IHG Rewards has a new promotion where members will receive 10,000 bonus points per night at participating Kimpton hotels. You need to book by August 9 for stays up until December 30, 2021. Reservations are fully cancellable. If you think you might be travelling before the end of the year, you should consider this promo or at least take a moment to familiarize yourself with a rather interesting IHG hotel brand.
IHG Rewards Promotions
IHG Rewards has a history of designing promotions around hotel brands. If you remember the Accelerate promos and their predecessors you’ll know what I mean. More recently, two promotions have been released that focus on one specific brand. You can get quadruple the base points at Avid hotels, but this Kimpton offer is even better and worthy of a closer look.
Kimpton Summer Sale – Promo Details
See the promotion website for full details and a list of all the participating properties.
- save up to 15% off the Best Flexible Rate on weekdays (Sundays – Thursdays)
- earn 10,000 bonus points every night of the week
- stay by December 30, 2021
- book by August 9, 2021
- cancel up to 3 days prior to arrival with no penalty
- subject to availability
- blackout dates may apply
Terms and Conditions:
* Welcome to the terms and conditions, a.k.a. “small print,” where we are obliged to let you know that this member exclusive offer is subject to availability and valid for stays through December 30, 2021. Offer must be booked by August 9, 2021. Discount and days of the week vary by hotel. The 10,000 IHG® Rewards Bonus Points are per consumed night. They will be awarded into your account within 2-4 weeks after check out. These points are not elite qualifying and have no cash value. The world being the way it is, additional taxes and fees may apply. Cancelation within three days of arrival results in charge of the one night stay. Not valid in conjunction with any other promotions or offers. Not valid for discounted or negotiated rates, groups or existing reservations. Finally, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants reserves the right to cancel reservations booked with erroneous room rates.
What are Kimpton hotels like?
Before joining IHG, Kimpton was known for being a boutique hotel chain in the US that was very popular with members of its loyalty program. While it now has additional properties and a more global presence, it appears to have retained much of its distinctive character, offering guests things like nightly hosted wine hours, complimentary bikes and a yoga mat in each room. Another quirk is the occasional secret password that guests can use to receive extra perks. I’ve never stayed at a Kimpton because rates tend to be higher than the brands I generally choose, but it would be nice to try one someday.
Is this a good promotion?
In my opinion, this is a great promotion. Double or triple points are nice, but a fixed bonus aligns well with the frugal traveller’s goal to get both a reasonable rate and generous load of extra points. It also has the convenience of being a “per night” promo versus “per stay” which tends to be more common.
Another major selling point is that you don’t have to commit since it doesn’t require a non-refundable booking and no deposit is necessary to hold the reservation. And most importantly, there is no premium involved. The rate is in line with the best flexible rate and on weekdays it’s actually lower.
The clear downside is the August 9 deadline. If you’re going to make a speculative booking, it might be a good idea to make separate one night reservations so you can later drop a night if you need to. That way you don’t lose out on the promotion if you need to make a change. Just explain the situation when you check in and you’ll almost certainly be able to stay in the same room as long as you booked the same room type for each night.
There are two Kimptons in Chicago, the Kimpton Gray Hotel and Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago. Both get excellent reviews and are in convenient locations.
I searched a long date range that included two major holiday periods when rates tend to be cheaper in many cities, presumably due to the lack of business travel. Since there’s no flexible date calendar on the IHG website, this makeshift method is your only option. Just make sure the rate displayed is for the least expensive room type.
Kimpton Gray Hotel
Let’s assume a 4 night stay (November 21 – 25) at $159 per night or $747 total after tax ($932 CAD).
Although the promotion’s terms say you can cancel up to 3 days before check-in, the rate details allow for cancellation up to November 20 – the same as the Member Exclusive Rate of $189 per night. The Stay Longer and Save rate is cheaper at $143 but requires a non-refundable deposit. The Advance Saver rate is slightly lower than the promo rate at $151 but you’d need to cancel a week in advance to avoid a penalty. So, the Summer Sale rate comes out on top without even accounting for the bonus points.
You would earn 7004 base points plus the 40,000 bonus points giving you a total of 47,004 IHG Rewards points.
What are IHG Rewards points worth?
If you’re not familiar with the IHG Rewards program, you’ll probably want to know what these points will get you.
IHG uses dynamic pricing so there’s no reward chart to consult. Instead, you’ll need to do a bit of searching in destinations you’d like to visit and see what appears. Check both popular dates and slower times to get a sense of how far your points will go. Also take a look at reward rates for last minute bookings.
I checked a few cities aiming to get at least two free nights from these 47,000 hypothetical points. If you have a lot of flexibility, you can stretch your points by scoping out the cheapest dates and monitoring the website for drops. However, for this exercise I just chose random dates of May 1 and 2, 2022.
Here are the average nightly redemption rates at the following hotels, along with the Member Exclusive Rate in CAD:
Holiday Inn Express London – Victoria 23,500 ($250)
Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh – Royal Mile 20,000 ($172)
Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam North – Riverside 21,500 ($263)
Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre 16,000 ($219)
Holiday Inn NYC Lower East Side 21,500 ($263)
Holiday Inn & Suites North Vancouver 22,500 ($173)
Holiday Inn Express Toronto – North York 13,000 ($132)
Candlewood Suites Montreal Downtown Centre Ville 15,000 ($180)
May 2022 is quite far off so the rates in either points or cash at these hotels could of course change between now and then. But for now, this is all we have to go by so I’d say the prospects for using the points are pretty good.
But how do rates at other hotels compare to the Kimpton Hotel Gray?
Before you jump on any hotel loyalty promotion you should weigh all your options. If there’s a super low rate at a comparable hotel, you might as well forget about the promo. The future savings from redeeming the points are inconsequential if you can simply save a similar amount on the initial stay by scoring a great deal.
On Nov. 21 – 25, there are a number of hotels with lower rates than the Kimpton Gray. For example, nearby is the Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop – Theatre District with a rate of $113. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown River North has a Long Term Stay rate of only $89 for stays of four nights or more. Those properties might not be of the same standard as a Kimpton but would certainly be worth including in your deliberations.
If there were no ongoing pandemic, I’d be really interested in this Kimpton Summer Sale. It fits well into my general strategy of figuring out ways to make one trip help pay for the next. However, because you must stay by December 30, 2021, I don’t believe I’ll be taking advantage of it. (That said, there is one US hotel that holds particular appeal so I’ll probably make a reservation just in case the situation somehow dramatically improves.)
It also remains to be seen what points promotions other hotel chains will come out with later in the year. There could be one that beats this. That’s why it’s good to have a decent understanding of many different programs so you can easily evaluate which deal presents the best value for you and your future travel plans.