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InterContinental Hotel Group is currently running a Priceless Surprises promotion, which gives you a reward for each of your stays at an IHG property that you pay for with a MasterCard (including but not limited to the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card). The minimum prize for each entry is 500 IHG points, and the maximum prize is a million points or one of several trips including Paris, New York and Orlando. Besides being one of the better IHG promotions we’ve seen lately, what makes this special?
The campaign official rules describe a “mail in alternate method of entry.” If you have an IHG Rewards Club account and register for the promotion, you can mail in a handwritten note card and receive an entry in your email without completing a hotel stay. Each entrant is eligible to receive up to 94 entries during the promotion period. The handwritten note cards must contain the following information:
- Full name
- Complete mailing address
- Day and evening phone numbers
- Valid email address
- IHG Club member number
- The first six digits of any MasterCard
- Date of birth
Entries must be postmarked by February 15 and received by February 22. Note that you can computer-print the address label and return address label for the outside of the envelope, but the note card must be handwritten.
Since this entry method doesn’t require any IHG hotel stays, the cost incurred comes down to envelopes, address labels, index cards, stamps and your time. 94 stamps will cost you $46.06, and the rest of the supplies will set you back about $15. You can further your return by purchasing the supplies at an office store with your Ink Plus Business Card to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards. You can also find lots of stamp collections on eBay, which will save you about 20% on the postage cost.
Assuming you have the worst luck possible and only win 500 points on each entry, you’ll still come out with 47,000 points. Top-tier InterContinental properties cost 50,000 points per night (where nightly room rates can be over $500), and IHG PointBreaks properties cost 5,000 points per night, so at the minimum you’ll have almost enough for a night at a high-end property or several nights at a PointBreaks hotel. In his latest monthly valuations, TPG pegs IHG points at 0.7 cents apiece, meaning your 47,000 points (at a minimum) are worth $329. It’s safe to say your $60 investment will be returned to you a few times over.
My wife and I just completed our 188 entries and put them in the mail. It took us each just over 2 hours to complete the entire process. I made sure everything on our note cards matched the information on each of our IHG Rewards Club accounts, and we each used our individual email addresses. I also have the handwriting of a four-year-old, so I slowed down a bit to make sure everything was legible.
What do you think? Who’s headed out to buy index cards, envelopes, address labels and stamps?
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards