Something is amiss today. This next weekend is the first full weekend of September and there are no IHG Last Minute Reward Nights posted today. This is a first in two years.

IHG Last Minute Reward Nights are somewhat of a flash sale offering 50% reward nights at 25 to 50 hotels for three nights only on the first weekend of each month. That means there should be hotels posted today for 50% reward nights this Friday, September 5; Saturday, September 6; and Sunday September 7.

Instead this message appears when searching Last Minute Reward Nights:

IHG LMRN Sep 2014

“There were no rewards that matched your criteria.”

Has the monthly promotion I dubbed “the most useless hotel loyalty promotion repeatedly offered” gone away?

Or just taking a hiatus for September as IHG pushes 50% off beach resort reward nights for hurricane season in Mexico and the Caribbean?

IHG® Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sale

Starting at 7,500 points

Enjoy a 50% OFF on Reward Nights at IHG Properties in Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.

This promotion is valid for bookings from August 18th until September 6th, 2014, for stays from September 1st, 2014 until October 31st, 2014. Hotel policy varies in regards of the number of guests allowed per room. Offer valid only at participating hotels in Mexico, Central America and Caribbean. Not valid with other promotions. Blackout dates may apply. Not valid with group reservations.

Related Loyalty Traveler post: Mexico and Caribbean 50% IHG Reward Nights Sep 1 to Oct 31

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

IHG is rewarding its members through an upcoming fall promotion offering members 50 percent off Rewards Nights point pricing for a limited time at 12 participating beach resort hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean islands of Grand Cayman and Aruba.

These are good discount rates for IHG Rewards Club 50% off Mexico and Caribbean beach resort stays, however, check the paid rates since some of these Mexico hotels have rates so low that you might get better value paying for your stay and earning IHG Rewards Club points.

50% off reward stays Booking Window is August 18 – September 6, 2014.

Stay from September 1 – October 31, 2014.

Holiday Inn Express PLAYA DEL CARMEN
15,000
7,500 pts.

Holiday Inn Resort ACAPULCO
20,000
10,000 pts.

Holiday Inn Express CABO SAN LUCAS
20,000
10,000 pts.

Crowne Plaza ACAPULCO
20,000
10,000 pts.

Holiday Inn Resort GRAND CAYMAN
25,000
12,500 pts.

Holiday Inn Resort ARUBA-BEACH RESORT & CASINO
25,000
12,500 pts.

InterContinental PLAYA BONITA RESORT & SPA
25,000
12,500 pts.

InterContinental PRESIDENTE COZUMEL RESORT SPA
30,000
15,000 pts.

Holiday Inn Resort PUERTO VALLARTA
30,000
15,000 pts.

Holiday Inn CANCUN ARENAS
35,000
17,500 pts.

Holiday Inn Resort LOS CABOS ALL INCLUSIVE
35,000
17,500 pts.

InterContinental PRESIDENTE IXTAPA RESORT
50,000
25,000 pts.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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The value of an IHG Best Price Guarantee approval is first night free at the hotel. This post looks at the difficulty of getting best rate guarantee claim approval for international hotels.

I have had great success with hotel best rate guarantee claims for getting lower room rates. I estimate more than half of my hotel stays the past couple of years were discount rates after successful best rate guarantee claims. In the past year I have had free room nights in the USA with successful best rate guarantee claims through Choice Hotels and IHG hotels.

There is no denying that the InterContinental Athenauem in Athens, Greece is selling the same rooms for more than $100 per night on the IHG website compared to online travel agency rates, but getting an approval for a Best Price Guarantee rate discrepancy is a challenge.

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IHG Rewards Club will have a limited time offer with 12 beach resorts offering half-price reward nights. Mexico and Caribbean 50% IHG reward nights are for stays from September 1 to October 31, 2014. The booking window opens Monday, August 18.

Fall Booking Window – Aug 18 – Sept 6, Stays from Sept 1 – Oct 31

Members can access the promotion in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Participating IHG Hotels

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Here is a another look at U.S. News & World Report Travel Rewards Programs rankings released this week. My earlier post asked, Do you agree Marriott Rewards is top hotel rewards program? and this post 2014-15 Best Hotel Rewards Programs U.S. News & World Report gives an overview of the survey.

IHG Rewards Club ranks high in U.S. News & World Report Travel Rewards Survey. My feeling is that all hotel program comparative surveys hold limited value in choosing a hotel loyalty program. This post looks at IHG Rewards Club, the second highest rated hotel rewards program in the USNWR survey. Loyalty Traveler takes a look at the program synopsis in the U.S. News & World Report survey and some of the real value of IHG Rewards Club missing in the program details.

#2 IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club is a large hotel loyalty program closing in on 5,000 hotels worldwide with more than 70 million members. One of the ‘Pros’ given by USNWR is points can be used for hotels outside the IHG family of hotels. This is true and in the past I have shown how some Hilton-brand hotels required fewer IHG points than HHonors points to book. I have not done that analysis in a couple of years.

Last year I interviewed Don Berg, VP of IHG Global Loyalty Programs. One of the points he emphasized is IHG points can be used for so many purchases besides hotel nights. Two managers with IHG told me about how they used their points to make household purchases like major appliances.

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IHG Rewards Club Last Minute Reward Nights 50% off rates are available for 42 hotels this Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend August 1-3, 2014. These offers are available for booking at 50% off award rates over the next three days through Thursday, July 31.

Looks like several North Carolina and Colorado hotels on the list. IHG Rewards Club does not mention state location in their descriptions. This list will give you an opportunity to brush up on your USA geography.

Last Minute Reward Nights (42)

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There is an IHG Rewards Club buy 60% bonus points promotion to August 18 on purchases of 10,000 points or more.

You may purchase points in 1,000 increments:

  • 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
  • 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
  • 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points

IHG Rewards Club Buy Points Rates with 60% bonus

$135 = 10,000 points + 6,000 points = 16,000 points ($8.44 per 1,000)

$137.50 = 17,600 points ($7.81 per 1,000 points)

$299.00 = 41,600 points ($7.19 per 1,000 points)

IHG buy points 60 bonus

Buy IHG Rewards Club points by August 18, 2014 for 60% bonus points.

IHG Rewards Club program Terms & Conditions state a member may buy 50,000 points in a calendar year. That is outdated. The limit was increased to 60,000 points a couple years ago. And the current sale wording indicates a much higher annual points purchase limit for IHG Rewards Club members.

Members may purchase a maximum of 120,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 120,000 points per calendar year.

IHG Rewards Club points were available through Daily Getaways this year from late May to July 4 at the price of $567 for 100,000 points. Those points packages did not sell out.

Loyalty Traveler – Daily Getaways IHG Points Did Not Sell Out (May 26)

The current sale is a decent offer if you have an immediate use for points like the current PointBreaks list for hotel reward nights at 5,000 points per night.

Loyalty Traveler: IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks July 28 to September 30, 2014 (July 26, 2014)

Otherwise, simply buy points as needed using Points & Cash option for award nights at rate of $70 per 10,000 points. Points purchased for Points & Cash Awards do not count toward the annual purchase limit. Members keep the points purchased for Points & Cash reward nights when the Points & Cash reward stay is cancelled. This is a way to buy points at an even lower rate of $7.00 per 1,000 points compared to the current 60% bonus points offer.

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IHG Rewards Club Connect, the members community forum, has posted the list of hotels participating in IHG Rewards Club PointsBreaks July 28 to September 30, 2014. These are hotel reward nights at 5,000 points per night. Essentially this is a $35 hotel night opportunity through buying points via Points + Cash reward rates. The Loyalty Traveler post below shows the Trick to buying 10,000 points for $70.

IHG Daily Getaway points, PointBreaks and the Trick in Pictures

I was hoping for a nice hotel in Europe during the time I will be there in September. Crowne Plaza Bratislava, Slovakia looks tempting. Bucharest, Romania holds little interest for me. Antalya, Turkey is a location where I have seen cheap flights from Oslo and the Crowne Plaza Antalya is on PointBreaks.

There are several InterContinental Hotels in Central America and Colombia on this list.

United States

Alabama

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There have been so many changes to hotel loyalty programs in the past three years that I needed to check again to see which hotel programs count award stays for elite membership.

Redeeming points for award stays while earning elite membership credit comes in handy when you are trying to reach 25 to 30 stays or 60 to 75 nights in your favorite hotel chain in a calendar year.

Hotel Stays and/or Nights completed in a calendar year qualification for high hotel loyalty program elite membership.

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The first full weekend for the month of July brings another round of discount hotel reward nights with half-price IHG Last Minute Reward Nights.

For this first weekend of the month there are 26 hotels offering 50% off standard reward night rates for Friday, July 4; Saturday, July 5 and Sunday, July 6. These special offer awards must be booked by Thursday, July 3 for the 50% rate.

There are several Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites extended stay apartment style properties where you will have a kitchen and space for four with a bed couch in the sitting room.

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