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Time to travel: IHG Hotels giving away stays around the world for a year

Sign up for IHG's new sweepstakes through July 20 for a chance to win a stay at their hotels and resorts ‘rent-free’ for one year

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The IHG sweepstakes promotion mentioned below is no longer available.

After 16 long months of a global pandemic and numerous lockdowns, are you ready to get out of the house and finally go on that vacation you've wanted to take but couldn't? IHG Hotels & Resorts is offering one U.S.-based traveler the opportunity to stay at their properties 'rent-free' in locations across the world, for one year, through its new sweepstakes known as the 'Department of Epic'.

The value of the prize is $60,000, and the winner will get to stay at any IHG Property (there are 16 brands) including Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants and the Holiday Inn Express. People can enter the sweepstakes between June 22 and July 20. 

In order to enter, you'll need to be on either Instagram or Twitter and make a post about why you're deserving of a grand adventure. When posting, travelers need to 'tell IHG why they need an epic vacation – without telling IHG they need an epic vacation', (a play on the popular TikTok trend) using the hashtag '#IHGTellMeContest' and tagging @ihghotels. Each individual is allowed ten entries in total 一 five each for Instagram and Twitter. The winner will be announced on August 2.

The winner will get a host of different perks beyond free hotel stays. These perks include but are not limited to: complimentary snacks every time you check into a new room, free dining in one of IHG's restaurants once a month, access to a private car at select hotels, the highest level of IHG rewards member status and a personal booking concierge. 

Other ways to score free stays at IHG Hotels & Resorts

While entering the sweepstakes gives you a chance to win stays at luxurious hotels in far-flung places, if you don't win, there are still opportunities for you to get free stays and other rewards. If you're loyal to a specific hotel chain or brand, like IHG, you should consider signing up for a hotel credit card. The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card released a generous welcome bonus offer of 140,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. 

What can you get with 140,000 points? It depends on the location, but you can get a five night stay at the Hotel Indigo in Brooklyn, a three night stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Orange Beach or a two-night stay at the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt in Austin.

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card also comes with numerous perks including one statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck®, or NEXUS every four years, the fourth night free when you use points to redeem for three or more nights, and one reward night after each account anniversary year. IHG Premier credit holders also get IHG Platinum Elite status.

The card has a high rewards-earning rate for IHG spend, offering up to 26X points per dollar when you stay at an IHG hotel 一 you earn 10x points per dollar for being an IHG Rewards Member, 10X points per dollar spent at IHG hotels as a cardholder and up to 6X points for having Platinum Elite status.

This card is also a good choice for international travelers because it has no foreign transaction fees. The card does have its drawbacks: there's an $99 annual fee. 

Additionally, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG Rewards if you have an eligible card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel, 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants, 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening

  • Annual fee

    $99

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    16.74% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Platinum Elite status, which gives cardholders access to room upgrades, late checkout and other perks
  • One reward night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide
  • Reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years

Cons

  • No annual travel credits
  • No introductory 0% APR
  • Estimated points earned after 1 year: 173,089
  • Estimated points earned after 5 years: 365,446

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    16.74% - 23.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Transfer points to leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 rate, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Travel protections include: auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.