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

For starters, I want to wait until IHG upgrades me to Platinum because I want those 50% bonus points, yo!

It can take up to 8 weeks (!) for the upgrade to be applied to my IHG account. Damn! Not like the Chase Hyatt Visa where the upgrade is instant.

So these numbers will assume I’m Platinum.

Now, turning back to the promo, I already have the credit card (and I was targeted for a better offer) so that one’s off the list.

But I could fulfill the other 3 by:

  • Staying 4 nights
  • …with a Bonus Points Package
  • …at a specific hotel in Norwalk, Connecticut (I’m not going to Rockville, Maryland. I’m sure it’s a nice place but no.)

Things that make you go hmmmm. 

After seeing other people’s personalized promos (stay anywhere from 11 to 23 (!) nights, 6 Saturdays, 10 stays, etc.), this one doesn’t seem so bad.

Here is the rate at the EVEN hotel in Norwalk, CT:

Screenshot 2015-02-13 14.36.23

~$150 a night

And for 4 nights:



Note that this is not with the Bonus Points Package.

That one is ~$189 a night.

With Bonus Points Package

With Bonus Points Package

And ~$846 for 4 nights. But I would earn 10,140 points (6,760+ 3,380 50% Platinum bonus) for it.

As well as:

  • 50,000 points for completing Set Your Sights promo
  • 4,232 points for putting the stay on Chase IHG Visa
  • Get to 85% of the way through meeting the $1,000 minimum spend on said Chase IHG Visa
  • 4,000 points from 1,000 bonus points per night (per the room rate)
  • Plus whatever these old promos on my account could get me (I’ll shoot low and assume I’d get the 5,000 point Platinum bonus offer):
Some old offers still attached to my IHG account

Some old offers still attached to my IHG account

Which adds up to…

73,372 IHG points for spending ~$864. I’d also get 80,000 points for meeting the spend on the IHG credit card, so 153,372 points after all is said and done.

Other considerations about the numbers

The room rate.

I’ve been watching the daily rate, and it’s been fluctuating between $100 and $140 a night. The Bonus Points Package rate has been between $130 and $190. Multiplied by 4 nights, that could add up to a significant amount. If I do stay 4 nights, I could always book 1 night at the (higher) Bonus Points rate and 3 nights at the (lower) daily rate, which would save me even more money. I’ll have to see how this could fit into my schedule which leads me to…

My time. 

This cannot be understated. Theoretically, I could go to Norwalk and back in about 6 hours (1 hour to get to Grand Central, 1 hour on the train, a couple of hours in Norwalk, then back the same way). Realistically, however, I’d probably just stay the night – go in the evening and come back the following morning to minimize time lost at work. So, I’d stay for 1 night of the 4 and check out on the app – does such a thing exist? I’d have to figure that out.

Cost of getting there. 

It ain’t free to ride the train. I’d have to add an extra $22 to $29 bucks to get there and back (which is still pretty cheap, but hey).

Round-trip ticket on Metro North

Round-trip ticket on Metro North

Simply: is it worth it? 

$900 is a lot of money to throw toward getting some points from a promo.

In a big picture kinda way, I am meeting the spend on the credit card, showing IHG that I’m interested in their promos, breaking in the new account, experiencing a new brand (EVEN – of which there are only 2 so far, which is cool for the unique factor) and chain (IHG), and who knows… maybe I’ll even have a little fun.

Credit card bonus aside, is it worth it to spend $900 ($864 for hotel + $30 on the train ticket) plus my time for 50,000 IHG points?

Now that is a question that, theoretically, only I can answer. But, I’d love for you guys to weigh in.


Thought this would be worth mentioning. As of now, there are only 2 EVEN brand hotels in IHG’s portfolio: the one in question here in Norwalk, CT and another in Rockville, MD. However, there are 3 more in the pipeline with good ol’ NYC chosen as the flagship location for the brand.

I found a couple of interesting articles about the brand and thought I’d link to them in case anyone was interested. Here’s IHG’s press release about the brand, and a collection of articles from Hotel Chatter.

If anything, I’d be interested to experience the brand while it’s still in the beginning stages. There’s something cool about seeing that.

What could I do with 70,000+ IHG points?

Ah, now here is another consideration. It probably deserves its on post but in brief:

  • Category 1 = 10,000 points
  • Category 2 = 15,000 points
  • Category 3 = 20,000 points
  • Category 4 = 25,000 points
  • Category 5 = 30,000 points
  • Category 6 = 35,000 points
  • Category 7 = 40,000 points
  • Category 8 = 45,000 points
  • Category 9 = 50,000 points

I will leave it to you guys to do the simple division on this one. :0)

Also, let’s not forget the PointBreaks list that comes out every quarter, whereby you can get a room for only 5,000 points per night. Then 70,000 points becomes enough for 14 free nights! Two weeks – for free – at a PointBreaks hotel.

I also wanted to share two resources I found while researching this. The first is a complete map of all IHG hotels and categories from Drew at Travel is Free. The other is a responsively-designed map from Award Mapper. Both are similar resources, but will definitely help me in the future when I get around to redeeming IHG points.

Bottom line

From what I understand, I got a pretty sweet personalized Set Your Sights promo. I stand to gain close to 74,000 IHG points with all promos, bonus points, status bonus, etc. added in.

To complete the promo, however, I have to go to a different state. And not only that, to a very specific hotel.

However, I am torn. Torn between wanting to crack in IHG real good and simply waiting it out for the next round of offers to see how they differ.

Did anyone else complete their Set Your Sights personalized promo yet? For those more seasoned than I am, how does mine compare to yours in the grand scheme of things?

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. I’ve been trying to add the Set your sights promo to my account by every time I try to login on that page, it gives me an error “We are sorry, but there was an error. Please try again later.” Has anyone else experienced this? Is the sign up period for this promotion over?

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