IHG Rewards Introducing Round 2 of “The Big Win” as Their First Quarter Major Promotion

IHG Rewards (formerly Priority Club) ran a promotion called “The Big Win” which started in September.

They’re bringing back The Big Win promotion for the first quarter of 2014. The website for the offer will go live over the weekend.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is kicking off 2014 in a big way by offering loyal IHG® Rewards Club members more opportunities to earn free travel through the next installment of its hotel rewards promotion, “The Big Win.” This is a first of its kind promotion, which provides each loyal guest with an individually tailored set of offers.

“We have found that introducing tailored offers through “The Big Win” has been beneficial for both our guests and our hotels,” said Jim Sprigg, director, Database Marketing & CRM Solutions, IHG. “So, this January, we are launching a new and improved version of ”The Big Win” promotion based on guest feedback, with offers that are even more relevant and appealing to diverse types of guests who are loyal to the IHG family of hotel brands, including select offers with a greater focus on our individual hotel brands.”

With the past round, members received customized offers based on their stay histories. I was offered just over 70,000 points which could be earned in a minimum of 7 nights. Some people were offered more than double that amount with varying requirements.

And of course these points are stackable with other bonuses that the program may be running.

The promotion operated as a game, with points for different activities like:

  • Points for a single stay
  • Points for a target number of nights
  • Points for staying at more than one brand that’s part of IHG Rewards
  • Points for online or mobile booking
  • Points for taking a survey
  • Points for staying at multiple hotels in a specific list of cities
  • Points for Saturday night stays
  • Points for doing all of the above

As many points as this offer sounded like, IHG Rewards points can be effectively purchased at 7/10ths of a cent per point so it isn’t quite as valuable as it seems, you don’t want to spend more than the cost to buy the points to earn the bonus.

That means that for most members and with most offers it isn’t worth mattress running from scratch to earn the points. But it could make sense to (1) make an incremental stay to earn the final bonus and bonus for doing all of the included activities, or (2) shifting some incremental business over to an IHG Rewards hotel if it’s going to help you earn a big bonus.

Clearly the promotion seemed to work for them, since they plan to repeat it. As the industry as a whole moves away from gamification, IHG Rewards seems to be finding that it can work to their benefit (and certainly during the portion of the year when hotel occupancy drops).

In the next few days you’ll be able to register and see what customized offer you’ve received, and be able to calculate whether it’s worth a focus on IHG in the first quarter.

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 hope it comes out soon so I can see if I want to finish my current big win or wait for a more lucrative first qtr win.

  2. they must be happy with the result, it’s not great for long term stayers to reach the targets with exception of nights and saturday nights

  3. Or – the big win was a big LOSE. And now rather than to try and market a brand new promo they will simply extend an existing promo, and try to improve it in several areas to get the results they hoped for. That’s what I think, my 2cents.

    I calculated what my spend would have been – and there is no way I could justify participating in the big win, as it stands now (with what they offered me).

  4. Does stay counts toward two or three goals? For example, I see one goal is to stay at 3 different brand and I also see I need to stay 2 sat night. If I stay 1 sat night at holiday inn, does that count toward both goals?

  5. @Frank Yes, each stay can count many times. A stay, a Saturday, a brand, and a city. So you could credit for up to 4 categories in the same stay.

  6. This is what they gave me for tasks this time:

    Stay a total of 9 nights and earn 10,000 points.
    Stay at 2 Holiday Inn® hotels and earn 8,000 points.
    Stay at 2 Holiday Inn Express® hotels and earn 4,800 points.
    Book 1 stays through the Best Flexible Rate with Breakfast and earn 2,000 points.
    Book 2 separate stays through an IHG® hotel website or mobile device to get our Best Price Guarantee and earn 3,200 points.
    Complete a simple survey and earn 100 points.
    Stay 2 Saturday nights and earn 4,800 points.

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