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IHG Rewards recently suspended its popular PointBreaks deals so members have been waiting with interest to see if the program would attempt to offset that devaluation with a good promotion for the first few months of 2020…and now they have their answer.
The first IHG Rewards promotion of 2020 will start from 15 February 2020 and the headline that IHG is pushing is one that suggests that members will be able to earn “up to 4x bonus points” for stays made through 15 May…but that really doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s more complicated than that.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- Register by 15 April 2020 (via the app or here)
- Stay between 15 February and 15 May 2020
- Book by 15 April 2020
- Earn 1,000 bonus points on your first night
- Earn 2x bonus points on nights 2 – 5 (up to 100,000 points)
- Earn 3x bonus points on nights 6 – 14 (up to 100,000 points)
- Earn 4x bonus points on night 15 and beyond (up to 100,000 points)
- Promotion bonus points will be awarded based upon the average nightly rate during a qualifying stay.
- IHG Rewards Club award nights will not count towards a member’s nightly total during this promotion period.
Note: The promotion is not live yet. The registration page requires a promotion code which, at the time of writing, has not yet been released. You can register via the IHG app without the need for a code and, for those who prefer to register via the website, this post will be updated with the promotion code when it is released.
The bonus points that are doubled, tripled or quadrupled are the base points that everyone earns for stays at IHG properties – bonus points earned for having elite status do not get boosted.
Bonus Points You Can Earn
IHG Rewards members earn 10 points/dollar at most IHG properties so this is what bonus points (on top of regular earnings) this promotion offers:
- Earn 1,000 bonus points on your first night
- Earn an extra 10 points/dollar on nights 2 – 5
- Earn an extra 20 points/dollar on nights 6 – 14
- Earn an extra 30 points/dollar on night 15 and beyond
I value IHG Rewards Points at 0.4 cents each so this essentially means that IHG Rewards is offering an extra rebate of between 4% and 12% from night 2 onwards.
Earnings For Platinum Members
The majority of this blog’s readership (at least those who have an interest in IHG Rewards) will almost certainly have IHG Rewards Platinum status courtesy of one of the IHG Rewards credit cards (e.g. the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card) so, assuming you have Platinum status and you pay for your stay(s) using the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, this is what you’ll earn at full-service IHG properties during the promotion period:
- 25 points/dollar and 1,000 bonus points on your first night
- 35 points/dollar on nights 2 – 5 (an effective rebate of 14%)
- 45 points/dollar on nights 6 – 14 (an effective rebate of 18%)
- 55 points/dollar on night 15 and beyond (an effective rebate of 22%)
Maxing Out This Promotion
The maximum bonus you can earn in this promotion is 301,000 points split across 4 levels (this has been confirmed by IHG):
- 1,000 points for night 1
- 100,000 points earned between night 2 and night 5 (4 nights)
- 100,000 points earned between night 6 and night 14 (9 nights)
- 100,000 points earned from night 15 onwards
Regardless of status, everyone earns the same number of bonus points in this promotion and that’s a big reason why I don’t think anyone will earn all the points that are on offer.
Here’s the math:
- For nights 2 through 5, IHG will pay 20 points/dollar up to a maximum 100,000 points so a guest would have to spend $5,000 across 4 nights ($1,250/night) to earn the 100,000 points that are on offer at this level.
- For nights 6 through 14, IHG will pay 30 points/dollar up to a maximum of 100,000 points so a guest would have to spend ~$3,334 across 9 nights (~$370/night) to earn the 100,000 points that are on offer at this level.
- From night 15 onwards IHG will pay 40 points/dollar up to a maximum of 100,000 points so a guest would have to spend just $2,500 across however many nights they have left before the end of the promotion to earn the 100,000 points that are on offer at this level.
The biggest thing to note here is that IHG appears to have come up with a promotion that is highly unlikely to see anyone earn all the bonus points on that are on offer…and that’s a little underhand.
To earn the first 100,000 bonus points (between nights 2 and 5) requires a Rewards Club member to spend, on average, $1,250/night…and that’s ridiculous. I highly doubt whether anyone who spends that much money on hotel stays cares about promotions like this one so it’s unlikely that anyone will collect all 100,000 points that are on offer at this level.
Some people may be able to max out the 100,000 points available for nights 6 through 14….but this isn’t going to happen in great numbers.
For nights 6 through 14, there’s a $370/night spending requirement for anyone looking to earn the 100,000 points that are on offer and, although this is clearly do-able, I doubt we’ll see thousands of IHG Rewards Club members raking in the points here.
From night 15 onwards things are different (better) and this is where I think Road Warriors will clean up.
Anyone traveling a lot for work should easily be able to spend at least 30 nights at IHG properties between 15 February and 15 May and, even if that’s all the nights they spend with IHG, they’ll only have to spend ~$156/night from night 15 onwards to earn the full 100,000 points at the final level.
That’s very doable and probably right around what the average Road Warrior will spend per night (assuming most Road Warriors aren’t staying at InterContinental properties!) so I can see a lot of frequent travelers sweeping up 100,000 bonus points at this level.
This isn’t a great promotion but it isn’t terrible either. I don’t like the fact that it’s designed to make it nearly impossible for anyone to earn all the points that are on offer but I like that it should be possible to pick up a reasonable haul of points without the need to spend weeks at IHG properties – Platinum members using the IHG Rewards Premier card will earn up to 55points/dollar and that’s not bad going.