So, it’s been a while since I posted anything truly points related, but I was excited to learn recently about the IHG Accelerate Promotion for the last quarter of 2017. While I always check these promotions, very rarely are they actually worth something to me. This time though, I found some great opportunities!
It all starts with registering for the promotion. If you have an IHG account, the rest is simple. Go to this page, and login to register. If you don’t have an IHG account, simply go to that page and click “Join Now” instead of “Sign In.” Typically I’ll hear of these promotions on Reddit, Flyertalk, or another blog first.
Once I registered, here’s what I got:
Not a bad haul! To sweeten the deal, I already have a hotel stay booked in Chicago in October. With that one hotel stay, I’ll be meeting 3 (and a half) of the bonuses! Stay Once, A Bonus Weekend Stay, Big City Bonus, and half of the Change Your View promo.
Now all I need to do is book a Holiday Inn Express (to get the other half of the Change Your View promo) for some night in September.
This will net me a total of 36,000 IHG points:
- Stay Once – 1,000 points
- Change Your View – 5,600 points
- A Bonus Weekend – 4,000 points
- Big City Bonus – 2,400 points
- Achievement Bonus – 21,000 points
- September Bonus Offer – 2,000 points
Now, if I didn’t change my behavior at all for this promotion, I’d still end up with 7,400 Accelerate Promotion IHG points for the stay in Chicago. I’d be triggering the 3 promotions mentioned above. These points are essentially free (just need to register), since I’m not altering any of my plans to earn these extra promotions.
Booking an additional night in September, at a Holiday Inn Express, will garner me an additional 28,600 points by triggering the Change your View, Achievement Bonus, and September Bonus Offer. After looking at Holiday Inn Express locations in the Boston area, I think I can reasonably estimate a night will cost under $150 out of pocket. How much am I paying for those points?
$150 night cost / 28,600 IHG points = $0.00524 ~ .52 cents per point
IHG points are typically valued around .7 cents per point, so that’s not bad! Plus, that’s not all the points I’ll earn….I’ll also be getting IHG points for the stay itself, as well as credit card points. Let’s say I book on my new Citi Premier – I’ll get triple Citi ThankYou Points on that $150 charge. Let’s agree that those ThankYou Points are worth 1.5 cents per point.
$150 night cost x 3 ThankYou Points/$ spent on travel = 450 ThankYou Points
450 ThankYou Points x 1.5 cents per point = $6.75 estimated cash value
I’ll also be earning IHG points on the regular base spend at the hotel, just for being an IHG member. As a regular member, I earn 10 IHG points per dollar spent at most hotels, including Holiday inn Express. With a $150 cost, I’ll earn 1,500 more IHG points.
So, I’ve effectively dropped the cost of the night at the Holiday Inn Express I’ll be booking to $143.25, and tacked on an additional 1,500 IHG points, bringing the total haul to 30,100 points for this stay. With the new numbers…
$143.25 adjusted night cost / 30,100 total IHG points = $0.00475 ~ .48 cents per point
Ok, ok, so it’s not like I’m getting a miracle deal here, but it’s definitely worth staying that extra night. At that point, I’m effectively buying IHG points at .48 cents per point, which is about 69% of face value when assuming they’re worth .7 cpp.
Wouldn’t you take a coupon for 31% off a future hotel stay?
There’s my stay in Chicago! The Holiday Inn Chicago-Elk Grove, home of the Chicago Seminars. I went last year, and will be returning again this year, to learn as much as I can about travel hacking. If you’re interested, check out their Eventbrite page here, and I’ll see you in Chicago!