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IHG is back with yet another one of its points sales so, for the next few days, IHG One Rewards members can buy up to 300,000 points at a cost of just 0.5 cents per point. These sales may not be as lucrative as they once were but this is one of IHG’s better sales and with a bit of work, someone looking to make an IHG booking should be able to use this sale to save some cash.
- This Offer is available to IHG One Rewards members for qualifying purchases of IHG One Rewards points made during the period from 12:00 AM ET on October 2, 2023 through 11:59 PM ET on October 9, 2023.
- In order to qualify for this 100% bonus points Offer, a member must make a minimum purchase of 11,000 points per transaction.
- The number of points a member may purchase, gift, or receive as a gift during the Offer Period is subject to annual limits under the IHG One Rewards Membership Terms and Conditions, which are available by visiting ihg.com.
- Members may purchase a maximum of up to 150,000 points during a calendar year, so the number of points a member can purchase during the Offer Period will depend on how many points the member had already purchased during the same calendar year.
- Purchased points, as well as any bonus points awarded under this Offer, do not count towards IHG One Rewards Elite status.
- Purchased points are not refundable and are applicable toward all rewards available through the IHG One Rewards program.
- Please allow up to 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account.
There are two variables in this sale – the bonus and the cost per point… and they’re not related. Just because there’s a 100% bonus on offer doesn’t mean that you should ignore the cost per point. Here’s why:
Someone buying the minimum number of points required to trigger the 100% bonus would pay $126.50 for a total of 22,000 points.
This works out to a cost per point of 0.575 cents.
Someone buying the maximum allowable points in this sale would pay $1,500 and would net 300,000 points courtesy of the 100% bonus:
300,000 points at a cost of $1,500 come to a cost per point of 0.500 cents – It matters how many points you choose to buy even though most purchases will trigger a 100% bonus.
Also, be aware that there continues to be an odd anomaly that IHG Rewards likes to throw into all of its points sales whereby you can buy 26,000 points for less than it costs to buy 23,000 points. You can also buy 27,000 points for less than it costs to buy 24,000 points and you can buy 28,000 points for less than it costs to buy 25,000 points.
It looks strange but this comes about because IHG sets a higher cost per point for purchases of 25,000 points or less. The 100% bonus is independent of this cost/point.
To get the best value out of this promotion you need to buy at least 26,000 IHG Rewards points.
Should you buy points?
As usual, my golden rule about miles and points sales comes into play here so no one should be buying points in this sale without a solid plan in place for how they’re going to use them… and use them soon!
Having now said all of that, it’s important to point out that at 0.5 cents/point, this sale can offer great deals at some of the more expensive properties in the IHG portfolio. A room costing 65,000-75,000 points per night will effectively cost you $325-$375 per night (including all taxes and fees) if you use points purchased in this sale, and that can sometimes represent a good saving on the cash rate that’s being offered on the same date(s).
Better yet and despite recent devaluations, it’s still possible to book some high-end properties with a lot fewer points than were needed before IHG introduced dynamic pricing:
Just be sure to check that the cash price for the same night isn’t also very low – that would make an award booking uneconomic.
It can get better
In further good news, the deals can get even better if you have the right credit card.
The card_name (review) offers cardholders a 4th night free on all award bookings so, if you hold this card and buy enough points to book 4 nights (or enough points to top up your account so you can book 4 nights), the value you’d be getting would be even better.
Using the example of the InterContinental Boston from above, a 4-night stay could cost an card_name holder just 93,000 points which, at 0.5 cents per point, is a cash cost of just $465 including taxes – that’s a fantastic deal.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that anyone holding an Anniversary Free Night Certificate that comes as one of the benefits of the card_name, can add points to the value of their certificate (currently capped at 40,000 points) to allow them to redeem it at more expensive properties.
For certificate holders without a significant IHG Rewards balance, cheap points purchased in sales such as this one may offer an easy path to getting more value out of their certificates.
I always offer the same advice for promotions like this:
- Find out the cost of a night at the properties you would like to visit (at the time of year you would like to travel)
- Compare that cost to the cost of an award night paid for with points purchased in this sale.
Just by doing those two simple things you’ll know just how good an idea it may be to buy points in this sale.
Featured image: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort