Preparing for LOTS of IHG Points!


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UPDATE: My PR contact at IHG (the one who initially let me know about this promotion), wrote back to me saying “Yes, they will win something each time.” Keep in mind though it is a third-party running the contest, so rules can always get lost in translation too, but I am going to assume the best and assume she is correct. 

Last week I wrote about a way to get 47,000 IHG points for only $46. It is part of the IHG “surprise” promotion where you don’t actually have to stay at an IHG hotel to win a prize! In my opinion it is an awesome opportunity to win some free stuff from IHG without having to put out much money or even leave your couch!

The terms are vague and do not specify whether or not you are guaranteed to win a prize on every entry. In my prior post, there were many statistics that people included in the comments section on your chances of winning based on the odds listed in the terms. I sort of believe you will win the minimum prize of 500 on every entry, but not 100% sure. I do have an email out to the IHG PR representative to find out more about this, so will keep you posted once I hear back. You can check out the full terms of this promotion here.

First off, I suggest reading my prior blog post to fully understand the promotion if you decide to participate. If so, here is how you can go ahead and prepare.

Items to Purchase:

  • Purchase at least 94 3×5 notecards. I made sure to get the ones without lines to ensure I fully followed the directions. The terms specify 3×5 so makes sure they are not any bigger or any smaller. Contests like this are very strict with rules. I personally purchased these ones on Amazon for $2.29, although there are way more then I need, it was only $2.29. While you can get a 100 pack at Staples for slightly cheaper and use a card that gives you 5x points (i.e., Chase Ink cards), I was not going to go to the store to save a few pennies.
  •  Purchase at least 94 envelopes. The terms do not state anything about the size of the envelope, so any size that a 3×5 piece of paper fits in should work. I purchased these ones on Amazon for $6.99. I actually couldn’t find them cheaper at Staples online, but I am sure you can, especially since you can opt for some cheap envelopes. I wanted to find envelopes where I didn’t have to lick 94 seals!
  • Purchase 94 stamps. This will cost you $46.06. Using a Chase Ink card at an office supply store will get you 5x points on this purchase!

Filling Out and Sending In Entry Form:

  • Sign up for an IHG Rewards Club account number if you do not already have one.
  • Register for this promotion!
  • On the 3 x 5 piece of paper, handwrite the following information:
    • Full Name
    • Complete Mailing Address
    • Day Phone Number
    • Evening Phone Number
    • Email Address
    • IHG Number
    • First 6 Digits of MasterCard
    • Date of Birth
  • For the envelope, it does not specify that you must handwrite the address, however, it does state “use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification”. That can be interpreted as a computer printing out labels. It is up to you whether or not you want to print labels or possibly be safe and just write it out on all 94 entries. The mailing address is:
    • IHG and MasterCard® Priceless Surprises® Promotion, c/o HelloWorld, Inc., P.O. Box 5996, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-5996
  • Every envelope can only contain one 3 x 5 entry card. This means you must write out and send in 94 separate envelopes.
  • The promotion does not begin until November 15, 2015, so I personally would not put them in the mail until then. Any entry that is stamped with a prior date could potentially be disqualified.
  • Once your entry is received, you will receive an email within 5 business days from the contest administrator inviting you to play the game.

Even if you win the lowest possible prize every single time, that means you’ll earn 500 points per entry, thus 47,000 points if you submit the full 94 entries. There is also a chance that a few of those entries might earn you a bigger prize. For the bigger prizes, you can win at max 1 prize from the top giveaways (2016 Paris Tennis Tournament Package for 2, 2 different trip packages to NYC, Trip package to Orlando, $2,500 gift card, 1 million IHG points, Bose®Sound Touch®120 home theater system, an adventure package, Sony package,Bose®Wave® SoundTouch® music system IV), and 5 prizes from the 2nd tier giveaway (IHG free night, $50 MasterCard, 5,000 points, 2,000 points, and 1,000 points). There is no limit on the number of 500 point prizes you can win.

In my opinion, this is definitely worth it and something to do while watching TV tonight. I value 47,000 IHG points at around $235. So this is the minimum you’ll gain and you could always potentially win one of the big prizes! My total cost is $55.34. And I expect it to take around 2 minutes per card, so about 3 hours. I am actually only going to send in a handful of cards to begin with to ensure they are accepted prior to wasting time/money on the rest. I’ll probably send in 10 cards to start off with on Monday morning.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Blake
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Blake

Just an FYI, there have been several posts on other blogs outlining how it is not a guaranteed 47,000 points. The odds are 1:1.18 which isn’t a lock at all to get 500 points each entry.

Judy Jones
Guest
Judy Jones

I bought my 3×5 notecards at Dollar Tree, they are 200 for $1 there. I am using the side with lines so it is more readable, I am planning on sending in 5 per day to space them out a bit. I had hand cramps by the tenth card!!!

Michael
Guest
Michael

But even 1:1 odds are 50% chance of winning. Odds of winning and probabilities of winning are not the same thing. See wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odds#Terminology. It’s possible IHG is mucking up the terminology, but we can’t be sure, right?

caveman
Guest
caveman

You said that it does not specify that you must handwrite the address. So what are you going to do yourself? Also have you thought of getting one month trial membership of stamps.com. Will that be cheap?

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I have been working on mine and my husband’s entries for the last week or so. He is always a game player and always willing to switch credit cards whenever i tell him. There is no way he is going to sit down and fill out 94 index cards with this information. Honestly, he is too busy working.
He just leaves this up to me. That is ok! I hope we all win some points from IHG!

Karen
Guest
Karen

I used to enter sweepstakes as a hobby for years. And everything always had to be handwritten including the envelope.

PJ
Guest
PJ

Just curious if the time u took to enter sweepstakes ever paid off….

Karen
Guest
Karen

PJ,
Yes, it payed off..I am out of it now.. but, still have friends that do it and they travel the world, the super bowl, great gifts etc…

JohnB
Guest
JohnB

What was you average number of entries that you received a prize?

Thom
Guest
Thom

I couldn’t find anything in the Terms on whether the cards have to be ruled or blank. Is there such thing? About a week ago I bought a pack of 200 cards. Are they good to use?

Duane
Guest
Duane

I guess I didn’t realize you had to have an IHG credit card. I would guess the first 6 digits are the same for everyone. Would anyone mind posting those?

PhatMiles
Guest
PhatMiles

I am all in for games like this. With tips from people here, I am planning to look in to 3X5 cards at Dollar Store. Look into Stamps.com membership
And try to see if I can hire someone to do this writing on task rabbit. I will send some ‘testers’ on the 16th and see the acceptance level.Once comfortable I will post a gig on TaskRabbit or Craigslist and see how it goes.

BDMNL
Guest
BDMNL

My OfficeMax (DFW area) had 100 pack unruled paper thin note cards on clearance for twenty-five cents.

Carl P
Guest
Carl P

Personally I find the envelope addressing to be worse than the card. Could they have made it longer with c/o, etc? As far as printing address labels and stamps.com my concern is in the T&C “Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification”. It will be interesting to see what your source says about this. I could do a test batch with address labels, but does “disqualification” mean you are disqualified totally or is just the entry that is disqualified?

TellulaBlue
Guest
TellulaBlue

I work from home and only have a cell phone. Do I need to write it twice or will once suffice?

Carl P
Guest
Carl P

@TellulaBlue – Personally I’d write it twice identifying one as day and one as evening. I’d say they’re more likely to toss it our for a perceived omission than they are to notice and question the same number.

Sarhaan
Guest
Sarhaan

Just to be clear, You have to have a IHG Mastercard to enter the promotion or just a Mastercard. I noticed in the rules it stated IHG and Mastercard. I probably have the answer; however, i don’t have the IHG card.

Thanks

TWilson
Guest
TWilson

Isn’t there a limit of 6 prizes per person? “Limit: One (1) prize
from Group A and five (5) prizes from Group B prize per person.” quoted from T&C at https://d2ukkex5d6aodv.cloudfront.net/pdf/PricelessSurprisesRules_FINAL.pdf?v=TiHuj

TWilson
Guest
TWilson

Isn’t there a limit of 6 prizes per person? “Limit: One (1) prize from Group A and five (5) prizes from Group B prize per person.” quoted from T&C at https://d2ukkex5d6aodv.cloudfront.net/pdf/PricelessSurprisesRules_FINAL.pdf?v=TiHuj

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

How did you get the stamps so cheap? Are they just overpriced on Amazon or something? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FX6I8F0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_1&smid=A5GK472PIBJ68

SteveH
Guest

Yes, those are overpriced. A book of 20 stamps should only be $9.80 wherever you buy it. And Staples sells stamps so you can even 5x points on your Chase Ink CC.

Andrew G
Guest
Andrew G

Must you address the envelopes EXACTLY as they ask? (i.e. including the “R” registered trademark symbols after MasterCard and Priceless Surprises)

CJ
Guest
CJ

So do you guys think we can not print addresses on the envelopes with a printer?

whitney
Guest
whitney

dangit! i bought a pack of Avery 3×5 cards on amazon and was about to print 94 of them out. i also planned on just stamping the card (like a postcard) and not using envelopes. i am glad i read all this first. ugh how annoying! i guess i’ll wait to see what people report back on. card vs paper…..blank vs lined. this is nuts!

Kathie
Guest

There is an offer for 2,000 Mypoints with Stamps.com. I used my free postage for the envelopes. They give you $5, then two $10 credits come in the Welcome Pack. Just an FYI for anyone wanting to add to the effort for your trouble.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

on the 3X5 card, did you write “Name” then your name next to it, “Complete Mailing Address” then your address next to it, etc? Or did you just write down your information without specifying what it was?

HC
Guest
HC

Based on my calculation, and the assumptions made in the edit, the expected value from this promotion, if you mailed in all 94 entries, is 63,955 IHG points. Seems worth it if all the assumptions are correct.

james
Guest
james

The rules say to submit your entry on a piece of paper. Are you sure a card will be accepted?

KP
Guest
KP

A card is ‘technically’ a piece of paper.

toomanybooks
Guest
toomanybooks

You can get stamps way cheaper than 49 cents. Go to eBay and search “discount postage”.

I am a stamp dealer.

kymmie a
Guest
kymmie a

Another former “sweepstaker” chimes in–

I used to spend 7-9+ hours a day entering sweepstakes. It was a full-time job for which I received part-time rewards but hey, I was a stay-at-home mom and anything was better than nothing. (BTW I also sold/still sell used items on eBay and eBay is definitely the easier of the two).

Like someone else mentioned, sweeps RULE are VERY STRICT and you are expected to handwrite everything, to NOT use metered mail (stamps only) and include address on envelope exactly as stated, including a TM or R copyright sign.

Victor
Guest
Victor

I didnt think about envelopes being postmarked before the 15th. I just dropped 50 envelopes in the mail yesterday (the 13th) with the assumption theyll get there Monday and no one will be there the 15th (Sunday) to receive them. I sure hope I’m right.

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

I just realized I spent enough billable time reading this post and all the replies that I could have made enough to buy the points. Oh, well. My comment is now costing me money.
I’ll skip this idea and wait to buy more points on sale.

whitney
Guest
whitney

baaahahaha so true! the time we are investing for 45-60k IHG points is nuts. the points are only worth ~$320-$420 and some of us will spend more than 3-4 hours once all is said and done.

Carole
Guest
Carole

The Mr. (USPS carrier) commented that perhaps since the max is 94 entries (AKA one per day), it may need to have a different postmark per entry. And Sunday is a non-delivery day, so no postmark. What do you think? Is the bulk mailing going to work?

Lindy
Guest
Lindy

And who knows HOW long the actual game participation will take? All we know is that each handwritten letter will get us one chance to play the game.

Allen
Guest
Allen

Any opinions on using address labels for the return address? I have a billion of these and it would save some time. Or are people not even putting a return address on the envelope?

Linda
Guest
Linda

Subscribing for updates.

brad
Guest
brad

Section 6b says:

Limit: Each entrant is eligible to receive up to ninety-four (94) Game plays during the Promotion
Period, regardless of method of entry. Multiple entrants are not permitted to share the same
email address.

So, you have to have 94 email addresses as I read that. Are you kidding?

b

Dhammer53
Guest
Dhammer53

You guys are providing me with a big ROTFLOL. This promo benefits the post office! Makes me long for the pudding guy and Wendy’s promo from 12-14 years ago. At least that provided a tangible return.

djp_707
Guest
djp_707

Better get your cards mailed soon before IHG changes the rules again. Seems the terms and conditions are no longer accessible. Did anyone save a copy?

“The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.”

AG
Guest
AG

Does the information need to be hand PRINTED (that is in uppercase letters) or lowercase letters would be fine? I wrote everything in uppercase except my email address and only realized it after mailing in the envelopes.

ellen
Guest
ellen

Please keep us posted on what happened with the 10 envelopes you sent in to see what their response is. Thanks!

Josh
Guest

Please keep us posted. I sent 3 handwritten envelopes and 1 computer printed envelope on 11/12. Hoping to hear something soon!

Knowledge101
Guest
Knowledge101

Spent about 4 hours this weekend with my wife doing this (only did for 1 account so 94 entries). I was like what the heck the minimum we could get is 47k points with the potential (probably very little odds like the rules say but hey why not?) to get a lot more. It’s more money then I would earn at my job 😛 Keep in mind these contests are federally regulated as far as I understand and so they have to honor the entries for non-purchases (which is essentially what this is). They have to make it tedious like… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

Has anyone gotten the email yet? I haven’t.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I haven’t yet either and I was wondering the same thing? I live about an hour out of Kalamazoo where they are shipped they should have been received by at least last Wednesday. More than likely Tuesday so we shall see what happens.

TomRI
Guest
TomRI

Her in RI mailed out the 11/16 and have not had a reply at all ! I need those points!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Has anyone gotten IHG account stolen yet? My account was hacked last weekend. I do not know if it is coincident.

BTW, Where is IHG Customer Care from? I do not think they are US based. I was asked twice where are you calling from. When I told her my area code, operator said, no, which country? ok, 001. it must be US.

smitty
Guest
smitty

Sent 5 entries out on 11/16 (from FL) and have had no response from IHG. I’m starting to suspect that the company handling this contest may be asleep at the wheel.

Mike B
Guest
Mike B

Yeah same here. I sent mine from Michigan, I’m about an hour away from kalamazoo. post master informed me they should have been received on the 17th since it went right to the PO box.

My dealings with IHG haven’t always been positive in the past anyways so this just adds icing to the cake for me. I wish I had someone to talk with about the issue. Anyone have any contacts inside the company we can talk with or complain to?

djp_707
Guest
djp_707

Anybody heard anything. nothing here on hte entries I sent in on the 16th. So much for the 5 day response time from receipt of the entry.

djp_707
Guest
djp_707

Well now it the 11th of December and still no response to the 35 letters I sent on 11/16. Glad to see some people are getting responses.

Lar
Guest
Lar

On 11/18, I mailed 5 out (all handwritten – labeled “Day/Evening Phone #”, “IHG #”, and “MC #”), and still have not received anything.

I’ll keep you posted if I receive the emails. Please do the same. Cheers!

Kali P
Guest
Kali P

Do you have to label each line (name, mailing address, IHG number)?

rob
Guest
rob

Can you use Mastercard Debit or does it have to be credit card

allison c
Guest
allison c

Mailed 6 out on Nov. 16 and haven’t heard anything yet. Have dropped a couple in the mail on different days since just so “if” I get a response I don’t have an overload in my inbox to deal with. Not mailing anymore until I get some type of response from the contest

Gary
Guest

Are you guys writing each “title” on the line as well?

Example.
Day Phone Number: XXX-XXX-XXXX

or just flat writing a phone number two times? Just curous.

Jim
Guest
Jim

I sent in several letters and like everyone else I have received nothing, If you look at the terms and conditions, that is a clear violation of what is promised. So why? My personal theory is that this is done because by the time they honor their promise, the prize pool will be substantially depleted. Thus, they say no purchase is required, the truth is they all but insure that those that purchase gain the bulk of the prizes. HOW SLEEZY!

Emily
Guest
Emily

Received my first email today. Sent in 8 entries on Nov. 16, but only 1 email. Was an elevator and I “won” 500 points.

Matt
Guest

Just got one email. I sent in 14 envelopes the first day. Maybe they’re now processing and sending 1-by-1? I won 500 IHG points. It says I will get a 2nd email on how to get those posted to my account.

Linda
Guest
Linda

Just wanted to report that I sent in two entries on Nov. 15 and today during lunch, my husband and I both received the email saying “You qualify for a Priceless Surprise®!” Dear LINDA, Success! You have qualified to play for Priceless Surprises, from IHG® Rewards Club and MasterCard®. Now it’s time to open the elevator doors & see what’s waiting! Each floor holds a chance for a Priceless Surprise, like: a private helicopter tour over NYC VIP access to the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard 1 million IHG® Rewards Club bonus points and even more unforgettable surprises Choose… Read more »

Tami F
Guest
Tami F

Mailed 6 entries in before it started. Printed envelopes on computer and used my mailing machine on stamps. Mailed 10 more, but handwritten and used posted stamps. Received all 16 enries by email today. Won 500 on each except one where I won 1000. Hope everyone else received theirs too!

Jean H
Guest
Jean H

I mailed in 10 entries on 16Nov and yesterday (04Nov) got 9 emails. Of the 9 email entries I got 7-500 points and 2-2000 points. So it is taking longer than the 5 days–but it does say “5 days from receiving” them. . . . so it they have a ton of entries it may be taking them days before “receiving” them. Please note that I did not label every line–ie Name: John Smith etc. But I did label “day” and “evening” for the phone numbers even tho they’re both the same. I also labeled — “IHG #” and “MC… Read more »

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