“Buy” IHG Rewards Points Even Cheaper Than In The Recent Sale

Bora Bora over water with huts on it

TravelingForMiles.com may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on TravelingForMiles.com are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. TravelingForMiles.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published.

Earlier this week IHG Rewards was offering a 100% points bonus if you purchased a minimum of 5,000 points in the latest sale and, with that generous bonus, the cost per point was reduced to just o.575 cents each – a pretty good deal (as I mentioned at the time). If you missed out on that opportunity and you have Platinum or higher IHG Rewards status it would appear that IHG has thrown you a lifeline…..as long as you’re not opposed to using a slightly more unorthodox method of acquiring points.

An email dropped into my inbox earlier today which was promoting IHG’s points & cash option that has been around for some time now but, importantly, the email also mentioned a special promotion:

a white background with black text

A 12% saving on the cash portion of a Points & Cash booking is a very good opportunity to acquire IHG Rewards points at an attractive rate….if you know what you’re doing.

There’s nothing very technical to what you have to do….you just have to know the “trick”.

When you make a Points & Cash booking with IHG (such as the one you can see in the image below) you are technically purchasing points with which to complete your booking:

a screenshot of a hotel

In the example above the reward nights costs 30,000 points but, rather than pay 30,000 points, I’m buying 20,000 IHG Rewards points for $125 and using 10,000 points from my IHG Rewards balance to make the booking.

The trick is that, if I was to go ahead and then cancel this booking, IHG would refund 30,000 points to my IHG Rewards account rather than refunding me cash and points – I would have essentially purchases 20,000 points for $125 (0.625 cents/point).

While not a terrible deal this isn’t by any means anything to get excited about…but the 12% discount that the current promotion is offering makes a big difference.

The same reservation (as above), made before 30 March for a stay made before 30 April, would look like this:

a screenshot of a website

Here, thanks to the 12% discount, 20,000 points cost just $110 (0.55 cents/point) which is a better rate than you will ever see in a “buy points and get a bonus” promotion from IHG.

The four steps to the process:

  • Find a property which will let you “buy” 20,000 points as part of its Points & Cash rate (Sydney has some).
  • Make a booking using Points & Cash
  • Wait for the booking to be confirmed and then cancel the reservation (I usually wait a few days just to be on the safe side).
  • Wait for the points to be credited to your IHG Rewards account

The Drawbacks

  • You need to have at least 10,000 IHG Rewards Points in your account to be able to generate points like this.
  • IHG is almost certainly aware of this “trick” but that doesn’t mean that the loyalty program will look too kindly on members who make a large number of bookings just to then cancel them in an effort to manufacture cheap points. This isn’t a way to print cheap points, it a way to acquire some IHG Rewards points at a very good rate.
  • The 12% discount appears to be a targeted offer for those with Platinum or higher status with IHG (Joanna has no status and only seems to be eligible for a 5% discount)

Bottom Line

At 0.55 cents each IHG Rewards points look very attractive and, for anyone with plans to make a reward night booking, this could be a good way of bringing the cost of the trip down. If, however, you don’t really have any idea what you would do with the points once you acquired them you should stay away – hoarding points in the hope that you may have a use for them don the line is a bad idea (points have a horrible habit of devaluing when you least want them to).

If you are thinking of generating some points with the method I’ve outlined above then do so in moderation. This “trick” has been around for a while but it will only take a small number of people to go a bit crazy with this idea before IHG will pull the plug…so don’t be “that guy”. Be thankful we have this method of generating points and don’t go overboard – thanks!


  1. Nice article, however I have first had knowledge that IHG knows all to well the advantage this offer may have to some of their loyal customers.
    Given that a high majority are holding their credit card to obtain their “Platinum Status”, the goal is for the members to use their card when purchasing the points and cash offer.
    This can be seen as a win win for both IHG and the members. Seeing that the member may not pay off the balance in full, generating a profit for Chase and IHG. Plus the memember does of the added bonus of increasing there points not only with the points and cash bonus, but if they have added the accelerator program the chance to multiply their purchased points is an added plus!

Comments are closed.