Middle Age Miles

Register Now – New IHG “Reward Nights Faster” Promo Starts Tomorrow (Jan 15)

IHG’s “Reward Nights Faster” promotion gives you extra points for hitting individualized targets

Executive Summary

IHG’s newest points promotion starts on Tuesday, January 15, and continues through April 30. The promotion is known as Reward Nights Faster, and promo offers are individualized – you should receive a set of targets to earn bonus IHG points based on meeting certain thresholds. Each person’s offer should allow for bonus-point earning of at least 40,000 IHG points. (Ours is for 108,400 if we hit all the targets!) You must register in advance of your stay in order to earn the bonus points.

Relevant Link

You should have received an email from IHG that includes a button and link for one-click registration for Reward Nights Faster. You can also register for the IHG Reward Nights Faster promotion at the landing page here:

Details of the Promotion

For the past several years, IHG has given us a series of these individualized promotions, previously under the “Accelerate” name. The promotions are actually pretty interesting to us as there’s a game-playing aspect to them. We always strategize to see how we can earn the most points with the fewest nights/least spend and think about how the promotional thresholds fit with the hotel stays we’ll need during the promo period.

The quality of our offers has varied widely – sometimes great and quite interesting; other times entirely useless. The most recent two IHG promotions are great examples of this variance – in Summer 2018, we maxed out our promotion with some stays that Middle Age Miles son Andrew needed to make and earned about 40,000 bonus points; whereas in Fall 2018 our “Double Points Plus More” IHG promo was so weak that we didn’t bother with it at all. In general, IHG needs to present us with a great offer to get our attention, as we have top-tier elite status with Marriott/SPG and Hilton, and we need elite night credits to re-qualify each year with Marriott.

For this IHG Reward Nights Faster promotion, we received an interesting offer that would allow us to earn up to 108,400 IHG bonus points:

In evaluating this offer, we first remind ourselves that we give IHG points a baseline value of 0.5 cents per point. We’ll keep that valuation for now, although the hotel category changes that IHG will implement on January 25 are causing us to seriously consider whether we should be dropping our baseline value of IHG points to 0.4 or 0.45 cents per point. (Shout-out to Brian at The Gate for compiling an incredibly useful list of the impacted hotels and changes in redemption rates.)

If we wanted to maximize our Reward Nights Faster offer, we’d need to stay at 3 different IHG brands, two of which would need to be stays of at least 2 nights including a Saturday night, two of which would have to be booked with Bonus Points packages, and at least one of which would need to be 4 or more nights – that is, at least 3 stays totaling at least 8 nights. If we could hit all of these, we’d earn 108,400 points, baseline value about $542.

I have to say, if you regularly stay in modestly-priced IHG hotels, that’s an outstanding offer. For us, though, it will be tough to do. We don’t really have upcoming stays that fit the profile we would need. (I’m not seeing 2 two-night stays including a Saturday night, and it would also be somewhat of a challenge to come up with a 4-night stay.) Plus, as I said before, to make IHG stays for the promo, we’d be foregoing top-tier elite benefits with Marriott/SPG or Hilton hotels. And, we’re going to need a lot of elite nights at Marriott/SPG to re-qualify for Platinum or Platinum Premier status in 2019. Thus, I don’t see us going for the full 108,400 points – but I can certainly see situations where it would be a valuable offer and a great fit for someone!

Middle Age Miles daughter Katie interned at the InterContinental Hotel in Prague last summer, and we sure wouldn’t mind having a stash of IHG points to stay there!

Looking further at our promotion, I do see another angle that looks pretty good. What if we had 3 one-night stays at different IHG brands and purchased Bonus Points packages on 2 of them? We’d earn a total of 38,200 IHG bonus points for that – 6,600 from the 2-Bonus-Points-rate deal; 28,800 from the Stay-at-3-Brands deal; and 2,800 from the Stay-at-2-IHG-Hotels deal. Those bonus points would be worth about $191 at 0.5 cents per point. And let’s say we could do those stays at $100/night. We’d earn another 5,000 points or so from the basic earning and the Bonus Points packages, for a total of 43,200 points. We would have spent about $300, and we’d have earned IHG points worth about $216.

[To take this a step further, consider that we could book our stays through a shopping portal such as Top Cashback or Ebates, and if we booked on the right day, we might get 10% or 12% cash back. Plus, if we paid with our Chase Sapphire Reserve card, we’d earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points for a total of 900 points, baseline value of about $13.50.]

If you truly needed all 3 of these stays, this would be an excellent bonus deal. If you only needed 2 of them, it would almost certainly make sense to mattress-run the third. And even if you only needed 1 of them, it might make sense even then to mattress-run the other two.

Anyway, like I said, these IHG promotions can be fun to strategize!

However, everyone’s offer will be different, and not everyone’s offer will include sweet spots like ours. You’ll have to do your own analysis on your particular offer to decide what’s right for you – but I hope the thought processes and strategies we’ve outlined here will help you.

To get an idea of what kind of promotional offers other people are getting with IHG’s Reward Nights Faster, check out these posts from Doctor of Credit and One Mile at a Time, along with the Comments section of each article:

What do you think about IHG’s Reward Nights Faster promotion? What offer did you get, and will you be able to use it? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!

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