Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) is a company that owns multiple hotel chains and individual properties all over the world. The chain owns such brands as Holiday Inn, Kimpton and InterContinental, as well as numerous smaller chains and boutique hotels. While the recent pandemic put a damper on the travel industry as a whole, the pent-up demand for travel has caused it to come roaring back.
In order to qualify for the discount on hotel rooms, shareholders must have at least 100 shares of stocks that are certified in their own name under the company registrar. If necessary, register your shares here: https://www.ihgplc.com/en/contact-us/investors?accordion=accordion1_tab2
This year, IHG is offering its shareholders a 15% discount on any hotel rooms that are booked through their website. The bookings do not require a deposit, but they do require payment upfront. If that sounds confusing, you're not alone. It's possible to cancel a reservation and get your money back, but you will need to cancel at least 48 hours before the reservation begins in order to get a full refund.
While it has been shown that consumers tend to get the best rates of hotels by booking directly with the hotel, rather than going through a third party booking site, be aware that the IHG site does not allow you to stack other discounts onto the bookings made through the shareholder site.
It is difficult to compare the actual discount offered to shareholders to the discounts offered through promotions and other room rates, such as military or AARP discounts, because there is such a large variation in room rates based on the type of room, location of the hotel, and travel season. Because of this, shareholders will probably need to compare the cost of an upcoming hotel stay on the shareholder site and other sites to see where they can find the best deal.
Of course, this makes it difficult for the average person to determine if buying shares for the discount is "worth it". While no direct comparison exists, it seems that based on anecdotal evidence that this discount is useful if you are a person who tends to book hotel rooms during busy travel seasons or rooms that are not typically discounted or part of promotional deals (usually larger rooms or suites). If you prefer to look around for the best deal before traveling, however, you may be disappointed in the discount that you get from this offer.
While there is no ban on booking rooms for other people, the website is not set up to allow you to use another person's credit card to book a room. Unless you're traveling with a group, that will likely make check-in difficult. The website is set up to allow you to book multiple rooms, however, so this may be a good discount to use if you're planning a large get-together.
There are stories of businesses using this site to book multiple rooms for corporate travel. While the only way to gain access to the site is by having share ownership verified through the register, there does not appear to be any rules on how many rooms can be booked at a time.
Also note that the discount is the same whether you own 100 shares or more.
The IHG shareholder perk is useful to save a small amount on hotel stays where you don't qualify for any other type of discount. At 15% off regular room rates, however, it might not be the best deal available.