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IHG has launched another “City Lights Sale” covering properties in most regions of the world, and guests are being offered discounts of “at least 15%” for stays made by 30 April 2020.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- Book by 29 February 2020
- Book using the “City Lights” rate (via this page)
- Stay by 30 April 2020 at participating IHG hotels.
- Booking requires non-refundable, full pre-payment for the entire stay at the time of booking.*
- Discount is a minimum 15% discount off the Best Flexible rate and varies by hotel.
- Blackout dates apply.
*This may not necessarily be the case as I shall show below
Full terms and conditions are reproduced at the bottom of this post.
One of the key things to point out about this sale is that the terms and conditions may not be entirely correct. While the terms of the sale say that booking under the City Lights sale is non-refundable, properties like the Hotel Indigo in Downtown Los Angeles seem happy to offer a City Lights rate that’s fully refundable until 2 days before check-in:
I’m not sure how many other properties will be offering a refundable rate but bear this in mind and don’t assume that all the sale rates will be highly restrictive.
A second key thing to highlight is that, at some properties, booking the City Lights rate may be incredibly nonsensical.
If we take the Crowne Plaza South Beach as an example, on a randomly selected night in March this property is charging $427.17 for the City Lights rate and 402.80 for the “book early and save” rate…
…but I can’t see any reason why you would book the sale rate.
If you take a look at the terms and conditions of these rates you’ll find that both require full payment in advance, both require the rate to be booked at least 3 days before arrival and both rates are non-refundable.
Unless I’m missing something (always a possibility), you would have to be crazy to book the City Lights rate instead of the cheaper “book early” rate.
Clearly this will not always be the case (I’ve seen some nice deals on offer in this sale) but it’s definitely something worth bearing in mind – check all the rates on offer an make sure you understand what you’re paying for.
IHG Rewards is currently running a bonus points promotion which overlaps with the dates of this sale so make sure you register for that before booking anything in the City Lights sale.
Also, make sure you pay for any stays with a strong IHG Rewards credit card (like the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card) or, at the very least, a credit card that offers a good return on hotel spending (like the Amex Green Card – 3 MR Points/$ or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card – 3 UR Points/$) to ensure that you squeeze out as much value as possible from any bookings you make.
The IHG City Lights sale could be a nice way to save on your next trip but you need to be careful during the booking process. Compare all the rares on offer at the property (or properties) that interest you and make sure you’re booking a rate that (a) meets your requirement and (b) isn’t more expensive than another rate that offers exactly the same conditions.
Full Terms & Conditions (per IHG):
The “City Lights” offer is valid in select markets only. Bookings must be made February 1, 2020 – February 29, 2020 using the “City Lights” rate and consumed February 4 – April 30, 2020 at participating IHG® hotels. Booking requires non-refundable, full pre-payment for the entire stay at the time of booking. Discount is a minimum 15% discount off the Best Flexible rate and varies by hotel. Blackout dates apply. Rooms are subject to availability and certain room types may be excluded. Hotel policy varies in regards to the minimum length of stay required, advance purchase window and number of guests allowed per room. Not applicable with other discounted rate promotions. Not applicable to group bookings. Hotel specific early departure fee applies. Venetian Palazzo and IHG® Army Hotels are excluded from the promotion.