IHG

Tag Archives for IHG.

My Free Anniversary Night in Downtown Austin – Thanks to the Chase Hyatt Card!

Say what you will about Chase, but their hotel cards that come with a free anniversary night are worth every penny.

And fortunately, some of them are still accessible even if you’re over 5/24, including:

I wrote how I got $500 in value from the Chase IHG card earlier this year. And I’ve used my Chase Hyatt free night certificate at the Hyatt Centric in New Orleans and the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. I also wrote about 5 worthwhile Category 4 hotels where you can get lot of bang for your Hyatt free night cert.

hyatt anniversary night

A view of Texas hill country – paid for with my Hyatt free night certificate

And this past weekend, I got a stay worth ~$284 at the Hyatt Place Austin Downtown (full review soon!) in exchange for my $75 annual fee.

With values like this, a card with a valuable free night each cardmember year is a no-brainer to keep year after year. Especially when you can get outsized value in popular areas like downtown Austin.

A cute lil weekend trip

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Booking Glacier: I Used Points for Free Flights and Hotel Nights – and Still Paid $1,000

Later this week, I’m heading to Kalispell, Montana, to hike in Glacier National Park with my friend Angie. I can’t wait – it’s been 10 years since I’ve been in Montana!

glacier national park

Me in Montana – 2007

Though I’m excited, I found it admittedly difficult to cobble this trip together with points and miles – rural places are not kind to our hobby. So I paid about $1,000 out-of-pocket because I really wanted to go.

Here’s how I minimized costs as much as possible.

Flights to Glacier National Park with US Bank Altitude Reserve points

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This Card Got Me a $500+ Hotel Stay for $49

So, I’m shutting down my last New York Airbnb at the end of this month. This will effectively cut my final tie to that city – finally. I wanted to go for a night or two to turn in the cable box, return the keys, and officially wrap it up.

Of course, I thought about using hotel points because I really didn’t want to pay for it (although I could theoretically write off the expense). Then it occurred to me I had a free night from my Chase IHG card set to expire. Even better, I just earned another one for paying the second year’s $49 annual fee.

chase ihg card

Right where I need to be in town and 100% free

I used them for a ~$539 two-night stay at the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York for $0. Because the annual fee is waived the first year, I basically paid $49 – and got back a stay worth over $500.

Here’s why you might consider picking up the Chase IHG card. Even if you already have lots of other cards.

The Chase IHG card gives easy value year after year

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Everyone Can Get Free Kindle eBooks From IHG App

Greetings, earthlings. No idea if this has been mentioned on other blogs or not.

I found a cool deal while tooling around on the IHG app.

ihg kindle offer

Free Kindle eBooks – thanks, IHG!

Anyone can download the app and access free Kindle eBooks. You get more free eBooks throughout the year for having status with IHG.

Here are the deets!

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My IHG Q3 Accelerate Offer Is Actually OK! How’s Yours?

I’ve gotten some pretty terrible IHG offers from IHG’s various “Accelerate” promotions (including one that required me to stay at a hotel brand with only 2 locations).

But their new Q3 Accelerate offer is actually… kind of OK (but couldn’t they come up with a different name for it? Even the URL is bland lol).

It’s not worth moving a minor mountain for or anything, but it seems I can stay at an IHG for 2 nights in September 2016 and earn an extra 35,000 IHG points.

My IHG Accelerate offer

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Hotel Review: ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka

Also see: 

I should say up front: I really wanted to stay at the Hilton Osaka, but there wasn’t availability – paid or with points – for my dates.

And the Hyatt Regency Osaka wasn’t available, either. (Even if it was, it’s pretty far from most attractions, unless you want to be near Universal Studios Japan, which I hear is incredible.)

Lobby of the ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka

Lobby of the ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka

The only thing available as far as chain hotels was the ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka, an IHG hotel. It was between this and an Airbnb.

In the end, I opted to pay 50,000 IHG points for 2 nights here because:

  • It was free
  • I randomly earned IHG Spire Elite status and wanted to see if it made a difference
  • IHG Spire Elite status comes with 25,000 bonus IHG points, so one of the nights was a total freebie
  • I have a ton of IHG points and wanted to burn some of them
  • The Chase IHG card gives you 10% of your redeemed miles back in your account
  • The stay at the Hilton Tokyo was paid and I wanted to decrease the overall price of the trip

Arrival and check-in

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Just Booked: 2 Nights at Hyatt at The Bellevue for $150 (Worth Over $900!)

Also see:

I’ve written about the incredible value you can get with the annual free night from the Chase Hyatt card at Hyatt Category 4 hotels.

A hotel I listed as an “honorable mention” is the Hyatt at The Bellevue in Philadelphia.

For my last weekend as a New Yorker, I’ll actually be in Philly, at this Hyatt. Jay and I both recently got our free night certs and I’ve been itching to burn them.

We got a super deal on a weekend getaway.

Hyatt at the Bellevue

Hyatt at the Bellevue

This is an awesome example of how easy it is to get value from the Chase Hyatt card. The annual free night makes it well worth keeping!

By the numbers

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Chase IHG MasterCard Sign-Up Bonus Counts Toward Spire Elite Status!

Also see: 

Update 7/13/15: Some peeps are reporting their sign-up bonus is NOT counting toward Spire elite status. I got my Chase IHG MasterCard in February of 2015. If you got the card this year, it’s worth checking to see if the sign-up bonus counts toward Spire status. Also, for some at least, ALL of the spend on the Chase IHG MasterCard counts toward Spire status!

I was all hot-n-heavy for IHG for a second there. I was targeted to receive 80,000 IHG points on the Chase IHG MasterCard and I thought you know what, OK. So I got it, met the minimum spend and then… never used it again.

I logged in today to see how many IHG points I had, and noticed I’d been upgraded? To Spire?

I mean, yeah, that's cool

I mean, yeah, that’s cool, but… how?

Then I dug a little and realized…

The sign-up bonus counts toward Spire

I haven’t stayed at an IHG hotel since the fantastic InterContinental in Sydney.

All I did was get the Chase IHG MasterCard, register for the “Set Your Sights” promo, and meet the minimum spend.

But apparently the 80,000 points I earned from the Chase IHG Visa overqualified me toward Spire, which requires 75 nights at IHG hotels or 75,000 elite qualifying points.

All points earned from the Chase IHG Visa, including the sign-up bonus, counts toward Spire status

All points earned from the Chase IHG Visa, including the sign-up bonus, counts toward Spire status

Here’s literally all of the activity in my IHG this year:

All

All the Chase IHG MasterCard Activity adds up to all the IHG EQPs I’ve earned this year

And as you can see, after upgrading to Spire, I was given the choice to add 25,000 IHG points to my account -or- gift IHG Platinum status to a friend.

I took the 25,000 IHG points and ran! 

Yay-isss!

Yay-isss!

So when you think about it, I actually got over 100,000 IHG points for opening the Chase IHG MasterCard. Because the bonus alone was enough to earn Spire, and then IHG gave me 25,000 more points.

And, I’ll have the status until the end of 2016. IHG says:

Once you have earned the newest membership status in any calendar year, you will maintain such status until the end of the following calendar year.

So that’s kinda… awesome!

Bottom line

The upgrade to Spire makes me want to plan more IHG stays so I can earn 100% bonus points… and see how good the upgrade situation really is and assess elite treatment.

I might go out of my way to stay at more IHG properties this year, if only for the sake of using IHG points. To be continued…

Was anyone else auto-upgraded to Spire? 

Thank you for using my links to get a travel rewards card! Right now, the bonus on the IHG card is 60,000 IHG points after meeting the minimum spending requirement of spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

*Gay gasp!* IHG says I can stay local for Set Your Sights promo

Pardon me if this post sounds incredibly naïve.

But I was under the impression that for the IHG Set Your Sights promo that I would have to go to a different state to complete it.

Now it seems I have a choice. 

This morning, I got an email:

They know

They know

What the hee-haw?

I’d assumed that my recent acquisition of the IHG Rewards Select credit card would not count toward this promo because I used a targeted email from IHG and not the link that was on the promo page – which I assumed was coded with a tracker that would link back to the promo. Well, you know what they say about assumptions…

Resigned to completing the other 3 out of 4 requirements, I quickly saw that I’d have to trek to Connecticut to play this round.

But now I have the choice.

CT vs NY

Ha, I will in no way debate the pros and cons of those two places, don’t worry.

But now I could simply check into the Holiday Inn Express here in Brooklyn – with a daily rate of ~$85 a night – and save myself a whole heap of cash… but lose out on 12,000 IHG points.

Screenshot 2015-02-14 11.21.20

Tempting

~$405 total

~$405 total

The only hitch right now is that my upgrade to Platinum hasn’t been applied yet, and I don’t even have the card in hand. If those two things were in place, I think I’d just go ahead and pull the trigger on this… and the rates when those two things coincide with each other might be very different than $85/night.

The other thing is that I will miss out on 12,000 IHG points by staying local. But then again, I just got 2,000 points for opening the card (that I wasn’t expecting) and my bonus was 10,000 points higher than the offer in the promo… so there’s my extra 12,000 points right there.

Now it’s just a matter of how crazy for points I want/can afford (with money and time) to get, how the rates change, and when my upgrade will be applied.

I was also kinda sorta curious about experiencing the EVEN brand but I think I can wait until they launch their NYC flagship location. If I had to. 😉

Bottom line

IHG is watching! And now I can choose whether to go to Connecticut and get 12,000 extra points or stay in NYC, get less points, and save money.

I’ll wait until 1). I have the card in hand so I can meet minimum spend and earn 5 points per dollar and 2). my Platinum status upgrade is applied. I want that 50% bonus!

I’m having fun with this promo and getting more familiar with a new (to me) program. And, in a bigger picture kind of way, it seems like mattress running is becoming the new mileage running (going after segments as opposed to miles flown if that makes any sense). Until hotels go revenue based too, of course.

Has anyone else been mattress running with the new IHG Set Your Sights promo? Worth it or nah? 

Should I go to a different state for my IHG Set Your Sights Promo?

A new (to me) program

A new (to me) program

AKA how crazy should I be to get some points? 

IHG is rather new to me, so I’m really open to pretty much anything with regard to the Rewards Club program.

I know the Set Your Sights promo is personalized, and, given that I have no paid stays for the past couple of years, or status, or anything, mine is pretty dismal:

My IHG Set Your Sights promo offer

My IHG Set Your Sights promo offer

But I gotta start somewhere. I am hoping that the next one will be a little more… favorable, but when I break this down, I can complete 3 out of 4 in one fell swoop… it just involves going to Connecticut.

Running the numbers on the promo

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I broke down and got the Chase IHG Rewards Club credit card

Yes, I fell in a moment of weakness.

Chase has been targeting me relentlessly for months about opening up a dang IHG credit card with them.

With regularity, I get these emails:

Chase IHG targeted email

Chase IHG targeted email

They interested me for a number of reasons:

  • I have no status with IHG
  • I don’t have any paid stays within the past 2 years
  • My only stays have been reward stays
  • I only had 550 “orphan points” that have been sitting there forever
  • I already have 5 open credit cards with Chase – why are they trying to push a 6th one so hard?
The emails from Chase

The emails from Chase

I got this email in September, October, November, December, and January. I probably would’ve gotten one in February too – six months in a row – had I not pulled the trigger.

Why I got the IHG credit card

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Hotel Review: InterContinental Sydney, Australia

From the way overdue files…

This time last year, I celebrated the start of 2014 in Sydney at the InterContinental.

I got in on the annual Daily Getaways promo to buy 150,000 IHG points – and promptly redeemed them for three nights in a “King Standard City Side Room.”

Now, I expected the area downtown to be crazy for New Years Eve. The location was amazing.

Location of the InterContinental Sydney

Location of the InterContinental Sydney

I don’t remember how, but I was somehow Gold with IHG at the time. This was with zero stays – maybe I status matched? Whatever the case, I am still Gold with them today despite not having any paid stays in 2013 or 2014. Mysteries of the universe.

I thought maybe, just maybe, I’d get some sort of upgrade for being Gold during a time where there would be a lot of tourists with no status. I didn’t expect it, but thought I had a ghost of a chance.

Check-in

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