Roughly three times per year, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) comes out with an Accelerate promotion that is different for each program member. The promotions encourage members to complete various requirements to earn bonus points. The latest Accelerate promotion is valid for stays between Sept. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019, and you can register on IHG’s website.
Since your promotion is very likely to be different from mine, I can’t tell you the best way to complete your requirements to earn the most points. But I can share with you a few examples of the latest promotion and how I would complete the requirements in the fewest number of stays:
» Learn more: IHG Rewards: More value for the frugal traveler
Example No. 1
First up is an Accelerate promotion that one of my friends was targeted for. In this example, you can earn a large number of points with relatively few nights and stays at IHG hotels. Here are the details:
- Earn 1,000 points when you download, sign in and book one stay using the IHG app.
- Stay four nights and earn 2,000 bonus points.
- Stay at two IHG hotels and earn 3,000 bonus points.
- Stay three weekends, including a Saturday night and earn 4,000 bonus points.
- Complete three of the four offers and earn 10,000 bonus points.
- Complete all four offers and earn 20,000 bonus points.
Here’s how you could earn the most points with the least number of stays:
- Book one night at an IHG hotel through the app to complete the first offer, earn 1,000 points.
- Book two different hotels for one night each (one of which should be on a Saturday night) to complete the third offer and earn 3,000 points.
- Book another one-night stay (or a two-night stay that includes a Saturday night) to complete the second and fifth offers and earn 12,000 points.
You could stop there having earned 16,000 points. But if you book one more weekend stay that includes a Saturday night, you’ll complete steps 4 and 6 and earn 24,000 more points.
If you decide to just complete the easiest offers, you can stay four nights across three different IHG hotels to earn 16,000 bonus points. If you already have two weekend stays planned, then you can complete just one more weekend stay to earn a total of 40,000 points. Remember to book at least one of those stays through the mobile app.
Example No. 2
Some promotions require a little more thinking upfront about what your travel plans are and how much you really plan to stay at hotels during the promotional period.
My dad’s promotion is a great example — he can earn quite a few bonus points with just three nights, or he can earn a ton of points if he completes the full promotion. Below are the details of my dad’s IHG Accelerate promotion:
- Stay at two brands, earn 8,400 points.
- Stay at two Crowne Plaza hotels, earn 8,400 points.
- Stay two weekends (including a Saturday night), earn 5,600 points.
- Book one Points & Cash stay, earn 4,500 points.
- Book two stays of four or more nights, earn 12,000 points.
- Complete five out of five offers, earn 19,450 points.
Here is the way to earn a good chunk of points with just three nights:
- Stay at two separate Crowne Plaza hotels to complete the second offer and earn 8,400 points.
- Stay at any other IHG hotel to complete the first offer and earn 8,400 points.
With just three nights, you can earn 16,800 bonus IHG points.
But if you have a ton of travel planned during the promotional period, it could make sense to be strategic and complete the whole promotion:
- Stay at a Crowne Plaza hotel for four nights, including a Saturday stay.
- Stay at another IHG brand hotel for four nights, including a Saturday stay. That completes the first, third and fifth offers to earn you 26,000 points.
- Book another Crowne Plaza hotel using Points & Cash. That completes the second, fourth and sixth offers to earn you 32,350 points.
In this second example, you can earn 58,350 points with just nine hotel nights over three hotel stays. Not too bad!
Example No. 3
My IHG Accelerate promotion this time around is actually one of the worst that I’ve had. I probably won’t be completing any IHG stays — or at the very least, I won’t be going out of my way to stay at IHG hotels during this promotion period. Here are the details of my promotion:
- Double points on every stay, starting with the second stay, up to 40,000 IHG points.
Double points isn’t a bad thing at all for stays that already make sense, but it doesn’t make it worth readjusting my travel plans, either.
The bottom line
IHG promotions generally offer a great way to earn a bunch of bonus points really quickly, but not all Accelerate promotions are created equal. It always makes sense to check out what your promotion is and compare the requirements with your travel plans during the promotion period. Who knows — one additional stay could net you a bunch of extra bonus points.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
IHG Hotel card review: Free nights on a silver platter
4 things to do when you get the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card