How to Maximize the IHG Accelerate Promotion

Every quarter IHG rolls out a hotel promotion, specifically targeted to each person. Each and every quarter I calculate whether or not it makes sense to take part in the promotion and if it lines up with our travel plans.

However, completing the entire promotion doesn’t always make the most sense. I like to calculate the point at which the promotion is most lucrative.

Even though this quarter is almost over, I wanted to outline how two quick stays during our spring break last week maximized our IHG accelerate offer.

Update: You can see the New Q2 IHG Accelerate Promotion: Register and Maximize.

Register for Accelerate

Register for the IHG Accelerate Q1 promotion to get your offer. The Q1 accelerate offer ends April 15, 2017.

Here’s an example of what my offer looks like this quarter.

  • 5,000: One stay
  • 10,000: 5 nights
  • 8,000: 2 Holiday Inn Express hotels
  • 1,500: Pay with an IHG Credit Card
  • 15,500: Complete 3 of 4 offers
  • 1,000: One stay in March

After a one night stay posted, here’s my dashboard:

Calculate the Most Lucrative Option

I could stay 5 nights (including 2 separate stays at a Holiday Inn Express) and pay with my IHG card to complete the full offer for 41,000 points. However, 5 nights at an average cost of $100 per night would mean 41,000 points at an outlay of $500.

Instead of the full offer, I prefer to calculate the incremental value of each night stacking as many offers as possible. It looks like this:

  • One night: 5,000 (for one stay) + 1,000 (March stay) + 1,500 (pay with credit card) = 7,500 points
  • Second night: 8,000 (for a second Holiday Inn Express stay) + 15,500 (completing 3 offers) = 23,500 points
  • Third night: 0
  • Fourth night: 0
  • Fifth night: 10,000 points

Clearly, without any math, the most lucrative option is 2 nights! We booked two nights at a Holiday Inn Express at the beginning and end of our spring break trip to Taos.

Total Points and Overall Cost

Before the accelerate offer, we earned 2190 + 1941 points for the two nights and paid $235.17 ($125.89 + $109.28). The IHG credit card will earn 1175 more points for one stay. I used a different credit card for the second night.

Total earnings for two nights: 36,306 points. If I redeem the points for points breaks hotel nights at 5,000 each, I’ve earned 7 free nights! Using a median value of 0.559 per point the value of the points earned is $229.19.

Either way I value the points, the earnings on the two nights essentially cover two nights for our trip!

More on IHG

Take the Best Offer. I register both my husband and myself and pick the better offer.

Terms and Conditions. Be sure to read the terms and conditions. The way mine was worded, it implied that you could complete any 3 offers for the achievement bonus. However, buried in the terms and conditions, it excluded the March bonus as one of the offers.

Follow Up. The dashboard doesn’t always update with all of the bonuses. I keep a close eye on it and follow up if some of the offers don’t show as completed.

Chase IHG Credit Card. I used the Chase IHG credit card to complete our offer. After the sign up bonus, I kept the card open since it provides a free night each year after you pay the $49 annual fee. The Chase 5/24 rule doesn’t apply to the IHG card.

More on Hotels

What is the most lucrative combination to maximize your IHG accelerate promotion?

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