Last November I first wrote about IHG’s Priceless Surprises promotion, which is a promotion IHG is offering in conjunction with MasterCard. This isn’t their “main” promotion, but rather is in addition to the IHG Accelerate promotion, which offers different members different offers.
The IHG Priceless Surprises promotion basically offers 1,000 points after your first stay, plus a “surprise” for subsequent stays, ranging from 500 to a million bonus points (of course a vast majority of entries will win the former rather than latter).
But there was one thing which made this promotion especially unique, in that you don’t have to stay at an IHG property to take part in the promotion. Instead you could mail in your entries by hand printing your full name, complete mailing address, day and evening phone numbers, valid email address, member number, first six digits of your MasterCard, and date of birth, using a 3″ x 5″ piece of paper.
You can submit up to 94 entries per account, and at a minimum you’re earning 500 bonus points per entry. In other words, that’s an opportunity to earn at least 47,000 IHG Rewards Club bonus points.
Travis shared his experience taking advantage of the promotion, and even paid a visit to Hello World headquarters, which is the company which fulfills this promotion.
The promotion ends this coming Monday, February 15, 2016. And I haven’t taken advantage of it. On one hand I feel like an idiot, and like something is wrong with me. I’m the guy who always talks about never turning down “free” points. But for some reason I didn’t take advantage of this promotion.
Realistically, what are the “costs” of participating in the IHG Priceless Surprises promotion?
- ~$47 in postage
- The cost of 94 envelopes and 94 note cards or pieces of paper (maybe ~$5?)
- The time it takes to fill out 94 envelopes, 94 postcards, and later go through all the “entries” you get by email to get the points to post
- Any potential frustration/time it takes to monitor as you wait for missing emails, missing points, choose to engage in comment wars on blogs and forums, etc. 😉
How much are IHG Rewards Club points worth? I value IHG points at ~0.5 cents each, give or take. You can certainly get more value out of them, but I think that’s a pretty fair number, especially in light of the upcoming devaluation.
That means 47,000 points are worth $235. Assuming the materials are costing ~$55, you’re basically trading the labor of writing out the envelopes, tracking them, and entering the costs at ~$180. Realistically I’d guess it maybe takes a total of 2-3 hours, so for the most part that seems totally worthwhile, and like really good money for most.
At the same time, I’m not really loyal to IHG, and I’m not sure at what point I’d actually get around to redeeming the points. For example, I have a free night certificate with the IHG Rewards Club credit card which I still haven’t redeemed, even though it can be redeemed at any IHG property in the world.
I pay a $49 annual fee on that card, so does that make the value of a free night closer to $49 rather than valuing points at ~0.5 cents each? Of course there’s a difference between the flexibility of points and a free night certificate, but the general point still holds, in my opinion.
It’s funny how our minds work sometimes. On one hand I feel silly turning down points for so cheap, but at the same time I already borderline have carpal tunnel syndrome, and I feel like this “exercise” will only further contribute to that. Perhaps it’s work I should have outsourced.
So I guess to sum it up, I’m kicking myself for not taking advantage of the promotion since it seems like an “obvious” decision to do so, but at the same time I’m not too bummed, since I don’t love IHG points that much.
Am I the only one who was aware of the IHG Priceless Surprises promotion but didn’t take advantage of it?