REGISTER NOW: Maximum 301k points in IHG Rewards club ‘4X’ promotion. Realistically a lot less.

Finally a hotel promotion for this year! Although as you will see through the post, this promotion isn't as good as what IHG makes it sound.

The Promotion

IHG Rewards Club have launched a promotion which is simple to sign up and gain the points, but is quite obviously aimed at exponentially rewarding those who spend significant amounts of nights in their properties. The link to sign up is here, or just click the image below.

You can earn up to a maximum of 301,000 bonus points for stays between 15th February – 15th May 2020. In order to do so you must register for the promotion before 15th April 2020.

How are the bonus points calculated?

The bonus points, which are awarded in addition to your normal points for a paid stay, are calculated as follows:

  • Your first night earns 1000 points
  • Your 2nd-5th nights earn 2X bonus points up to a maximum of 100,000 awarded. (In other words, an additional 100% base points)
  • Your 6th-14th nights earn 3X bonus points up to a maximum of 100,000 awarded,
  • Your 15th night and beyond will earn 4X bonus points up to a maximum of 100,000 awarded.

You normally get 10 points per $1USD (pre-tax) you spend on a stay. So in the 2X bracket you will earn an additional 10 points per $1.

The Optimal Strategies

There are a couple of optimal strategies here. The first is somewhat unrealistic and the latter is my recommendation.

The unrealistic optimum

Due to the fact that there is a cap per level and fewer nights to earn it, it actually makes sense to put your most expensive stays in nights 2-5, if you do not have many more than 15 nights booked until 15th May 2020. In order to earn the maximum 100000 points in the 2X category you will need to spend $5000 over four nights, so an average of $1250/night before tax, which is wildly unrealistic amount by most people's standards.

In the 3X bracket, you can earn maximum 100000 points over 9 nights, so you need to be spending $3333 over 9 nights, averaging $370/night. Still somewhat unrealistic for leisure travellers, but certainly possible for high-end business travellers.

In the 4X bracket, there is a theoretical maximum is 77 nights if you triggered all 14 nights in the earliest dates of the promotion. You need to spend $2500/($77/night) = $32.5/night which is just above the qualifying rate. If you spend, say $350/night which is in keeping with the typical spending above, it would take you 8 nights to trigger the maximum earning possible.

All the above would mean you have spent 23 nights in hotels over 3 months.

The more realistic

Assuming you are a business traveller whose average hotel stay cost about £140/night inc. VAT (or £116.67 ex. VAT) then this converts to $153USD base earning rate, so 1530 base points per night.

In the 2X category you would get 12240 points, 3X level would get 41310 points. Even by the 14th night you would only have reached 27% of the maximum available which includes the 1000 points ‘freebie' for the first night.

In the 4X you would be earning 6120 points per night so it would take you a further 17 nights to reach the maximum 100K points here.

Given how unlikely you would hit the maximum in 2X level, if you have a super-expensive stay coming up, you should try to make sure these fall into your 6th night and beyond, preferably into the 15th night and beyond.

If you need to pad out your stays up front, I highly suggest looking at my “Cheapest IHG Properties in UK” post to find some suitably cheap ones to get you past the 2X category and into the ‘proper' earning levels.

Bottom line

The headline 301,000 points is somewhat misleading for this promotion, and even the 2X level will be somewhat lost on many. You realistically need to be spending huge amounts to make this promotion work favourably, either through expensive nights near the start, or spending a lot of nights and then spending a lot beyond that. Though I have already tried to explain the promotion, you can also see the full Terms and conditions here.

For the uninitiated you can also check my Beginner's Guide to IHG Rewards Club post, but make sure you sign up for this promotion first.

 

About Tim

Tim is an engineer and a nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

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Comments

  1. This is interesting because I interpreted the rules to say that the maximum BONUS earnings are 100k per level so as 2-5 nights only earns an extra 10 points/$ courtesy of this promotion that would require $10,000 of spending to hit the max

    • The T&Cs are a bit of a mess and leave a bit up to interpretation. Each level says something like “During nights 2-5, you will be awarded double points for up to 100,000 points.”. Using your interpretation it would mean you earn 200,000 points of which 100,000 are the bonus points.

      Admittedly I did think your version at first but I think it is my argument above.

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