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IHG has been running their quarterly Accelerate promotions for quite awhile. You can catch the link to the 2019 Q4 Accelerate here and see your customized offer.
It used to be that you could get truly insane amounts of points and free nights from completing different promos – now there still can be value, but it’s much more selective and targeted. I usually check both my and my wife’s IHG accounts each quarter, but because so many of our stays are award stays, we don’t generally complete them
Our Q4 2019 Accelerate offer
My wife’s current IHG Accelerate offer is as follows
You can see that we’ve already completed 1 of the offers and gotten a chunk of a few others with our stay at the Staybridge Suites Orlando at SeaWorld earlier this month.
Completing the offer
We have 2 upcoming trips coming up that we need to book hotels at. One is my wife and son going to Mammoth Cave Kentucky and another is my daughter and I going to visit Big Splash Adventure in French Lick Indiana. I have been avoiding booking these hotels because I am suffering major analysis paralysis. The Holiday Inn Express in Horse Cave, Kentucky (yes that’s the actual name of the city) is a Category 3 IHG hotel at 20,000 points, but the cash rate is only $86.97 after tax
While I’m a big fan of not spending money where you don’t have to, that really is a horrible redemption value for IHG points (0.4 cents per point). So then I looked at the IHG hotels near French Lick, Indiana. There is only a Best Western (28,000 BW points) and a Comfort Suites (25,000 Choice points) in French Lick itself, so first I looked at the Holiday Inn Express in Bedford, Indiana. But looking back at the Accelerate offer, I need to stay in 3 different brands, so 2 Holiday Inn Expresses wouldn’t cut the mustard. Expanding my range a bit I found the Candlewood Suites in Bloomington Indiana. I thought it was much further out but looking at the maps, it only adds about 13 minutes to our total drive time, so definitely doable.
Comparing the options
Okay so first we have
- Pay 20,000 IHG Points for 1 night at the Holiday Inn Express in Horse Cave, Kentucky
- Pay 20,000 IHG points for 1 night at the Holiday Inn Express in Bedford, Indiana.
This is the simplest option and what I would do in a vacuum with no Accelerate offer
- Pay $86.97 for 1 night at the Holiday Inn Express in Horse Cave, Kentucky – earn 40x points with the IHG credit card – total of 3,156 points
- Pay Cash + Points – 20,000 points + $72 for TWO nights at the Candlewood Suites in Bloomington Indiana.
Yes I pay for an EXTRA night that I don’t really need, in order to complete the second half of the Saturday Stays bonus. This Candlewood Suites is only a Category 2 (15,000 points) so that saves some points but no cinnamon rolls….
So this nets out to
- Pay $158.97
- Pay 20,000 points
- Earn 3,156 points from the first stay
- Earn the remaining 63,400 points from Accelerate
- Not have to pay 40,000 points for the 2 hotel nights I need
So net – pay $158.97 to earn ( / save) 86,656 IHG points. That’s like paying 0.18 cents per point for IHG points – a huge bargain!
What about you? Are you completing your IHG Accelerate offers this quarter?
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I’d pay cash on this even if there was no accelerate promo. I just value the IHG points more than the cash rate reflects.
In my experience Cash+Points nights don’t count towards the other Accelerate goals. However, even if you cancel and get refunded in points it still counts towards Accelerate. So to make this work you’d need to make a cheap booking Cash+Points then cancel and pay cash for your second stay.
Yeah – after I wrote this last night I was doing a bit of research and I believe you’re right. Any C+P bookings will only trigger the C+P Accelerate offer and not count towards ANY of the other ones. That’s a good tip on canceling the Cash + Points Booking – I will have to crunch the numbers again to see if it still makes sense.
Yes that is definitely true. If you look when you do cash and points it actually shows that cash buying points, so in their view it’s actually a points stay.
My partner and I were staying at the Staybridge Seaworld 11/12 through 11/14, so we just missed each other… would have been nice to chat. With rebooking two times before check-in I was able to stay there for 64,35 USD per night + tax in a King Studio. Excellent value for Orlando, especialy with the evening social / dinner included in both nights.
BTW I envy your wifes Accelerate, I only got 25k PTS for simular challenges. FYI I booked the P&C when there was 20% discount on P&C, the points posted immediately… and remained in my account after I had to cancel, since the offer t&c’s didn’t include a stay requirement.
Ah – that would have been fun. And that’s a really good rate! I think we paid about $480 after tax for the 4 nights but then they upgraded us to the 2BR suite as well after I emailed and asked. When I do that it’s harder for me to cancel and rebook since then I have to go ask them again
And my Accelerate offer is crappy like yours 🙂
It is usually a better deal to buy the points when you get 100% bonus.
Buying IHG points with 100% bonus buys you points at a rate of 0.5 cents per point