Success: 55K Points Earned for a 1 Night Hotel Stay! (And Frustration with IHG)

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accelerate

IHG Rewards Club Mileage Run

A couple of weeks ago (before the unfortunate IHG Rewards Club devaluation) I wrote about my wife’s planned mattress run to complete most of her offers for the IHG Rewards Club Accelerate promotion. I figured that a simple one night stay would trigger enough of the offers to award close to 50,000 points when all was said and done at a cost of 1/4 cent per point. I was wrong, she actually earned more and it was cheaper!

Candlewood Suites Las Vegas

This was a nice touch. It doesn't look like it, but those are little chocolates.
This was a nice touch. It doesn’t look like it, but those are little chocolates.

For the mattress run we chose the Candlewood Suites Las Vegas. We chose this hotel since it was nearby to where we were going to be and it also had close to the best rates. This kept the combination of time/money as efficient as possible.

Once at the hotel we checked in and were informed that my wife was upgraded from a Studio to a 1 Bedroom suite as a Platinum. (Think extended stay not luxury.) This was nice and it was the same upgrade I had received on a previous mileage run. She made sure that they took and charged her IHG Rewards Club Mastercard for the night, since that was a requirement of one of the offers.

After a quick walk upstairs to see the room (where we were surprised to see a handwritten note), we headed out to dinner and the rest of our night never to return. Including the small diversion from where we were already going, our total time commitment was 30 minutes for this mattress run and the total points earned were substantial.

Points Earned

Here is a breakdown of the points she earned for the stay:

  • Welcome Bonus: 500 points
  • Welcome Bonus: 500 points (for some reason they gave her two)
  • Qualifying Stay: 7,817 points (includes base points, elite bonus and winback bonus)
  • MasterCard Priceless Surprise Reward: 1,000 points
  • MasterCard 5X: 611 points
  • Stay Once in January Accelerate: 5,000 points
  • Stay Once During Promotion: 5,000 points
  • Book 1 Bonus Points Package: 2,000 Points
  • Book on IHG Mastercard: 1,500 points
  • Complete 3 of 4 offers: 31,500 points
  • Total Earned: 55,428
  • Total Cost: $122.08
  • Cost per point: $.0022 which is less than the predicted $.0025!
The email shows the goals as complete, but the website doesn't and the points have not posted.
The email shows the goals as complete, but the website doesn’t and the points have not posted.

Takeaways, Frustrations & Data Points

  • Even though it only takes a couple of days for the points to post from the stay, the Accelerate points take much longer. As of now none of them have posted and one of the offers (the use an IHG credit card) doesn’t show as complete on their site.
  • IHG does send you an update via email when you complete an offer. (Shown above.) That update shows all of the offers completed, so I know the points will post. It just shouldn’t take so long and it isn’t consumer friendly to have the site say something different.
  • In some cities properties are even cheaper than the one I booked. That would bring the cost per point down significantly.
  • The reason my wife earned 55K instead of about 50K as I had originally thought, was that she was eligible for an elite winback promotion. Search your emails from IHG to see if you have any codes that can be applied. There are also codes on Flyertalk, but IHG has been known to shutdown accounts for using codes that you weren’t targeted for.

Conclusion

Everyone receives different offers quarterly from IHG. For my wife, it had been about a year since she had an offer worth looking at. As things continue to change in this hobby at a rapid pace, it is ever more important to jump on great deals when they come. I do wish we would have had a legitimate stay so that the money wasn’t “spent”, but this is how it worked out and it is still a wonderful deal. IHG isn’t my favorite company, but you can’t argue with the value of this promotion, even if top tier hotels now cost more.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. I completed my stays on Jan. 3 &5 and they just posted to my promotion page today. I’m actually quite grateful I didn’t have to email, follow up, email again, etc, like I have had to do for every other IHG promotion.

  2. On the other hand my Priceless promotion emails arrived within 1 week of my mailing them and points were posted in less than 5 days.

    Question: do you recommend using the IHG card or the CSP for IHG stays? My IHG card sits in my drawer..

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