IHG Friends and Family Rate – Is it worth using?
What's the IHG Friends and Family Rate?
We recently wrote about the IHG Friends and Family Rate, after finding out that just about anyone can use it. You need a special booking link which has an employee's key embedded in it. It takes you to a landing page, like above, which shows the employee's name. This link is a typical special booking link.
To complete the booking process, you need to print out a rate voucher, where you input the same IHG employee's name. Some IHG properties will ask for the voucher at check-in, while others do not. On the whole, travelers tend to say that the voucher isn't necessary (but we recommend at least having the voucher if you don't actually know an IHG employee).
What discount can I get by using IHG Friends and Family?
While some people report bigger savings, IHG state that the IHG Friends and Family Rate will save you up to 15% off Advance Purchase and Best Flexible Rates. Is (up to) a 15% discount worth any potential hassle?
There are more reasons why a 15% discount may not be worth it, too; when you book using the IHG Friends and Family Rate, if you are an IHG Rewards Club member:
- You won't earn stay credit
- You won't earn any points
- You won't qualify for any promotion (e.g. Set Your Sights)
- You may be booked on a non-refundable rate (which could also be non-cancellable and non-changeable)
- You may not get all elite benefits (although many travelers report getting the same elite benefits as usual when booking this rate)
- You are unable to earn any cashback
Dummy booking to see a typical saving
We tried booking a Holiday Inn in Florida for March 9th for one night. The best rate on the IHG website for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Florida City-Gateway To Keys without using the IHG Friends and Family Rate was $111:
The same booking using the IHG Friends and Family special booking link came out at $94.35:
This is a saving of 16%.
(Note that you need to try both dummy bookings yourself to find the saving. If we'd just checked the IHG Friends and Family Rate, we'd have thought that the saving was 27%, as it says, "Book Now and Save 27%").
What are the Terms and Conditions of IHG Friends and Family?
The terms and conditions of the IHG Friends and Family Rate are shown on the rate voucher:
These T&C don't spell out all the reasons shown above as to why it may be better to not use the rate, but they have been experienced by many people who have booked with the IHG Friends and Family Rate in the recent past.
So is the IHG Friends and Family Rate worth using?
If you search and manage to find a property with a significant saving when using the IHG Friends and Family Rate, then it may be worth doing. Otherwise, you may just be be losing out on more points or credits by booking this way!