The purpose of hotel marketing promotions is to drive brand loyalty and increase both bookings and revenue. Once upon a time IHG used to have some good offers that would help you earn points or score great rewards nights. Those offers created a desire in members to want to book with them. But over time, one after another of these promotions has disappeared. Each new offer that they have brought out since is more watered down and uninspiring than the last.
Past Offers I Miss
Accelerate/Rewards Nights Faster
Accelerate was a meaty promotion (although it was sometimes called by other names)that allowed members to earn a large amount of points in a short amount of time. They gave you a list of tasks to complete over a 3-4 month period. Each task had a bonus point value and if you completed a predetermined number of tasks, you would also earn a large bonus at the end. The list of tasks was different for each individual member.
I actually liked this promotion because I could complete several tasks and still earn points even if I didn’t hit the big goal. I will admit that it sometimes caused me to make my reservations slightly different in order to hit the various goals. Those changes all meant I stayed more days in a row, spent whole weekends, bought extra points with my booking or used my credit card as payment. All of these would have driven up the revenue for IHG at the same time as they were feeding points into my IHG account. Everybody won.
Points Break Hotels
Then there was the Points Break Hotels promotion. Each IHG would publish a list of hotels that could be booked at 5,000 points, 10,000 points or 15,000 points. The number of bookings for each site were limited, so you needed to make your reservation just as soon as the list came out. The last list published was October 2019 and was good through January 31, 2020. Everyone expected a new list to be published, but that didn’t happen. With no warning or notice from IHG, this promotion was discontinued.
Current Offers that are Meh
4X Bonus Points Every Night
- Earn 1000 Bonus Points on your First Night
- 2X Bonus Points on Nights 2-5
- 3X Bonus Points on Nights 6-14
- 4X on Nights 15+
You are allowed to earn up to 100,000 Bonus Points Total. Reservations must be made by 4/15/20 and completed by 5/15/20.
Save at least 15% on “select” urban Getaways between 2/29/20 and 4/30/20. You can get a full list of available locations on the App within the Offer Details. Go figure that there are none available for destinations that I will be traveling to during those months.
There are still times when staying at an IHG hotel is the best price or option for my travel needs. But because their offers have been so weak, I haven’t felt an overwhelming incentive to be loyal to just their brand. Brands like Hyatt and Hilton have great properties and still offer some enticing promotions.
What makes me more sad is that I have been saving points (for 2 years) for our trip to Portugal this fall. Without good promotions, my earning rate is much slower than it would have been. Good think their credit card has some elevated categories that encourage me to use it for purchases which at least earns me a few points.
I certainly hope that IHG will take a long look at the popularity of their promotions and work toward giving us something exciting to work with going forward. One can hope!
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure