A few weeks ago I wrote about IHG’s new Fall/Winter promotion called “Into the Nights”. At that time there were a bunch of unanswered questions about the promotion. A few days later I was able to get a bunch those questions answered from the IHG rewards team directly, BUT, there were still unanswered questions. With a few more back and forth emails with IHG and their PR team, I was able to finally get all my answers. The big concern is about free night availability, and what I learned is that the free night awards will have the exact same availability as the free nights that come with the IHG credit card – so that is good!
To quickly recap, this promotion will run through December 31, 2014 and you must register to see which promotion you’ve been offered. Each account has a personalized track with different requirements to meet the maximum points and free nights. You get X number of points for completing each task and if you complete a certain number of tasks you’ll earn bonus points or the option of free nights (anywhere between 1-3 free nights). I was personally offered a maximum of 52,000 points for the completed tasks, and if I completed all three tasks I was offered an additional 52,000 points or 3 free nights.
So here are the FAQs regarding the promotion. I’ve highlighted the new answers I received since the last time I posted this.
- When will the free night(s) expire? Free nights must be redeemed by December 31, 2015. This means you must STAY by this date.
- Can the free night be used at any hotel or are there restrictions? Free nights can be used at any IHG branded hotel worldwide (pending availability of course).
- Can anyone use the free night earned from the promotion? Free nights cannot be transferred in the system to other members or guests. With that being said, with any free night award, many times you are able to call the hotel directly and put another person’s name on the reservation.
- What is the free night valid for? A Free Night is valid only for one standard room night rate and applicable taxes (not including breakfast).
- How does availability work for the free night? Redemption is subject to availability of the rooms of hotels specially provided for this promotion. I was specifically told that the free night award would work exactly the same as the free night that you get with the IHG credit card. I was told “it comes from the same pool as credit card free nights.”
- Some terms state for stays starting September 1, although registration didn’t begin till September 4. Any idea when the check-in date must have occurred? The promotion started September 4th when the site launched. The Terms & Conditions have been updated to reflect this.
- Do stays booked prior to registering count for this promotion (as long as they are during the promotional timeframe)? Yes, but you must register prior to checking out for your stay to count towards the promotion. However, the terms state for the “Download and and book on the IHG app” that you must have booked on the IHG App between September 1 and December 31, 2014. So if you previously booked on the app prior to September 1, I suggest canceling and rebooking.
- How do I select the points or the free nights for the bonus? Once you’ve earned your extra bonus you will have the opportunity to select points or free nights. Free nights must be claimed by January 31, 2015 or members will automatically be awarded applicable points.
- As long as the rate is a qualifying rate to earn points, will the stay count towards the promotion? Advance Purchase rates count as a qualified rate. As long as the rate is qualifying to earn points it will count towards the promotion.
- Do Holiday Inn Express hotels count as a Holiday Inn hotel or is this a different brand? Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are different brands.
- If you have a stay that runs past December 31, will the nights still count towards the promotion? Must check out of your stay on December 31, 2014. So if you have a stay that runs through New Years, I suggest making two reservations with one checking out on December 31, and another one starting on that date through the rest of your vacation.
Also, some things to keep in mind. This is not direct from the IHG Rewards teams, but lessons learned from the previous promotion and some detailed terms that you might have skipped when registering for the promotion:
- For your stay to count for the promotion it must be qualifying stay that earns points normally. For example, free nights, Friends & Family rates, rooms booked through a 3rd party site, etc. will NOT count.
- Stays at Holiday Inn Resorts and the Holiday Inn Club Vacation properties count as a stay at Holiday Inn brand. Holiday Inn Express hotels DO NOT count as Holiday Inn brand if that is a specific requirement for your offer.
- Stays at InterContinental Alliance Resort properties (such as The Palazzo or The Venetian) count as stays at the InterContinental brand.
- The terms state that you must book the Free Nights at least 24 hours in advance and you must cancel at least 48 hours in advance.
While this is an extremely lucrative promotion for many, make sure to fully read the terms for each task to ensure it will count. I know many people got burned during the last IHG promotion. The free night award availability is also a huge question mark as that can really make or break whether or not this promotion is worthwhile. I am hoping to get more clarity on that for you all.
If you decide to partake in this promotion, goodluck and enjoy! Any other questions you have?!