Many of you probably remember last year’s Priceless Surprises promotion from IHG, which helped keep the USPS busy. 😉
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
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 the 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 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.”
However, when you register for the promotion it lists all the prizes, including five grand prizes, as well as 10 weekly giveaways, as follows:
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 to 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.
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)