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By now, most people are aware of the IHG Priceless Surprises contest. I won’t get into much detail here, because Frank already wrote and excellent post about the contest. He also updated us with his results here. In brief, you can earn a minimum of 47,000 IHG points by mailing 94 handwritten index cards. Filling out this many index cards and envelopes can take a long time, so I decided to test a shortcut… and it worked!
When IHG announced this contest, many people speculated about ways to automate entries. Some people bribed their kids, while others hired people on Fiverr to submit their entries. Since the contest rules specify that the index cards should be handwritten, any suggestions about printing labels or copying index cards were met with criticism on forums.
I realized immediately that I was far too lazy to write 188 index cards and address 188 envelopes (94 for me and 94 for Brooke). If we were going to enter this contest, we were going to attempt an automation strategy. If it didn’t work, we would be out the cost of stamps and just a bit of wasted time. The risk seemed worthwhile, and I’m happy to report that my strategy worked! We mailed off our 188 entries on December 12, 2015, and we received exactly 188 emails on January 19, 2016!
How to Automate Your Entries
What You Need:
- Blank (non-lined) 3″ x 5″ Index Cards
- Peel & Seel Envelopes (much better than licking!)
- Address Labels
- Stamps ($55 for 100 on Amazon, or $49 at the Post Office)
- Black Pen
**If you have the Chase Ink+ Card, you can purchase these items at an office supply store to earn 5 UR points per dollar!
What to Do:
Step 1: Register for the promotion here.
Step 2: Handwrite five index cards with the required information, in the following format:
- Full Name
- Day Time Phone
- Evening Phone
- Email Address
- IHG Number
- First 6 Digits of MasterCard Number
- Birth Date
Why five index cards? Well, you can try it with only one, but I figured that five would give enough variety. You’ll understand in the next step.
Step 3: Scan your five handwritten index cards and print 18 copies of each onto your remaining blank index cards. This will give you 95 total cards, all of which appear to be handwritten. When you mix them together, each one will look unique. Toss out the one extra.
Step 4: Use this document to print addresses for your envelopes, using the labels linked above.
Step 5: Stuff envelopes, label, and stamp. No need to add a return address, because I guarantee these labels are correct… they worked for us.
These simple steps will save you from spending HOURS filling out index cards and envelopes by hand. All 188 of our entries won 500 points, earning us a total of 94,000 IHG points for about $100 in stamps/supplies and half an hour of work. With these points, we can take a weekend trip virtually anywhere in the world! Good luck with your entries. Cheers!