Last fall I mentioned a special travel hacking adventure available to pretty much everyone capable of handwriting their name and address over and over on an index card:
If you were skeptical or just missed the first chance to watch your hand shrivel up and fall off from all the handwriting, there’s still time to do it. The deadline is February 15 and it will probably take some time to get organized, so if you’re up for a small adventure, don’t leave it until the last minute.
Here’s What You’ll Get and How to Do It
Read the original post for all the details, but here are the main points: when you complete and mail off 94 envelopes containing a handwritten index card, you’ll receive a minimum of 47,000 IHG hotel points. These points can be used for free hotel stays around the world (up to 9 nights!).
You’ll need to have:
- A free loyalty account with IHG (get yours here)
- 94 envelopes, index cards, and first-class postage stamps (currently $0.49 each)
- A hand to write your entries
Does It Work? Yes, Mostly
The biggest question I’ve heard since explaining the promotion is: does it work? And indeed, it seems like it’s working. After you send in the envelopes, you should receive a series of emails from the promotion company running the offer. You’ll get one email for every entry, and each email includes a link you click to see how many points you’ve won.
You’ll earn a minimum of 500 points per entry, but you can potentially hit it big and win a lot more. To be conservative, I counted on winning only the minimum, which is 47,000 points in total.
Most of the people we’ve talked to have received emails from IHG with entries to the contest. Some have mentioned that the emails went to their spam or Gmail “promotions” folder, so be sure to pay close attention if you’re expecting something. Also, most people are getting the 500 points for each entry, with a few reporting larger bonuses of 5,000 points or more on some of the entries.
I’ve heard of someone on another blog reporting that they won the jackpot and received one million points, which of course is fantastic, but I haven’t verified this claim myself. In any event, if you count on receiving the minimum, that’s great, and anything else is just icing on your free hotel cake. 🙂
A few people haven’t received their emails yet, and some people have received fewer emails than they were expecting. At this point it seems mostly safe to assume that everything is working mostly well. In other words, there are no guarantees, but I found it worth my time and most readers are reporting the same.
Also: Get the IHG Credit Card and Earn 60,000 More Points
In addition to the envelope stuffing, which is free and available to anyone, I also recommend (and have myself) the IHG Reward Club Select Credit Card. This card provides a signup bonus of 60,000 points after you complete a minimum spend requirement of $1,000 in the first 90 days.
When you get the card you’ll also receive complimentary Platinum status with IHG, valid for additional benefits whenever you book a paid stay at an IHG property. Finally, you’ll also get a certificate for a free night’s stay throughout their entire network of more than 4,900 hotels for every year you remain a member.
This is probably the single best hotel credit card offer currently available. Aside from the Starwood Preferred Guest card, which I also recommend and use frequently, there’s no better hotel card.
But again, you don’t need this card for this promo. In fact, you don’t really need any card at all. As part of the handwriting marathon, you’ll need to provide the first six digits of a Mastercard—but it can be any MasterCard, even a debit card, and there’s seemingly no verification to that part of the process.
If you’ve been on the fence about this one, don’t hesitate. Time’s running out to handwrite your envelopes and send them off. 🙂