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.

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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.

*****

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 Rewards Club has been selling points with numerous promotions lately. I guess they figure if members are willing to pay a purchase rate of $70 for 10,000 points by booking Points & Cash Rewards and then cancelling them to keep the points, then there is a buying market among members at a certain price point below the normal $11.50 rate through Points.com.

Is the current offer a good deal? Buy IHG Points with 60% bonus (Points.com link).

Buy IHG Rewards Club Points Current Offer October 1-31, 2014

Get up to 60% bonus points when you buy 5,000 or more IHG® Rewards Club points, from now until October 31, 2014:*

• Purchase 5,000 to 19,000 points and get a 30% bonus
• Purchase 20,000 to 39,000 points and get a 40% bonus
• Purchase 40,000 to 49,000 points and get a 50% bonus
• Purchase 50,000 to 60,000 points and get a 60% bonus

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IHG PointBreaks Sep 29-Nov 30 now bookable for hotel reward nights at 5,000 points per night. This is a great deal for hotel points since it is easy to buy IHG Rewards Club points quickly at the rate of $70 per 10,000 points through Points & Cash reward bookings that are canceled. IHG Rewards Club also has periodic opportunities throughout the year to buy points at even lower rates. This means PointBreaks hotel nights are typically valued as $35 hotel nights. Some of the hotels on the PointBreaks list are likely over $200 per night on some dates, although most hotels tend to fall in the $90 to $130 per night range.

Loyalty Traveler – PointBreaks and the IHG points trick in pictures

Personally, I do not find this list of hotels too useful for my travels. I might be able to use the Interstate 5 hotel in Westley when visiting a friend in Modesto or perhaps Bakersfield if I drive to Las Vegas in the next couple of months.

Just a reminder that IHG Rewards Club added a PointBreaks terms & conditions restriction a couple months ago limiting members to only two PointBreaks award stays per hotel during a specific promotion period.

IHG® Rewards Club PointBreaks is a Reward Nights special offer. PointBreaks are Reward Nights priced at 5,000 points at selected hotels for a limited period of time, instead of the standard redemption rate. IHG® Rewards Club PointBreaks Reward Nights are based on availability and PointBreaks locations may be added or deleted at any time. Due to the limited availability, each member may only book two PointBreaks Reward Nights reservations per hotel during the special offer time period. The PointBreaks special offer may be restricted, suspended, modified, or substituted at any time without notice. Reward Nights booked through PointBreaks may not be sold or used for commercial gains. Doing so is a program violation and may result in the freezing of your account, the forfeiture of all point transfers, rewards, vouchers, or merchandise issued pursuant to point redemptions and any accrued points or miles in your account, as well as cancellation of the account and your future participation in the Program. All other Reward Nights terms and conditions apply.

IHG Rewards Club T&C

One strategy I may use is to book a paid night followed by a PointBreaks night at the Holiday Inn Denver for a qualifying stay for the current IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights promotion. SPG’s current promotion invalidates a paid night followed by an award night on consecutive nights at the same hotel. The entire stay will count as an SPG award stay. As far as I know, IHG Rewards Club paid night still counts even if combined with an award night for the same hotel stay. That is a point I hope to test on a Holiday Inn stay in November. Loyalty Traveler My IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offer.

IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks Hotel List

United States

ALABAMA
HOLIDAY INN HUNTSVILLE-RESEARCH PARK
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SELMA

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IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks Sep 29-Nov 30 preview list of 160+ hotels at 5,000 points per night is available in this post, however, these hotels will not be available to book at the discount rate until sometime later today or maybe tomorrow.

The other thing is this list only shows the city and you need to click the link to find which hotel is one PointBreaks. Again, this is only a preview list before the official launch of PointBreaks Monday September 29, 2014.

Hover your mouse over the link and you can quickly see which hotel brand is participating in each city. The only InterContinental Hotel on this list I noticed is Nha Trang, Vietnam.

This link will take you to the IHG PointBreaks page where the hotels below, sometime in the next 24 hours, will replace the hotels currently on the PointBreaks list.

UNITED STATES

Alabaster, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Selma, Alabama
Heber Springs, Arkansas
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas
Rogers, Arkansas

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I finally was able to register and see my IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights promotion offer. This post is titled My IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offer since this is a targeted promotion and your offer is likely something different.

After difficulty all day yesterday accessing the offer, the promotion tasks I received look easily doable for a bonus potentially worth more than double my estimated cost to fulfill the promotion offer.

IHG Into the Nights tasks

Five tasks for 10,500 bonus points.

1. Download IHG mobile app and book one stay = 500 points.

2. Stay 3 nights at any IHG properties during Sep 1-Dec 31 = 2,000 points.

3. Book 2 stays at IHG website or mobile site = 2,000 points.

4. Stay 2 Saturdays at any IHG hotel = 4,000 points.

5. Stay at 2 Holiday Inn hotels = 2,000 points.

  • Complete 3 tasks and earn additional 25,000 bonus points or one free night.

This can be done with 2 one-night Saturday stays at any IHG brand booked over my phone.

  • Complete 5 tasks and earn another 25,000 bonus points or one free night.

I can complete all five tasks with 2 stays and 3 nights at Holiday Inn. I normally book Saturday stays anyway.

The deal with targeted promotions is the best offers often go to the members who stay infrequently. That is my case this time around.

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Do not think you are alone for all of you who read the IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights offers posted by Mommy Points and One Mile at a Time this morning, clicked the link, entered your membership number and PIN, to see this message:

IHG Into the Nights

“We are sorry, but there was an error. Please try again later.”

I logged into my account and searched around the links. There is no offer posted to my account yet.

Don’t you love targeted loyalty promotions?

Guess I can write a GrawliX-Files post instead. There has been some crazy s#@t happening in Mallorca, Spain this summer.

Or perhaps I’ll post some photos of Oslo, Norway from my afternoon walk today in the brilliant sun and 70F temperature.

IHG Rewards Club has many of us in the dark this Thursday, advertised as the launch of the new IHG Rewards Club Into the Nights promotion.

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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