IHG “Surprises” Update + FAQs

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For those of you playing the IHG “Surprises” promotion game, here are some updates and FAQs for you. First off, the promotion started November 15 and the first batch of mail in prize emails were sent out last Friday (12/4/15). Today, another bath of prize emails were sent, so it looks like they are sending them in batches on Fridays only. Hopefully those that haven’t yet received their emails got a nice surprise today in their email! The emails are coming from IHG Rewards Club with the subject line “You qualify for a Priceless Surprise®!” 

Now, if you have no idea what this IHG “Surprises” promotion is and want to participate, here is the skinny. If you have no upcoming IHG stays, you can send in a maximum of 94 entries by mail and you’ll receive one of many various prices (ranging from points to free nights to vacation trips). The minimum number of points you’ll receive is 500. So ultimately for about $50 and about 5 hours worth of time, you can win a minimum of 47,000 points. This is a great way to “purchase” IHG points for super cheap! Here are the prior blog posts that talk more in depth about the promotion and how to take advantage:

Promotion FAQS

  • Q: How many times can I enter for this promotion?
    • A: The terms state that each individual can take advantage of this promotion a maximum of 94 times.
  • Q: If I have no upcoming IHG stays, how can I take advantage?
    • A: You can send in a 3×5 piece of paper (an index card works) with the required information. The information must include:
      • Full Name
      • Complete Mailing Address
      • Day Phone Number
      • Evening Phone Number
      • Email Address
      • IHG Number
      • First 6 Digits of MasterCard
      • Date of Birth
    • Based on success reports from other readers, you DO NOT need to label each line of information.
    • All information on the index card must be HANDWRITTEN!
  • Q: Do I need to handwrite the envelope?
    • A: Based on reports from readers, the envelopes do not need to be handwritten. Printing out the mailing address on labels or directly on the envelope itself has worked. Although, there is a chance this could always change. The address to send the entry to is: IHG and MasterCard® Priceless Surprises® Promotion, c/o HelloWorld, Inc., P.O. Box 5996, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-5996
    • Also based on reports, you do not need to include the ® trademark to qualify.
  • Q: Do I need an IHG credit card to take advantage?
    • A: To qualify you do need to enter the first 6 digits of a MasterCard. This DOES NOT need to be an IHG credit card. Also, the first 6 digits do not relate to a specific account so most likely you can use a friends number. 
  • Q: If my day and evening phone number is the same, what do I do?
    • A: Just include the same phone number twice.
  • Q: Can I put all 94 entries in one envelope?
    • A: No. All entries must be in their own envelope.
  • Q: Will every entry win a prize?
    • A: Yes! All entries will win at least 500 bonus IHG points.
  • Q: Can I take advantage on multiple IHG accounts?
    • A: IHG is notorious to shut down accounts that “abuse” the system, so I do not recommend opening and taking advantage of this promotion on multiple IHG accounts in your name. However, there is nothing in the terms that state this is limited to one account per household, so both you and your partner can take advantage, for example.
  • Q: Do I have to register for this promotion?
  • Q: When does this promotion end?
    • A: February 15, 2016.

If you have any other questions not answered above, feel free to comment below and I can add it to the FAQ section.

Pay someone to do the handwriting for you…

Reader Edward Uken emailed me that him and his brother are starting a service that will do the work for you. I am in no way affiliated with it and do not receive compensation, but figured I’d pass the information along in case anyone is interested. They are charging $136 for the service (including the cost of stamps/material). All you have to do is pay them via PayPal and fill out this form so they have your info. I cannot vouch for their credibility, so make sure to do your own due diligence.

Overall…

I personally sent in 10 entries on November 15. I received 6 prize emails last Friday and then the remaining 4 emails today. I only one the minimum of 500 points per entry, but still happy about that! Time to go finish of the remaining 84 entries!

What did you win?! Goodluck!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Beware – I tried opening one of the emails on my phone and the elevator did not appear correctly and I was unable to select a floor & view my prize. When I tried from my desktop it said that I didn’t have any plays remaining. I also have only received 67 of 94 emails and I mailed them all the first week of the promotion. Anyone have any suggestions? I e-mailed a response e-mail to see what could be done. Darn it.

  2. I have sent in 92 cards. So far I have received 41 emails (37 last Friday and 4 today). So far have opened about 20.

    Have won three $50 MasterCard gift cards, one 2,000 points, and the rest 500 points.

    No points applied to my account get. Did receive email confirmation of winning the $50 and that it may take 8-10 weeks to get the gift card emailed to me.

  3. Been sending in 3×5 cards since the promo started and have not received ANY emails. What should I do? I’m following the guidelines exactly.

  4. Today my husband’s email account received all 94 emails at once. However, last Friday he had received 5 random emails as well. Interestingly, as I was playing on his behalf, the last five unread emails would not allow me to play and would the “We love your enthusiasm”. So even though the system might send you more emails than you are entitled to (hubby received 99 altogether), you will only be allowed to play 94 times. We scored 47,500 points!

    • Did you “play” all of them one after the other? “There will be one thousand six hundred and eight (1,608) random, computer-generated winning times
      during the Promotion Period”. So if you opened them one after the other, that could be the reason you didn’t get any larger prize.

  5. Still nothing here. Bet my first batch was thrown away for bad hand writing. Sent a new batch this week without titles after reports stating that titles were not needed. Hopefully next Friday is my lucky day.

  6. Titles on the cards are not needed. Just list the info they ask for in that order and you should get the entry unless they can’t read your handwriting, etc.

  7. Dang, I sent in several entries but did not realize that you had to actually register for the promotion.

    I guess I will hold out hope that they haven’t reviewed them yet (I sent them about 10 days ago) since I just now actually registered.

  8. Anyone willing to try putting each note card into it’s own addressed envelope and then placing all 94 envelopes into one single large envelope and mailing the large envelope to save on postage? A free night for $0.50 in postage.

    • Hah, I actually emailed them about this option – thought it would also be easier for them to deal with as well. However, they seem to be proponents of USPS and want each one mailed individually.

  9. Yay!! I finally received my first 5 emails from them today, I picked a different floor for each and received the 500 points for each, at least it is a start!!!!

  10. Do you need to write:
    “Full name” and then the name
    “Complete mailing address” and then the address
    “Day phone” and then the number, etc?
    I am assuming not, but don’t want to get snagged on a technicality.
    Thanks

  11. First batch of 25 were mailed Friday 11/13/15 then another 10 on 12/7/15.
    With the first 25, I printed the address labels. The last 10, I hand wrote the address otherwise all the requested information was printed on a 3×5 card. I have not received anything.

  12. I sent in one hand written entry with a printed address on the envelope as a test at the beginning of the promotion. I received the email from IHG today. I played the game and received this prize:

    You’ve won a $50 MasterCard gift code. Congratulations!

    You can expect to receive your prize within 8-10 weeks, it will be emailed to this address.

  13. The T&C say “Once your mail-in request is received, you will receive an email within five (5) business days.” If they only send emails on Fridays they would have to get all their work done the same week as received to have any chance to obey their T&C. For any entries received this week next Friday would be beyond the five days.

    Just an observation.

  14. I received 36 of 75 entries today – a great relief since I had written the required information out of order and had mostly convinced myself that had disqualified me. I got one “you have no more entries” (error opening? I’m not sure what happened, it was the last one and I was distracted), one 1000, two 2000, one 5000 and the rest 500. Happy! Did the last 19 tonight.

  15. The form for the pay service doesn’t ask for all the necessary information, so I’d be suspicious of it working successfully. And unless they are sending the entries to you to mail, you have no way of verifying the quality of the work.

  16. Have sent in 60 so far but have not received any replies. Checked spam and yes, I registered online.
    I do have an upcoming IHG reservation in a week. Would that disqualify me? I also wrote out day/night phone and included only one telephone number. Would that be a disqualified? Has anyone else who earned prizes already only listed one phone as I did?
    Thanks all!

    • I also just put down one phone number so was worried–heard one person put the same number twice since also didn’t have different day/eve number but only wrote it out once. So hopefully someone knows answer. I also have one stay for IHG–assume that probably takes up one entry so I am only sending in 93.

      • Well it’s been over a month and a half and still no response from the first batch much less second batch in January so probably giving up. Is it really possible they would throw it out for only having one phone number?

    • @Ellen – No that should not disqualify you. Other folks have received it with out only phone number, but I believe they are extremely backlogged so taking longer then expected.

  17. Anyone photocopy there handwritten card on to other cards so they are ‘hand written’ but photocopied? I did for two accounts (fingers crossed.)

  18. I sent in 50 and received 1 email on 12/4 and 6 more on 12/11. None of the points posted to my IHG account yet so I called IHG customer service today and received horrible service. I explained that I’ve registered for the promotion, sent in the post card, received emails, chose the floor, etc over and over. The rep put me on hold a few times to come back and ask the exact same questions. Not only she wasn’t attentive, she wasn’t even willing to help. I read the email to her 3 times. After 15 minutes I was so frustrated I asked to speak to her supervisor, she placed me on hold for 5 minutes and hung up on me. This is the worst service I’ve gotten from any call center. I will have to rethink staying at IHG again if the customer service is this bad.

    • @Tracy – I am sorry you had that experience with IHG. Unfortunately the customer service you received is on par with how they handle situations. That being said, no one yet has received their points so I wouldn’t yet be worried. This promotion is being run by a third party so it is not entirely IHG’s fault.

  19. I sent in all my entries in batches from 11/17 through 11/20. Hand-wrote everything on the index card (no lines and did not include labels (i.e. Name, Phone, Address)). I hand-wrote the delivery address on each envelope, but did not include a return address label at all.

    So far I have received no emails informing me of entry success, winnings, etc. So I’m pretty bummed, but hoping that patience will prevail and I’ll start getting some emails.

    Any thoughts on if not including a return address on each envelope would DQ me?

  20. sent in one as a test a few days after entries opened, and the rest after the first reports of surprises came in. have not received any emails….

  21. Spouse and I sent in 5 postcards a few days after promo started and still haven’t received a single email. Yes, we registered (I have the emails), everything handwritten, still nothing. Debating sending in the other 90 or so since neither of us have heard a thing. :/

  22. I sent in all my entries in batches from 11/17 through 11/20. Hand-wrote everything on the index card (no lines and did not include labels (i.e. Name, Phone, Address)). I hand-wrote the delivery address on each envelope, but did not include a return address label at all.

    I received my first batch of emails (18) from IHG today around 2pm EST.

    Any thoughts or strategy on when to play the game? It seems like the Official Rules stated something about prizes being available to the first person that plays after a random time is selected. Obviously not expecting people to suggest an exact time to play, but would it make sense to at least ensure we are only playing one entry per minute for example?

  23. Received 6 emails today. That makes 11 out of the 505 I have sent in so far. Will open one each hour or so to hope for more than 500 points. Now how do we get the email to redeem our winnings??

  24. I haven’t received any emails, but when I logged in to the promotion’s website (http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/global/offers/member/pricelesssurprises), there are several pages of six “stays” per page, with a button to “Redeem Your Priceless Surprise.” I can click the link to play the game, pick a floor, and receive a prize. However, it says “Check your email for more details on how to redeem your Priceless Surprise.” Since I didn’t receive the first email, I doubt I’ll get the fulfillment email. The only messages I have from “fulfillment@eprizefulfillment.com” are Starbucks for Life stars.

    Anyone else in my boat? Where are the phantom emails?

    • On a related note, going through the website, it seems like it will let me play a “stay” multiple times. How do I know which one will be the one that counts and how can I keep track of which I haven’t already done?

  25. I’m a calculated risk taker so going to send all 94 at once and not in batches as many have done. With that said, I was wondering if I could place all 94 envelopes into a USPS priority envelop and ship it that way? That way I can ensure it arrives (tracking) and less likely that some envelopes will get lost in the mail. Thoughts if this would work and if anyone has tried that route, please comment.

    • @JGR – The only reason I did batches is because I did a bunch at one time then sent them in when ready. Not sure about placing all in one USPS envelope with tracking. Haven’t read any success (or failure) stories so not sure.

  26. I just opened five emails and all of them said I’d won nothing at all. I thought someone checked with their PR contact at the beginning of this and was promised you’d always win at least 500 points?

    • @Gabi – You should have received an updated email stating it was a glitch. All prizes will win a minimum of 500 points.

  27. Hey, Do you know what they use the MasterCard credit card for? I only have a Flexible Spendings Account credit card that is MasterCard and I’m sure I am not allowed to charge anything on that card that is not healthcare related.
    Thanks for your help!
    Cj Hung

    • @Jenn – You only include the first 6 digits so they cannot link it to your account at all. Nothing will be charged. They just want to ensure you have a MasterCard.

  28. Hey
    Do you know what they use the master card number for? I only have one master card that is a flexible spending account, I’m sure I am not allowed to make any charges on there that is not health related.
    Alternatively, can I use another person’s card?
    Thanks!
    Jenn Hung

  29. Mailed my 94 envelopes January 2-5, 2016. Just received 60 emails to play (1/24/16). Won 2x 2,000, 3x 1,000, the rest were 500 points. Interesting to note that the link on each email is the same. They just have a counter for my account. Hopefully the other 34 will come soon. Thanks for the post

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