IHG (InterContinental, Holiday Inn, several other brands) has announced its winter promotion, and it continues a long tradition of individualized bonuses. Based on your previous stay patterns, IHG gives you a number of “tasks.” You can complete one or all of them, but usually get extra points if you finish them.
I’ve always loved the IHG promos. Not because they are so great, although they can be. Rather, they are a reflection on how the company looks at loyalty. People who stay with IHG frequently get difficult promos, but ones that are worth a lot of points. People like me, well, don’t. Mine is easy, but for fewer points.
IHG’s business premise is simple. They know that, if you have another primary hotel, they won’t win all of your business. Thus, they’re happy to have you stay two or three more times than you did last year. If every customer did that, they’d have some happy shareholders. On the other hand, if you already give them all or most of your business, they’re set. No reason for them to give you a great bonus for a couple of extra nights.
Generally, these promotions work out best for those who only stay with them a few times per year. Promos are easy and you can earn enough points for a free night. Here’s a look at my offer (Yours will likely be different.). I’ll discuss the offer itself and the concept of “stackability.”
My IHG Free Nights Faster Offer
My targeted promotion offers me up to just over 50,000 points.* IHG rewards typically cost 10,000-50,000 points. It has a mix of tasks, most of which are, individually, pretty easy. The main task is to stay at two different brands during the promo period. No problem. The company has 10-12 brands, most of which are on the cheaper end. Reading the T&C, I also notice that Holiday Inn Express is a different brand than all of the other Holiday Inns (Resort, Select, Vacation). The three brands that I just listed are, for the purpose of this promotion, one brand. Express is a different brand.
The rest of the offer is “a bit of this and a bit of that.” Paying for a stay with my credit card is easy. Buying “bonus points packages,” which gives me extra points for my stay, will only cost me a few dollars. And I can easily bang out a stay in February.
Here’s where it gets interesting: The nights are stackable. That means that I don’t have to stay at two brands, and then two weekends, and then two more nights at any hotels. Rather, I can book a bonus package at each of two different brands, which would fulfill the requirements for the entire deal. The Saturday night stay also counts as an IHG hotel, a brand, paying with my card, etc.
This is a deal that actually does what it’s supposed to: It may get me to schedule a couple of nights at IHG brands. The toughest restriction is the weekend night, but that’s doable.
Be sure to check your own promotion and see what they are offering you.
*Beginner’s Hint: In any promotion, it’s important to read the terms and conditions. That statement applies double for this one, which can often get confusing.
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