Eight Percent Cash Back on Holiday Inns is Back!

1960's Era Holiday Inn
1960’s era Holiday Inn

Did you know the name Holiday Inn given to the original hotel was a joke?  

The name was a reference to the 1942 Christmas-themed film Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

Well the name stuck!

I long for the 1960’s when Holiday Inn’s beckoned road-weary family travelers with amenities such as outdoor swimming pools, bonded babysitters, room service, and free dog kennels.

Yup, free dog kennels.  A summer road trip was easier to organize in those days, if you set your sights on lodging at a Holiday Inn every night.

Eight Percent Cash Back at Holiday Inns and other IHG Hotels

1960's Holiday Inn Soap
1960’s Holiday Inn soap, found on EBay. Who buys this stuff?

Ebates is a cash back shopping portal that offers rebates on online purchases including hotel bookings with IHG Hotels.  The regular payout rate is 4 percent cash back, but currently, Ebates is offering 8 percent cash back on hotel reservations with IHG.

You can go through the Ebates portal, and you will still earn points for your hotel reservation with IHG.

IHG includes:

  • Holiday Inns
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Hotel Indigo
  • InterContinental 
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Candlewood Suites 
Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Orem, Utah
We chose the same upholstery pattern in blue

Of these brands, Holiday Inn Express is my current favorite.

We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Orem, Utah in 2011.  The modern decor at this hotel was inspiring.  I loved the tiled lobby and hand blown glass decorations.  But what really won me over was the upholstery pattern in the rooms — the same fabric we had chosen for our dining room chairs.

We booked a standard room via Priceline, and got a very competitive rate of $49!

The fine print from Ebates states that cash back is only available for commissionable IHG rates.  Specially negotiated rates such as IHG Friends & Family are not eligible for cash back.  Further, it may take up to 40 days after travel is completed for cash back to show up  in your Ebates account.  

I’m not sure how long the 8 percent cash back will be in effect at Ebates.

Eight Percent Cash Back from IHG Hotels at FatWallet

FatWallet is a similar online shopping portal that I have had great success with.

FatWallet is currently offering a payout rate of 8 percent at Holiday Inn Hotels only.  The other IHG brand hotels are offered at a payout rate of 5.5 percent.

If you use the links in this post to make a purchase with Ebates or FatWallet, I may receive a referral commission.  You can earn commissions as well by referring your friends!

Japan Dreaming: Pretty Good Number One

Pretty Good Number OneFishing 4 Deals focuses on budget, domestic travel.  But anyone can dream, right?

Lately, I have been dreaming about traveling to Japan.

There are a number of things that intrigue me about Japan:

  • the natural beauty
  • J-pop culture
  • traditional arts like pottery and paper making
  • the trains
  • manufacturing industries
  • hot springs
  • old Japan
  • fashion
  • the gardens and temples
  • and, of course, the food

To indulge my fantasy, I picked up a copy of Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo, by Seattle-based food writer Matthew Amster-Burton.

The book is about an American couple and their adorable eight year old daughter Iris, who rent an apartment in Tokyo for one month.

 Tokyo is the opposite of the DMV.  It is the least annoying place I have ever been to.  –Matthew Amster-Burton

Amster-Burton used Kickstarter to crowd source the publication of the book in ebook form.

Here’s what one reviewer said about  Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo, published in February 2014:

The layers of the city, its extraordinary food pleasures, its quirkinesses, emerge as the author and his family spend an intense month living in Tokyo and exploring widely . . . Warning:  this book will make you hungry.  You’ll yearn, as I do, to catch the next plane to Tokyo, so you can get eating.  —Naomi Duguid, writer and traveler
Japan by RailAmazon has the kindle version of the book on sale for $3.99.I am not going to Japan any time soon, but in the meantime, I enjoy reading travel books.

I’ve picked up a copy of Japan by Rail, which offers incredibly detailed advice, down to how to find your platform, where to stash your bags, and where to exit the train station.

I am planning my miles and points accrual strategy with this trip in mind, focusing on collecting United miles and Ultimate Rewards points for the airfare, and Barclaycard Arrival points for the Japan Rail Passes.

The goal is to stay at hotels as close to the train stations as possible.  Japan Rail has a network of hotels throughout the country adjacent to rail stations.  These hotels offers discounts to rail pass holders.  The JR hotels would be super convenient but are mostly lux properties on the expensive side.

Continue reading —>

Ebates Now Offering 8% Cash Back on Holiday Inns . . . Better that with the Upromise Credit Card

Holiday Inn Express Neptune, NJ
Holiday Inn Express Neptune, NJ

Today I received a surprise check in the mail from Ebates, an online shopping portal.

I don’t remember what I bought online, but it reminded me to check out Ebates’ current payouts on travel purchases.

The best travel deal I found on the Ebates site was for 8 percent cash back on IHG Hotel Reservations.

IHG properties range from budget to luxury:   Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites all fall under the IHG umbrella.

Of these, Holiday Inn Express is my current favorite.  We stayed at a HI Express near Asbury Park, NJ in September.  While the location away from the beach was not inspiring, we had a very pleasant stay.  We enjoyed the free WiFi, free breakfast, and the swimming pool.  The room was clean, modern, and spacious.  When traveling with kids and teens, a few extra square feet can make big difference in comfort!

The fine print from Ebates states that cash back is only available for commissionable IHG rates.  Specially negotiated rates such as IHG friends & Family are not eligible for cash back.  Further, it may take up to 40 days after travel is completed for cash back to show up  in your Ebates account.  

11 Percent Cash Back on IHG Hotels with Upromise Credit Card

If you are intrigued by this deal, there is an even better offer open to holders to the Upromise MasterCard.  You may have heard of the Upromise college savings program.

Well it turns out that Upromise is not just for college students or their parents.

Anyone can open a Upromise account and receive cash back from certain purchases.

The best deal is via the Upromise MasterCard, which pays 5 percent cash back on all purchases through the Upromise online shopping portal.  The portal includes a slew of travel websites that pay additional cash back over and above the five percent.

IHG hotels, for example, currently pays 6 percent, for a total of 11 percent cash back.  Not bad.

11 Percent Cash Back on Priceline Hotels with Upromise Credit Card

What’s more, if you prefer to save money with Priceline for “Name Your Own Price” hotel reservations, you can also get 11 percent back:  5 percent by using the Upromise MasterCard via the Upromise shopping portal, plus 6 percent additional from Priceline.  Now you are talking real savings!Earn 10 Percent Cash Back on Travel with Upromise Credit Card

In fact, you will find over 900 online merchants including a slew of popular travel sites in the Upromise shopping portal.  Many of the popular travel sites are represented — including Orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire, Westin, Hotels.com, Carnival Cruises, and many others.  Used in conjunction with the Upromise Credit Card, you will be well on your way to earning 10 percent cash back on travel.

To earn and receive cash back earnings, you must be a Upromise member, pay for purchases with your Upromise MasterCard and register your credit card to your Upromise account.  To become a member and register your credit card, go to Upromise.com/activate.

What’s the downside?

Online shopping portals can be frustrating to deal with. Sometimes “cookies” that track your online activity will prevent the cash back portal from properly crediting your purchase.  Also, if you use the wrong coupon code, you may not be eligible for cash back. 

Some days, I am ready to give up on online shopping portals, but on days when a check comes in the mail, my faith is restored!

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