I arrived in Portland at the beginning of October 2014. I unloaded my belongings into an apartment for two days, but never slept there. The nonsmoking apartment smelled of cigarettes, an upstairs neighbor directed a garish tirade at his girlfriend, and the place creeped me out.
I took to my favorite hobby, collecting miles and points, for assistance. I spent nine weeks in Portland and paid full price a handful of occasions, only to take part in promotions. I stayed many nights at Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) properties, including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Staybridge Suites.
I hold Platinum status, the highest tier, with IHG, a benefit of adding their credit card to my wallet. As a Platinum member, I receive 500 welcome bonus points on each stay. Most properties include free breakfast, and I particularly enjoy the cinnamon rolls at Holiday Inn Express. Platinum status often equates to a room upgrade, a pleasing perk. Especially at Holiday Inn Express, the staff is genuine and helpful.
An apartment in Portland is at least $30 a night. A hotel seemed simpler than renting an apartment: Free WiFi, High-Def Television, a coffee maker, often a fridge and microwave. I became a connoisseur of toiletries, and enjoy Hyatt and Marriott properties for these amenities. Also, the coffee at these two chains is superior to IHG, Best Western, or SPG.
One reason I stayed at IHG properties was to participate in their “Into the Nights” Fall Promotion. The promotion was different for everyone, but mine offered two free nights at any IHG property and 18,000 points, after a total of three paid stays.
Another reason I frequented IHG is because certain properties cost only 5,000 points per night under the Point Breaks list. 5,000 points is equivalent to $35 and the Portland area had two participating properties this fall. Additionally, I stayed a night in the Tri-Cities in Washington at a hotel on the list. At the tail end of my journey, I stayed three nights at a Holiday Inn Express in Vancouver, Washington, on the Point Breaks’ winter list.
For those considering the IHG MasterCard from Chase, look for the 80,000-point offer. It’s available on Flyertalk, a website dedicated to travel hacking. Below is a summary of nights stayed, points used, and cash spent on rooms.
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)
5,000 points – Holiday Inn Express (HIX) Richland, WA
5,000 points – HIX Gladstone, OR (5 nights)
5,000 points – HIX Salmon Creek, WA (3 nights)
5,000 points – Staybridge Suites Vancouver, WA (4 nights)
10,000 points – HIX Troutdale, OR (4 nights)
5,000 points + $40 – HIX Troutdale, OR (2 nights)
$98 – HIX Lake Oswego, OR (Into the Nights Promotion)
$101 – HIX Vancouver, WA (Into the Nights Promotion)
$116 – Holiday Inn Gresham, OR – (Into the Nights Promotion)
FREE – Best Rate Guarantee – Staybridge Suites Portland Airport
28,000 points – Radisson Portland Airport (3 nights)
FREE – Radisson Portland Airport (3 nights) – last night of any award stay is free
$122 – Radisson Portland Airport
Category 5 Free Night Certificate – Residence Inn by Marriott Lloyd Center
10,000 points – Fairfield Inn & Suites Beaverton, OR (4 nights)
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)
4,000 points – Four Points by Sheraton Portland East (4 nights) – weekday nights
3,000 points – Four Points by Sheraton Portland East (5 nights) – weekend nights
$108 Best Rate Guarantee – Four Points by Sheraton Portland East (earned 2,000
points for BRG + counted toward Free Night Promotion)
$98 – Four Points by Sheraton Portland East (Free Night Promotion – this stay
netted a Category 5 Free Night Certificate – I booked The Phoenician in
Scottsdale, AZ for my parents with the certificate)
8,000 points – Hyatt Place Portland Airport
$109 – Hyatt Place Portland Airport (earned 6,000 points on two promotions)
$81 – $50 Gift Card = $31 – Best Western Inn Vancouver, WA
$81 – $25 Gift Card = $56 – Best Western Inn Vancouver, WA
$81 – Best Western Inn Vancouver, WA
$125 Best Rate Guarantee – Best Western Inn Meadows (BRG netted a $100 Gift Card)
4,000 points + $37 – Hampton Inn Clackamas, OR
$85 Best Rate Guarantee – Hampton Inn Portland East (BRG netted a $50 Gift Card)
$80 – $78.50 for BRG = $1.50 – Quality Inn & Suites Portland Airport
Phoenix Inn & Suites
$117 – $100 Cyber Monday Orbitz coupon = $17 – Lake Oswego, OR
Priceline Express Deals
$65 – Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham – Bozeman, MT
$55 – Guesthouse Inn & Suites – Gresham, OR
$56 – La Quinta Inn & Suites – Salmon Creek, WA
$55 – Extended Stay America – Gresham, OR
$63 – Red Lion Portland Airport
$43 – Howard Johnson – Missoula, MT
FREE for one night – thankful for warm blankets