Actual Hotel Living Costs: Crowne Plaza

My IHG Spire Ambassador status and my IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card provide loyalty points reduce the costs of staying in hotels. Following is an example of my adjusted expenses for a one-week stay at a Crowne Plaza Tampa-Westshore in Florida.

In my post Hotel Living Costs: Embassy Suites, I  provided the financial details of a one-night stay at a Hilton property. Today’s hotel example, Crowne Plaza, is part of the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) chain.

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I enjoy staying at Crowne Plaza hotels because I tend to get complimentary upgrades to large suites, as I did during this stay. My “cabana suite” had a separate living room, office area, and kitchenette. It is comfortable and quite livable. I also enjoyed the large pool and free cabanas almost every day.

How much did I spend?

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Tampa-Westshore for 7 days. The rate varied throughout the week, but the daily average was $122.51.  With tax, my bill was $960.51.

Crowne Plaza hotel bill with varying nightly rates

How many points did I earn?

I earned IHG Rewards Club loyalty points for my stay, and I used my IHG Rewards Club credit card to earn additional points.

Hotel Points

Per IHG Rewards Club policy, I received points for the room rate and food, but not for taxes or tips. This policy is consistent with the other major hotel chains.

The IHG online hotel reservations process lets you easily see how many points you’re going to get:

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Here is how the points are calculated:

Base points (10 points per $1 spent on room rate)

($122.51 room rate x 10) x 7 days = 8576 points

Bonus Elite points (additional 100% of base points for Spire elite status)

8576 x 100% = 8576 points

Total IHG Rewards points earned from hotel: 17,152 points

Credit Card Points

2504DE5F-B4EB-45B0-9F9B-EBE6AA429E16I used my IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card to pay my hotel bill. All IHG expenses are in scope, including restaurants, hotel shops, taxes and tips!

IHG Rewards points from credit card (10 points per dollar spent at IHG hotels)

$960.51 x 10 points = 9605 points

TOTAL Points Earned

TOTAL IHG Rewards points from the hotel and credit card

17,152 points + 9605 points= 26,757 points

Daily earnings

26,757 points/7 days = 3822 points

IHG Rewards Club usually has promotions to gain additional points, so this example shows the minimum I can expect.

What is the value of my earned points?

Most loyalty points-focused sites, such as ThePointsGuy, tend to assign a value for each point. However, their calculations are both soft and subjective. In my calculations, I assess direct, financial benefits by comparing the cost of the same hotel using points.

Points needed for a free night
In my Crowne Plaza example, a one hotel night costs 25,000 points. However, I never book just one free night because my credit card provides “4th night free” when using points.

4-night stay: 25,000 x 4 – 25,000 = 75,000 points
1-night stay: 75,000/4 = 18,750 points

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Value of points earned daily

3822 points earned/18,750 points needed for a free night = 20.38% of a free night 

Conclusion

This example shows that by leveraging IHG elite status and the IHG Premier credit card, and applying points for 4 free nights at a time, each stay at an IHG hotel inherently includes a 20% discount.

With taxes and tips, my initial bill was $960.51. However, after subtracting the value of the points I earned (20.38%), my actual weekly hotel expenses were $760.73. That averages to $109 per day, after a savings of $28/day.

Because of the complimentary suite upgrade (See My Suite Life for more), I paid $109 for a large livable suite, including a refrigerator, microwave, and living room, utilities, toiletries, housekeeping, a pool with free cabanas, a gym, transportation within 3 miles, tips, and taxes!  (Unlike Hilton and Marriott chains, the highest elite status at IHG hotels does not include free breakfast.)

Value of each point

When I use points to pay for a hotel stay, I do not need to pay taxes (or resort fees!). Therefore, the value of using points for one night is the rate + taxes.

20.38% of ($122.51 room rate + $14.70 tax) = $28

$28/3822 points = x/1 point, x$.0075

The value of each point is 75% of one cent.

Questions? Comments? Don’t like my math? Please let me know in the Comments section below.

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