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One of the most lucrative methods of “travel hacking” is when you “stack” various promotions together so that one or two paid stays qualify for several different promotions at the same time. IHG Rewards offers an interesting example at the moment…
Promotion 1 – New IHG Rewards Members Can Earn a Free Night Award After Two Stays
We wrote about this promotion recently. Here are the highlights:
- Join IHG Rewards between June 1st – July 31st, 2021
- Complete two Qualifying Stays between June 1 – September 6, 2021, to receive a Reward Night (worth up to 40,000 points) valid for 120 days.
Promotion 2 – Ambassador Members Earn a Free Night Award After ONE Stay
This promotion has been running for awhile. Click here for the full details. The highlights are:
- Sign up for Ambassador before July 31st, 2021 (this will cost you about £140/$200)
- Complete ONE paid stay at an Intercontinental, Kimpton or Regent hotel before August 31st, 2021
You will then receive a free night certificate valid for any IHG hotel (except Six Senses or Mr & Mrs Smith), up to a maximum of 40,000 points. The reward night must take place before November 30th, 2021.
If you are unfamiliar with the distinction between IHG Rewards and Ambassador, you aren’t alone… At it’s most basic, Ambassador is a loyalty programme specific to IHG’s Intercontinental brand. You pay $200 to join and you receive interesting benefits, but mostly at Intercontinental hotels…
Promotion 3 – 12% Cashback
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the US version of TopCashback offering 12% cashback when booking IHG hotel stays.
If you are not yet a member of TopCashback USA, you can earn an additional ~£7 ($10). Simply sign up using this referral link – http://www.topcashback.com/join-us/inside-flyer/ref/craigsowerby – and earn $10 of cashback.
You can cash out out via Paypal, so there is no problem is using the USA site from the UK.
Promotion 4 – Earn up to Triple Points
IHG’s chain-wide promotion will run until August 16th. Click here for the full details. The highlights are:
- Stay 1 – NO bonus
- Stay 2 – Double points (i.e. an additional 10 points per US dollar spent)
- Stay 3+ – Triple points (i.e. an additional 20 points per US dollar spent)
An IHG MEGA-STACK
So… if you wanted to attempt an IHG “mega-stack” as a new member, you would:
- Sign up for IHG Rewards. Register for the “triple points” promotion.
- Book a cheap IHG night somewhere, via whatever the best cashback offer you can find at the time.
- Sign up for Ambassador.
- Book a one-night stay at an Intercontinental, Kimpton or Regent hotel (stay before August 31st).
If you schedule your stays so that the cheap stay comes first, that would meet the “first stay, no bonus” requirement of the IHG summer promotion, leaving your more expensive Intercontinental / Kimpton stay to earn double points.
Besides all of the standard benefits of being an Ambassador member, which can easily be worth the ~£140 you spend on it, you could earn:
- Two free night certificates worth up to 40,000 points per night
- £xx cashback (depends how much your stays cost and what the best rate at the time is)
- Double points on your expensive Intercontinental / Kimpton stay
Perhaps this article is far too confusing to follow… But I tried to demonstrate how “travel hacking” often involves taking several different promotions and meeting the various requirements with a single hotel night. And right now, you can earn a free night from signing up to Ambassador and staying one night, and another free night for signing up to IHG Rewards and staying twice… That one night at an Intercontinental / Kimpton hotel will count twice!
Add double/triple points and cashback on top, and you’ve got yourself a seriously great deal.
Joe recently outlined a similar strategy (but for existing Ambassador members), which also included the idea of using the current Amex £100 off £350 spend at Intercontinental/Kimpton/Regent hotels that some cardholders have. If you can take advantage of that too, even better!