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My Accelerate offer requires 6 of 7 steps being fulfilled. 5 can be done with just 1 stay.
Today is the first day that you can register for the IHG Accelerate promotion that runs between September 1st and December 31st, 2017. If you’re unfamiliar with IHG Accelerate it’s a promotional program that IHG runs quarterly that allows its members to earn bonus points by completing a set of criteria individualized for each member. In the past I haven’t been THAT enticed by my offers, but this time around I think I may just bite and go for it. I have a few trips planned for the rest of the year, and I can fulfill 6 of the 7 criteria with just 3 stays. Lemme show you my thoughts on it and how I’m thinking of getting it done.
Take a look at my Accelerate Offer. You can go here to Register for yours
One of my criteria mandates that I stay with a “bonus package” which would give me 1000 bonus points. My Accelerate offer is technically 80,300 points.
At first glance it looks like I’d have to do a lot. HOWEVER. If we dig into the deal we actually find 66k bonus points can be had with just 3 stays + joining IHG Ambassador, which I’ve been heavily considering for a while.
Let’s focus on the 7 “Grey’d out” offers. Here’s how 5 of those can be satisfied with just 1 stay
- Stay Once earn 2000
- Earn 6600 with a bonus package
- These aren’t much more expensive than flexible bookings anyways and I’ll earn some more bonus points
- Stay in Europe, China, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa
- I’m planning on spending New Years in Europe so I should be able to make this happen
- Spend on your IHG credit card
- easy enough
- Join Ambassador
- I’ve been leaning towards doing this for awhile anyways ( I could even use the points option to save on cash outlay)
If I join Ambassador and stay at say a Holiday Inn in Europe, with a bonus package, and pay for it with my IHG card I’ll cross 5 items off the list.
You can use points to join Ambassador:
Use 32k to buy Ambassador. I’d get 5k back as a bonus which nets out to 27k points for Ambassador. I’d still be ahead on IHG Accelerate by almost 40k points and have an Ambassador account. Not too shabby.
That leaves me with just 1 item left to achieve the 6/7 requirement
Here are the two remaining options
- Staying at 3 different brands earns 19,200 points
- 5 nights earns 10, 000 points
Staying at 3 different brands not only nets me more points ( 19,200 vs 10k), but if I do one of those stays in September I’ll earn an additional September bonus of 3000 points
The brands that make up IHG
Assuming I’ve joined Ambassador, an option that would give me a free extra night would be utilizing Ambassador’s BOGO weekend night at Intercontinental hotels. Would be a fun way to stack a free night with a promotion
How much are IHG points worth?
You can always buy IHG points for $0.007 using a dummy booking. Meaning…if I were to net 66k points I’d be earning $462 worth of points. As long as my three nights totaled less than this value, it’d be worth mattress running just to make the promotion work. Right now, I think I have a couple nights I can switch into IHG to complete two of the 3 stays, which means getting the 3rd may be worth renting a cheap Holiday Inn somewhere to complete the challenge.
66k Points guarantees me a free night at any IHG in the world.
IHG’s top tier is 60k points per night. Since I have the IHG credit card from Chase I get 10% back on all redemptions. Meaning 66k points would get me a free night anywhere AND leave me with 12k points – enough to take advantage of a couple PointBreaks nights on a roadtrip ( those are only 5k a night).
The Intercontinental Carlton Cannes is in an amazing location and can go for INSANE PRICES during the festival. This promotion would get me a free night there. I could also use the free night that the IHG credit card awards yearly to stay 2 nights free of charge. Amazing.
Go here to register and find out what your IHG Accelerate promotion is offering you!
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.