Mar092019

IHG Free Nights Faster – $291 earned 60,000 points with 3 nights in Warsaw

IHG Free Nights Faster January 15-April 30, 2019 is a promotion requiring completion of member targeted tasks for bonus points. My offer consisted of 6 tasks for 52,550 bonus points. I needed to complete 5 of 6 tasks for an Achievement Bonus of 16,850 bonus points.

Three hotel stays in Warsaw last week completed 5 of 6 tasks. This article is focused on the details of how 3 IHG hotel nights earned more than 60,000 points during the Free Nights Faster promotion.

My three hotel nights in Warsaw cost $291 and so far my account shows 42,062 points earned from the three hotel stays. I will definitely receive 1,844 additional points once my IHG Mastercard points post from my first stay at Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre.

And I anticipate earning the Achievement Bonus of 16,850 bonus points for completion of 5 of 6 tasks after the IHG Mastercard task posts.

IHG Free Nights Faster 4 of 6 tasks show completed

Since each IHG hotel stay can potentially fulfill multiple tasks, I detail below how I completed each of 5 tasks with 3 hotel stays in Warsaw.

Task 1: 14,400 bonus points – Stay at 3 IHG brands

  • Stay 1 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre $68.04 (259.80 PLN)
  • Stay 2 InterContinental Warsaw $128.50 (488.12 PLN)
  • Stay 3 Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport $92.75 (355.20 PLN)

Task 2: 5,600 bonus points – Saturday Stays Bonus 

This task is one I chose not to attempt as it would have required 4 hotel nights with two stays consisting of either a FRI-SAT or SAT-SUN stay. I was able to complete 5 of 6 tasks with only 3 hotel nights.

Task 3: 5,600 bonus points – Stay at 2 IHG hotels.

  • Stay 1 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre $68.04 (259.80 PLN)
  • Stay 2 InterContinental Warsaw $128.50 (488.12 PLN)

Task 4: 6,600 bonus points – Book 2 Bonus Points Package stays.

  • Stay 1 InterContinental Warsaw $128.50 (488.12 PLN)
  • Stay 2 Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport $92.75 (355.20 PLN)

The Bonus Points Package task is one I initially thought would cost more than the 6,600 bonus points are worth to me. I value IHG Rewards Club points at $5.00 per 1,000 points. Opportunities at certain times of the year to purchase IHG Rewards Club points at $5.00 per 1,000 points during sales offering 100% bonus points or IHG Points & Cash 20% discount offers mean I can simply buy IHG points at $5/1,000 points if needed.

I generally will not redeem points for a reward stay at an IHG hotel if the redemption value is less than $5.00 per 1,000 points. I often get more than $10 per 1,000 points redemption value on my IHG reward stays.

The two hotels I booked in Warsaw as Bonus Points Package stays were inexpensive and far below average rate to buy points with a Bonus Points Package rate compared to most IHG hotels.

InterContinental Warsaw

  • $99.73 advance purchase rate
  • $110.82 flexible rate
  • $120.00 flexible rate with 5,000 bonus points.

The price to buy 5,000 IHG points was only $20.27 more to book a 5,000 Bonus Points Package compared to the lowest advance purchase rate. I paid $4.05 per 1,000 points through the Bonus Points Package rate. Besides being a great deal to buy 5,000 points, this stay completed one of two stays needed for Free Nights Faster task of 2 Bonus Points Package stays for 6,600 bonus points.

Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport

  • $77.47 advance purchase rate
  • $85.93 flexible rate
  • $92.35 flexible rate with 3,000 bonus points.  (40 cents difference from $92.75 above is Poland currency exchange fluctuation between time I booked and time I stayed.)

3,000 bonus points for $14.88 ($15.28) is still in the $5.00 per 1,000 points range that makes me a buyer of IHG Rewards Club points when I need them. Earning 6,600 bonus points with the completion of Free Nights Faster task made for an even better purchase price for IHG points.

Generally speaking, I do not buy many IHG Rewards Club points even at $5.00 per 1,000 points due to the ease of earning points during promotions for IHG bonus points with paid hotel nights I actually need when traveling.

Bottom line on this task is $35 more in hotel spend compared to the lowest nonrefundable hotel rates available for these two nights bought 14,600 IHG points.

Task 5: 1,500 bonus points – IHG MasterCard payment for one IHG hotel stay

  • Stay 1 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre $68.04 (259.80 PLN)

This advance purchase stay posted to my credit card account as $68.83 using 1 USD = 3.77 PLN exchange rate and will earn 344 points to my IHG Rewards Club account.

Task 6: 2,000 bonus points – Stay once in February 

  • Stay 1 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre $68.04 (259.80 PLN)

Will I get 16,850 Achievement Bonus Points?

My Free Nights Faster task sheet states ‘Complete 5 of the 6 offers and earn (an additional) 16,850 bonus points. My task shows 80% complete.

This should mean I will have 100% completion after the IHG Rewards Club credit card task posts as complete.

I had originally assumed I had to complete the two weekend stays task to earn the Achievement Bonus points. In past IHG Rewards Club promotions I did not think the Bonus Offer counted as one of the primary tasks for earning the Achievement Bonus, but it looks like it will with Free Nights Faster. [I know the task sheet states complete 5 of 6 tasks and there are only 6 tasks in all, but my experience over many years is IHG Rewards Club is notoriously bad with fine print and inaccurate details regarding their promotions.]

Free Nights Faster Total Earning

Holiday Inn Warsaw $68.83 earned 5,301 IHG points.

  • 4,497 stay points
    • 638 base points;
    • 319 elite bonus points;
    • 2,000 February stay bonus points (Free Nights Faster task)
    • 1,500 IHG MasterCard payment (Free Nights Faster task)
    • 344 IHG MasterCard credit card spend (5 points/$1)
  • 500 points Platinum member Welcome Amenity
  • 344 points IHG MasterCard spend points at IHG hotel (5 points/$1).

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

InterContinental Warsaw $128.50 earned 12,997 IHG points

  • 12,397 stay points
    • 1,198 base points;
    • 599 elite bonus points;
    • 5,000 points IHG Bonus Points Package
    • 5,600 points IHG 2 stays (Free Nights Faster task)
  • 600 points Platinum member Welcome Amenity

Lobby InterContinental Warsaw

Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport $92.75 earned 25,608 IHG points

  • 25,308 stay points
    • 872 base points;
    • 436 elite bonus points;
    • 3,000 points – IHG Bonus Points Package
    • 6,600 points – IHG 2 Bonus Points Package stays (Free Nights Faster task)
    • 14,400 points – IHG 3 different brands (Free Nights Faster task)
  • 300 points Platinum member Welcome Amenity

 

$291 for 3 IHG hotel nights in Warsaw last week earned at least 43,906 points and probably 60,756 points.

Assuming I will also receive the 16,850 Free Nights Faster Achievement Bonus for completing 5 of 6 tasks with these three hotel stays will mean a total 60,756 points earned for my 3 IHG hotel nights in Warsaw at a cost of $291.

Since I value IHG Rewards Club points at $5.00 per 1,000 points due to a history of getting a higher redemption value than that from my IHG reward nights over 30 or so reward nights in the past five years, then my $291 in spend has generated an account credit of at least $300 for future IHG reward nights.

This analysis shows why IHG Rewards Club is one of my favorite hotel loyalty programs for the ease in earning points during its promotions each year. I spent three nights in Warsaw and enjoyed walking around the city visiting museums, eating and drinking inexpensively in restaurants and pubs, while taking the opportunity to become more familiar with Poland’s capital city.

Warsaw Old Town

Warsaw Old Town

IHG Warsaw Hotel Reviews

IHG Free Nights. Faster. Stay 1 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

IHG Free Nights Faster – Stay 2 InterContinental Warsaw $129 earned 12,997 points

IHG Free Nights Faster Stay 3 Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport review [to come].

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. So you spend almost $300 to gain 60,000 points which accounts for 0.5cpp (or $5 for 1,000). Like you said this is the ongoing “purchase” rate, so the only benefit I see from this story is that you stayed for “free” those 3 nights – essentially getting back 100% in value. If you were planning to stay in Poland anyway – that’s a win.
    My personal IHG offer had different tasks, and I hope to earn 35,000 for $55 once all stays accounted for.
    Your 60,000 points are nice to earn, but one also have to consider transportation cost between the hotels, and need to jump hotels every day = spending hours on that alone. Might not worth such efforts considering the low award redemption values for hotels in Poland.

  2. Travel from Holiday Inn Warsaw to InterContinental Warsaw was a 10 minute walk. I left my luggage at Holiday Inn while I spent the day at Warsaw Rising Museum 20 minutes walk west of museum, then stopped by hotel to retrieve my luggage on the walk to the InterContinental Warsaw, 10 minutes walk east of Holiday Inn. Old Town and Nowy Swiat where I went to pubs and ate dinner are west of InterContinental.

    Entire extra time was maybe 30 minutes more to change hotels and check-in to IC Warsaw, which was also more convenient to the train station for Warsaw Airport the following day.

    Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport was 5 nights later after flying backing from Crete to Warsaw.

    The main purpose of my trip to Europe was to fly Aegean Airlines four flight segments to Greece for Star Alliance Gold elite status. Picking up the IHG points with 3 nights in Warsaw were added benefit of the main purpose of my trip.

    An alternative hotel stay plan I could have taken advantage of would have been two nights with Best Western in Warsaw for $85 and earned a free reward night at any Best Western in USA/Canada.

    Lots of cheap hotel options in Warsaw, but I’d rather have a future credit than spend $120 on 3 hotel nights with no credit. The advantage of IHG in Warsaw for me is that I had stayed previously at InterContinental Warsaw and HIX Warsaw Airport, so I knew how to get to those hotels easily and what is around them.

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