IHG’s Infamous “Priceless Experiences” Promotion Returns, With Some Changes

Many of you probably remember last year’s Priceless Surprises promotion from IHG, which helpedĀ keep the USPS busy. šŸ˜‰

The promotion was offered by IHG Rewards Club and Mastercard, and the premise was that you could win prizes for stays at IHG properties, and at a minimum you’d receive 500 bonus IHG Rewards Club points per stay. But the interesting twist in the promotion was that since this was a sweepstakes, IHG had to provide a free way for people to enter. So there was an option to mail in a postcard with your IHG number, and you were allowed one entry per day.

Well, I don’t think they quite anticipated what would follow, because hundreds (if not thousands) of people sent in 94 postcards (since the promotion lasted 94 days), each of which netted them 500 points.

Travis shared his experience with the promotion, and how across six people they earned 303,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

Well, this promotion is back again this year, though it’s being marketed as “Priceless Experiences” rather than “Priceless Surprises.” Let’s take a closer look at it.

IHG’s Priceless Experiences promotion

IHG Priceless Experiences will run from December 1, 2016, through February 15, 2017. Registration is now open for the promotion, and you have to be a US resident to qualify.

The promotion consists of two aspects:

  • The opportunity to get a Mastercard gift card of up to $100
  • The opportunity to win a prize through their sweepstakes

ihg-priceless-experience

So far IHG is marketing this promotion very poorly, since the main promotion page barely makes reference to what you can get through this promotion, both in terms of theĀ gift cards and the sweepstakes. You have to look at the promotion rules to learn more.

Getting a Mastercard gift card for an IHG stay

If you register and complete two stays during the promotion period (one of which must be at least two nights) and pay with a Mastercard, you will receive a Mastercard Reward Card as follows:

  • If at least one stay is at an InterContinental, you receive a $100 gift card
  • If at least one stay is at a Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, or Even Hotels, you receive a $75 gift card
  • For stays at all other brands, you receive a $50 gift card

You can only receive one Mastercard gift card, and you can choose to receive it by mail or email.

So this is the one part of the promotion that’s a “sure bet,” and that will be useful for people actually staying at IHG properties.

The sweepstakes

The way IHG is marketing this promotion is so strange. In addition to them not really advertising the gift card benefit, they’re also a bit mysterious about the “Priceless Experiences.”

ihg-priceless-experiences

However, when you register for the promotion it lists all the prizes, includingĀ five grand prizes, as well as 10 weekly giveaways, as follows:

ihg-rewards-club

Can you use this promotion without staying?

Much like last year, you can register for the promotion without actually staying at IHG properties. To do so you’ll need to go toĀ this website when the promotion launches on December 1, and you’ll be able to get an entry into the sweepstakes by entering your IHG number, confirming you’re a Mastercard cardholder, and watching a short video. You can do that once per day.

Much like last year, you can participate in this promotion without actually staying. Furthermore, they’re making it easier for people to enter through other methods, since you can enter online rather than having to mail in a card.

The catch is that there’s no guarantee you’ll win anything. Last year you were guaranteed 500 IHG Rewards Club points, while this time around there are only 10 prizes per week, so you’re a lot less likely to win.

Bottom line

It’s nice to see IHG bring back this promotion, though it’s not surprising to see that they’ve changed up the terms a bit. For actual IHG guests, the best benefit of this promotion is being able to get a $50-100 gift card. Meanwhile for those who entered by postcard last year, I’m afraid this promotion won’t be as lucrative. Sure, you can still enter without staying at hotels, but your chances of winning anything are much lower.

(Tip of the hat to @lizgross144)

Comments

  1. After the debacle last year, it’s not surprising at all they it’s not being repeated the same way. It sure was good for those of us that sent in 94 entires, though!

  2. I was hoping for a repeat of last year’s program. We each sent in the full 94 entries with more than a little trepidation. But in the end we both averaged far more than the projected 500 points per entry. šŸ™‚

  3. Shall we run the list?
    Everything is a learning experience!
    Be careful what you wish for!
    Open mouth, insert foot, chew well!
    Think before you speak!
    Next time you get a bright idea, lay down till it passes!
    Kudos to all who benefited!
    Giggles on those who didn’t!

  4. Hi Lucky,

    Will the stays count for Accelerate promo (still running) and at the same time get the GC for Priceless experience for December?

  5. All eligible Participants who, during the Promotion Period, complete
    two (2) Qualified Hotel Stays, as defined below, one of which must consist of a
    minimum of a two (2) night stay (ā€œQualified Hotel Stayā€), will qualify to receive a
    MastercardĀ® Reward Card upon completion of the second Qualified Hotel Stay
    provided that both Qualified Hotel Stays are paid for with a Mastercard credit or debit
    card.

    So one two-night stay and one single-night stay would qualify?

  6. Lucky, I won! Got this email today: “Congratulations, you have been selected as a winner in the Priceless Experiences Offer and Sweepstakes. You have won sixty thousand (60,000) IHG Rewards Club Points. The Second Prize has an approximate retail value of $300.” Not a single stay! Used the alternate method of watching the short video daily. Sending good karma your way, have gotten great advice from you for years and follow you on Twitter.

  7. I stayed one in a cheap HI on 10K points but charged a $3.50 drink to the room account and then had a two day stay at an $89 a night IC. The IC were kind enough to upgrade my wife and me to a suite with Executive Lounge access so we had two breakfasts and light evening snacks thrown in, all for $81.50 net, as I just got back $100 from Mastercard in addition to having the IC count towards the Accelerate program. I always charge something very minor to my room when I stay with points as roughly one in three times the bill triggers some sort of stay bonus, as it did this time. Both were stays I had to make in one hotel or another, not any sort of bed runs. Good result all round!

  8. Well, I went to the website every day and watched the video, put in my IHG number and kind of forgot about it until today.

    Hello!

    Congratulations, you have been selected as a potential winner in the Priceless Experiences Offer and Sweepstakes. You have won a weekly first prize. The First Prize has an approximate retail value between $999.93 and $1,619.95, depending on the prize you select.

    Please choose which of the following you would like to receive as your prize:

    1. BeoPlay A6 Music System (ARV: $999.99)______

    2. LG 55ā€ UHD Smart LED TV (ARV: $1099.99)_______

    3. Canon Thule Camera (ARV: $1619.95) _______

    4. Garmin Multisport GPS Watch, MyCharge portable charger and 360 Fly 360 Action Camera w/ Virtual Reality Goggles (ARV: $1029.96) _______

    5. Wine Enthusiast 18 Bottle Touchscreen 2-temp Wine Refrigeration with Electric Wine Opener and a set of 6 Baccarat Wine Glasses (ARV: $1379.00)_______

    6. Thule Kent Bike his and hers 700c Retro Hybrid Bike with Thule Doubletrack 2 Bike Hitch Rack (ARV: $999.93)________

    7. Jura Impressa C60 Automatic Coffee Center (ARV: $1300.00) _______

    Wow. People actually win. :). I’m taking the camera, FYI.

  9. Hey Lucky

    We met at the Frequent Flyer conference in Las Vegas last summer. I really appreciate your travel information and flew more than 200K miles myself last year.

    Anyway, I seem to be a grand prize winner. I received the notification today.

    Congratulations, you have been selected as a potential winner in the Priceless Experiences Offer and Sweepstakes. You have won trip for two (2) (winner and one (1) guest) to Chicago, Illinois from May 18, 2017 to May 21, 2017 (ā€œGrand Prizeā€). Each Grand Prize includes two (2) round-trip coach airline tickets, for winner and one (1) guest, from the major U.S. airport nearest the winnerā€™s residence (as determined by Sponsor) to Chicago, Illinois; three (3) nights (one [1] standard room hotel accommodations, double occupancy) at a hotel in or near Chicago, Illinois (as determined by Sponsor); ground transportation between the airport and hotel; a spa experience; a helicopter tour of the Chicago skyline; a private wine tasting event; one (1) $600 Mastercard Prepaid Card; dinner with chef Graham Elliot where Grand Prize winner will have a private dinner curated by Graham Elliot at DL Loft and will have a chance to meet Graham Elliot and will receive a signed copy of Graham Elliotā€™s cookbook; select meals (determined by Sponsor at Sponsorā€™s sole discretion); and a $5,000 check made payable to the winner. The Grand Prize has an approximate retail value of $20,000. ……………….

    Of course I also got a call on Monday & again today saying that I won the Publishers Clearing House ($9.5 million plus a Mercedes) if I pay some “taxes” on delivery so well see how it goes.

  10. Hi Lucky,

    My wife and I have been loyal, albeit silent, readers of your blog and would like to thank you for introducing us to the world of point and miles. Thanks to you and the miles, we have been able to visit Australia and Japan in the past 12 months for pennies on the dollar.

    I do have a gripe to vent regarding this IHG promotion. After registration for the priceless experience promotion, I stayed at Holiday Inn Express Mira Mesa San Diego for 4 nights in Dec 16, and at Holiday Inn Santa AnaOrange Co. Arpt for one night in Jan 17. Both stays were paid by my CitiPrestige mastercard. However, I haven’t been able to get IHG or Prizelogic (seems to be the firm IHG outsourced to run this promotion) to award me the gift card. They claimed that my bookings were not paid by a mastercard, even after I supplied them with the hotels bills and my credit card statements. Is there something else we can do, or should we just give up? This definitely left a bad taste in our mouth.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  11. Hi, Do you think they will bring this or another promotion like this back again for this year? Thanks for your help.

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