20% Discount Redeeming Award Stays At Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Etc.

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When I spoke with IHG’s Senior Vice President of Loyalty last week about the chain’s revamp of its elite program that is now in progress, she told me that they would be offering an award discount this week for top tier elites.

In fact they’re out now with an offer of 20% off redemptions and it is available to co-brand credit card customers.

  • Book by February 8, 2022
  • Stay by March 13, 2022
  • Can be used on stays up to 3 nights (longer stays get 4th night free as a credit card benefit)

This is a great offer, but only valid for close-in stays, likely driven by lower occupancy resulting from the Omicron wave of the pandemic. Still, my takeaway here is to view this as part of a larger story.

They’re still a mid-tier chain with some upper tier properties. They recognized a need to breath life into the program and they’re doing that. I don’t expect them to offer the best program or even the best properties overall (though often the best option in some cities). But they’re using the opportunity of the pandemic for both a reset and to launch an effort to become more competitive.

We’ve seen something similar from Shangri-La Circle and from GHA Discovery in the hotel space, and American AAdvantage has re-thought how elite status is earned. This creative destruction is good for consumers, so in a sense we’re seeing a shift of the pendulum like we haven’t seen in a decade.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m curious about your statement that IHG is a “mid-tier chain with some upper tier properties.” I won’t argue with that, but how would you characterize Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt?

  2. I just checked my previously booked nights in London for fall and see they raised the point rate between 20-25% in the last few days. Sounds like a great new program to raise their margins.

  3. Speaking of Chase and IHG improving their cards, the IHG Premier Card (and Sapphire Reserve) have added NEXUS as being eligible for a credit, not just GE and PreCheck.

  4. Worked for me Gary awesome Thanks!!!God forbid IHG or Chase would communicate with me!!
    Owe much of my value success to folks like you
    I just scored the Inter Continental San Francisco for 18000 point per night!
    Awesome! I added an extra night and canceled my bogo cert booking!

  5. @paul — IHG award night prices fluctuate pretty often — and it’s always a good idea to watch for a lower price before your stay – but I was holding three USA reservations during that promotional period, and rebooked all of them for 20% off.
    IHG is a back-up progam for me to Hyatt, where I’m a globalist, but I think it’s now the 2nd most useful hotel loyalty program. IHG is now miles ahead of Hilton (their primary USA competitor) in terms of value delivered to loyalty members.

  6. Have the IHG Premier card but saw no such offer when I logged in and started/tried to book an award stay for the first weekend in March. Both the cash and points cost(s) were unchanged from when I checked a few days ago.

    Womp womp.

  7. I have written to ICH Group to complain about the $10.00 “service fee” imposed on the stay. I booked a room and noted on the final page before committing to the reservation of this “service fee”. What this “bait and switch” scheme is to make the traveler think that the rate is less than nearby competitors. I canceled that reservation and booked a different ICH hotel in the same city. Again, $10.00 service fee. I’m also guessing that there is no daily room service, although there was no mention of that. I booked my stay at a Hilton property that had a comparable rate without the “service fee”. The price was about the same per night but no chicanery. I’m in the airline business. I will use up my meager ICH points and add to my 280,000 points with Hilton. Buh bye Holiday Inn and their lot!

  8. I have both the IHG select and premier. Not working when I’m logged in. My friend who has both as well, is seeing it when she is logged in. So targeted?

  9. Same same. My wife and I have the legacy cards, got no emails and see no discount. I think this is targeted, or maybe not applicable to the old cards?

  10. I dunno; I see comments elsewhere about people with the old card who got the offer and people with the new one who didn’t. So either it’s targeted and/or shitty IHG IT as usual.

  11. @Larry It’s most likely an IT issue. Talked to IHG rewards agents and was told I should have seen the discount when logged in and they had no idea why.

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