IHG Q4 2020 Promo: Earn 2x Points + 10,000 Points (For Cardholders) After Your First Stay

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IHG Rewards Club has opened registration for its next quarterly promotion and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Although it’s not as generous as Hyatt’s plethora of promotions, the first stay during the promotion period should be very rewarding for cardholders, especially if you’re only booking a one night stay.

IHG Unlimited Double Points

The Deal

  • Earn double points on paid stays at IHG properties.
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points on your first paid stay when paying with an IHG credit card.
  • Direct link to registration.

Key Terms

  • You must be an IHG Rewards Club member and must register your member number in advance of staying, to participate in the “Unlimited Double Points 2020” promotion (“Promotion”). Upon registration members will be presented with the opportunity to earn bonus points upon completion of nights when paying Qualifying Rates (as such rates are defined in the IHG Rewards Club terms and conditions). Bonus Points will only be awarded from the base points earned with each qualifying stay.
  • You must register for the promotion and book before December 15, 2020.
  • This promotion is not available to residents of the Greater China region.
  • All Qualifying Stays (a minimum 1-night stay booked under a Qualifying Rate, with total spend exceeding US $30) between October 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020 after registering for the promotion will be awarded double points.
  • There is no cap on the total number of points awarded for the duration of the Promotion.
  • By clicking “click to register” you are registering for the Promotion.
  • Members will be awarded bonus points based upon the number of nights consumed during the Promotion at IHG brand hotels.
  • Stays must be booked and completed before December 15, 2020.
  • The bonus points earned during the Promotion can be used towards Reward Nights, can be redeemed for merchandise, or for other redemption opportunities.
  • Bonus Points earned during the Promotion are not elite qualifying.
  • For cardmembers using an IHG Rewards Club Credit Card from Chase, an additional 10,000 Bonus Points will be awarded on your first qualifying stay during the promotional period at any IHG Hotel and Resort worldwide.
  • Please allow up to 4 to 6 weeks for Promotion bonus points to be credited.
  • For new Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card accounts opened during the promotional period, please allow 4 to 6 weeks after the promotional period for bonus points to be credited.
  • The 10,000 Bonus Points cardmembers earn from this promotion are separate from points earned from credit card spend on IHG transactions.
  • IHG reserves the right of final interpretation of this Offer.
  • This offer is not from Chase. Chase is not responsible for the provision of, or failure to provide, the stated benefits and services.
  • Bonus points will post directly to your IHG® Rewards Club account and will not appear on your credit card statement.

Quick Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, this promotion is a bit of a mixed bag. On the downside, 2x points isn’t a very generous return considering IHG has offered up to 4x points with their last two promotions and Hyatt is offering a significantly better return on both paid and award stays through the end of the year.

On the plus side, you’ll earn double points from your very first stay, rather than it being one of those eye roll-worthy promotions that only awards points from your second stay that had become all too common with hotel chains over the past couple of years.

Even better, your first stay will be particularly rewarding if you have an IHG credit card and pay for the stay with that card. That’s because you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points which is an excellent return, especially if the stay is only for one night. 10,000 points is enough for a free night at a decent number of their properties in the US; that’ll usually be their Candlewood Suites brand which comes with a full kitchen, although there are some Holiday Inn Express properties that only cost 10,000 points too.

IHG Rewards Club also dropped the number of points you need to redeem for a free night in recent months following their move to dynamic pricing, so 10,000 bonus points for a one night paid stay can get you much closer to an award at a more aspirational property than a Candlewood Suites in Peoria, IL.

Going back to the double points element of the promotion, IHG offers 10x base points per dollar at all their brands, other than Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites which offer 5x per dollar. Double points therefore means you’ll be earning 20x or 10x depending on the brand you stay at during the promotion period.

IHG also offers bonus points if you have status with them. The most common status will be Platinum seeing as that’s what comes with their two credit cards that carry an annual fee. Platinum status gives you a 50% bonus on base points (but not on the bonus points you’ll receive from this promotion), so that’s an additional 5 points per dollar at most of their brands.

In addition to that, IHG Premier credit cardholders earn 10x bonus points per dollar, while IHG Select cardholders earn 5x. That means that if you pay for your stays with an IHG Premier card, you’ll earn 35x points at most of their brands, in addition to the 10,000 points earned on your first stay. For those with Spire Elite status, you’d earn 40x when paying with an IHG Premier as that status offers a 100% bonus on base points.

Should You Mattress Run This IHG Promotion?

Nick and Greg will likely discuss this promotion as part of “Mattress Running The Numbers” in a future podcast, but I figured I’d give my take on it for now. While this promotion isn’t inherently mattress run-worthy, it might be worth booking a one night stay if you’re an IHG cardholder and can find a cheap property at which to book if you’re looking for an excuse to get away for one night.

For example, when doing a search in Texas, I saw one property in Houston and one in Midland that only cost $57.76 before tax for a one night stay. With tax, that comes to $65.85.

Candlewood Suites Midland SW, TX - $65.85

If this was your first stay during the promotion period (and it’s only potentially worth doing this if it would be your only stay), you’d earn the following points. Note that because both the properties I saw the cheap rate at were Candlewood Suites properties, you’d only earn 5x base points per dollar which affect some of the other bonus points earned.

  • 289 base points
  • 289 bonus points from this promotion
  • 144 bonus points from Platinum status
  • 659 bonus points by paying with the IHG Premier card
  • 10,000 bonus points from this promotion for your first stay
  • Total = 11,381 points

That’s a pretty good return for a stay costing you just under $66. You can save even more by clicking through from a shopping portal. TopCashback is offering 4% cashback at the time of writing this post which is calculated on the pre-tax amount. That means you’d earn $2.31, reducing your net cost to $63.54.

Having said all that, it’s not worth it in terms of a traditional mattress run where you book a stay but have no intention of sleeping there. That’s because IHG sometimes sells points for 0.5cpp, so you could buy 11,000 points for $55, meaning you could pick up the points cheaper that way than by mattress running. That’s why this is only worth a mattress run if it’s not actually a mattress run, but more as an incentive to book a one night stay that you might not have taken otherwise.

Stacking With Chase Offers & Amex Offers

There are currently a couple of IHG Chase Offers giving 5% or 10% back when spending $100 or more. Those are due to end next week which is before this double points promotion starts, but Chase sometimes extends the expiry date of Chase Offers It might therefore be possible to pay for a stay early on in the promo period to save a little money.

There are also Amex Offers for some IHG brands including Kimpton, Intercontinental and Hotel Indigo, so those can stack with this promo too.

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