This is a mistake I made that I’m still in disbelief about. I registered for IHG’s quarter 1 Accelerate promotion on December 15th, 2016. This was the first day you could register and I was excited about what my offers would be. I had some amazing offers.
My offers allowed me to earn 63,300 points after completing only two stays. To get these points, I needed to book and stay once during the promotional period, stay at 2 different IHG brands, have one stay in Europe, China, Asia Pacific, the Middle East or Africa, and pay for one of the stays with my IHG credit card. I realized I could accomplish all of this with only two stays!
The First Stay
I booked the first stay at the Holiday Inn Johannesburg Airport. Upon checking out, I paid for the room with my IHG credit card. That stay cost me about $63.00. This completed the parts of my offers that required me to stay at an IHG property in Africa, pay for a stay with my IHG credit card, count for one of the two brands I needed to stay at, and also complete the book and stay once offer.
A week or so later, I checked my IHG accelerate dashboard and saw that some of the promotion requirements had been updated. What was weird about it was that the “Book and Stay Once” offer did not update. However, I still had another stay coming up that should trigger the offer, so I did not feel the need to contact IHG.
The Second Stay
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Santiago Los Condes on April 11th, 2017 for our second stay. This stay cost me $122.50. This is more than I would normally spend on one night’s lodging. A few weeks later, my Accelerate dashboard finally updated and once again the Book and Stay Once offer did not get triggered by this stay. At this point it was after April 15th, when the promotion ended.
I reached out to IHG with my issue. A few days later, they got back to me and told me I did not have a stay that qualified for the Book and Stay Once offer because both the booking and staying must have occurred during the promotion period. My bookings were on December 16th, 2016 and December 30th, 2016. The promotion period was from January 1st, 2017 to April 15th, 2017. I did not read the fine print of the offer and had assumed that stays I booked after registering for the promotion would count.
I spent $185.50 for two nights lodging and the expectation of 63,300 points from this promotion. I ended up only getting 37,300 points, 26,000 points less than I had expected. As a gesture of goodwill, IHG gave me 1,000 points, which brought my “loss” down to 25,000 points.
This has taught me to read the fine print of every promotion I sign up for from now on. In this case, I think IHG was sleazy to allow people people to sign up for a promotion on December 15th, and then not count stays people booked for that promotion between December 15th and December 31st. I am still fighting in hopes they will give me the points, but I doubt they will.
What do you think? Was IHG sleazy or was this 100% my fault?