Embracing my inner “Pudding Guy” with the IHG Mastercard promo. This one is just fun!

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hand addressing my ihg mastercard promo letters renespoints blog

Do you know David a.k.a. the Pudding Guy? I have met him at a number of frequent flyer events and he is just the nicest guy! He is humble and just loves to travel like most of us. Then again very few of us have a Wikipedia site set up about us or have been on the national news for collecting over a million miles for buying thousands of dollars of “Healthy Choice” pudding for the points promotion that was included.

email i have registered for ihg promo

And that segways me into the current, less costly and extravagant, IHG Mastercard promotion (be sure you register first before you do anything else). No you cannot get 1 million points from this one but a husband and wife can net almost 100,000, and have a shot at some amazing prizes, for under $120. Plus “enjoy” writer’s cramp and many hours burned up doing what was considered punishment in elementary school, that is, writing the same thing over and over and over by hand. Yeah, this is a little nuts but kinda fun too.

I learned about this craziness from my friend Jen at Deals we Like <-LINK (please, be sure to CAREFULLY follow the directions). Then many other bloggers started getting jazzed about the promo. When these folks get excited about something, I pay attention. So I started reading the T&C (and had my wife read them as well). That is when I really got it. I really like my IHG points for cheap, 5k Point Breaks night hotel rooms. They don’t have to be fancy as for me a hotel, when clean and functional, is the most important thing. My math tells me, for my efforts, I am getting almost 20 such nights for under $7 each. That works for me and my “travel math”.

But is there a catch? It can’t be this good and this simple? Well it is all about the details and the T&C. Keep in mind that in Pudding Guy’s situation Healthy Choice attempted to back out of the deal. And if you read the T&C of this IHG deal there are lots of “outs” for them to say your entry does not count. Since so many of us are blogging about this deal I think the amount of entries by mail will FAR overwhelm the ones running the promotion than expected. So we need to be careful not to end up with spending $120, our time and efforts for nothing. Not trying to dissuade you from jumping in on this deal, as Lisa & I are clearly “in”, but just know this could go sideways.

There are also some details few have talked about but in a nutshell every envelope with 3×5 card inside (94 max) you send gets you at least 500 IHG points. So, it is costing you about 64 cents each raw cost. I am not getting super picky here and I also got some 5x points for buying all my required supplies with my Chase INK card <-LINK at a Staples store near my home but you get the idea. This is a cheap way to make some points “guaranteed” (as long as they pay them out to us). They will do so by sending you, for each of the 94 cards, a link you can click for a chance to play in the promotion that will at least net you 500 points.

The only thing Jen leaves out in her outstanding directions is that the promotion T&C says you must include the first six digits of a “valid Mastercard”. Not 100% what it takes for a Mastercard to be “valid” but if you do hold an IHG Mastercard, I would use those numbers if I were you!

Next, you can also win some just amazing prizes but the T&C say they will be, in layman’s terms, spread out over the time period of the promotion. So, the way I read it, it would be better for you to either save and click a few of your links each week during the promotion (for max shot at big prizes) or mail the 94 entries in over time. I think I will send them all in at once and save at least half of my links to click over the next two months. That way I am locking in a chunk of points upfront and we will see what comes of the rest of them. Fun stuff!

So let me apologize that you may now have destroyed your weekend (and maybe your family’s as well) and will be stuck in front of the TV enduring elementary school punishment for the shot at “free” hotel points and maybe some big prizes as well! Oh, btw, if you don’t have the Chase IHG Mastercard you can get 60,000 points <–LINK for getting the travel card and spending $1000 on it. It is a card I hold year after year and pay the annual fee with joy as the perks are well worth cost to hold this card! – René



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  1. Do you have any concern that IHG will interpret that having 2 individuals with the same mailing address will be interpreted as cheating? Or did you use different addresses? “Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of plays by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s plays and that entrant may be disqualified.”

  2. The Victoria Secret deal last year went sideways when they (the vendor handling entries) just starting issuing statements that they ran out of prizes. Even complaints to the FTC didn’t help much. That was an email entry method so this year they back with the same promo but with the mail in cards. I’m in on this but I’m limiting myself to a few dozen entries.

  3. @VH – I do not see that as an issue as we both have IHG accounts and our own IHG Mastercards. Those rules, the way I see them, are for the SAME person using more than address. I could be wrong but don’t think so.

  4. Did anyone see the Limit Section of T&C of ” Limit: One (1) prize from Group A and five (5) prizes from Group B prize per person”

    Wouldn’t this restrict you to only a maximum minimum of 2500 points?

  5. I read this as any mastercard, and also that the card needs to be handwritten, which means I can use my printer for the envelope? What are your thoughts to both (I do not have the IHG MasterCard)

  6. Totally off today’s topic. Flew 2 Delta segments on Wed Nov 11th. On both flights FA’s gave each passenger a square of chocolate in a flag-motif wrapper in honor of Veteran’s Day. Not life-changing but a nice touch.

  7. There is only 1 from A, 5 from B and unlimited from C prizes for each class. The *odds* of C prizes are 1:1.18, which is 1 in 2.18 entries, or 45.9%. With 94 entries, you are likely to get some from class B as well. Someone on flyertalk was running simulations, and it’s more like 31k points out of 94 entries. (~21573 + what you win from class B). So more likely 60,000 pts from 2 people, not 100k.

    I’m still doing this, using cheap stamps i got from ebay (~40c each) and cheap envelopes from target (~2.50 for 100) so my total cost is about $40 and a bunch of time. (assuming 31k pts, = 0.13c per point or $6.45 for a point break hotel night)

  8. @Peter – The key part most are missing is to spread out the clicks over weeks or you miss out on chances to win as they are not all at the beginning!
    Also the MINIMUM win per try is 500 points. So, 500×94 (two of us) is 94,000 points or almost 100k and if we do win ANY of the other point groups also (my guess we will) it will push us to that 100k number. See?

  9. @rene – Where are you seeing any references to a MINIMUM prize? The Official Rules state each mail-in entry will get a “game play”, where the published odds of winning ANY prize is about 58%. And if you look at http://priceless.ihg.com, you’ll see lots of references to winning “CHANCES” of winning prizes. I’d be happy to be wrong, but I don’t see anywhere that your minimum prize statement accurate…

  10. Why can’t anyone post the first 6 digits of the IHG MasterCard? It is literally the same exact numbers for every single cardholder.

  11. @Jem – Incorrect that ANY Mastercard will work. It says a “valid” Mastercard. Not 100% sure just what that means but if you DO have an IHG Mastercard I sure would use that!

  12. @rene – Understand, but even she admits it’s not reliable. I’d much sooner trust the written rules over a report of a reply from a PR person – especially when the rules are consistent with the text on the IHG website. Perhaps it’s true, but if not, there’s gonna be a LOT of less-than-thrilled folks with writer’s cramp!

  13. > Not 100% sure just what that means

    It’s right in the rules: “The Promotion is open only to MasterCard® individual and small business cardholders whose account was opened by a MasterCard customer financial institution before November 15, 2015 and is still active”. The promotion is a joint venture between IHG and Mastercard – they don’t care WHICH Mastercard…

  14. @rene – With your entries, did you write on your 3X5 card “Name” then Rene next to it, “Complete Mailing Address” then your address next to it, etc? Or did you just put Rene, 123 IHG Drive, Dallas, TX……

  15. As much as I would like all of my entries to win a prize, the odds don’t add up that way (yes, I realize an IHG person said each entry will win). The probability of winning 500 – 5000 points is only approximately 58%. There will be a few big prizes won as well, but almost 42% should win nothing according to the odds that are posted in the rules. Maybe the odds posted are wrong, but I doubt it.
    With that being said, I believe the expected number of points won per entry is 476 points on average, so I am still going to send in my entries. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will all work out!

  16. Hi Rene…love it and we are in. Stilling picky question for the faint of heart not wanting to through away postage…..does it have to be 3 x 5 card or can it be paper? I just don’t want to get writer’s cramp twice. Thoughts?. We just cut up plain paper to exact size.

  17. The IHG PR rep did confirm, although IHG is not the ones running the contest. My hope though is she has been well informed of the promotional terms. I also reached out to the contest owners, HelloWorld, and they still have not gotten back to me. They stayed within 72 business hours which I guess it hasn’t been yet due to Veterans Day if they were working. Hopefully Monday I’ll hear back, but not holding my breath.

  18. @Kevinin – I think you can cut. It just says plain paper that size. It does not talk about thickness. I got 500 cards (smallest they had) at Staples for a few bucks. I hope, as Jen points out, this all works. If it does not, it was a fun try.
    Everyone look at it this way, if this does go sideways, you will have more than a few bloggers using their blogs to reach out to IHG to make it right some way. I see little downside other than ~$100 and some time to give this one a shot.

  19. I read on another message board that IHG has said the odds are listed incorrectly, and that those should have read “probability” instead of “odds.” That would make the probabilities add up to 1, so indeed, every entry would be a winner. Their contest rules were not written very well 🙁
    They had better be prepared for lots of entries!

  20. @Lori – I agree. Plus, as I keep pointing out, it is good to spread out the times you enter over the length of the contest. At least with SOME of your clicks for a better shot at the big stuff.

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