IHG Accelerate 2016 Promotion

IHG Accelerate 2016 Promotion

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IHG (the hotel group that owns chains such as InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza) has announced details of their first quarter 2016 promotion – IHG Accelerate 2016.

I’ve written about IHG’s Accelerate promotions before (Can You Maximize The IHG “Accelerate” Promotion?) and shown how I got excellent value from once such promotion earlier this year (3 “Free” Nights in a 5-Star Hotel – How I Maximized An IHG Promotion) so it’s always exciting when a new Accelerate promotion comes around.

Both Joanna and I are IHG Rewards Club members and, in recent times, Joanna has been getting the better offers from IHG and this time is no different – I must have upset them somehow! 🙂

The IHG Accelerate 2016 Promotion is valid for stays between 1 January and 30 April 2016 and the full terms and conditions can be found here. Don’t dismiss the T&Cs out of hand – make sure you read them and check that you’re complying with what IHG have laid out (I made the mistake of not reading the T&Cs properly once – learn from my mistakes!).

My IHG Accelerate 2016 Promotion

In fairness this is a much better promotion that I had last time in that at least none of the challenges involve having to fly abroad!

IHG Accelerate 2016 1Q Promotion

It looks like I can rack up a quick 10,000 IHG points with just one stay in January and, as I’m going to need an airport hotel towards the beginning of the month, this is probably enough to push me to an IHG owned property. I value IHG rewards points at around 0.7 cents each so 10,000 bonus points would equate to a $70 rebate on a hotel stay I need to make anyway. As long as I don’t overpay for my airport hotel that’s a nice bonus to have.

The rest of the offer doesn’t really interest me. I’m pushing a lot of my 2016 stays towards Hyatt to see if I can keep the Diamond status they matched me to and 30,000 points (which still wouldn’t get me to an award night at a top hotel) doesn’t really tempt me.

The promotion that Joanna has been offered may be a little bit more interesting….

Joanna’s IHG Accelerate 2016 Promotion


Joanna’s possible earn is 55,000 IHG reward points and, with 50,000 points being enough for a free night at any IHG property in the world this promotion has my attention.

Straight away I can rule out the “stay more, earn more” part of the promotion. It’s unlikely Joanna will have a need for 7 nights at IHG hotels in 1Q 2016 – although missing out on 7,000 points takes her maximum earnings below the magic 50,000 points level, this won’t be too much on an issue as I’ll explain later.

How to maximize Joanna’s promotion?

It looks like Joanna could earn 48,000 IHG rewards points with just 2 stays of 3 nights in total.

A weekend stay in January would check off the following:

  • January Bonus Offer – 5,000 points
  • Stay Once Get 1,000 – 1,000 points
  • A Bonus Weekend Stay – 4,000 points
  • Half of the Travel With The IHG App challenge.

A further 1 nights stay booked with points & cash would check off:

  • The second half of the Travel With The IHG App  challenge – 3,200 points
  • Stay For Less and Earn – 3,600 points
  • Achievement Bonus – Joanna would have checked off 4 of the 5 offers so would earn 31,200 points.

Total bonus points earned = 48,000

That’s not the whole story.

Because one of the challenges involves booking a night with points & cash Joanna would have to pay, at a minimum, 5,000 points to check that challenge off (the cheapest points & cash redemption costs 5,000 points & $70).

That would make her net earnings from this promotion 43,000 points which I value at around $300. 

This would leave Joanna 7,000 points short of an award night at a top IHG hotel (bad news) but would be enough to boost her existing IHG rewards balance high enough to give her another free night (excellent news)….and she’d be clearing that hurdle by just a couple of thousand points.

Providing I can find some great value Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Extra rates, I see some IHG stays in Joanna’s future. I’ll report back on how that works out.

IHG Accelerate 2016 For New Members

Traditionally IHG Rewards has been super generous with their Accelerate Promotions for new members – that was how Joanna and I got to stay at the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam earlier this year – but they seem to have learned not to give too much away this time.

The new member IHG Accelerate Promotions I’ve seen look like this:

IHG Accelerate 2016 New Members Promotion

Straight away you can see that the maximum bonus you can earn is 33,500 points and that’s nowhere near as generous as the 2 free nights new members have been able to earn in the past.

The best way to maximize this promotion appears to be this:

  • Book a 2-night weekend stay at a Holiday Inn property through IHG (use the website, App or call center)
  • Book a further 1-night stay at a Holiday Inn property through IHG.

That should get you the maximum 33,500 points on offer.

I don’t see how booking the stays just to get the points would be worth it but, if you were planning to book a hotel anyway, this may be a good idea. It gets you two-thirds of the way to a free night at a luxury hotel but it also gets you 6 nights at one of IHG’s PointsBreak properties (here’s the IHG Winter PointsBreak list to give you an idea of what gets offered).

I’d be interested to know if IHG has varied the Accelerate 2016 Promotion for new users like it does for existing members (normally they don’t) so, if you’re new to IHG and have been offered something different to the promotion above, let me know in the comments.


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