IHG Accelerate Winter 2016: My Offers and strategy for 66200 IHG points
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016: My personal Offers
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016: According to my dashboard, I’ve been challenged with 9 Offers with a maximum 70,200 Points available over a 110 day period (06 Sep – 15 Dec 16)
My IHG Accelerate Winter 2016 Offers are:-
- Stay Once, get 2,000 – 2,000 for one stay
- Stay More, earn more – 12,000 for eight stays
- Earn More at Intercontinental – 4,400 for staying 3 nights in Intercontinental in Asia Pacific, Middle East or Africa
- Authentic Experiences – 12,800 for staying at 2
- A bonus weekend stay – 4,000 for Fri and Saturday stay, or Saturday and Sunday
- Globetrotter bonus – 8,000 for 1 stay outside country of residence
- Eat, Drink and Earn – 4,000 for $360 spend on food or beverages at IHG hotels
- Your Achievement Bonus – complete 6 of the 7 Offers and earn (an additional) 18,000 bonus points
- September Bonus Offer – 5,000 for staying once in September
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016: the One Thing you MUST do
So, the One Thing to do before anything is to check the Terms and Conditions (both for each offer, and the promotion as a whole).
it is essential to do this as this opens up the opportunity for dodges and stacking bonuses, but also IHG are quite strict on their definitions sometimes. It’s been known that people have ‘interpreted’ their challenge one way, only to find afterwards it hasn’t counted – don’t be that person!
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016: My strategy
Firstly, my target is to get 60,000 IHG rewards Club points, as this is enough for two reward nights in most of the best properties. If I can achieve more, fine that’s a bonus but only if there’s in value in doing so.
Secondly, let’s define the value on offer here. I’ve previously stayed at Intercontinental Kiev which was going for 350 Euros a night, so I would value the 60,000 Points at no more than 700 Euros (approx. 2900 AED).
Thirdly, how much would it cost me to get those Points, and are there any dodges? A few things jump out at me:-
- I will need to stay 8 nights at least, because of the Stay More, Earn More offer. If I didn’t complete this, my maximum achievable would be 70,200 – 12,000 = 58,200.
- $360 on the Eat, Drink and Earn spend seems (at first glance) a lot to only get 4000 Points value.
- Some of the Intercontinental Offers look stackable (i.e. achieve progress on several offers concurrently)
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016: Terms and Conditions – points to note
Okay, it’s time to bite the bullet, and read the boring Terms and Conditions – but it’s worth it. Here are a few points to note about my Offers.
Earn More at Intercontinental
- There is a list of participating hotels – so ensure your local Intercontinental is on it! All 3 of the Dubai Intercontinentals are on it (Dubai Festival City, Dubai Marina and Residence Suites Dubai Festival City).
- The requirement is to stay 3 nights – so these can be 3 concurrent nights at the same property.
- There is no list of participating hotels, so it’s perhaps safe to assume the list in the Earn More at Intercontinental Offer will be valid.
- The only restriction with this offer is there must be two stays in DIFFERENT Intercontinental properties.
- Country of residence is on your IHG Rewards Club account profile, in my case Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Note that although Intercontinental Abu Dhabi is on the list, it would not be considered outside my country of residence.
- All IHG hotels are considered, so need not be an expensive brand – just a budget brand (e.g. Holiday Inn Express) in a different country.
Eat, Drink and Earn
- This is a great example of why the Terms and Conditions are so important. $360 is a lot to spend to earn 4,000 and one may think it’s just a case of hitting a big brunch in an IHG property, paying for the group and then registering the spend. WRONG!
- The $360 is a cumulative spend throughout the period of the Offers (i.e. 06 Sep – 15 Dec 16) but only when charged to the room bill during stays. So, your only chance of earning on this offer is to dine or drink during your stay.
A Bonus Weekend Stay
- A two night stay at any IHG hotel that includes a Saturday, so Friday/Saturday in the MIddle East or Saturday/Sunday in Europe, Africa, Asia etc.
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016 – Costing the plan
Now that I’ve reviewed the Terms and Conditions, I can formulate a plan and work out the likely cost to achieve the points. My initial feelings are not positive, given I would need to leave the UAE for one stay and a few offers involve pricey Intercontinental properties.
So what is the minimum I need to do to complete my Offers?
- One night stay in any IHG property outside of Dubai (Globetrotter Bonus)
- One weekend stay in an IHG property of at least two nights (A Bonus Weekend Stay)
- 8 nights in total in IHG properties (Stay More, Earn More)
- Stay in two different Intercontinental properties (Authentic Experiences)
- Stay 3 nights in an Intercontinental (Earn more at Intercontinental)
- I need to stay one night in September (September Bonus Offer)
I will leave out the Eat, Drink Stay and Earn Offer for now (too pricey) and will complete the Stay Once Offer whenever I stay during one of the other Offers).
So of the seven offers, I will aim for both bonuses (completing 7 offers and one stay in September) to shoot for a possible 66,200 points.
So a possible strategy could be:-
- Two concurrent nights including a Saturday at a cheap UAE Intercontinental during September. Generally, Abu Dhabi is cheaper but let’s budget for Dubai and estimate two nights at 550, so a total of 1100.
- One Intercontinental night in a different hotel, so budget 450 for this stay.
- One night in any non-UAE IHG property, so this need not be too expensive and can fit in with travelling during the next few months. Budget 250 AED and let’s consider a Holiday Inn Express somewhere.
- So that leaves us with another 4 nights somewhere, and even if it’s a UAE Holiday Inn Express it’s likely to cost 4 x 200 AED minimum (800 AED total)
So if we cost that out, it comes to 1100 + 450 + 250 + 800, or 2,700 AED as a budget cost.
Going back to my valuation, I’d estimated 60,000 points are worth around 700 Euros, or 2,900 AED and I estimate it’s going to cost around 2,700 AED to get them.
However, I would actually get 66,200 points, so let’s do the calculation to see what the revised value actually is.
If 60,000 points costs approx. 2,900 AED, then dividing 2,900/60,000 values one point at approx. 0.0483 AED.
So, 6,200 only gives approx 300 AED of increased value, so we’d be looking to 3,200 AED of value in this promotion at a budget cost of 2,700 AED.
IHG Accelerate Winter 2016 – So is it worth it?
So, the 66,200 point question is this – is it really worth all the hassle and risk to only get around a 20% increase in points?
There is one additional consideration, bear in mind all these points earned are ADDITIONAL to your earning points on spend in achieving the stay. Depending on your status in the program, the base rate of points is 10 points per dollar spent on room rate, so a 100 dollar room would earn 1000 points.
So, if we estimate 2,700 AED as a budget cost that would give approximately $734, or 7340 points.
However, as I’m Gold in IHG Rewards Club I would also earn an extra 10% on those base points, and as some of the stays needed are in Intercontinental, I’d get 2,000 points on each of those.
So, for my spend of 2,700 AED I would likely earn at least 15,000 points above my target of 60,000 – which could be used a reward booking in a lower class of IHG hotel or perhaps a Points Break promotion, so I could be looking at 3 free nights.
For now though, I wouldn’t exclude undertaking the promotion but I will wait to see what my travel plans are over the next few weeks – and what other promos the other programs are offering – before I decide.
Have you completed IHG Accelerate before? Will you be undertaking the challenge this Winter?
Do let us know using the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!
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