Reader Question: Can I Prepay A Stay, Not Show Up & Get Points And Stay/Night Credit?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question that resurfaces every once in a while. If you prepay a stay, do you actually need to show up to get the stay/night credit and points?

reader-question

Remember that you can always email me, send a message via Facebook or use Twitter and include photos too. I’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.

You can access IHG Rewards Club here.

Here’s email from the reader:

Here is a question I have not found an answer to on your website or any other place for that matter.

I have been a Platinum Elite member with IHG for a few years and happy with the status while traveling in the US of A.  Last year my sojourn in the States was a bit shorter than usual and I am short on points keeping this status.

Now I have received an email from IHG Rewards Club with this offer:

See the incredible status-saving power of 3 more nights

Hi Gxxxxx, you love being Platinum Elite. We love you being Platinum Elite. So here’s a plan to help you keep your well-deserved status for all of 2017 with just 3 more nights in 2016—no matter how many nights you need.

How amazing is that?

And it’s so simple. Just book 3 more nights on IHG.com and stay with us before the end of the year. Remember, if you book a Bonus Points Package you could earn up to 5,000 bonus points…and all of those points count toward your Elite status too.

So, come see us again this year and keep a really good thing going.

I have no time before the end of 2016 to stay three more nights at any IHG hotel. My question to you is this:

Should I book a three nights stay, say somewhere in Asia were the rates are more reasonable than in Australia, under the condition that I have to pre-pay the whole amount as a deposit. I am looking at an amount of USD $115.00. Now the real question – if I do not show up I will forfeit the whole amount – do I get to keep the Platinum Elite status for 2017 in spite of the forfeiture?

Looking forward to your answer before the end of 2016 as to enable me to possibly keep my status.

Paying an advance purchase rate and not showing up will not work in 99% of the cases. The hotel is happy to take your money and being able to resell the room.

Here’s one thing that will likely work with IHG Rewards Club but is against the T&Cs of the program.

You can make the booking for three nights and have another person as the second guest (you can designate this online during the booking process) who then checks in and perhaps stays too. I would advice to pay for the stay using cash.

This obviously only works if these two people know each other well and there is some trust too.

I have checked into Holiday Inn Express and ibis in Bali few times and just left after paying the bill due to some lucrative promotions. There are properties that can be had for just $25/night.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t over use the second guest option with the programs that allow designating one online. Eventually something will go wrong. If you do it once a blue moon, it likely works.

This is really the time of the year when many of us are looking our program accounts and some may fall short of the required nights or stays (or miles in case of airlines) to keep the status or perhaps reach the next level. There are still more than 30 nights left in this year to get the stay/night count up and hotel rates are often very reasonable around the Christmas due to lessened business demand.

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