The world of travel hacking is always changing, and sometimes new deals are too exciting to pass up — no matter how sore they’ll make your hand.
Intercontinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) Priceless Surprises promotion is one of those deals.
It’ll cost you $55 in supplies, plus a few hours of writing on index cards, but you should get at least four FREE hotel nights out of the deal.
To be eligible, you must have a MasterCard you opened before Nov. 15, 2015, live within the United States and be at least 21. (Click here for the full rules.)
The promotion only runs for one more week, so if you want in, keep reading…
4 Hotel Nights for $55?!
Though you can enter the contest by staying at an IHG property, there’s another route that doesn’t cost nearly as much: Mailing in an index card with your personal information.
After IHG receives your entry, it sends you an email with a surprise award, ranging all the way from 500 points to an all-expenses paid Parisian vacation.
You can enter the contest 94 times — so even if you only receive the minimum prize for each entry, you should earn 47,000 IHG points.
(I say “should,” because these types of promotions are never guaranteed. From what I’ve read online, though, it’s been working!)
Based on IHG’s rewards chart, free hotel nights start at 10,000 points, which means that for your time and effort, you’ll earn at least four hotel nights, and hopefully many more.
The Penny Hoarder’s senior editor Heather, for example, received 5,000 points for a single entry. If she gets a few more of those, she’ll have enough points for a week’s vacation!
To enter, you’ll have to purchase 94 stamps ($46.06), index cards ($1.99) and envelopes ($6.99).
Getting several hundred dollars worth of free hotel stays for $55? I’d say it’s worth it.
All entries must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2016, and received by Feb. 22, 2016, so hurry up if you want to enter!
How to Get Your Free Hotel Stays
1. Sign up for a free IHG Rewards Club account.
2. Use your IHG number to register for the Priceless Surprises Promotion.
3. Purchase 94 stamps, 3 x 5 index cards and envelopes. (Self-sealing is probably a good idea, unless you really want to lick them all.)
4. On each index card, write your:
- Full name
- Mailing address
- Daytime phone number
- Evening phone number
- Email address
- IHG Rewards Club account number
- The first six digits of any MasterCard in your name
- Date of birth
5. Put the notecard in an envelope with a stamp, and mail it to: IHG and MasterCard Priceless Surprises Promotion, c/o HelloWorld, Inc., P.O. Box 5996, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-5996.
6. Within five business days of receiving your entry, you should receive an email inviting you to “play the Game.” After clicking on the link in your email, you’ll discover how many points you’ve won.
It’s one of the most unique travel rewards promotions I’ve seen in a while, so despite my cramped hand, I’ve had fun participating. I plan to finish up my 94 entries this weekend — and I can’t wait to find out my prizes.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
Your Turn: Will you enter the contest?
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.