Introduction and Summary
For the past several years, IHG has been good about running continuous promotions, almost always consisting of individualized offers to IHG Rewards Club members. Basically, you receive a set of targets to earn bonus IHG points based on meeting certain thresholds. IHG typically calls these promotions “Accelerate.”
IHG’s newest Accelerate promotion for Summer 2019, Make Every Stay Count, begins today (May 1) and runs through August 31, 2019. As usual, your offer will be individualized. Once you register for the promotion, you’ll be able to see your individualized offer.
You must register in advance of your stay in order to earn the bonus points. Registration closes on June 18, 2019.
Our individualized offer contained a total of 6 tasks that would allow us to earn up to 40,300 total bonus IHG points if we completed each task.
If you’re an IHG Rewards Club member, you probably received an email from IHG that includes a button and link to register for the Make Every Stay Count promotion. You can also register for the promotion by going to this landing page and signing in to your IHG Rewards Club account:
- IHG Rewards Club: Landing page for “Make Every Stay Count” promotion
Details of the Promotion
As we mentioned above, each person’s bonus offer in the Make Every Stay Count promotion is individualized. The promotional offers can actually be pretty interesting 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.
Historically, the quality of our IHG Accelerate offers has varied widely – sometimes great and quite interesting; other times entirely useless. For example, 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 IHG’s most recent “Free Nights Faster” promotion, we received an interesting offer that would allow us to earn up to 108,400 IHG bonus points; however, it didn’t fit well with our plans and we didn’t actually use it.
In general, IHG needs to present us with a great offer to get our attention, given our elite status with Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt. In addition, this year it’s especially challenging to shift stays to IHG as we pretty much need to place almost every possible night with Hyatt while we’re Going for Globalist in 2019. In addition, we need elite night credits at Marriott to re-qualify for Platinum and perhaps Titanium status.
For this IHG Make Every Stay Count promotion, we received the following offer that would allow us to earn up to a total of 40,300 bonus IHG points:
Most of the offers that we’ve seen posted by others have also presented opportunities for the IHG Rewards Club member to earn somewhere in the range of 25,000 to 50,000 bonus points.
Also, note that historically, most of the IHG “Accelerate” promotions have had a further bonus if you complete all of your other tasks (or all but 1 of them, like 5 out of 6). These bonuses tended to be substantial – for instance, if you completed 5 tasks that added up to 25,000 points, your “complete all tasks” bonus might be 40,000 or 50,000 points. This seriously incentivized IHG Rewards Club members to complete all (or almost all) of their tasks. This time, however, our individualized promotion does not include such an additional bonus, and the reports we’ve seen of other people’s offers seem to show that no one is receiving additional “complete all tasks” bonuses in this Make Every Stay Count promotion.
Analysis and Strategy
In evaluating this promotion and determining strategy, we first remind ourselves that we give IHG points a baseline value of 0.5 cents per point. (We’ve considered dropping our baseline IHG point value to 0.45 cents per point and may yet do so once we have an opportunity to research current IHG redemption opportunities further.)
Looking through our personal offer to see how we could achieve all of our bonuses with minimum nights/stays/spend, it looks like we’d need to:
- Make 3 stays, each at a different IHG brand
- 2 would need to be at least 2-night stays that include a Saturday night
- 1 would need to be a Points & Cash stay, while the other 2 would need to be booked using a Bonus Points Package
- And 1 of the stays would need to be at least 4 nights
I believe that this could be accomplished with a minimum of 3 stays totaling 7 nights – one 4-night stay that includes a Saturday night, one 2-night stay that includes a Saturday night, and one 1-night stay. This would earn us all 40,300 bonus points (worth about $201.50 at our 0.5 cpp baseline value).
If you estimate that we might be able to stay the 7 nights for $100/night net (that is, net of shopping portal paybacks and credit card rewards), our total cost would be $700. We’d also earn some IHG points from our stays, call it 7,000 points at 10x per dollar of base rate spend (plus elite bonuses; we’re only Gold so would receive just 10% bonus). And, with a couple of bonus point packages, we’d earn some more IHG points; let’s call this 4,000. That would bring our IHG points haul up to 51,300, worth about $256.50 for future use. That’s pretty decent … IF the stays actually fit our organic needs for hotel rooms. But it’s certainly not worth spending extra or making a mattress run to collect the bonus points.
Looking back to our offer, we also see that if we gave up the 4,000 points for the 4-night stay, we could complete all of our other tasks with 3 stays totaling just 5 nights. Earning 36,500 IHG points from this promotion with just 5 nights is a much better proposition unless you truly need the 4-night weekend stay.
Again, if you’re just in it for the points, there are much easier ways to acquire IHG points at a decent rate. IHG just completed a points sale in April where it offered up to 80% bonus points, which brought the price down to 0.56 cents per point. IHG seems to run points sales pretty regularly. Alternatively, you can “buy” IHG points by making a Points & Cash reservation and then canceling it (see this article by Loyalty Traveler for an example). Sometimes this technique can give you a purchase price for IHG points in the 0.5 to 0.6 cent-per-point range.
To get an idea of what kind of promotional offers other people are getting with IHG’s Make Every Stay Count promotion, check out these posts from Doctor of Credit and One Mile at a Time, and particularly the Comments section of each article:
- Doctor of Credit: IHG Q2/Q3 2019 ‘Accelerate’ Promotion: Make Every Stay Count
- One Mile at a Time: IHG’s Summer 2019 Accelerate Promotion
As always with IHG, you should click through from a shopping portal to make your IHG reservations. It hasn’t been unusual lately to see 8% cashback at Top Cashback, and there have sporadic days of 10% or even higher on Ebates. These cashback returns will stack with earnings from this IHG Make Every Stay Count promotion as well as your regular IHG points earning.
In addition, keep an eye out for Amex Offers at IHG-family hotels. We don’t see any at present (other than the Kimpton Amex Offer that expires today), but some opportunities may arise during the 4 months that this promotion runs.
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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