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Planning a trip to Las Vegas? Through IHG’s Vegas Fly Back Bonus, you can earn up to a $350 flight credit for a return visit when you stay at least 2 nights at The Venetian or The Palazzo hotel through August 30, 2014.
You’ll get an airfare credit (between $100 and $350) if you book at least a 3-night stay within 9 months of your 1st visit. But it’s not as simple as it sounds! Read on to find out why this isn’t such a good deal.
How Does This Work?
To earn the flight credit, you have to register for the promotion on the IHG website before you book your trip. If you stay 2 nights at The Venetian or The Palazzo between now and August 30, 2014, you’ll earn up to $350 in flight credit if you return and stay at least 3 nights (at the same hotels) within 9 months.
After your 1st stay, they’ll send you an email with instructions on how to redeem your flight credit. The amount you get depends on how soon you return:
- Return within 3 months: $350 credit
- Return within 3 to 6 months: $200 credit
- Return within 6 to 9 months: $100 credit
It Gets Complicated
Redeeming the flight credit isn’t as easy as it sounds. It actually sounds like a real pain! According to the terms and conditions of the deal, the following restrictions apply:
- Your 1st booking must be made through the IHG website or reservations line (not with a hotel discount website or an online travel agency like Orbitz or Expedia)
- You must register your flight credit within 30 days of receiving the email at ActivateAward.com
- Flight credit is non-transferable and can only be redeemed for 1 excursion (coach class) ticket
- You have to fly out of a “major airport” (their definition: an airport served by at least 3 major airlines)
- You can only use the credit towards the base fare, NOT taxes and fees
- If the base fare is higher than the credit, you’re responsible for paying for the rest
- Your return stay in Las Vegas has to be at regular hotel rates, not discounted or promotional rates
- Tickets and hotel must be purchased through ATG travel agency (they’ll give you contact details in the email)
- ATG will pick the airline and flights for you – you don’t have a choice
- Booking must be done at least 21 days in advance, from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific time
Ouch! I think I’d rather use Southwest points and our Companion Pass to get to Las Vegas (and stay at a discounted hotel booked through TravelPony or Rocketmiles or get some cheap Hyatt stay credits) instead of going through this promotion!
Let’s Look at It This Way
I was curious to see what the difference is between regular hotel rates at The Venetian and The Palazzo compared to booking on discount hotel sites like TravelPony or Rocketmiles. This deal requires you to book the current rate on the hotel’s website at the time of booking.
I looked for a 3-night stay on The Venetian’s website for random dates in October. The best available rate for 3 nights costs a total of ~$921 including taxes and fees.
To compare, I checked TravelPony for the same dates. The same room (refundable until 72 hours prior to arrival) only costs $765 including taxes for 3 nights.
So you’d save $156 just by booking through TravelPony. And if they have a flash sale, you could save even more (usually 10%, or in this case $68). Your total savings could be ~$224 ($156 TravelPony difference + $68 from 10% flash sale!)
I also checked rates for the same dates for The Palazzo. A 3-night stay in September costs ~$753.
TravelPony has the same room and nights for $657. So you’ll save $96. And with a 10% off sale, you’d save another $59. So your total savings would be $155 ($96 TravelPony difference + $59 from 10% flash sale).
This really makes the IHG deal much less attractive. You’d have to book much more expensive rates, which could be avoided if you booked through TravelPony or possibly other discount travel websites. And the terms of the deal don’t make it easy to redeem your flight credit!
You might still save some money (most likely only if you return within 3 months), but it’s certainly not as good a deal as it sounds!
You could get a flight credit for up to $350 through the IHG Hotels Vegas Fly Back Bonus. You’ll need to stay 2 nights at The Venetian or The Palazzo, then return within 3 to 9 months and stay at least for another 3 nights.
There are lots of conditions on how you can use your flight credit. And you’ll only get $350 if you return within 3 months. If you wait longer, you’ll only get $100 to $200.
If you’re planning a Las Vegas trip, you’re probably better off booking a hotel through discount websites like TravelPony. That’s because this deal requires you to pay regular room rates from the hotel website. The difference in price cancels out much of the benefit from the airline credit!