One of the most lucrative methods of “travel hacking” is when you “stack” various promotions together so that one or two paid stays qualify for several different promotions at the same time. IHG Rewards offers an interesting example at the moment…
Promotion 1 – New IHG Rewards Members Can Earn a Free Night Award After Two Stays
We wrote about this promotion yesterday. Here are the highlights:
- Join IHG Rewards between June 1st – July 31st, 2021
- Complete two Qualifying Stays between June 1 – September 6, 2021, to receive a Reward Night (worth up to 40,000 points) valid for 120 days.
Promotion 2 – Ambassador Members Earn a Free Night Award After ONE Stay
This promotion has been running for awhile. Click here for the full details. The highlights are:
- Sign up for Ambassador before July 31st, 2021 (this will cost you $200)
- Complete ONE paid stay at an Intercontinental, Kimpton or Regent hotel before August 31st, 2021
You will then receive a free night certificate valid for any IHG hotel (except Six Senses or Mr & Mrs Smith), up to a maximum of 40,000 points. The reward night must take place before November 30th, 2021.
If you are unfamiliar with the distinction between IHG Rewards and Ambassador, you aren’t alone… At its most basic, Ambassador is a loyalty program specific to IHG’s Intercontinental brand. You pay $200 to join and you receive interesting benefits, but mostly at Intercontinental hotels…
Promotion 3 – Your Choice of a Topcashback or American Airlines Shopping Portal Promotion
In recent weeks, we’ve seen:
- 12% cashback when booking IHG hotel stays
- Earn 500-1,000 bonus AA miles when spending a certain amount
If you are not yet a member of Topcashback, you can earn an additional $10. Simply sign up using this referral link – http://www.topcashback.com/join-us/inside-flyer/ref/craigsowerby – and earn $10 of cashback.
Promotion 4 – Earn up to Triple Points
IHG’s chain-wide promotion will run until August 16th. Click here for the full details. The highlights are:
- Stay 1 – NO bonus
- Stay 2 – Double points (i.e. an additional 10 points per US dollar spent)
- Stay 3+ – Triple points (i.e. an additional 20 points per US dollar spent)
An IHG MEGA-STACK
So… if you wanted to attempt an IHG “mega-stack” as a new member, you would:
- Sign up for IHG Rewards. Register for the “triple points” promotion.
- The next time AA offers a “500 bonus miles for spending $50” offer, you book a $50+ IHG one-night stay (stay before September 6th)
- Sign up for Ambassador
- Become a member of Topcashback, and earn $20+ (minimum) of cashback when booking a one-night stay costing $166+ at an Intercontinental, Kimpton or Regent hotel (stay before August 31st)
If you schedule your stays such that the cheap $50 stay comes first, that would meet the “first stay, no bonus” requirement of the IHG summer promotion, leaving your more expensive Intercontinental / Kimpton stay to earn double points. Since this promotion ends on August 16th, you would need to complete both stays before then to earn double points.
Besides all of the standard benefits of being an Ambassador member, which can easily be worth the $200 you spend on it, you could earn:
- Two free night certificates worth up to 40,000 points per night
- 550+ AA miles
- $20 of cashback
- Double points on your expensive Intercontinental / Kimpton stay
… simply from booking two one-night stays.
The Bottom Line
Perhaps this article is far too confusing to follow… But I tried to demonstrate how “travel hacking” often involves taking several different promotions and meeting the various requirements with a single hotel night. It is similar to piecing together a complex puzzle. Some people find that enjoyable and rewarding – others can’t be bothered…
But right now, you can earn a free night from signing up to Ambassador and staying one night, and another free night for signing up to IHG Rewards and staying twice… That one night at an Intercontinental / Kimpton hotel will count twice!