November 28, 2021

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Travel Finishes First

IHG Hotels is Giving Away Free Hotel Stays for a Year

5 min read

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After 16 long months of a global pandemic and numerous lockdowns, are you ready to get out of the house and finally go on that vacation you’ve wanted to take but couldn’t? IHG Hotels & Resorts is offering one U.S.-based traveler the opportunity to stay at their properties ‘rent-free’ in locations across the world, for one year, through its new sweepstakes known as the ‘Department of Epic’.

The value of the prize is $60,000, and the winner will get to stay at any IHG Property (there are 16 brands) including Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants and the Holiday Inn Express. People can enter the sweepstakes between June 22 and July 20. 

In order to enter, you’ll need to be on either Instagram or Twitter and make a post about why you’re deserving of a grand adventure. When posting, travelers need to ‘tell IHG why they need an epic vacation – without telling IHG they need an epic vacation’, (a play on the popular TikTok trend) using the hashtag ‘#IHGTellMeContest’ and tagging @ihghotels. Each individual is allowed ten entries in total 一 five each for Instagram and Twitter. The winner will be announced on August 2.

The winner will get a host of different perks beyond free hotel stays. These perks include but are not limited to: complimentary snacks every time you check into a new room, free dining in one of IHG’s restaurants once a month, access to a private car at select hotels, the highest level of IHG rewards member status and a personal booking concierge. 

Other ways to score free stays at IHG Hotels & Resorts

While entering the sweepstakes gives you a chance to win stays at luxurious hotels in far-flung places, if you don’t win, there are still opportunities for you to get free stays and other rewards. If you’re loyal to a specific hotel chain or brand, like IHG, you should consider signing up for a hotel credit card. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card recently released a generous welcome bonus offer of 150,000 points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. 

What can you get with 150,000 points? It depends on the location, but you can get a five night stay at the Hotel Indigo in Brooklyn, a three night stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Orange Beach or a two-night stay at the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt in Austin.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card also comes with numerous perks including one statement credit of $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years, the fourth night free when you use points to redeem for four or more nights, and one reward night after each account anniversary year (worth up to 40,000 points). IHG Premier credit holders also get IHG Platinum Elite status.

The card has a high rewards-earning rate for IHG spend, offering cup to 25X points per dollar spent at IHG® 一 you earn 10x points per dollar for being an IHG Rewards club member, 10x points per dollar spent at IHG hotels as a cardholder and 5x points for having Platinum Elite Status (which is offered with the card). 

This card is also a good choice for international travelers because it has no foreign transaction fees. The card does have its drawbacks: there’s an $89 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year. 

Additionally, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG Rewards if you have an eligible card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Up to 25X points total per dollar at IHG® (earn 10X points per $1 spent at IHG® hotels as a cardholder, plus 10X base points as an IHG® Rewards Club member and 5X points with Platinum Elite Status, which comes as a benefit of this card); 2X points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0 for the first year, then $89 after that

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • IHG® Rewards Club Platinum Elite status, which gives cardholders access to room upgrades, late checkout and other perks
  • One reward night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide
  • Reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every four years

Cons

  • $89 annual fee after the first year
  • No annual travel credits
  • No introductory 0% APR
  • Estimated points earned after 1 year: 173,089
  • Estimated points earned after 5 years: 365,446

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Transfer points to leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 rate, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Free DashPass subscription for a minimum of a year when you activate by December 31, 2021
  • Travel protections include: auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No hotel-specific perks or credits
  • No introductory 0% APR
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,506
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,528

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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