Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is quietly piloting a new Pay with Points service for its IHG Rewards Club members.
The technology allows guests to instantly redeem points to pay for food and drink, room rates and other services at selected US properties.
It is currently live at just three hotels – Crowne Plaza Atlanta at Ravinia, Hotel Indigo Alexandria, and the Intercontinental Barclay New York – with the Intercontinental Buckhead and Holiday Inn Atlanta Airport South set to be added in the coming weeks, and plans to extend the offering next year.
Guests can access their loyalty accounts via the IHG Studio system on their in-room TV, or by visiting ihgrewardsclub.com/paywithpoints (at present IHG Studio is not available at the Intercontinental Barclay New York).
They are then able to exchange points for a credit value of their choice against one of the properties listed above, and receive a code to redeem the credit.
Note that the credit value must be used in full in one transaction, and expires 24 hours after it has been raised.
Business Traveller understands that members do not actually have to be staying at one of the participating properties in order to redeem credit, so theoretically it could be used against a visit to one of the hotel’s restaurants or bars.
It’s also not clear whether a member could exchange points for a credit, and then pass the redemption code onto a colleague or friend to redeem.
IHG says it is “one of the first hotel loyalty programmes to allow guests to easily redeem rewards points from the comfort of their room during their stay”.
Marriott’s Bonvoy programme also offers an Instant Redemptions service, allowing loyalty scheme members to redeem points as credit against charges applied to their room at check out.