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InterContinental’s Promotion Dilemma: Free Night or Double Points

InterContinental’s Promotion Dilemma: Free Night or Double Points

Free nights or bonus points?

Not exactly Sophie’s choice, those are the options available to members of InterContinental’s Priority Club Rewards program in the company’s upcoming "Sweet Dilemma" promotion.

Offer Details

Between September 20 and December 31, Priority Club Rewards members can choose to earn one of the following bonuses:

  • A free night after every two stays, up to a maximum of five free nights after 10 stays
  • Double Priority Club points or airline miles after the second stay at InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express hotels, and starting with the first stay at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites

The double points or miles bonus is pretty restriction-free. But there are several noteworthy conditions affecting the free nights option:

  • First, and least important for most U.S.-based travelers, stays at IHG’s Asia-Pacific hotels do not count toward earning free nights. (Nor can the free nights be taken at Asia-Pacific hotels.)
  • More significantly, the free nights must be used between December 1, 2010, and June 1, 2011.
  • And most significant is this: "Because they come so easy, you’ll earn Free Nights during the course of the promotion instead of base points, miles and elite points."

Priority Club members must register for the promotion by December 20, indicating their choice of bonuses.

Deal or No Deal

If the free nights were offered on top of normally earned points and miles, the choice of bonuses wouldn’t rise to the level of a real dilemma. For most, the clear and easy choice would be the free nights over the double points.

But factoring in the no-points aspect of the free night option goes a long way toward equalizing the value of the two offers, making the choice a more difficult one.

So yes, this offer does pose a bit of a dilemma. The good news is that there’s good value to be found in either option.

Reader Reality Check

Your choice: free nights or double points?