With apologies for being a little behind reporting on this recently-underway promotion, we wanted to cover IHG’s new “4X 2020” bonus points deal, which runs from now through May 15, 2020. The name is a bit misleading, because you won’t earn 4x bonus points until your 15th (!) night, but it’s still a decent promotion. We’ll review the details and then analyze the deal, including stacking opportunities.
Summary of the Deal
IHG’s “4X 2020” promotion allows you to earn varying amounts of IHG bonus points for each night you stay at a hotel within the IHG family, from now through 5/15/2020.
- You must register for the promotion prior to your first stay
- The registration deadline is 4/15/2020
- You must book on or before 4/15/2020 in order for your stay to qualify for this promotion
- Your stay must be completed on or before 5/15/2020
Bonus earning is as follows:
- Night 1: earn 1,000 IHG bonus points
- Nights 2-5: earn 2x base IHG points (up to a cap of 100,000)
- Nights 6-14: earn 3x base IHG points
- Nights 15+: earn 4x base IHG points
Each “bucket” of nights has a cap of 100,000 points earned – that is, the most bonus points you can earn from Nights 2-5 is 100,000; the most from Nights 6-14 is 100,000; and the most from Nights 15+ is 100,000. The caps seem unlikely to come into play for most anyone, but true road warriors might need to know that their 4x bonus points at the Nights 15+ level would cap out at $3,333 spend within that level.
Another interesting note for this promotion is how IHG calculates the rate on which you will earn bonus points. Promotion bonus points will be awarded based on the average nightly rate during a qualifying stay. To take a couple of examples:
- If your first stay is a 2-night stay with a rate of $300 for night 1 and $200 for night 2, your bonus earnings will be:
- Bonus points for Night 1 = 1,000 points (in addition to your regular points earning)
- Bonus points for Night 2 = average nightly rate of $250 * 10 extra bonus points/$ at most IHG brands = 2,500 points
- IHG Rewards Club: “4X 2020” landing and registration page
- IHG Rewards Club: “4X 2020” full terms and conditions
- The following types of stays/rates do not qualify for the promotion:
- Net wholesale individual and group rate
- “Certain package rates”
- Employee discount rate
- Friends and family rate
- Crew rate
- Special discounted contract rates
- Seasonal worker/crew rate
- 50% travel club discount rate
- Travel industry discount rate
- Distressed passenger rate
- IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights
- Airline Hotel Reward rate
- Rates booked through third party web sites
- Complimentary hotel stays
- Only one room per member at a time counts for the promotion
- IHG Rewards Club members with a Miles earnign preference will earn bonus IHG points during this promotion
- Allow up to 2 to 3 weeks for Promotion Offer bonus points to be credited after checkout
Initial Analysis of the Promotion
In our view, this is a well-designed promotion. It offers reasonable bonuses, and it rewards loyalty and spend by ramping up the bonuses as members stay more and tying the amount of bonus points to increased spend with the bonus multipliers. It also starts with the first night during the promotion period, which we like much better than Hyatt’s newest promotion that starts to earn bonus points with the member’s second stay.
This is the second straight “up to 4x” promotion we’ve seen from IHG. Perhaps this style of promotion has replaced the individualized “Accelerate” offers as IHG’s preferred structure for chainwide promotions.
We give IHG points a baseline value of 0.45 cents per point. Also, to evaluate this promotion, you need to know that stays at IHG hotels earn 10x IHG points per dollar of spend at all brands, except for Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites, where base earning is only 5x IHG points per dollar.
With this in mind, earnings from the promotion will be as follows (setting aside any additional elite status bonuses):
- Night 1: 1,000 bonus points (worth about $4.50), plus regular IHG points earning
- Nights 2-5: 9% points rebate (10x points * 2 * 0.45 cpp)
- Nights 6-14: 13.5% points rebate (10x points * 3 * 0.45 cpp)
- Nights 15+: 18% points rebate (10x points * 4 * 0.45 cpp)
Members with elite status would earn additional points – an extra 10% points bonus for Gold members; 50% for Platinum members; and 100% for Spire members. The terms of the promotion do not expressly address this, but we would not expect elite bonuses to be multiplied. At 0.45 cpp, these bonuses add an extra 0.45% points rebate for Golds; an extra 2.25% points rebate for Platinums; and an extra 4.5% points rebate for Spire members.
And, this earning is even before we consider stacking opportunities, which we’ll cover next.
Stacking Opportunities for This Promotion
The “4x 2020” promotion should stack with other ongoing IHG promotions, as well as portals and credit card earnings. Right now, we’re seeing one other active promotion:
- Until 3/31/2020, this promotion should stack with IHG’s ongoing promotion, “Earn 50% more bonus points at new and featured IHG hotels”
- As of today, it looks like there are 18 hotels available for this promotion
- Holiday Inn Edmonton South-Evario Events (Edmonton, AB, Canada)
- Avid Hotel Tulsa South-Medical District (Tulsa, OK)
- Holiday Inn & Suites Mount Pleasant (Mount Pleasant, MI)
- InterContinental Houston-Medical Center (Houston, TX)
- Even Hotel Miami-Airport (Miami, FL)
- Holiday Inn Detroit Northwest-Livonia (Livonia, MI)
- Hotel Indigo Winston-Salem Downtown (Winston-Salem, NC)
- Hotel Indigo Madison Downtown (Madison, WI)
- Holiday Inn Express Boston (Quincy, MA)
- Even Hotel New York – Midtown East (New York, NY)
- Holiday Inn & Suites McKinney-Fairview (McKinney, TX)
- Holiday Inn Newport News-Hampton (Newport News, VA)
- Staybridge Suites Baltimore-Inner Harbor (Baltimore, MD)
- Crowne Plaza Puebla (Puebla, Mexico)
- InterContinental San Diego (San Diego, CA)
- Crowne Plaza Miami Airport (Miami, FL)
- Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria (Alexandria, VA)
- InterContinental Toronto Yorkville (Toronto, ON, Canada)
- As of today, it looks like there are 18 hotels available for this promotion
It’s not unusual for IHG to have other bonus points promotions for specific hotels, so keep your eyes open for other stacking opportunities.
The “4x 2020” promotion should also stack with earnings from shopping portals. IHG hotels are available on a number of shopping portals, including Rakuten, Top Cashback, American Airlines and British Airlines. Today we’re not seeing anything other than standard portal earning rates, but it’s not unusual to see portal promotions where IHG hotel bookings can earn 8%/8x, 10%/10x, or more. Last week for Valentine’s Day we even saw 14%/14x for IHG hotels on Rakuten, but that’s an unusual high that we’re not likely to see again soon. In any event, if you have some flexibility about when you make your IHG bookings, you might wait until you see a promotional rate of 8%/8x or more to get the best value.
Finally, the “4X 2020” promotion will also stack with your regular credit card points-earning. Of course, use a credit card that earns bonus points for hotel spend or IHG in particular, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred (3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel, including hotels) or the Chase IHG Premier or Traveler cards (10x IHG points per dollar for Premier; 5x for Traveler).
Wrap-Up, and Comparisons to Other Active Hotel Chain Bonus Points Promotions
To us, at the end of the day, hotel stays are usually based much more on convenience, comfort and amenities than bonus point promotions. But that said, in terms of points-earning we’d probably rank the current major hotel chain bonus point promotions in this order:
- 1 – Hyatt “Bonus Journeys” promo (through 5/15/2020)
- It’s number 1 only if you’ll have at least 2 stays during the promotional period
- 2 – IHG “4X 2020” promo (through 5/15/2020)
- It could be number 1 if you have a lot of stays and/or if you can stack with a great shopping portal return
- 3 – Hilton Honors “Points Unlimited” promo (through 5/3/2020)
- Note, though, that the Hilton promo improves for road warriors with cheap 1-night stays and for people staying 10 nights
- Distant last – Marriott Bonvoy (no active bonus points promotion)
What do you think of IHG’s “4x 2020” promotion? How will you use it to stack earnings, and how to you think it measures up to the other current big-chain hotel promotions? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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