Posted by Ric Garrido

The $30 for a 5,000 points Pointbreaks reward night at the Holiday Inn Santa Maria finally got her thinking that perhaps she should try and work this hotel loyalty thing with a little more effort. The $12 credit for morning breakfast at the Holiday Inn turned something on in her head. She called to ask me about the Priority Club stay two times and get one free night promotion with IHG.

“Yeah. That is the best deal out there at the moment. You can stay at two Holiday Inns or Holiday Inn Express or their other brands like Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites and Crowne Plaza and then you get a free night at some place like the InterContinental Montelucia in Scottsdale. You have from December 1 through May 31, 2011 to use the free night.”

No need to confuse her by mentioning Hotel Indigo. She won’t likely be around one anytime soon before she goes to Scottsdale.

I offered to put her and her old man up at the Hyatt Mar Monte Santa Barbara or the Four Points Ventura on a points reward. In retrospective mode, she said the weather in Ventura and Santa Barbara had been the best of any place in California where they had traveled over the past week and perhaps they should have stopped.

But they were Orange County bound.

Two nights in Anaheim at the adjacent properties of Staybridge Suites Anaheim and Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort around Disneyland cost $80 each night after tax for the two of them.

InterContinental Montelucia next February for Tuesday February 8, 2011 is $361 base rate and nearly $420 for one night after tax.

This is hotel loyalty program arbitrage. This deal can be repeated at IHG brand hotels to earn up to 5 free nights after 10 hotel stays. Spend something like $800 for 10 hotel stays by December 31, 2010 with IHG brand hotels and a $2,000 resort five night vacation is within your grasp.

Mom finally gets it!

5 Responses

  1. While I’ve accumulated a couple free nights myself, I’m concerned that redeeming they may be a problem – or at least not as easy at the higher-end properties – – something in the fine print of the T/C says that individual properties will have a limited number of nights available to redeem for this promotion once the redemption period begins, and when they are gone, they are gone.

    In other words, if you don’t know now where you want to book your free nights and wait until say, sometime after the first of the year, you may not be able to find a property.

  2. You will find an IHG property available. You may not get your most desired property on your most desirable dates, but flexibility will allow you to use the free nights at most any IHG hotel in the world.

    Bottom line – Outside of a few select InterContinental Hotels there should be little trouble redeeming for free nights.

  3. Last promo, I easily found availability – IC Budapest (2 nights), IC Century City, IC Moorea. Once you book, you lose it if you cancel – so I booked IC Moorea just a couple weeks before our trip. I had no trouble getting it. IC Moorea isn’t a possibility this time, but it’s a good example.

  4. Ric, if you book a Holiday Inn Express on Expedia, can you provide your ICH priority member number at check-in and get credit for the stay towards the get 1 free promotion?

    Comment by 3LftTurns on October 27th, 2010 at 1:19 pm
  5. Not generally. Hotels lose revenue (25% or so) when the booking is made through a third party online travel agency like Expedia.

    The idea behind the Priority Club hotel loyalty program is to move bookings to direct channels within the IHG hotel chain and minimize the cost of selling a room to the guest.

    The loyalty benefits and promotions like free nights can be provided since the hotel is getting more revenue per room through direct bookings.

    That is why most hotel loyalty programs only award points and promotion credit on stays booked directly through the hotel chain websites.

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