Two weeks ago I noted the new list of participating IHG (which includes the likes of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn) hotels that had been released for the excellent PointBreaks promotion. However, in order to take advantage, you needed to have some IHG points. I listed a number of ways to earn these points and today I am going to turn to a deal that has the potential to be the best of the lot – depending on how you play it.

Over the last couple of years, IHG’s ‘quarterly’ offers have been individually customised. Each person has received a personalised target – with a series of achievement bonuses available along the way. For every target completed, a further tranche of points is earned.  This promotion is known as IHG Accelerate. And it has returned once more.


What does an Accelerate target look like?

While they vary from person to person, some of the tasks include booking a stay through the IHG App, spending a certain amount on F&B at a hotel, completing a certain number of nights at IHG brands and even taking out the IHG credit card.

To give you a better idea, here is what my challenge looks like this time around:

  • Stay Once – Get 2,000 bonus points
  • Stay More, Earn More – Get closer to the rewards you want when you stay 5 night(s) and earn 10,000 bonus points.
  • Travel with the IHG® App – Book 2 stay(s) with the IHG® App and earn 4,800 bonus points.
  • Earn More, Faster – Earn 6,600 bonus points when you book 1 Bonus Points Package stay(s) and get to your next reward faster.
  • Get an IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card – Successfully apply for the IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card or IHG® Rewards Club Premium Credit Card and earn 2,000 points.
  • Your Achievement Bonus – Complete 4 of the 5 offers and earn (an additional) 14,600 bonus points.

And as an added bonus:

  • Big Apple Bonus – Stay 2 or more nights at participating IHG® hotels in New York City and earn 4,000 bonus points.
  • September Bonus Offer – Stay once in September and get 3,000 bonus points.

To be clear the last 2 ‘targets’ don’t count towards the “4 out of 5 offers” required to unlock the achievement bonus.

As you can see I have the potential to earn a maximum of 47,000 points if I were to complete all of the tasks listed above. But that isn’t always the best approach.

What is the best way to maximise this deal?

The trick here is to be clever and find the tasks that can be stacked.

For example, in my situation, I can earn a total of 31,200 from just 2 separate one-night stays if I ‘played it cleverly’.

How would I do it?

  • The first step for me to do is take out an IHG credit card (this assumes that I wouldn’t manage 5 nights at IHG hotels during the promotion). That brings me my first 2,000 points.
  • Then, I can earn 5,000 points by booking a single night stay during September (2,000 Stay Once + 3,000 September bonus).
  • I would make sure to book that stay through the IHG app and also book the stay as a Bonus Points Package (which often only costs a small premium). That would unlock a further 6,600 points, taking my tally to 13,600.
  • I could then book my second single-night (cheap) stay through the IHG app, netting me a further 4,800 points and unlocking my achievement bonus of 14,600 bonus points. Thus taking my overall points total to 31,200 IHG points.

Should you mattress run to earn these points?

Should you what?! Here is a concept I haven’t covered before on Tricks of the Trade. Yes, mattress running is a real phrase, at least in the miles and points world.

Mattress running refers to booking a hotel room(s) that you don’t otherwise need, solely to take advantage of a good promotion or deal.

In other words, a situation where the cost of booking said hotel room is eclipsed by the rewards that will be earned as a result of the stay.

In this instance, the question is highly subjective. It depends on what your personalised Accelerate target is AND how/where you intend to use the points earned.

Personally, I require only two one-night stays to trigger 30,000 points. Say I could pick up those nights at about £50 each (at Holiday Inn Heathrow T5/Holiday Inn Express London – ExCeL for example) and intended to use those points towards an otherwise expensive night at the InterContinental New York Times Square where rates can easily be £400+, that would be an excellent deal.

Similarly, if you had a more generous Accelerate target than mine, and work travel took you within a night or two of unlocking that bonus, it would make sense to see if you can do a couple of cheap mattress runs.

Top tip: If you are looking to book some cheap nights to reach your target – don’t forget you can get up to 30% off IHG hotels by using this link.

Full details are in this article here.


How to register

You need to visit this special registration page here and sign in using your IHG Rewards Club account details.

If you haven’t yet joined IHG Rewards Club, there is no fee and you can do so here.

Stays must take place between 1st September 2017 and 31st December 2017 (dates inclusive).

Full terms and conditions can be found on this page.


Verdict

How you go about maximising this promotion is going to be very subjective. Much may depend on work travel patterns. If you have 2-5 hotel nights coming up for business purposes anyway, you may well want to see if you can book them/switch them to an IHG hotel. Triggering your Accelerate target would then be a piece of cake. Finding cheap rooms to for mattress runs may also be appealing depending on the nature of your Accelerate target.

Either way, promotions like this one are a great way to really boost your points balances to ensure you have a substantial pot to redeem from when the opportunity calls.

Head over to the Accelerate homepage to view your personalised offer.



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