Rebates are great motivators, especially in today's penny-pinching environment.
But the $50 rebate on offer in this new InterContinental Hotels promotion shows how much value can be shed when such rewards are tied to onerous terms and conditions.
Members of InterContinental's Priority Club Rewards program can earn a $50 flight credit for every weekend night stay (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) booked by November 29 and completed by April 30, 2011, at any InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, or Candlewood Suites hotel in the U.S.
Registration is required.
So far, so good. It's when we get to the conditions governing the use of the flight credit that the value proposition begins to unravel.
Among the terms and conditions:
- Once you have completed your stay, you will receive an email with your unique pin code and instructions on how to redeem the Award.
- You must register your Award online within 30 days of the sending of the Award email at www.activateaward.com/IHG-FFC before using it.
- Only the person who initially received the Award can activate it and redeem it and must be the traveler. A toll free number to make airline reservations will be provided upon registration.
- Your airfare must be booked through the travel agent for this promotion ATG (CST# 2001330-10 and Florida Seller of Travel Registration #35395, and Nevada Seller of Travel Registration No. 240000054), within three months of Award registration.
- All travel using the Award must be completed within three months of booking.
- A Saturday night stay and 21-day advance purchase of your Award flight is required by the travel agent for this promotion. ATG is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday, and closed on holidays. To reach a travel agent during the hours the office is open you may need to call more than 21 days prior to your intended departure date.
As brain-taxing as the above are, they're just the highlights of the complete list of redemption conditions.
Deal or No Deal
If this were a straightforward $50 rebate, it would be an easy matter to evaluate the offer's value as a percentage discount on your hotel stay.
But linking the $50 to an airline flight credit limits its value.
So does requiring that the flight be booked at least 21 days in advance.
As does the Saturday-night stay stipulation.
And requiring that the flight booking be made through a designated travel agent further diminishes the real-world value of the incentive.
Bottom line: If there's value in simplicity and convenience—and I think there is—this offer is worth far less than its $50 face value.
Reader Reality Check
Would you be willing to abide by the terms of this promotion to save $50 on a future airline trip?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.