IHG Prepaid Mastercard

Old Nov 7, 18, 2:32 pm
  #1  
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IHG Prepaid Mastercard

Hey

I saw on the IHG point shop you can buy prepaid IHG cards. As far as I can tell they only work at IHG properties.

they seem really good value for money. 266k = $1000.

anyone got experience using them?
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Old Nov 8, 18, 2:48 am
  #2  
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I use these frequently. In times you pay 70k points for a standard room at certain ICs they are very good value as your stay will be a revenue stay with all benefits, points and cashback. I am positive that the point break argument will arise and some will rightfully consider this as better value. If you however prefer revenue stays and better room categories, then these cards are pretty good. One needs to be aware that they do not work at every high end hotel as some of these are not properly coded, however smooth as silk at HIs and CPs and all US places I tested so far.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 3:42 am
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Hey Flying Lawyer,

you seem to be the one having the answer to many of my questions lately.

1. have you used these outside the US yet?
2. I only really see the attraction for me using it at ICís to guarantee my RA benefits...
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Old Nov 8, 18, 3:57 am
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Originally Posted by Lewis42 View Post
Hey Flying Lawyer,

you seem to be the one having the answer to many of my questions lately.

1. have you used these outside the US yet?
2. I only really see the attraction for me using it at IC’s to guarantee my RA benefits...
At HIs and CPs these cards worked for me without any issue. At European ICs the cards were in the last few months not accepted in Frankfurt, Berlin, Ljubijana, accepted at Park Lane, O2, Estoril, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris LG. Not accepted at the Indigo in Rome.

Benefits and value or money need to be considered carefully:

At the IC Paris LG, my corporate rate is in the range of 290 EUR (roundabout 333 USD). Using the card ends up in three nights for 265.000 points. For the same stay, I do get about 20.000 points (plus all promotions and bonus points not considered here), so net cost is 245.000 points. And i do get my statutory upgrade, it counts of RA status and I do get a proper invoice which is really nice to have on a business trip. Point stay would be 210.000 points, so the difference is small. Considering that I do get 5 to 10% cashback for a revenue booking, it will be more or less the same pricewise, but with the benefits of a revenue stay. As a general note: Some of the ICs are so damn expensive on points and offer quite comaparably cheap rates, so that using the card might not only be a clever (revenue stay) way, but also a cheaper way.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:03 am
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Any way to check whether a certain property will accept it before buying a card?
I agree with @Lewis42 - would only make sense to use at IC properties to ensure RA benefits / spend.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:22 am
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When evaluating these cards, IMO it doesn't make sense to consider the room rate a constant.

In practice, the room rate is variable. Hence, in practice, it is optimal to redeem points when the room rate is high (and not to redeem points when the room rate is low).
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Old Nov 11, 18, 10:28 pm
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I dont suppose the AMB -10% rebate works on these point shop redemptions?
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Old Nov 12, 18, 2:25 am
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Can UK or European residents order these? I would have thought that know-your-customer and money laundering regulations might make it harder to just hand out Mastercards to people, prepaid or not...
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Old Nov 12, 18, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Can UK or European residents order these? I would have thought that know-your-customer and money laundering regulations might make it harder to just hand out Mastercards to people, prepaid or not...
It lets me select and go through to the final order page whilst selecting UK when logging in.

You normally have to register the card before first use so they meet the KYC checks and are extremely common in the U.K. on sale in places such as Tesco etc. Some high street banks also issue them. Iíve got a Santander one somewhere in the house and also had an EE/Orange one at some point in the past.

Some hotels however do have their PDQs set up to reject them and if the retailer isnít using an ďonlineĒ PDQ it will also more than likely be rejected.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by chrism20 View Post


It lets me select and go through to the final order page whilst selecting UK when logging in.

You normally have to register the card before first use so they meet the KYC checks and are extremely common in the U.K. on sale in places such as Tesco etc. Some high street banks also issue them. I’ve got a Santander one somewhere in the house and also had an EE/Orange one at some point in the past.

Some hotels however do have their PDQs set up to reject them and if the retailer isn’t using an “online” PDQ it will also more than likely be rejected.
PDQ?

But that's sort of my point. Presumably this card is issued by a US bank, which may not actually allow foreigners to register it in the same way that a UK resident could go to Tesco and buy a prepaid card from a UK bank/company or the old 3V (RIP ).
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Old Nov 12, 18, 8:03 am
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I ordered 4 cards of them because I was hoarding ca. 1,5 mio. points I collected during 1,5 years and reward nights didnít pay off most of time. In fact I was collecting points faster than I could spent at peak rates.
I tried to use the card(s) in IC Frankfurt, Ljubljana and Bucharest. No PDQ worked at check out. Of course the cards were activated and a PIN had been set.

I ended up in Frankfurt with paying the one night stay with a regular credit card.

In Ljubljana I left without paying after they said they will solve this internally.

In Bucharest (yesterday) the same (but after complaint and denying to check out with my Amex). Today the total amount was charged from my IHG Prepaid Card. (:

Hopefully Lisboa will be the first hotel where the IHG prepaid card could work properly.
If not, I will force at check out to hold the T&Cs we both agreed to. Everything else is not fair business. I only book ICs with IHG and donít want to fit my travel plans to where the card might work.

E//: AMB rebate doesnít work with this kind of redemption.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by Cielito_ View Post
....

E//: AMB rebate doesnít work with this kind of redemption.

Thats too bad, though I suspected this may be the case thta would have been a great deal then
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Old Nov 12, 18, 9:22 am
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The card issuer contacted me, apologized and said that they added this 3 merchants (IC Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Bucharest) to their "white lists" so there should not be any inconvenience anymore. So every time when checking out does not work, I should call them to help them to add the hotels to their list ...
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Old Nov 12, 18, 2:17 pm
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Interesting. Presumably, this only works on Best Flex rates, where you pay when you check-out?
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Old Nov 12, 18, 2:47 pm
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I booked non-flexible rates in advance, but charging the prepaid card did not work (as described in the terms of use the card may be used only checking out with PIN). I was not contacted by Ljubljana, Frankfurt or Bucharest that charging wasn't possible. In the end I payed at check out.
Only Lisboa contacted me, I described the situation and they are ok with that I pay when I am there.
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