[Update Aug 31: Raffles of HeadforPoints.com blog provided an updated IHG 2-for-1 link in the comments of this post. Long live the 2-for-1!
The analysis in this post shows a 3-for-2 rate might not be that great a deal for your travels. My subsequent post of August 31 offers a new IHG 2-for-1 rate analysis for London and Barcelona.
Original post content continues below.]
Five years now I have been writing about a special IHG 2-for-1 rate for UK and other IHG hotels in Europe. A couple times a year I’d show how to stay in London for 2 to 8 nights on average rates around USD$100 per night for Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels. Back in 2007 this rate offered the InterContinental Carlton Cannes for about $150 per night. The past few years this 2-for-1 offer was primarily Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and HI Express.
In my last post on the IHG 2-for-1 rate about seven weeks ago I showed the London Holiday Inn Kensington Forum hotel had standard rooms available for the Olympics August 10-12 for USD$250 per night or an Executive room with lounge access for USD$295 per night (after 2-for-1 rate applied).
A Tower Suite at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen was $340 per night using the 2-for-1 rate discount.
The T&C for this promotion stated it was available through August 31, 2012.
Yesterday, when I updated my Loyalty Traveler Hotel Promotions Guide, I noticed the IHG discount link has been updated and changed. The 2-for-1 option is no longer shown on the page. There is now only the 3-for-2 rate option.
Weekend Breaks only shows 3-for-2 rates now. Until recently there was also a 2-for-1 button. Is this the end of the IHG 2-for-1 rate discount?
Loyalty Traveler Rate Analysis of 3-for-2 discount
These 3-for-2 rate discounts are based on the Best Flexible Rate for a 33% discount. Advance purchase rates generally provide 20% to 30% discount on rooms. The 3-for-2 rate is essentially a prepaid, nonrefundable advance purchase rate with a slightly better discount for some hotels.
Since the 3 nights for 2 rates are a 33% discount rate, the savings are far less than the 50% discount on BAR offered with the 2-for-1 rate.
One favorable feature to point out is the opportunity to book higher category rooms, even suites at some hotels, using this rate.
The unfavorable feature of the 3-for-2 rate is the fine print term stating these rates are ineligible for Priority Club points.
3 nights for the price of 2 Terms and Conditions
- Offer applicable for breaks and reservations made from 1st January 2012 to 31st August 2012.
- Stays are available over Fri, Sat and Sun nights with many hotels offering midweek availability – please check at time of booking.
- 3 for 2 offer is based on the Best Flex Rate and consists of three consecutive night stays with the 3rd night at no charge, based on two adults sharing a standard twin/double room (max.2 adults per room) at participating hotels only.
- Full payment must be made at time of booking; no cancellations or amendments permitted; no refunds given.
- Up to 2 children under the age of 18 stay free when sharing a room with up to 2 adults, if suitable accommodation is available.
- Single supplement will be charged at the full room per night price.
- All rooms are subject to availability with a limited number of rooms available at these offer rates. Rates may vary by date of booking. Limited availability may be applicable over public holidays.
- Offer not available to groups and can not be used in conjunction with any other offers or special promotions.
- A booking made pursuant to this offer is non transferable.
- Priority Club points do not apply.
Note the date August 31, 2012 has not been updated in the T&C, and the webpage is even more confusing for the promotion dates:
Offers only available for breaks and reservations made from 12nd August 2001 to 12nd December 2013
Example IHG 3-for-2 Discount:
Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre, UK
Oct 12-15, 2012
IHG 3 for 2 rate:
- Standard Room = USD$94.88 per night.
- King Bed Superior with SofaBed = USD$105.42 per night.
- Superior Double with SofaBed (Max 2 adults + 2 Children) = USD$105.42 per night.
3-for-2 rate = 99.95GBP for 2 nights and third night free. VAT tax included for a total rate of 199.90GBP.
21-Day Advance Purchase Rate for same room
Each date of the three night stay has a different rate.
- Friday Oct 12 = 75.95 GBP
- Saturday Oct 13 = 88.95GBP
- Sunday October 14 = 68.95GBP
- Total = 233.85GBP
Advance Purchase Rate = 233.85GBP ($370.98).
3-for-2 rate = 199.90GBP (USD$317.15).
Since these are both prepaid nonrefundable rates, the exchange rate today applies for Americans booking these rooms.
3-for-2 rate saves USD$53.83 on this 3-night stay for a rate discount of USD$17.94 per night.
This savings is not nearly as good a deal as the IHG 2-for-1 rates.
Crowne Plaza – London The City
Oct 12-15, 2012
- 21-Day Advance Purchase rate 417.60 GBP (after tax)
- 3-for-2 rate 420 GBP (after tax)
In this rate check the 3-for-2 rate is more than the 21-day advance purchase rate with no added benefits. In fact, the 3-for-2 rate is even a worse choice due to the T&C condition of no points earned on the 3-for-2 discount rate.
I hope this is just a temporary absence of the IHG 2-for-1 discount rate. For several years now IHG has offered the best hotel chain discounts at UK hotels, particularly London, and offered good discounts for select hotels around Europe participating in 2-for-1 rates.
Please bring back the IHG 2-for-1!
Loyalty Traveler post link: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/08/31/has-ihg-ended-its-best-ukeuropean-rate-discount/
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.