IHG’s Big Win or now “Into The Nights”, is back for stays September 4 – December 31, 2014. The idea is that they send custom goals or custom promotions for each account.
Bonuses vary and every single person should check their account here. Who knows, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones that gets 100,000+ points for doing 3 stays. This more than any of them has the potential to be great for almost everyone.
But in my experience new accounts basically get the same promotion and newer accounts are generally more lucrative. This indicates that there’s some kind of algorithm to determine what your promotion will be based on past stays.
I did some investigative work (created a new test account) to see what new accounts get.
It appears a new account gets this promo:
- Complete 5of the 5
- Stay 3 nights
- Take a survey
- Stay two Saturdays
- Stay at two Holiday Inns
- Download and book on the IHG app
Completing all 5 offers would give 50,000 points.
In my experience, when it says “Holiday Inn” it does not mean “Holiday Inn Express” or “Holiday Inn Resorts”. Just plain, regular ole Holiday Inns.
And all this is based on the fact that the last two “Big Wins” allowed stays to count toward multiple goals. My stay at the Holiday Inn could count towards my 3 nights, one of my two brands, and booking direct… for example.
The reward would be:
- 50,000 points, OR
- 10,000 miles, OR
- 2 free nights
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of info in the terms and conditions but if you’re able to earn two free nights at any hotel, that could potentially be more value. Going to Bora Bora? 2 free nights. Going to chase the PointBreaks list with me? 50,000 points is 10 free nights.
However, I haven’t confirmed anything about these free nights. I’m sure that’s coming soon.
But actually, it seems that your bonus is xx,000 points or 2 free nights. So it’s not 50k or 2 free nights, it’s 50k OR a smaller number and 2 free nights. Because most of the points are bonuses for completing tasks. Then there is another bonus for completing most of your tasks, and that bonus is a small amount of points or two free nights. Which could be awesome.
With new accounts it seems to be either a giant bonus or 2 nights… not as easy of a decision.
It may be confusing, so you just need to log in and see for yourself.
Running the numbers
Let’s say you went ahead and did 5 of the 5 goals and it took 3 nights total. Because it is possible, assume you book direct on 2 nights and on the app the other. You need two Holiday Inn stays that could be done on Saturdays, and you’d have one free night. That would complete all 3 nights and all 5 tasks.
Let’s just assume that you can find an IHG hotel that is an average of $100 a night. $100 x 3 [needed nights] = $300 for 50,000 points.
That’s at least 5,000 points for $30, plus you actually get a room (oh yeah), and plus you get points you would have earned anyways. But if you can cut down this cost or have a better “Into the Nights” promo… rock it.
It could give more points, require less nights, or you could find cheaper hotels. Via this method I earned tons of points for less than $15 per 5,000 points. Trust me.
In my family, I checked four of our accounts and two promotions were possible in 3 nights, one was possible in 4 nights, and the other possible in 5 nights.
Now the thing that makes this a stunning deal is two things.
1) IHG on Steroids. I’ve written about this on a number of occasions and include it in the Complete Guide to IHG Rewards. The basic concept is that there are a ton of promo codes that you can enroll in that give major bonuses on your first stays. The most I ever got from one stay was 34,420 points (and Gold status) from one 60 Euro night/stay. It’s a roller coaster.
2) The fact that my average redemption is around 9,000 IHG points. Even considering multiple award redemptions at hotels that are 50,000 points a night (like the IC Paris Le Grand and IC Davos), our average redemption is still somewhere around 9,000 points a night. This is largely due to IHG PointBreaks – a sale once every two months where 150+ hotels are listed for 5,000 points a night.
To REALLY understand the ins and outs of the IHG Rewards club, including earning, burning and status, you need to read the Complete Guide to IHG Rewards.
Offers are very different for each person so you need to check! Again, check here. I’m still doing some digging, but this could potentially be amazing… or completely mediocre.