IHG Rewards (formerly Priority Club) used to be one of the absolutely most generous programs for free nights because you could sign up for tons of promotions, earn them all on the same stays, and wind up with a windfall of points.
Basically IHG Rewards would send out different kinds of offers, and anyone who wished could register for them. See, for instance, this list from early in the year.
You might earn points on your next stay, for your next stay within 90 days, for a weekend stay, and for being an elite member. And you might earn them all on a single stay! Then again, you might not, and if they didn’t automatically post you couldn’t usually go chase after them.
This year the program started cracking down on members who were doing this. IHG Rewards offered promotions, let members register for those promotions, and then award points. And closed the accounts of members for it. Because blaming the customer is always the best strategy.
Now we know they’re actually serious about this.
I set up ‘change detections’ on the terms and conditions of many of the loyalty programs I participate in. Today IHG Rewards added the following to their terms and conditions:
POINTS FROM PROMOTIONS
IHG® Rewards Club may offer limited-time promotions that offer bonus points and/or partner credits. These promotions are governed by Membership Terms & Conditions but may have additional Terms & Conditions specific to the individual promotion. Many of these promotions are only available to IHG® Rewards Club members who receive a specific, targeted communication from IHG. Registration for a targeted offer for which you are not invited to participate is not permitted. Doing so is a program violation and may result in the freezing of your account, the forfeiture of all of your point transfers, rewards, vouchers, or merchandise issued pursuant to point redemptions and any accrued points or miles in your account, as well as cancellation of the account and your future participation in the Program.
So you’re warned.
Except you’re not, because they merely updated a website and haven’t actually told members this.
So you are warned, because I’ve warned you. But lots of other members? Not so much.