IHG’s Accelerate is no More! Replaced by Double Points “Plus More”

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I was recently wondering what had happened to IHG Rewards Club. Despite the calendar ticking over to September, we had yet to receive word of the autumn promotion. Naturally I assumed that we would see another “Accelerate”, but I was shocked to find out that IHG has decided to change things up. IHG’s autumn promotion – called Double Points Plus More – will run from 16 September until 16 December, 2018.

The base of the promotion is simple. Members will receive double points for paid stays, starting with their second stay.

You must register to participate in the Double Points Plus More promotion. You can do that by clicking here.

IHG Rewards Club members earn 10 points per US dollar spent at most IHG brands. After a series of stealth devaluations (where hotels steadily cost more points each year) I value an IHG point at 0.5 US cents (a bit less than 0.4p), which means that double points works out to an additional rebate of 5%.

Besides the “double points” element, IHG Rewards Club members will also receive one or more individual targets. i.e. the “and more”… I received this:

I recommend ignoring the “book with App” target, since you can earn a better rebate by booking through a cashback website such as Topcashback.

So… since I can earn double points from Hilton PLUS 2,500 Lufthansa miles per stay AND receive actual elite status benefits, I’ve cancelled my planned IHG stays for the autumn. Nice own goal for IHG…

What about you? What targets did you receive?


  1. Katie B says

    15,000 Double Your Stay
    Earn double points on every stay, starting with your second stay, up to 15,000 bonus points

    12,000 Saturday Stays Bonus
    Stay 2 weekend(s), including a Saturday night and another night, and earn 12,000 bonus points

    1 Upgrade to Gold Elite
    Stay 1 night(s) and enjoy the upgrades of Gold Elite status for 2019.

    Doesn’t encourage me to stay at IHG.

    • Andy says

      Giving people gold status (even though it doesn’t mean much with IHG) for staying 1 night is a bit harsh on the people that have earned it through stays.

      • Ant says

        Rubbish. IHG gives out gold with free credit cards. And gold gives diddly squat – a complimentary beverage. It is the Hilton Diamond match that made more people a bit grumpy – I just thought – c’est la vie’, and opened a new Hilton account and matched it to my IHG Spire – which in intself was matched from my original Hilton Diamond. In terms of stays though: IHG has two things going for it – point break and points accelerator. Lose those two and it can’t rely on status benefits – because it is dreadful at status at all levels, unless you put 25k+ USD through Intercontinental. Looks like Hilton is winning this quarter – but only by default. Another global recession is needed to level the playing field a bit.

  2. Rob Rixon says

    15,000 Double Your Stay
    Earn double points on every stay, starting with your second stay, up to 15,000 bonus points

    44,800 Discover Our Brands
    Stay at 4 brands and get 44,800 bonus points

    6,400 Travel with the IHG® App
    Book 2 stay(s) with the IHG® App and earn 6,400 bonus points

    6,400 Corporate Account Bonus
    Stay 8 time(s) using your corporate rate and earn 6,400 bonus points. Stays booked through your corporate portal count toward the promotion

    Mine’s not so bad. Although the Discover Our Brands element makes it nice and easy for where I am working around Heathrow.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      4 brands is indeed reasonably simple.

      Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express should be cheap and easy. Doing a Staybridge, Intercontinental or Indigo probably depends more on your employer’s budget…

      • James says

        My bonus for the 4 different brands target is only half the amount of points at 22,400.
        I feel ripped off by IHG because of this discrimination and won’t be staying with them at all.
        30 nights minimum over the next 2 months and they’ll all go to Hilton instead.

        Massive slap in the face from IHG 🙁

        • Rob Rixon says

          Bring back Accelerate!! I’ve got a cheeky (personal) stay at the O2 Intercontinental later on this month, so that will do quite nicely to go towards the 4 brands stay…

          • Craig Sowerby says

            I’d have thought you’d be happy enough as it is. 44.8K for potentially 4 nights is a nice way to justify a cheeky O2 IC stay to go with the biz travel…

  3. Ross says

    30,000 Double Your Stay
    Earn double points on every stay, starting with your second stay, up to 30,000 bonus points.

    And that’s all. Have also booked Hilton for the next few trips which comes with free breakfast.

  4. john browell says

    Not hugely inspiring. Probably won’t make the saturday ones.

    15,000 Double Your Stay
    Earn double points on every stay, starting with your second stay, up to 15,000 bonus points.

    6,400 Stay at Holiday Inn®
    Stay at 2 Holiday Inn® hotel(s)—including Holiday Inn Resort® and Holiday Inn Club Vacations®—and earn 6,400 bonus points.

    24,000 Saturday Stays Bonus
    Stay 2 weekend(s), including a Saturday night and another night, and earn 24,000 bonus points.

      • Michael Jennings says

        I got five 2-night stays on my Saturday target. If it was two, it would be fairly easy to change a couple of weekend stays I have booked already (one with Hilton and one with Accor) to IHG if I wanted to, but five weekends isn’t going to happen.

  5. stuart says

    Read this today…it would make a difference if true..

    The trick you might be missing is that your two night weekend stay does not need to be consecutive nights in the same hotel. It only needs to be consecutive nights at any 2 IHG hotels. Thus, in most cases with your two nights you can also hit, for example, 2 brands, 2 app bookings or 2 bonus point targets so it becomes a case of killing 2+ birds with one stone.

  6. Miles Hunt says

    It may get them stick for being unimaginative, but I much prefer the almost continual double points offers from Hilton to this. The “starting with your second stay” requirement just strikes me as mean. Hilton on the other hand will be throwing double (or treble) points at you from the word go.

    My “Plus More” targets are also pretty much unachievable, not least when I’ve got Hilton screaming “double points every time” at me.

  7. MP says

    I gave up on IHG along time ago. Used up my points on the odd free stay. ICan honestly say I don’t miss them. I’m happy being a diamond at Hilton. You can pick up rooms relatively cheap with lounge access, decent upgraded etc. Handy taking three kids away and everyone getting a free breakie.
    Stayed at Hilton Leeds last week and room only cost £48.
    Not the best hotel in Leeds but with breakie for five of us and room upgrade to a suite made it for us plus the miles and more.
    All the times I stayed at IHG we got nothing to write home about.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Great point – Hilton Diamond (and even Gold if you’re lucky re exec lounge) can lead to absolutely superb value for families. I’m not a big fan of the Hilton Leeds (or many of the hotels in Leeds actually, now I think about it!), but many people would be very happy paying £48 just for 5 breakfasts and the 2,500 M&M Miles.

      With IHG, it’s definitely the promotions that have kept be staying with them over the years – and this time my offer is as bad as most seem to be, so apart from a points booking or 2, I can’t see myself staying.

  8. Pangolin says

    Got the same worthless offer as Craig.

    Nothing at all here to make me switch from Hilton back to crummy IHG. Literally the only thing that made me stay in their properties was Accelerate offers and if Double Points is all they can muster that’s an easy decision to make.

  9. Pangolin says

    Craig, maybe you should do a story on how Marriott have cheated all those who took advantage of an SPG Select promo earlier in the year for double stays/nights. Those extra stays acquired during the promo were registered on the dashboard before the switchover but now they’ve all been removed. In fact, stay totals don’t even appear anywhere now – you can’t check them except by manually counting each one – but the CS agents who CAN see #stays say that these bonus stays acquired during the Select promo have been revoked!

    What’s worse is that many people used these extra stays to get their Platinum status confirmed (prior to Aug 18). It looks like those guys will keep Platinum – surely even Marriott can’t snatch it back off them. But those of us who were just a few stays below the magic 25 level have now had our stay total slashed by backing out all the credited bonus stays – putting Platinum qualification by year-end out of reach for myself, and no doubt others too.

    This is scandalous yet nobody seems to mention it (apart from a debate in one thread on FlyerTalk). In general, the bloggers have been scaredy cats in terms of calling Marriott out on their appallingly botched integration.

    Sorry for the OT rant, I just wanted to put it out there. I’m basically done with Marriott and all their incompetence and thievery!

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Pangolin, that’s outrageous if it sticks.

      I can’t speak for the big US blogs (where commercial considerations/relationships might or might not be a consideration – I don’t know), but more generally I think the reason why a lot of the (hopefully) teething issues haven’t got more coverage is because it’s almost impossible to get reliable information. The inconsistencies between different accounts (even in my own family!) are confusing, issues keep changing, and everything will obviously have to be reconciled at some point. Marriott maintains that they’ve got all the data still and that everything will eventually be fine – while I’m sceptical about whether that will all happen without some sort of manual (and potentially time consuming) intervention, I also don’t trust anything that front line CS agents say in these situations either.

      So, for example, it could be that Marriott genuinely intends to screw people in your situation, or it could be that you’ll login in a few days and your account will show the correct stays, and the agent was just talking rubbish about something they didn’t understand. Given that we’ve had pretty senior people at Marriott briefing info that was actually completely incorrect, the scope for CS agents getting confused is huge. Until things have bedded down a bit, it’s more or less impossible to know things for sure – which brings me to my main point:

      The communication over the last few months has been absolutely awful, the integration itself has been very poor (but perhaps more predictably so)- I’ve got an article planned on that theme myself, and I think Craig has something out tomorrow with a similar take on why he hasn’t merged his SPG and Marriott accounts yet. Writing about the general mess is easy enough, but focusing on each particular issue that crops up would be a full time job in itself! 😉

      • Pangolin says

        Joe it’s simple – whoever made the decision to merge the programmes mid-year should face death by firing squad. OK, I’m merciful, I’ll accept summary dismissal for gross incompetence!

        That’s the nub of it. Some genius decided that it was a great idea to do the changeover slap bang in the middle of the holiday season, rather than at year-end like any sane person would. This one decision led to a multiplicity of problems and widespread confusion (e.g. linked status, Lifetime qualification requirements, travel package treatment, category changes). An awful lot of these stem specifically from the fact that the switchover occurred mid year – if it was done at year-end they would have become non-issues.

        The treatment of travel packages and SPG lifers was outrageous, but at least they were forced to backtrack on those. Maybe there’s not enough of us affected by the SPG Select shenanigans to register on the radar.

        Another straw for the camel’s back was the breakfast issue – first it was free breakfast for Plats and above at all but a handful of brands. Then it was a $10 F&B credit for places like Courtyard, and then it turns out that the $10 credit is per *stay* not per day, and per *room* not per guest! Basically insulting. So they started out by making promises they couldn’t deliver and then sneakily backtracked. This is the Marriott way. For SPG lovers the future is grim indeed.

        • Joe Deeney says

          Haha!- oh, I wouldn’t commit too being too merciful just yet. Firing Squad should definitely remain on the table for now.

          You’re right of course, the mid year switch was always a head-scratcher and it’s proved to be a disaster. What’s particularly baffling is that the transitional system they had (with free points transfers and status matched across) was actually really good from a customer pov, so there was no rush. Even if it was expensive for them to run 2 systems, it was only going to be for another few months and the cost of sorting out all the messes now (let alone the cost of infuriating a lot of frequent guests and broader reputational damage) is surely worse.

          I always assume cock-up over conspiracy, but even I’ve started wondering whether perhaps someone’s bonus was linked to the integration being completed by a certain date…

    • Craig Sowerby says

      The Double nights from that promo appear to have stuck to my account. So it looks more to me like an IT screw-up than an intentional screw job.

      I made the decision in June/July to get all of my SPG business done pre-merger (a few nervous moments when a long stay didn’t post and needed chasing and I was quoted up to 10 business days to fix) so I’m feeling pretty relieved now. I never really trusted Marriott’s promises, not because of evil intentions but because I expected the integration to be botched.

      What’s the quote? Never attribute to malevolence something that can be adequately explained by incompetence.

  10. Stu T says

    I’m a Spire member and these are the offers I’ve got. Having seen what other members have been offered above I definitely won’t be going out of my way to stay at IHG hotels!

    15,000 Double Your Stay
    Earn double points on every stay, starting with your second stay, up to 15,000 bonus points.

    16,000 Discover Our Brands
    Stay at 5 brands and get 16,000 bonus points.

    8,400 Saturday Stays Bonus
    Stay 2 weekend(s), including a Saturday night and another night, and earn 8,400 bonus points.

  11. Bailey says

    My offers: 1) 15,000 Double Your Stay: Earn double points on every stay, starting with your second stay, up to 15,000 bonus points. 2) 3,200 Travel with the IHG® App: Book 2 stay(s) with the IHG® App and earn 3,200 bonus points.

    This is the lowest / least compelling offer I’ve had from IHG since I started with them several years ago. I’ve been a Spire Elite / Ambassador since 2016 and always put at least some effort into researching IHG / Intercontinental hotels on my travels. With the point devaluations, negative trend in the Point Breaks promotions, and rising hotel prices / reward redemption rates, I think I’ll sit this promotion out and stay at Hilton hotels. We’ll see what IHG does in December / January.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Yep, if I had a half decent offer I’d have stayed a lot with IHG this quarter – I’ve got lots of short stays in cities with good IHG options, but will be mainly sticking with Hilton as well.

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