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A few months ago the Fall IHG “Into the Nights” promotion came out and at first glance looked pretty lucrative. My personal offer was to earn two free nights at any IHG property by having five nights this fall at IHG properties. That was too many nights to just “mattress run” for, but since I already had 3-4 nights at IHG hotels planned, adding just one more cheap night to trigger two free nights I could use in Europe was a “no brainer”, and well worth the incremental investment.
My exact tasks for the “Into the Nights” Promo were:
- Stay 5 night(s) at any of IHG’s 4,700 hotels worldwide – 8,400 points
- Take survey – 100 points
- Stay two Saturdays – 8,000 points
- Download and sign in to the IHG App and book a stay – 1,900 points
- Complete all activities for 31,600 bonus points for a total of 50,000 points or two free nights.
I completed my four actually necessary stays back in October, but waited on doing my one mattress run until December in case an real need for a stay came up. I’m lucky that there is a Holiday Inn Express near me that regularly has rates in the range of $60 per night, so my extra cost to participate in the promo was pretty low. I thought all was done and squared away until I logged back in one day and had an “aha moment” in a bad sort of way.
I had meant to book my fifth night via the IHG app in order to meet that requirement, but instead had booked it online by going through Top Cash Back in a greedy attempt to get some cash back. This meant I now had completed all of the requirements, except making a booking on the stinking app. Yes, this is the same bullet point that caused such a mess early on in the promo, so how I could have let it escape my mind is beyond me other than just the habit of going through a cash back portal to book my hotel stays.
At that point I debated whether to just let the whole thing go and call it a wash. It was 100% my fault for being too busy, too scattered, and not making sure I was paying close attention to all the details while booking my final stay. With these promos, the devil is always in the details, and if you don’t have the brain capacity and patience to devote at that moment to double checking those details, you shouldn’t be playing these games.
Ultimately I decided I was too far in to not just finish up the promo requirements and book one more stay via the app as required. The stay has to be completed by the end of the year, so I found a good enough rate for tonight and will again check-in for a stay I don’t really need. Since my out of pocket additional cost via this promo to trigger the two free nights is still under $200 total, I still did okay in this promo, but not nearly as good as I should have done if I would have just been a bit more detail oriented when booking my own stays.
I share this story as a warning to other busy parents (and non-parents). If you are too busy to muck with these sort of things right now, then just don’t. The likelihood of making an error is too great. I recommend only playing around with promos that will actually cost you real money when you can devote the necessary attention to being certain you are doing it correctly. Otherwise, you may end up wasting money, time, and simply adding to your probably already too long to-do list.
Also remember if you do have anything left to complete on the “Into the Nights” promo that the deadline is December 31st, so it is officially now or never.
How did you do in this promo? Hopefully you did better than I did!