While most banks, airlines, and hotel programs have been cracking down on “gaming”, IHG has taken the opposite approach. They’ve regularly run promotions that are like games. They target different customers with different challenges in order to earn bonus points.
The problem for me has been that most of my offers in the past have been terrible. With the latest IHG Q3 Accelerate promo, though, I like what I see!
The following bonuses are based on the offers targeted to me for travel between September 1 and December 31:
6,500 bonus points from one stay
As you can see in the image above, several of my offers allow bonus point earnings on a single stay:
- Stay once, get 2,000 bonus points
- Book and pay for one stay with your IHG credit card, get 1,500 bonus points
- Stay once in September and get 3,000 bonus points
Nice. If I book a single one-night stay in September and pay with my IHG card, I should earn 6,500 bonus points.
36,700 bonus points from 3 stays
If I were to do three stays, I could earn even more:
- Stay at 3 brands, get 19,200 bonus points
- Achievement bonus: Complete 3 of the first 4 offers and get 11,000 bonus points (I would earn this by staying at 3 brands and paying at least once with my IHG credit card)
With 3 stays, I could earn an additional 30,200 bonus points for a total of 36,700.
Even more points possible with 3 stays
I don’t think it is likely that I’d complete these two options:
- If my 3 stays were to span 5 nights, I’d get an additional 10,000 bonus points
- If 2 nights were in New York City, I’d get 3,000 more points
The usual points too
In addition to all of the promotional points listed above, I’d of course also earn points from the stay itself (10 points per dollar at most brands, 5 points per dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites) + a 50% bonus thanks to my Platinum status (which I have because I have the IHG credit card). And, I’d earn an extra 5 points per dollar when I pay with the IHG credit card.
With these standard earnings, if I were to spend 3 nights at $100 per night, I could earn $300 x 20 = 6,000 points.
Worth mattress running?
A mattress run is where you book and check in to a hotel just for the points and/or to earn status. You can literally walk up to the front desk to check in, then leave the hotel without even stepping into the room.
The other day I wrote that I’m planning my first mattress run in years. Between a targeted offer and a public offer from Wyndham, booking a night just for the points is well worth it. Is that true with this IHG promo too?
Let’s assume that I go for the 36,700 bonus points that I can get with 3 one-night stays. According to our Reasonable Redemption Values, IHG points are worth about .54 cents each. That means that one can reasonably expect to get .54 cents value per point. With 36,700 points, I can reasonably expect to get about $200 in value.
For a 3 stay mattress run to be worthwhile, though, I would have to pay far less than $200 in order for it to be worth the effort. There is no reason to spend $200 on hotel nights just to get $200 worth of points. That’s going backwards. I’d want to get $200 worth of points for $100 or less, and with minimal fuss. Is that even possible? Probably not.
So, I wouldn’t exclusively mattress run, but if I had a couple of qualifying stays that I would have done anyway, it would be worth mattress running for that third stay. I’d have to make sure each stay is with a different brand and would ideally have at least one stay in September.
How about you?
Did you get a good 3rd quarter IHG Accelerate offer? Are you planning to mattress run? Comment below.