IHG Rewards Club has had a program called Surprise & Delight (in some regions and not implemented by all properties) where elite members are offered Food & Beverage amenity or set number of points.
Some hotels have offered only the F&B amenity while others only give out these drink vouchers for use at a hotel bar. Now, IHG Rewards Club has launched more formalized Surprise & Delight program (while keeping it semi secret).
You can access IHG Rewards Club here.
Here’s the information I was able to get from the IHG spokesperson:
In which regions is Surprise & Delight is now valid?
IHG® Rewards Club Elite members are offered a choice of Welcome Amenity upon check-in to thank them and recognize their loyalty. The enhanced Welcome Amenity offers will take effect on February 1, 2017, in the U.S., Canada, AMEA and Europe regions. An enhanced Welcome Amenity will launch in Mexico, the Caribbean and Greater China at a later date.
The F&B amenity or points per tier: Gold, Platinum & Spire
Elite members are given a choice of points or a food & beverage option upon check-in. The specific Welcome Amenity varies by brand and region.
Wasn’t the points amount also dependent of the IHG brand?
The number of points offered as a Welcome Amenity varies by both brand and status level (i.e., Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite).
Note that AMEA is Africa, Middle East & Asia.
IHG Rewards Club couldn’t share the information what the amenity points are per status level and if they have formalized the F&B amenity across all regions.
I would like to hear from readers at the Gold, Platinum and Spire Elite levels. What you were offered in terms of F&B choice or points? Do they have standardized slip that have the options to choose from like SPG and Marriott have (take a snap and email it to me if they have). I am sure that we can soon figure out the points values for each of the regions.
There is also an issue how the amenity points are issued. Some hotels give you a slip that you can use to deposit to any account of your choosing (perfect way to extend the validity of dormant family member account) while others deposit those directly (and sometimes forget).
When I was cleaning my receipt bag late last year, I probably had 30 to 40 of these drinks chits. I would have chosen the point amenity option most of the time if I had a choice.