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An often-overlooked aspect of hotel loyalty programs is the ability to earn airline miles instead of hotel points from a stay. And, in many cases, that’s not a bad thing. Usually, mileage earning rates are set low enough that it’s more valuable to earn hotel points instead of airline miles.
But, there’s a new promotion that’s temporarily making it lucrative to earn AAdvantage miles instead of IHG points. For stays from May 15 to July 31, you can earn up to 4x the standard number of miles for IHG hotel stays. That’s up to 8x AAdvantage miles per dollar spent — a return of 11.2% at current TPG valuations of AAdvantage miles.
Here’s how the promotion works: Register for the promotion and you’ll earn 3x the standard AA mileage earning rate for IHG stays when choosing American Airlines as your earning preference. For Crowne Plaza stays, the bonus is 4x the standard earning rate. (The standard rate is 2x miles per dollar spent, except at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites where the standard earn rate is just 1x miles per dollar spend.)
|Hotel Brand||Standard Mileage Earnings||Miles per $1 spent during promotion||Return on Spend|
|InterContinental Hotels & Resort||2||6||8.4%|
|Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants||2||6||8.4%|
|Holiday Inn Hotels||2||6||8.4%|
|Holiday Inn Express||2||6||8.4%|
|Holiday Inn Resort||2||6||8.4%|
|Holiday Inn Club Vacations||2||6||8.4%|
|Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts||2||6||8.4%|
For reference, you’d earn 10x IHG points per dollar spent at all brands except Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. At current TPG valuations, that’s just 6% return on spending. For Staybridge and Candlewood stays, you’re forgoing 5x IHG points per dollar spend — which is a 3% return at TPG valuations.
To take AAdvantage of this promotion, you’re going to have to switch your earning preference to AA miles and then register for the promotion. Let’s walk through this process step-by-step:
1. Log into your IHG Rewards account and browse to the Preferences page
2. Select “Airline Miles” instead of “IHG Rewards Club points”
3. Choose American Airlines from the drop-down menu, enter your AAdvantage number and full name
4. Click “Save”
5. Browse to the promotions page
6. Enter your IHG Rewards number, pin and AAdvantage number
7. Agree to the promotion terms and agree to receiving emails about this promotion
8. Click Register
9. Take a screenshot of the confirmation page (it never hurts)
In order to earn miles from your stay, you need to book the stay directly through the IHG website. Stays booked through online travel agencies (OTAs), “Non-Qualifying Room Rates” and “Non Qualifying Stays” won’t earn miles or points. According to the terms and conditions, these include the following:
Net wholesale individual and group rate, certain package rates, employee discount rate, friends and family rate, crew rate, special discounted contract rates, seasonal worker/crew rate, 50% travel club discount rate, travel industry discount rate, distressed passenger rate, IHG Rewards Club Reward Nights/Airline Hotel Reward rate, most rates booked through most third party web sites, complimentary hotel stays and any other rates not defined as a Qualifying Room Rate.
Frequent stayers need to beware of the 15,000 maximum miles that can be earned through this promotion. That cap would be hit after spending $1,875 at Crowne Plaza hotels or $2,500 combined at all other brands except Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.
Know before you go.
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Earn 80,000 points, worth up to $480 with the IHG Rewards Premier Card. With this card you'll get IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status which more than negates the value of the $89 annual fee. You'll also earn 10 points per dollar at IHG hotels, 2 points per dollar on gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening plus an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening
- Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
- Earn 10 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
- IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®