The bonuses attached to the promotion are the only things that interest me, not the Coca-Cola co-brand prize offerings or – per the press release I got yesterday – “team[ing] up with actor Josh Lucas for the Ultimate Movie Moment Experience.”
There are some things I really like about IHG Rewards Club these days.
- I like that IHG Rewards Club has been aggressive and creative with promotions, such as with the Big Win.
- I like that the complicated, gamified nature of these promotions.
- I like that IHG Rewards Club offers lots of bonuses, great return on spend for earning free nights.
And things I do not like as much.
- I don’t like that the program lacks meaningful elite benefits (outside of Intercontinental Hotels’ Royal Ambassador status).
- I don’t like that what few benefits do exist do not have to be honored for the most part on award nights (although some hotels do out of their own generosity).
- I don’t like that the program doesn’t offer an option to redeem points for better than a base room, a bigger deal to me since I can’t count on elite benefits being honored on award nights.
It’s fascinating that even as the rest of the loyalty industry is grousing about and trying to crack down on ‘gamers’ (a.k.a. “us”), IHG Rewwards Club embraces gamification.
It’s also bizarre that a loyalty program embracing gamification in its promotions has also become known for shutting down accounts without explanation, essentially over activities that look like gamification.
Nonetheless, they’re making the program fun and I give them credit for that even as I find this promotion fairly unrewarding. I wish others would embrace ‘fun’ too. (Bring back the US Airways Grand Slam!)