Looks like I have to carry the FLAME torch for IHG on my own, as I am seemingly the only Boarding Area blogger burned last week by a complete change of tasks for the Into the Nights promotion.

Over the past week I deconstructed my experience with the IHG Into the Nights events.

IHG Into the Nights fiasco deconstructed

Loyalty Traveler (Sep 4, 2014) – IHG Rewards Club – We are sorry, but there was an error.

I was staying at the Clarion Royal Christiania in Oslo, Norway when the IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offer debuted. My September 4 Loyalty Traveler post reminded me that I was one of many IHG Rewards Club members who did not see any Into the Nights offer when it launched in early September. Trying to log into Into the Nights site resulted in an error message.

I was finally able to register for IHG Into the Nights on September 5, 2014 when I saw this offer in my account.

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One of my interests on Loyalty Traveler is deconstructing hotel rates. I analyze hotel rates from a consumer perspective since I want to find the best value for hotel spend. For many travelers the lodging component of travel is the biggest trip expense.

Since IHG Rewards Club changed nearly all my tasks for the Into the Nights promotion (Sep 4-Dec 31, 2014) last week, I have made my first extensive analysis of IHG ‘bonus points with breakfast rates’. Booking one of these rates is now on my list of tasks to complete for the Into the Nights promotion. Loyalty Traveler – Dealing with IHG Into the Nights Fiasco.

What I found is IHG is using this Into the Nights promotion to upsell members a value added package rate.  There is a dedicated link for finding bonus points package rates. The bonus points package rates shown are all Best Flexible Rates for the hotel. Using the Bonus Points Package rate link excludes lower rates at the hotel seen when checking www.ihg.com compared to the lowest rates shown when using the dedicated link to find IHG ‘Bonus Points with Breakfast’ package rates.

You need to check both booking sites on IHG to determine how much additional money is charged for bonus points and breakfast at the hotel.

IHG Into the Nights Bonus Points with Breakfast Package Rates

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I booked another stay today using the IHG mobile app on my iPhone. The reservation booking worked nicely with easy navigation for entering dates and searching hotel rates. IHG mobile app and bonus points breakfast package for Into the Nights is my restart of the journey into the IHG Rewards Club Clusterf@#k 2014.

For those of you who are still with IHG Into the Nights promotion after sudden task changes last week, some six weeks into the September 4 to December 31, 2014 promotion period, here is my assessment of the IHG mobile app and bonus points breakfast package rates.

IHG bonus points breakfast package rates can be a great deal. The reservation I booked a few minutes ago is for 5,000 bonus points and breakfast rate.

Crowne Plaza Denver Airport for one weekend night in November has the lowest rate listed at $85 room rate with breakfast or $101.48 after tax for an advance purchase, prepaid, nonrefundable rate including breakfast for two persons. There is a $5 charge for the second person in the room making the actual rate $90 for 2 persons.

IHG CP DEN BAR

Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport is $89 Best Flexible Rate, aka BAR, the rate which allows cancellation without penalty up to 4pm day of arrival. The rate is $101.35 after tax.

Bonus Points Packages + Breakfast Rate 

My hypothesis is IHG is trying to convince guests to pay more for value added benefits during hotel stays with Into the Nights. An IHG hotel like Crowne Plaza Denver Airport has a restaurant and getting people to eat there is a benefit to the hotel. In general, getting loyalty members used to paying more for add-on benefits looks like a move into the business model adopted last decade for airlines with surcharges for every little benefit.

In this case though, the deal is really good for the breakfast and points rate at Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport.

IHG CP DEN 5K rate

5,000 bonus points + breakfast for 2 persons rate is $104 or $117.26 after tax.

Buying 5,000 points for $16 is a fantastic deal with IHG Rewards Club points. This is an additional $16 compared to the nonrefundable advance purchase breakfast rate at the hotel. Best Flexible Package rate for 5,000 points and breakfast for two is only an additional $17 compared to the room only Best Flexible Rate.

5,000 bonus points and breakfast package rate is a cheap add-on for Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport. I would not hesitate to buy IHG Rewards Club points at $4 per 1,000 points so this is a good value added benefit.

IHG Rewards Club offers plenty of hotels where reward stay redemption value will exceed the cost of points with the bonus points and breakfast package rate.

Cancelling my previously booked IHG App reservation for the IHG Into the Nights promotion with a Holiday Inn stay on a Saturday night was easy too on my iPhone.

A week ago my IHG Into the Nights offer for two free nights changed from five tasks requiring only three nights to complete and earn two free nights with IHG in 2015 to six tasks requiring either a minimum seven nights or IHG stays in two countries outside the USA.

IHG came out with a statement last week that some members received the incorrect offer upon original registration in September and some members, like me, saw their tasks change last week, some six weeks into the four month promotion. IHG states the new offers are the correct offers. Some members report on FlyerTalk their offers reverted back to the older tasks assigned at registration.

My tasks completely changed last week from the original offer I received when I registered September 5, 2014. I mentioned on my blog My IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offer (Sep 5, 2014) that I had difficulty all day when trying to register for IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights promotion on the previous day. My offer looked easily achievable to me with three hotel nights including two Holiday Inn Saturday night stays.

IHG has not reverted my offer back to the original offer I received upon registration in early September.

Read More…

IHG Rewards Club tweeted The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas for 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night at a 24 hour flash sale set for Thursday, October 30, 2014 at noon EDT for 50% off reward nights.

IHG Venetian Oct 30 half-off rewards

The deal here is 25,000 points is a good value, especially for weekend nights when rates are far higher than weekdays at these Las Vegas resorts. There are likely capacity controls to the number of reward nights each date, so plan to be ready at noon eastern time if you want a weekend reward night points discount for The Venetian or the Palazzo.

These two Las Vegas resort properties are InterContinental Alliance Resorts affiliated with IHG Rewards Club. Both Las Vegas properties are adjacent to each other and share swimming pools. The hotels feature rooms that are about twice the size of a standard hotel room.

IHG Palazzo

Normal price for a reward night at The Venetian or The Palazzo is 50,000 points per night with IHG Rewards Club. The 50% discount rate reduces the reward night cost to 25,000 points per night on October 30, 2014.

Loyalty Traveler related posts:

The Palazzo Las Vegas Bella Suite

The Palazzo Las Vegas Pools

IHG 48 hour sale at 600 hotels in Europe October 31, 2014

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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 48 hour sale at 600 hotels in Europe will begin at 00:01am October 31 (London time). Based on the countdown clock time, I calculate the sale starts 5pm Thursday, October 30 Pacific time and 8pm Eastern time in the USA.

IHG 48 hour sale-10-30-14

Perhaps a reader can verify my time calculations. Clocks roll back in London one hour October 26. Currently, there is an 8 hour time difference between London and California. I calculate a 7 hour time difference from 00:01 on October 31, since the US does not end daylight savings until November 2. The timer includes the additional hour when clocks roll back in London, so the sale starts at 5pm California time and 8pm Eastern time on October 30.

Not long to go now!

Don’t miss this opportunity to have a winter holiday experience you’ll never forget by bagging yourself a bargain in our 48hr winter sale.

The sale kicks off at 00:01AM on 31 October 2014 with amazing discounts on rooms at over 600 participating IHG® Hotels across Europe.

So grab a strong coffee and countdown to midnight, or get one step ahead of the pack and download our free IHG® Rewards Club app which will enable you to book 24hr’s before anyone else.

IHG 48 hour sale

Why is this IHG 48 hour sale significant?

IHG would have been my go to hotel chain in past years for London hotel stay discounts. IHG hotels are far more expensive in 2014 than in the past.

For years, one of the best discounts for London was InterContinental Hotels Group 2-for-1 rates. From 2007 to 2012, IHG 2-for-1 rates in Europe kept the price of hotels down to an average of $100 per night in London and even lower in many other places around Europe. The 2-for-1 rates were available all year. Paris was never as easy to find with 2-for-1 rates.

I published Loyalty Traveler articles from 2007 to 2013 every few months showing how travelers could go to London and Europe with 2-night stays at a time on deep discount IHG hotel rates. IHG 2-for-1 Rate Analysis for London and Barcelona (August 31, 2012). These rates typically did not earn IHG points, but at 50% discounts, points were not as significant as cash saved.

IHG dropped regularly available 2-for-1 discounts rates in 2013. The best deal in 2013 was 3rd night free for IHG in Europe and 35% discount rates. Then, IHG dropped its Europe weekend discount rates in 2014. This is a major change after so many years of discount rates readily available in London.

2014 IHG discounts for Europe Hotels have been limited time offers

There were some IHG discount rates for Europe for summer 2014. There was an IHG summer weekend 50% off sale for stays from July 18 to September 28, 2014. There were several InterContinental Hotels priced around 70EUR per night. That IHG deal had to be booked by July 31, 2014. I was whitewater rafting on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite that week and apparently I never wrote about that sale. Loyalty Lobby shows some of the deep discounts available in his post. These rates were prepaid and nonrefundable.

IHG also had 30% off and 4 nights for price of 3 nights deals for Europe in summer 2014. Loyalty Traveler – IHG Europe 4-for-3 rates or 30% off July 4-September 4.

The 48 hour sale next week may be one of the best deals for booking discount hotel rates in Europe at Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn Express hotels.

Check back with the IHG app since you might be able to begin booking in the USA on Wednesday, October 29 if that is the 24 hour advance window? Or perhaps the 12:01 am (London time), October 31 is the start time for IHG App bookings?

As many of us have learned the past two months, IHG promotion terms are often confusing, conflicting and clusterf@#ked.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG Into the Nights Clusterf#*k (October 20, 2014)

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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.

I have two Holiday Inn stays booked for Saturday nights next month. Today I open up BoardingArea to see a post on One Mile at a Time about the IHG Into the Nights promotion changes. Lucky shows his offer changed from Book a Stay using IHG mobile app to book 5 stays using the app. Mommy Points also wrote about changes to her promotion from Book a Stay using the mobile app to booking 2 stays with mobile app.

I logged into see what happened with my offer. The changes to my targeted promotion offer blow. They are completely different tasks than I have been calculating for with my hotel reservations.

IHG Into the Nights Clusterf#*k

Here is my original IHG Rewards Club ‘Into the Nights’ offer when the promotion launched.

IHG-Into-the-Nights-tasks_thumb

Task 1: Download and sign in to the IHG app and book stay.

Task 2: Stay 3 nights at any IHG hotel worldwide.

Task 3: Book two stays on ihg.com or IHG App.

Task 4: Stay 2 Saturdays at any IHG hotel.

Task 5: Stay at 2 Holiday Inn hotels.

My IHG bookings are already complete to fulfill these five tasks and earn two free nights, although I have not completed any of the hotel stays. My reservations are for November stays.

I booked three nights at two Holiday Inn hotels including Saturday nights using the mobile app. My two hotel reservations for three nights fulfill all five tasks to earn two free hotel nights.

 

This morning I log into my account to find these IHG Rewards Club ‘Into the Nights’ tasks.

IHG IntotheNights tasks-2

These are completely different tasks than I received upon registration last month.

Task 1: Stay 7 nights at any IHG hotel worldwide.

Task 2: Take our survey for 100 points.

Task 3: Book 1 stay using the Bonus Points Package with breakfast rate.

Task 4: Download and book 10 stays via the IHG app.

Task 5: Apply for IHG Rewards Club credit card.

Task 6: Stay at two IHG hotels in two different countries outside USA.

IHG Into the Nights bonus-2

This is one of the greatest clusterf@#ks I have ever seen in hotel loyalty promotions.

This reminds me of a conversation I had last October with Don Berg, VP of IHG loyalty programs. When I asked why IHG allows members to enroll in dozens of targeted promotions and earn thousands of bonus points on hotel stays, his reply was IHG technology is not sophisticated enough to prevent IHG Rewards Club members from signing up for multiple promotions and earning the bonus points.

IHG ‘Into the Nights’ promotion reveals the inadequate technology infrastructure within IHG Rewards Club.

The Last Word

Honestly, I am not concerned about this IT glitch in the promotion terms. I’ll hold back on booking any more IHG stays until this issue is resolved, but I am confident IHG Rewards Club will get this promotion back on track.

You can follow the IHG Into the Nights clusterf@#k on in this FlyerTalk thread.

IHG Response today at 10:53 on FlyerTalk

Response from IHGCare: Into The Nights Promo

HelloWe apologize for the recent issue regarding the Into The Nights Promotion. We have identified the solution and are moving toward quick resolution.

We have been advised of the following:
· All affected IHG Rewards Club members who we know have made progress towards the offer, but then received a revised hurdle offer, will have their offer marked as “completed.”

· IHG Rewards Club will be sending a direct email communication to those members who have made progress toward their offer. We will be letting them know we will be honoring the original offer and marking their progress as complete.

· IHG will be honoring their original offer and IHG Rewards Club Members will see their offer as complete if they made progress toward it. If the members have yet to stay toward their offer, but have already registered, it will transition back to a hurdle of one stay to complete.

· IHG will not be changing any point values, so the members will receive the original amount of points that the offer showcased.

· IHG Rewards Club Members who have yet to register or to see their offers will receive the variable stay amounts. To those who may inquire why they have a variable amount, simply say that we are honoring the original offers that members saw when they received their offers. All members who are newly registering are receiving the correct variable amounts.

On a side note, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to @IHGSteve, our new IHG Rewards Club community manager:http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/members/ihgsteve.html.

Thank You,
Kevin
IHGCare

 

Update 4:03pm from IHGSteve, the IHG spokesperson on FlyerTalk:

I’ve been informed that it will take about 48 hours and then will be automatically updated.

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Related Loyalty Traveler posts:

Sep 5, 2014: My IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offer

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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.

This post shares how I stayed more than 50 hotel nights in 2013 spending less than $100 per night on average for hotel rooms for hotels priced much higher than I paid in most cases.

There was a surprising insight given to me by a hotel industry CEO a few years ago,

“You can buy a laptop for the price of one hotel night” was his response to the idea that many travelers pay $400 for a hotel room night in many places.

That idea of value between hotel stays and other things in life given a $400 hotel room for one night compared to a $400 laptop computer for years has stuck with me. I recalled that conversation last week as I looked at a $350 laptop in Costco. Hotel room rates are quite a bit higher in many places these days than in 2009-10. Computers cost less.

Loyalty Traveler $100 Hotel Night Rule

Over the past seven years since I started publishing Loyalty Traveler blog, my general rule is I stay in hotels when I travel, and 90% of time in brand chain hotels. My objective is to use hotel loyalty programs for $100 average room nights.

Read More…

I enrolled my wife for IHG Rewards Club today. The fall 2014 IHG Into the Nights is a great promotion for new members. The basic deal for a new member is stay two times by December 31, 2014 at any IHG brand hotel worldwide and earn one free night for any IHG hotel.

IHG hotel brands are InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Even hotels and HuaLuxe Hotels in China.

The real deal here is two one-night stays can be found at many IHG brands for under $100 all-in per stay. Earn a free hotel night credit after $200 for two paid stays and the free night can be used for a high-priced InterContinental luxury hotel where the room rate is rarely, if ever, below $300 per night.

IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights

IHG Rewards Club ‘Into the Nights’ new member promotion offer Sep 4-Dec 31, 2014

Last month when this promotion was released, there were many bloggers posting about whether this was a good deal with questions about the free night certificate usefulness. IHG Representatives stated the free night credit is valid for one year from date of issue.

I think this is the best hotel loyalty promotion we have seen in 2014.

My IHG Rewards Club Platinum member offer allows me to complete five tasks and earn two free nights with only three paid hotel nights. I had to download the mobile app and book two Saturday night stays at Holiday Inn. I will also need a third hotel night in any brand on any day.

Loyalty Traveler – My IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offer (Sep 5, 2014)

IHG Into the Nights great promotion for new members

The new IHG Rewards Club member standard offer for Into the Nights has fewer and less restrictive tasks. Any hotel stay on any night of the week is eligible. But, two paid stays are necessary to earn one free night. Since a one-night stay counts, the new IHG Rewards Club member offer can be completed with four separate one-night stays to earn two free nights at any IHG hotel worldwide. Separate one-night stays means staying at different hotels or nonconsecutive nights at one hotel.

The true advantage I see with this deal is Kelley and I can both book rooms at the same Holiday Inn. She can book the Friday and/or Sunday night before and/or after my Holiday Inn Saturday night. That allows us to spend two or three consecutive nights at the same Holiday Inn hotel and I’ll meet my Holiday Inn stays and Saturday night stays and she can earn two stays.

Then, I need a third night at any IHG brand. We can go to any IHG hotel for three nights with Kelley booked for the first and third nights and my night the second night. Or book separate nights if that works better for our travel.

The takeaway is seven hotel nights before December 31 at a price around $700 will provide IHG Rewards Club hotel room credits we need while traveling. We are planning trips to London and Amsterdam and four free hotel nights will have great value in those places.

There are some InterContinental Hotels where I have wanted to stay, but the $350 per night rates blocked us out. Four free nights with IHG Rewards Club ‘Into the Nights’ will be a nice bonus for giving IHG hotels our business for our end of year hotel stays.

IHG Into the Nights Kelley

Kelley still has 79 days to complete four paid stays at IHG brand hotels worldwide and earn two free nights.

IHG Rewards Club ‘Into the Nights’Terms and Conditions

You must be an IHG® Rewards Club member and must register your member number in advance to participate in “Into the Nights” (“Promotion”). Upon Registration, members will be presented with the opportunity to receive at least two (2) Free Nights (subject to availability) , 50,000 bonus points or 25,000 miles. Members will receive either the Free Nights, bonus points or bonus miles listed for each offer (“Offer”) awarded after booking on any IHG website or mobile site and completing the requirements of each Offer, which must be completed between 4 September 2014 and 31 December 2014 (both dates inclusive) (“Registration”) at InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVENTM or HUALUXE(TM) hotels worldwideMembers will have the ability to choose their respective award from those offered at time of completing the Promotion and must claim their reward by 60 days from the end of the campaign promotional period.

Talking to my mom on the phone in Albuquerque this weekend, I could tell this was a great vacation for my parents and sisters. She raved about the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Albuquerque Airport being one of the best service-oriented hotels in the brand. Their trip to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2014 using hotel points resulted in a deep hotel rate discount.

The 100,000 points my parents purchased during the Daily Getaways for $567 is one of the best investments she made in 2014. Reward nights at the HIX Airport in Albuquerque for 20,000 points per night saved her several hundred dollars on four room nights when hotel rates were over $200 per night while rooms were still available for the opening weekend of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta October 4-12, 2014. The cost for a reward night at the hotel was $113.40 per room night with the discount points purchased in May 2014 through Daily Getaways. Loyalty Traveler – Daily Getaways IHG Points Did Not Sell Out (May 26, 2014).

My parents bought IHG Rewards Club points with a specific purpose since they knew their travel plans included being at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta this week and there were reward nights available at the Holiday Inn Express Albuquerque Airport when they purchased the 100,000 IHG points in May.

My sister emailed some photos taken on her iPhone from Saturday morning’s Mass Ascension at the Balloon Fiesta.

Balloon-fiesta-3

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2014

Balloon fiesta-2

This balloon seemed especially appropriate to receive on Saturday, October 4 when our local ‘hometown USA’ enclave of Pacific Grove staged the annual Butterfly Parade to welcome the Monarch butterflies who winter in a small grove of Monterey pines and eucalyptus trees a couple blocks from the ocean.

Monarch Butterflies of Pacific Grove is an article I wrote last year about the annual visit of Monarch butterflies to Pacific Grove, aka “Butterfly Town” on the Monterey Peninsula.

Balloon fiesta-1

Another article by Keri Anderson of Heels First Travel appeared on BoardingArea today: 5 Tips for Attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

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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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