IHG Accelerate’s Points + Cash Target Triggers Immediately (And Why That Matters…)

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IHG Rewards Club has brought back the Accelerate promotion for stays between 1 May and 31 August, 2019. You can register and find your personal targets by clicking here.

I have noticed that many IHG members are receiving a target that requires them to book a Points + Cash reward stay – but they get confused about how it works. IHG’s version of “combining points with cash” works differently from most other hotel chains. Instead of paying the cash element at the hotel, you are doing nothing more than buying points from IHG Rewards Club at the time of booking (paying in dollars, regardless of what the IHG website shows). If you subsequently cancel your reservation, you will NOT receive a cash refund, but simply points (those you initially had, plus those you purchased at the time of booking).

The way that IHG has programmed the triggering of the target is pretty simple – when it sees that you are buying points as part of a Points + Cash booking for a date within the promo period, the target is triggered and you immediately receive the Accelerate bonus points. Yesterday I made a Points + Cash booking for July and within seconds my account statement looked like this…

What Are the Implications?

You Don’t Actually Have To Stay, Just Book…

Because I have already received my Accelerate bonus points, I don’t actually have to stay at the hotel I booked. I do recommend that you book the P+C stay within the promotional period and that you buy the minimum 5,000 points.

… And Therefore I Am Buying Points Really Cheaply

I chose the Salzburg hotel because I might actually stay there this summer. But I also found a pretty cheap rate for Points + Cash – $33 for 5,000 points.  So, when you add the 4,500 point bonus, I acquired 9,500 IHG points for $33 (£25).  That works out at 0.35 cents / 0.26p per point. Even though I am frustrated by IHG’s consistent devaluations, I’m still happy to buy 9,500 points that inexpensively…

Points + Cash Won’t Trigger Any Other Targets

If you note my account statement, you’ll see “Redeemed points for Reward Night stay”. And reward nights do not count for any other Accelerate targets such as brands, nights stayed, etc. – those targets all require regular paid nights.


If you received the same Points + Cash target as me, don’t feel as if you need to actually stay one or more nights at an IHG hotel. Simply decide for yourself whether you wish to buy 9,500 inexpensive IHG points and look around for the cheapest Points + Cash hotel that you can find…


  1. Sharat says

    Hi Craig,
    Sorry but this is a bit confusing!
    You spent 30 k points without intending to stay and got 9500 points? How does that make sense!!
    Anyway, I am a platinum member but havent received any target to achieve from IHG, not that I can see it . The link you sent takes me to an IHG offers page- which says Bonus Points Packages
    If you like getting rewards fast, this one’s for you.
    IHG® Rewards Club Bonus Points Packages give you the opportunity to earn 1,000–5,000 points per stay.
    You simply select your room type and add an available package at participating hotels.
    Did we mention your bonus points count toward earning and maintaining your Elite status? And that could mean an upgrade.

      • Sharat says

        I don’t think everyone can take part in this promotion , it doesn’t show up for me!
        Terms and conditions say
        Only members that qualify for this promotion as defined by IHG Reward Club’s terms and conditions can participate in this promotion. Registered members are not allowed to participate in concurrent campaigns.

        • Bob says

          There have been glitches but my understanding is that this has now been resolved for most. Are you based in Asia? Or rather is your account based in Asia? There are different promotions running for accounts registered in different parts of the world which may limit registration.

        • Bob says

          The question is: will the bonus points be redacted after the date of the hotel stay that is being booked to be cancelled? I’m inclined to play by the spirit of the rules on this one. It is not hard. 😉

    • Roos says

      Clearly you then cancel the redemption and get the 30k back.

      The points bonus package isn’t good value, only if you really need to get some points I guess!

  2. Peter says

    I think he will get back 39500 upon cancelling so the loss/investment is just £25 for purchasing 5000 points.

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