IHG’s “Surprises” Promotion is Legit

This post may contain affiliate links from our advertising partners, such as American Express. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here. Additionally, some of the offers on this page may no longer be available through Deals We Like.

Back in November I broke the news with an extremely lucrative promotion with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). It is actually being run as a contest, so instead of actually staying at an IHG hotel there is a mail in option as well. With this contest you will earn a minimum of 500 IHG points with every entry you submit. There is a maximum of 94 entries per account so ultimately you can win a minimum of 47,000 IHG points. Overall, a very easy way to earn IHG points without actually having to enter an IHG hotel!

Instead of fully detailing out the promotion again, you can read this prior post to learn more about the offer in case you decide you want to take part:

Now, the big issue is that MANY people have yet to receive their prize even though they sent in their entries weeks ago. The terms of the offer say that you’ll receive your prize via email within 5 business day. And clearly that is NOT the case for many people. I personally have sent in all 94 entries (through 4 different batches) and have only received my prize for the first 10 entries sent in. Even though I have not yet received my prizes for the remaining entries, I am still confident that they will be received eventually.

For those that have received a prize via email thus far, you’ll notice that the points HAVE posted to the associated IHG points. Below is a screen shot of my account. For my first 10 entries I received the minimum 500 points. This shows me that the contest is legit and the company is ponying up the prizes that folks have received.Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 10.11.41 AMMy take on it is that the 3rd party company that is holding this contest (called HelloWorld) is BEYOND overwhelmed. I assume they did not expect to receive even a fraction of this number of entries. Because of that, they are extremely backlogged and are getting to entires as quickly as humanly possible. It seems as though they’ve sent out prizes in 4 or 5 different batches. If you still have not heard, I personally would not be worried. I know it can be annoying and stressful. I am still trusting the system and am almost half way done with my husbands entries even though I’ve only received the prizes for about 10% of my entires.

Hopefully the prizes will start trickling in soon! Goodluck to those participating! One Deals We Like reader has already won 1 million points!

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.


  1. The missus and I missed the “registration” requirement and have not hear a word after sending in 94 entries apiece. My son registered first (ahem, after our lesson) n and got a timely reply to his 25 entries. We’ve since registered and are sending in our second batch.

  2. Hi again, so are you saying you received your entry emails in four or five batches? That would be good news! It seems like from the FlyerTalk thread and anything else I can find on the Internet, people are only reporting two batches: one on December 4 and one on December 11th. I mailed my entries five weeks ago, and haven’t gotten any emails to let me play the game. 🙁

    The rules (in addition to a promise to send game plays within five days) state that there are about 1600 predetermined times for playing for the good prizes. Has your contact given you any indication of how this slow processing will deal with that issue? Obviously, it’s not fair that a tremendous delay on the part of the company to process the entries would preclude early players from having access to all of the early times to potentially win the good prizes — presumably half the good prizes are won in the first half of the contest period, so if none of my entries have been processed I lose out.

    See section 8:
    There will be one thousand six hundred and eight (1,608) random, computer-generated winning times during the Promotion Period, as described in Section 9.a below. If you are the first player to play the Game at or after one of the randomly-generated times, you will be a potential instant winner of the prize indicated

    • @Pawtin – I personally received my prize emails in two different batches. but other readers reported two other batches that were sent out as well (the past two wednesdays). In total there were 4 or 5 batches thus far.

      personally i do not know how the rules truly work in receiving a higher prize, but my take is that i am spending hardly any money to earn ihg points so am not going to be picky.

  3. I sent in 58 entries when it first began. So far, I have received 11 emails and won 500 IHG points each time. They have already posted to my account. However, only 11 of my 58 entries ( 1 out of 5) received any response.

  4. I have sent in 38 over 5 mailings and have not received a single email. I contacted IHG about this and their great customer service in the Philippine’s had zero knowledge of the promotion. I had to direct him to the company website (he did not know how to get there) and show him what I was taking about. Then it was like taking to the Sgt Schultz “I see nothing” “I know nothing” That got me no where. Another agent sent an email to Helloworld and their response was

    Thank you for your patience and for reaching out to The IHG Rewards Club Priceless Surprises Promotion. We are currently checking our system for your entries. We will be back in touch with you as soon as we have more information to provide.
    Sincerely, Customer Care HELLOWORLD.com

    Still no response, same with IHG.

    There are federal regulations that govern such rules. IHG and HelloWorld must adhere to the terms of the offer. The terms state that in the event of a dispute “awards shall be limited to actual out-of pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Promotion but in no event attorneys’ fees” this would not apply if IHG and/or HelloWorld intended not to live up to the terms of the promotion. A class action lawsuit could result which would make the actual costs a mute point.

    • @Tomri – i am not surprised that IHG doesn’t know anything about it. unfortunately their customer service isn’t the best.

      with that being said, i would not lose hope. i believe HelloWorld is extremely backlogged and are getting to all entries as quickly as possible.

  5. Just more (of similar) feedback: The wife and I registered, then sent in 3 x 5 cards which were completely hand-written with all necessary information. Envelopes were all handwritten except for a handful which had printed return address labels. We sent out 5/day until we reached about half the allotted amount. All of these were sent out in early to mid-December. Neither of us have heard anything yet. Waiting to buy more stamps until we start to see e-mails coming in.

  6. I sent in my first batch of 17 on Nov. 25 and the other 77 over the next few weeks. They appear to be sending out the e-mails in batches once a week, usually on Fridays. I got my first 3 responses on Wed., Dec. 23 and another 3 on Wed. Dec. 30. I’m thinking the last 2 batches were sent on Wednesdays because of the holidays and that future batches will arrive on Fridays.

  7. I should also mention that I did read of someone who got through to one of the people managing the promotion. He said they are very backlogged with the number of responses they received but they have every intention of sending out emails to all the cards. Just be patient.

    • @Scott – yes I read that too. I agree with the patience part, just think it is a matter of time as I do believe they are backlogged.

  8. @Scott and @DealsWeLike: Thanks for the info; I hadn’t heard of anyone getting the emails after 12/11, but it’s a little reassuring that you got some on 12/23 and 30.

    I reached out to the company and they confirm receipt of some of my first cards, but they can’t seem to tell whether they sent out the emails. I’ve asked them to research it.

    I use a Yahoo! email address — I wonder if Yahoo! might be blocking these up the pipeline somewhere…anyone else who uses Yahoo! email had success?

    • I use Yahoo email and received about 12 responses, and then two weeks later (late December) 1 response. Haven’t heard anything since.

      All the points that I won have posted (10 at 500 points, 1 at 1000 points, and 1 at 5000 points).

  9. I received more winning emails today. I’ve sent all 94 entries fairly equally distributed over the the last 6 weeks, some handwritten envelopes, some labels. I received 24 emails on 12/24 and 2 today. (14,500 total points.) Now to start working on my girlfriends!

  10. I mailed “about” 40 entries on 11/27. Today I received just ONE email. I was, however, able to play the same link a total of 35 times. I got one 5000, three 2000s, and one 1,000, so I guess I already hit my limit in level B alreay. That totals 25,000 for the first 35. Assuming all the rest are 500 I will hit 57,500.

    I sent the next batch a couple of weeks ago. I guess I’ll see how short I am of 94 (for whatever reason) and sent a last batch then. That is unless I actually stay an IHG night, which I may because they offered a 5,000 bonus for a January night. My accelerate was lousy.

    FYI. I left off the return address on the envelope (which the USPS does not require), although that did concern me for a while.

  11. Just some info for those waiting…I sent 20 in the week after it started and got 1 email last Friday. Today I received the other 19. I’m all in for the rest now for the wife and I now that I know it’s worth my time….I had just about given up hope !!

  12. Does anyone know whether I can take advantage of this promotion using a MasterCard debit card? It looks like I don’t have an MC charge card, but I do happen to have a debit card with the MC logo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.