Does the IHG “Big Win” game make you want to run and hide?

IHG recently announced that their “Big Win” game is back for 2014. I’m actually excited to get in on this action, but I have to say that it took me awhile to process what is actually going on.

What am I talking about? Let me explain.

When friends tell me that they have a hard time understanding how to participate in hotel/airline promotions, normally I just blink and smile. Really? I think. Just sign up. What could be easier?

With this promo, I get it; I am seeing the world through my confused friends’ eyes. At first glance, all of the requirements seem overwhelming and confusing to me. Just look at this jam-packed sign-up page:


Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 7.40.19 PM


What is going on here?

Promos like this are the kind of thing that make some people want to run and hide.

I decided that I couldn’t let this game intimidate me any longer, so tonight I sat down with a beer to figure it out. I decided to look at Josh’s account first, because he always seems to get targeted for better offers than I do. Here’s what he got:

  • Stay a total of 4 nights and earn 8,000 points
  • Stay at 2 different IHG brands and earn 16,000 points
  • Book 1 stay through the Best Flexible Rate with Breakfast and earn 2,000 points.
  • Complete a simple survey and earn 100 points
  • Book 2 separate stays through our IHG® app and earn 8,000 points.
  • Stay at 2 Holiday Inn® hotels and earn 8,000 points
  • Stay at 2 InterContinental® Hotels and Resorts and earn 16,000 points.
  • Complete 6 of your offers and earn 25,000 points

This is still a little confusing to me, but it looks like if he completes all seven steps of the offer, he will earn 83,100 points.

However, since the priciest step included is to stay at 2 InterContinental hotels, if he skipped that step, he would still earn 67,100 points.

Josh could complete his six easiest offers in four nights (one with a Best Flexible Breakfast rate), at two different brands, with two of the stays at Holiday Inn hotels.

If he could affordably pull off two stays at InterContinental hotels for half of his four nights, then he would be able to check all of the offers off his list.

Whew. This just seems like a lot of fancy footwork to me. I know it’s not hard, but for some reason it’s just not sinking in very well. (Does that ever happen to you? Curious.)

Anyway, as I suspected, when I checked my offer, it wasn’t nearly as lucrative:

  • Stay at any IHG® hotel and earn 1,000 points.
  • Stay a total of 3 nights and earn 3,000 points
  • Stay at 3 different IHG brands and earn 7,000 points
  • Book 2 separate stays through an IHG® hotel website or mobile device to get our Best Price Guarantee and earn 2,000 points
  • Stay 3 Saturday nights and earn 8,000 points
  • Complete 5 of your offers and earn 10,000 points

Bleah. I would need to stay 3 Saturday nights, at 3 different brands, to earn 31,000 points. Totally not worth it.

So, I’m definitely not doing this…but I think Josh might.

Here are two reasons why:

Reason #1.

The “Big Win” game stacks with all the current IHG bonus codes that are floating around out there (and there are a lot!). I’ve honestly lost track of all the various bonuses that Josh is signed up for, but when they are all tallied up, it might be as high as 15,000 extra points per night. You can sign up for multiple bonuses at once, as they’re often combinable. Loyalty Lobby keeps an updated list on his site, but a few codes that worked for Josh include:

  • 1228 – earn 3000 points per stay for the next 90 days
  • 2120 – earn 1500 points for your next stay within 90 days
  • 4709 – earn 1000 bonus points per stay for the next 60 days
  • 4644 – earn 1000 points per stay 90 days
  • 1027 – earn 3000 points per stay for the next 90 days
  • 7637 – earn 5000 bonus points for your next weekend stay.
  • 7489 – earn 3000 Bonus Points per stay for the next 90 days for Platinum members
  • 2120 – earn 1500 Bonus Points for one stay
  • 4648 – earn a mystery number of points (sorry, I deleted it by accident)
  • 3782 – earn 5000 Bonus Points when you stay a Friday AND Saturday or Saturday AND Sunday
  • 3107 – earn 1500 Bonus Points for one stay
  • 5109 – earn another 1500 Bonus Points for one stay

To attach bonus codes to your account, just go to this page and enter the codes manually.

Reason #2.

IHG Reward night redemptions range from 5,000 points per night (via PointBreaks) to 50,000 points per night. This means that the points Josh would earn from the Big Win, combined with the points he would earn from his combined bonus codes, would be enough for multiple free nights.

Which would be great. I figure we will need them after all of our hard work on this promo.

So…what was your offer like? Are you running and hiding from this one, or are you diving right in?






  1. Well unfortunately, I had my account set for miles and signed up under that circumstance and got really bupkis. I called to find out if they could change it to points and was told no, once you are signed up the computer figures it and there is no going back. My husband got a good offer though and has gotten a better offer all three times we’ve signed up. I think they have a bias towards male participants with the idea that they use more hotel nights due to work travel. They are not taking into account who may be booking those nights. In our house that would be me. Usually our hotel stays are for vacation. This year he had a lot of work related hotel stays and none if them were for points or stay credit. The reason for that was we needed them to be the lowest possible price per night and that was Priceline. True, sometimes you can get credit via Priceline stays but he isn’t wired to pursue it. I always give my frequent stayer number just in case it results in some benefit like free breakfast, wi-fi, bottled water, or points.

  2. Most of the codes said they were invalid for my type of membership (USA Platinum). The other said I was already registered, I have seen before that some register, but never seem to work for me. Still worth the shot. I donlt think I’ve ever been sent any codes directly by IHG (except Big Wins).

    I’m 83,200 points. 10 stays, 2 Saturdays, 4 brands, etc.

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