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The current IHG Rewards points sale allows members to buy up to 300,000 points at a cost of just 0.5 cents per point but after having been around for six weeks, this sale is set to end tomorrow. Despite the unexpected annoying devaluation that IHG sprung on members last year, this sale can still offer incredible value (as I show in this post) so if you haven’t checked this deal out already, now would be a good time to do just that.
- This Offer is available for qualifying purchases of IHG Rewards points made by 11:59 PM ET on March 18, 2022 (Tomorrow).
- A member eligible for this Offer will receive a bonus of 100% of the points purchased when they meet a minimum points purchase threshold on a per transaction basis.
- 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 Rewards Membership Terms and Conditions, which are available on www.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 may points the member had already purchased during the same calendar year. For example, if a member had previously purchased 50,000 points in 2022, then the member could only purchase up to a maximum of 100,000 points during the Offer Period and would be eligible to receive additional bonus points under this Offer in the amount of 100% of the amount of points purchased during the Offer Period.
- Purchased points, as well as any bonus points awarded under this Offer, do not count towards IHG Rewards Elite status.
- Price includes all applicable fees. Purchased Points are not refundable and are applicable toward all IHG Rewards awards.
- 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 $67.50 for a total of 10,000 points.
This works out to a cost per point of 0.675 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.
Also, it may be worth reading my post covering how I believe a lot of people should deal with IHG Rewards given that it’s not a very rewarding program – IHG Rewards: How To Deal With The Problem Child Of Loyalty Programs. This post discusses how points sales like this one can be used to make IHG Rewards a useful part of a well-rounded miles and points strategy.
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 represent a big saving on the cash rate that’s being offered on the same date(s).
Better yet and despite last year’s devaluation, it’s still possible to book some truly 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.
In further good news, the deals can get even better if you have the right credit card.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card (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 London O2 from above, a 4-night stay could cost an IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card holder just 114,000 points which, at 0.5 cents per point, is a cash cost of just $570 including taxes – that’s a fantastic deal.
It’s also worth noting that IHG has confirmed that from an unspecified point next month, anyone holding an Anniversary Free Night Certificate that comes as one of the benefits of the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card will be able to 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