IHG’s new Accelerate promotion: my maximisation strategy!

IHG Rewards Club has announced the details of their next Accelerate promotion for fall 2016. This promotion will run between September 6 and December 15,2016 and in order to view your offer you will need to register for the promotion.

The promotion offers a minimum of 30,000 IHG points to new accounts, but your mileage may vary. The offers are applicable only on qualifying rates, which means usual revenue rates and not on crew rates or friends and family rates, etc.

I was quite unenthusiastic to see my offer and was almost sure that I’d give it a pass.

IHG Accelerate my offer details

Here’s my  Accelerate offer :

  1. Stay Once Get 1,000 points : I could complete this stay locally over a weekend at the Holiday Inn Mumbai or combine it with a weekend trip to Bangalore or Amritsar. Approximate Cost – INR 3,700
  2. Stay 4 nights and earn 4,000 points : Ajay and I have been thinking about re-visiting Amritsar & Bangalore for a while now. The Holiday Inn Amritsar goes for INR 3,700 per night and the Holiday Inn Bengaluru at INR 3,400 per nights. Should we choose to visit one or both these cities, the cost estimate for 4 nights stay will be approximately INR 15,000
  3. Spend USD 39 and earn 600 points :Spending INR 2700 over an evening drink at the roof top lounge in Dome, Intercontinental Marine Drive Mumbai will work here.
  4. Complete 3 of 3 and get 34,400 points : Bingo! No costs involved here.
  5. Stay once in September and get 5,000 points : I can club this with either 1. or 2. Again no costs involved here.

So, it looks like for an estimated spend of INR 17,700 I have the potential to earn 45,000 points. That would give me an approximate value of 40 paisa per point. Doesn’t sound too bad right ?

I then began to explore where all could I spend these points only to learn that for 45,000 I can’t  get a night’s redemption at most coveted Intercontinental properties like Bora Bora, Hong Kong and Singapore. Last year, I successfully completed my Accelerate offer and we used the bonus points earned for a reward night at the Intercontinental in Bora Bora.

Bora Bora

Ariel view of Intercontinental Bora Bora we took from the flight

Though this time around my options are limited and the return I can see myself getting is :

  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Mahabalipuram for 30,000 points. Cash price INR 7500/ night in peak season
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Mumbai for 25,000 points. Cash price INR 10,700/ night in peak season
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Pnom Penh for 25,000 points. Cash price INR 9,600/ night in peak season
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Bangkok for 35,000 points. Cash price INR 11,000/ night in peak season
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur for 30,000 points. Cash price INR 7300/ night in peak season
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Pattaya Resort for 35,000 points. Cash price INR 11,800/ night in peak season

My Accelerate offer alone does not make much sense and if I were to gain only 45,000 points from this offer I would definitely give it a pass this time. Fortunately for me I have a weeklong work trip coming up next month. This is just when the Accelerate promotion kicks in and since this will be an official trip my cost of earning 45,000 points will be reduced to zero.

Combining Accelerate + Book Direct = 75,000 IHG Rewards Club Points

Just when I was working out the numbers, I remembered about IHG’s Book Direct promotion  that is valid for stays upto September 30, 2016. To gain an extra 30,000 points on top of earning 45,000 points from my Accelerate, all I will have to do is split my stay into 3 stays instead of 2. And that will help me earn a total of 75,000 IHG Rewards points by combing the Accelerate and Book Direct promotion.

IHG 30Kpoints

Now let’s review what I can get for 75k points:

  • 3 nights stay at Intercontinental Pnom Penh for 25,000 points per night.
  • 2 nights stay at Intercontinental Bangkok for 35,000 points per night.
  • 2 nights stay at Intercontinental Pattaya Resort for 35,000 points per night.
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Hongkong for 50,000 points. Cash price INR 18,000/ night
  • 1 night’s stay at Intercontinental Times Square NYC for 60,000 points. Cash price INR 18,000/ night
  • 2 nights stay at Holiday Inn Singapore for 30,000 points per night. Cash price INR 21,300 for 2 nights
  • 2 nights stay at Holiday Inn Washington DC for 35,000 points per night. Cash Price INR 17,000 for 2 nights

Bottomline:

While my Accelerate offer does not make much sense all alone when I combine it with Book Direct promotion, there is some real value to be gained here. So, I am definitely going to maximise this promotion. I wouldn’t mind going to Singapore or Cambodia later in the year for a vacation.

What is your IHG Accelerate offer? Share with us  if you are thinking of completing the challenge and how you plan to maximise.

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