promotion. This morning, we received two pieces of good news about the promo from IHG:

  • One, the promotion has been extended through 12/31/2018 (previously 12/16); and
  • Two, double bonus points are now uncapped (previously capped at 15,000 points for most people, although some people had higher caps)

If you haven’t already registered for this promotion, be sure to do so now (or at least before you have any IHG stays!). You can register for IHG Double Points Plus More here:

Register for IHG Double Points Plus More

You may also recall that Double Points Plus More is a two-tiered promo, where in addition to double points, you have an individualized offer that awards additional bonus points based on hitting targeted thresholds. One downside to the promotion was – and continues to be – that the “double points” component only kicks in with your second IHG stay during the promotional period.

To remind you about how this promotion works, here is our earlier post in its entirety with details and our analysis:

Executive Summary

IHG’s newest points promotion starts on Sunday, September 16, and continues through December 16 [now December 31].  Earn double base IHG points starting with your second stay during the promotion period, up to 15,000 bonus points [now uncapped].  You must register in advance of your stay in order to earn the bonus points.  Promotional offers are individualized – you should receive at least one additional “bonus offer,” and your cap on double points may be higher than 15,000.

Relevant Link

Register for the IHG Double Points Plus More promotion here:

Register for IHG Double Points Plus More

Details of the Promotion

IHG has been an innovative leader on the hotel promotions front for the past several years with its Accelerate and other promotions.  Here, though, IHG give us a useful-but-not-overwhelming promotion covering the next three months.

Double Points Plus More runs from September 16, 2018, through December 16, 2018 [now December 31, 2018].  Each IHG member receives an individualized promotional offer, which you can find by visiting the promotion webpage at the link above and logging in to your IHG account.

The Double Points Plus More promotion for each person has two components:

(1)  A “Double Points” component, where the member can earn double IHG Rewards Club points for each stay, starting with the member’s second stay during the promotional period.  There is a cap on how many bonus points, which is specific to the individual member.  The cap will be at least 15,000 points.  Because most IHG properties earn at a rate of 10 IHG points per dollar of spend, the 15,000-point-cap offer will max out at $1,500 in spend.  We have seen other caps that are higher than our offer, up to 30,000 points.

(2) A “Plus More” component, where the member can earn additional bonus IHG points upon completing certain tasks set by IHG.  In our offer, as you can see below, the additional “task” was to book 2 stays during the promotion period using the IHG app, which would earn us 3,200 bonus points.

Our IHG “Double Bonus Plus More” offer

Full terms and conditions for IHG’s Double Bonus Plus More promotion can be found here.  As you might expect, bookings through online travel agencies and other third-parties do not qualify for the promotion (or any other IHG points-earning, for that matter).  Likewise, certain specialty discounted rates, like wholesale rates, employee discount rates and crew rates, do not qualify.

Analysis & Strategy

Under IHG’s other recent Accelerate promotions, members received a series of bonus tasks and an additional composite bonus for achieving most or all of the tasks (and sometimes, multiple tasks could be satisfied by the same stay(s)).  This created a bit of a game, and it was fun to cherry-pick IHG stays that would earn maximum points.  Usually, they didn’t work for us, but on the most recent Accelerate promotion, we maxxed it out to earn about 40,000 IHG bonus points (Middle Age Miles baseline value about $200) with 2 Holiday Inn Express stays of 2 nights each.  These promotions could be extremely valuable.  In addition, IHG’s Summer 2018 “Easy Like Summer” promotion (which actually overlapped and stacked with Accelerate for several weeks), although not gamed-up, added some good value with 5,000 bonus points per stay at IHG’s high-end hotels and 2,000 bonus points per stay at its other properties.

By contrast, the new Double Bonus Plus More promotion is neither as valuable nor as fun.  Don’t get me wrong – we’re happy for any extra points earning at Middle Age Miles.  But we liked the other promotions better.  And Hilton’s double/triple-points Moments Made Bigger promotion is straight-up better for Fall 2018.

Let’s analyze our Double Bonus Plus More offer.  For our first IHG stay during the promotion period, we’ll earn no bonus at all.  Ouch.  After that, we’d get double points for the rest of our stays during the promotion.  To help you understand how many points you will earn under this IHG promotion, we’ve prepared a chart that we hope you will find helpful.  Points earning is broken down by the type of property and your IHG elite status level.  Remember that you do not earn points on taxes, only the room rate and other incidental spend.

To possibly put it into better perspective, here’s the same chart – but instead of telling you how many points you’ll earn per dollar of spend, we’ve put it in terms of the value of the rebate you’ll receive in points, assuming a baseline value of 0.5 cents per IHG point:

At Middle Age Miles, we don’t have any elite status with IHG, whereas we hold top-tier elite status with Hilton and Marriott (and low-tier elite status with Hyatt).  Thus, for us, even starting on our second stay, we’ll only earn a 10% points rebate (versus, for us, a 15 or 20% points rebate at Hilton on all stays).

And for us, our “Plus More” offer of 3,200 bonus IHG points for 2 stays booked through the IHG app holds no value at all.  Again, if we make only one stay, no bonus.  Using our baseline value of 0.5 cents per IHG point, our 2-stay bonus would be worth $16, or $8 per say.  We can do at least as well booking IHG hotels using a shopping portal, which generally gives us 6-10% back (in cash rather than points) – and booking through the IHG app vs the shopping portal is mutually exclusive.

We did notice some other people getting better offers – including a double points cap up to 30,000 points, a bonus of 19,200 points for staying at 3 IHG brands, 6,600 bonus points for booking 2 Bonus Points Packages, and 6,400 bonus points for 2 stays booked through the IHG app (H/T: Onemileatatime and Miles to Memories).  So there may be better value in this promotion for some members than we found in ours.

In addition, if you stay in IHG hotels regularly, and especially if you hold Platinum or Spire elite status, you may be able to earn a nice chunk of bonus points from this promotion without changing your behavior.

Another way to increase your points earning at IHG during this period would be to combine the Double Points Plus More promotion with credit card earning or offers.  Chase’s IHG co-branded credit cards have good points earning, or alternatively, there are some good current Amex offers for IHG brands – $100 statement credit for $500 spend at Intercontinental hotels, and $50 statement credit for $250 spend at Crowne Plazas.  The promotion and the Amex Offers will definitely stack.

What do you think about IHG’s Double Points Plus More promotion?  Let us know in the comments!

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