Tuesday, February 20, 2018

IHG Membership Tips

As a National Guard member, you will often stay at military hotels when you are on TDY orders for training. Many Army hotel are run by IHG, the same company that owns Holiday Inn®. And just like you can accumulate airline miles for flights paid by military, you can earn hotel royalty points for your hotel stays paid by military.

But before I begin, a fun fact: For stays made at IHG Army hotel, member will only earn 3 points per dollar spent (instead of 10 points per dollar at a non-Army IHG hotel). What a not-so-Army-friendly Army hotel, right?

Don't Lose Points When You First Sign-Up


Be aware when you first sign-up for IHG membership. When you sign-up for IHG membership, you only get 1,000 points for the initial stay, no matter how many nights you stay (they call this enrolling stay). I didn't know about this, especially since my enrolling stay was more than 95 nights, and my receipt specifically said: "You are on your way to earning 20,270 points for this stay." So when I emailed IHG about the discrepancy after receiving only 1,000 points, a person name Odessa so kindly replied: "Kindly be advised that for enrolling/initial stays, members will receive 1,000 points regardless of the number of nights booked per section 11 of the IHG Rewards Club Terms and Conditions."

That was zero common sense to me, since I could've easily checked-out after the first night and checked right back in on the second day. So I expressed my concern, and a person name Anna replied: "I know keeping track of policies can be a hassle and want your experience to be as rewarding as possible, so I’m making a one-time exception and issue the correct points that you should have earned."

So, to make the long story short, make your enrolling stay only one night, for express your concern after only receiving 1,000 points per section 11 of the IHG Rewards Club Terms and Conditions. (Holiday Inn, if you "know keeping track of policies can be a hassle and want [our] experience to be as rewarding as possible," why don't you fix your policy?)

Take the Advantage of Bonus Point Offers


The IHG has special offers you can enroll that gives you free points when you complete a set of tasks such at staying a certain number of days at a certain brand of hotel. For my two offers, I received 60,000 points, which can get me 3-4 free nights (you can buy free night for 15,000-20,000 points). So take the advantage if you have travel plans.

For a quck note, considering it costs about 20,000 points for a room that costs about $100, so 150-200 points is worth about $1.

Difference Between Different IHG Hotels


I haven't been to all of the IHG hotels, but here are some of the differences I noticed between different IHG hotels.

  1. No Free Breakfast at Holiday Inn®

    All of the Holiday Inn® (not Holiday Inn Express®) I have been to has it's own restaurant, and don't offer free breakfast. You can add breakfast around $5-10 when you book your room, which is typically cheaper than paying the menu price at the restaurant. When you buy breakfast, some on-site restaurants have an option of breakfast buffet or one menu option from their breakfast menu. But beware when you choose the breakfast buffet option because, at least for Holiday Inn Kansas City Airport, the buffet option can be very mediocre, worse than almost every free breakfast I've ever had at other hotels. So check the quality of their breakfast buffet before you choose the buffet option.

    If you decide to choose cooked-to-order option, breakfast menu was the same across all Holiday Inn restaurants I've been to. When you pay for breakfast when you book your room, you will get a breakfast coupon when you check-in. Some hotels will give you a coupon good for one menu item, or some will give you a coupon good for a price up to certain amount. I was pleasantly surprise when I got a coupon good up to $30 when I only paid $10 for breakfast at Holiday Inn Bozeman.

    For the quality of the hotel, it differs from a hotel to hotel, and not every Holiday Inn is better or more expensive than Holiday Inn Express.
  2. Free Laundry at Holiday Inn®

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