Between November 15, 2015, and February 15, 2016, members of InterContinental’s IHG Rewards program who charge their stays to a MasterCard can earn 1,000 bonus points for the first stay, and a “Priceless Surprise” for all subsequent stays.
And those Priceless Surprises are what, exactly? Among the featured possibilities: bonus points, free nights, MasterCard gift cards, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. But until the promotion begins, it will remain to be seen what those surprises turn out to be in practice, and how valuable they are.
The promotion is only offered to IHG Rewards members with U.S. mailing addresses. It’s combinable with IHG’s Accelerate promotion—double miles for the second and subsequent stays in the programs of 33 airlines—in effect through December 31.
Not already a MasterCard customer? Don’t even think about applying for a card to use just for this offer. From the terms & conditions: “Open only to MasterCard individual and small business cardholders whose account was opened by a MasterCard customer financial institution before November 15, 2015 and is still active, who are legal permanent residents of the 50 United States (D.C) who are at least 21 years old.”
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
That 1,000-point bonus for the first stay is certainly welcome, especially when it’s earned in addition to the bonus miles from the Accelerate promotion.
I’m generally not a fan of surprise bonuses. When I pay for a service, I want to know up front what I’m getting for my money, including any loyalty bonuses or rebates, not be entered into what amounts to a sweepstakes which may or may not add value to the purchase.
In this case, however, if the unknown bonus is on top of the Accelerate bonus, it’s gravy, whether it’s generous or not.
Reader Reality Check
Does the “Surprise” aspect of this promotion make it more or less attractive to you?
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- 10 Dirty Little Secrets of Hotels
- The Best Travel Rewards Programs of 2015
- Is Marriott Rewards the Most ‘Valuable’ Hotel Program?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.