The Latest IHG Sale Says It Offers A Minimum Discount Of 20%….But Be Very Careful

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Hotels may be seeing record occupancy rates but, with the current pace of expansion, there are still a lot of rooms that need to be filled so hotel sales are as plentiful as ever. Today it’s IHG’s turn to launch a sale and this one covers most of the hotelier’s worldwide portfolio.

According to IHG everyone is being offered a minimum saving of 20% while IHG Rewards Club members can save even more.

InterContinental Le Grand Paris – Image courtesy of IHG

Headline Terms & Conditions

  • The Global Sale promotion is valid only for bookings made from May 14, 2019 through July 31, 2019 using the “Global Sale” rate.
  • All bookings must be consumed from May 24, 2019 through September 15, 2019 at participating IHG® hotels and resorts.
  • The discount is at least 20% off the Best Flexible Rate.
  • IHG® Rewards Club members receive additional savings. Additional member discount varies by region.
  • Booking must be made at least three (3) days in advance and requires non-refundable, full pre-payment for the entire stay at the time of booking.
  • Discount varies by hotel and 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 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.
  • The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas and IHG® Army Hotels are excluded from the promotion.

Link to the sale page with full terms and conditions

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort And Thalasso Spa
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort And Thalasso Spa


The most important thing to point out here is that the headline sale offer can be considered a little deceptive as guests will (mostly) not be saving upwards of 20% on their bookings.

As the terms and conditions state, the discount on offer is calculated on the ‘best flexible rate’ which is often far from the cheapest rate on offer.

If we take a random night at the InterContinental Bangkok as an example you should see exactly what I mean.

In this example, the cheapest non-sale rate available to IHG Rewards Club members is a little over $171 per night while the sale rate is a little over $167 per night….and you don’t have to do any math to know that’s not a 20% saving.

The best flexible rate for the same night costs almost exactly $205….

….so the discount offered by the sale is almost 20% (it’s actually 18.36%) but that’s pretty meaningless.

Despite the fact that the sale rate is based on the best flexible rate the rate offered in the sale isn’t flexible at all – it requires advance payment for the full stay and cancellation will see a guest forfeit the entire sum paid.

The only correct rate comparison is, therefore, the comparison of the sale rate and the cheapest non-flexible rate and that’s not going to be anywhere near 20% most of the time.

Rather incredibly, there are also instances where the sale rate isn’t the best rate on offer – the example below blew my mind!

The sale rate of $881.50/night requires full payment in advance, offers nothing but a room and is non-refundable while the ‘stay longer pay less’ rate costs ~$20/night less, includes breakfast (which is not cheap in Bora Bora) and only requires a deposit equivalent to one night of the stay.

How nuts would you have to be to book the sale rate?

Overall, I concede that there are discounts to be had….but they’re just not as good as what the headline sale information would suggest.

Based on what I’ve seen so far the better discounts on offer are in the 9% – 11% range (there may be some outliers where the discount is better) and I’ve found those on dates in May and early June where the check-in date is not all that far away (so the cheapest rate isn’t particularly cheap).

InterContinental London O2

Bottom Line

The current IHG sale does offer discounts but they’re not as good as the headline rates suggest.

Make sure you understand what kind of rate you’re booking and make sure you check exactly what kind of discount you’re really getting before you hand over your credit card information.

Most importantly, don’t assume the sale rate is the best rate on offer – do your research.


  1. I was recently looking for an IHG hotel in Bangkok. The points + cash rate, using 15000 points plus cash, had a cost higher than the lowest available rate without using points. In other words, the points had a negative value and made it more expensive than not using points! I’m finding it harder and harder to get any decent value from IHG points, and tricks like this just put me right off the programme.

  2. I too found that my global rate was not discounted at all! I booked a stay in Ashville, NC using the global sale. While there I checked my app just to see what I had saved. I was disappointed to see that I had in fact not saved anything using the global sale and would have lost my $ had I cancelled. When talking to customer service I was told that I misunderstood what global rate meant – ha! She tried to explain that all it meant was “the best rate”. I won’t fall for that again – I am presently looking into other brand hotel clubs!
    Beth K.

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