Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
A little over a year ago, IHG announced a new partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith (a boutique hotel “travel club”) and, earlier this month, a trickle of Mr & Mrs Smith properties started appearing on the IHG website. Now that trickle has turned into a flow with IHG confirming that 400 Mr & Mrs Smith properties are now bookable on its site.
A Quick Overview
The first major tranche of Mr & Mrs Smith properties was added to IHG.com late yesterday and we have been told that more properties will be added every week until, “by late November”, all of the Mr & Mrs Smith hotels that will be partnering with IHG will be bookable through various IHG channels.
Mr & Mrs Smith is a collection of over 1,000 boutique hotels but only a little over half of these properties are set to partner with IHG. Nevertheless, this partnership gives IHG’s portfolio a significant boost and will offer guests the chance to book properties in 11 locations where, up until now, IHG has not had a presence: Barbados, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Croatia, Iceland, Sweden, Morocco, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
IHG Rewards Club members will earn points when booking Mr & Mrs Smith properties and can use their points to make room bookings too. The IHG Rewards Club website hasn’t yet been updated to show how many points/dollar Mr & Mrs Smith bookings will earn…
…but it would be a surprise if they didn’t earn the same 10 points/dollar that most other IHG bookings attract. Elite IHG Rewards members will receive their standard tier bonus points on eligible room rates (100% Spire Elite; 50% Platinum Elite; 10% Gold Elite).
IHG has also confirmed that Rewards Club Elite members will receive complimentary Smith Extras, including room upgrades (where available), while InterContinental Ambassadors, Royal Ambassadors, and Kimpton Inner Circle members will receive a complimentary room upgrade (where available) as well as a Mr & Mrs Smith GoldSmith welcome gift.
I’ve had a quick look at IHG.com to see what award pricing looks like for Mr & Smith properties and, on the whole, things don’t look too bad.
Here, for example, are cash rates in Morocco for a randomly selected night in 2021…
…and here are the corresponding award night costs for the same date:
IHG Rewards Club members booking an award night at any of the four properties shown above would be getting between 0.55 cents and 0.58 cents of value out of each point used. That’s not particularly amazing, but considering that IHG frequently sells its currency at 0.5 cents/points. this isn’t too bad either.
Importantly, this isn’t an outlying case. Here are the room rates I found for a random search in Italy…
…and here are the corresponding costs of an award booking for the same night:
Once again, an IHG Rewards Club member choosing to use points to book these properties would be getting between 0.55 and 0.56 cents of value out of each point used.
I also found almost 0.59 cents of value at the only currently available Mr & Mrs Smith property in Hong Kong…
…and approximately 0.56 cents of value at the only currently available Mr & Mrs Smith property in New York State:
IHG award pricing is now dynamic so it’s not particularly surprising that we’re not seeing a lot of variation in the value per point that is being offered at these properties. What is a little surprising, however, is that it looks as if it will be possible to save on Mr & Smith bookings by buying points during sales in which IHG offers a 100% bonus (i.e. when points cost just 0.5 cents each).
It will be interesting to see if this pricing sticks or if IHG adjusts it downwards so that we start seeing a slightly worse redemption rate that makes it uneconomical to buy points in order to make discounted bookings.
IHG has loaded 400 Mr & Mrs Smith boutique properties into its systems and it’s promising more additions in the coming weeks. Award availability at Mr & Mrs Smith properties looks plentiful (which is always good news) and, as things stand, IHG Rewards Club members appear to be able to get at least 0.55 cents of value out of each of their points at most Mr & Mrs Smith properties.
Featured image courtesy of IHG