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IHG Rewards has been running its first points sale of the year since the last week in January and with the promotion ending tomorrow (28 February) you don’t have much longer to buy points in this sale if you need to….but should you be buying points at all?
On 25 January IHG increased the cost of awards at a significant number of its properties for the third year running so, with that in mind, I was never really likely to take positively to an IHG points sale and the fact that the bonus is limited to 75% in this sale hasn’t made me warm to the sale any more.
IHG Rewards Points Sale – Headline T&Cs
- Offer available for purchases made by 11:59 PM ET February 28, 2019 inclusive.
- Members may purchase a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year.
- Bonus points do not count towards the annual limit.
- Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction.
- Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase.
- Offer is subject to change.
- Offer cannot be combined with any other offer.
- Only purchases made online are eligible for bonus.
- Price includes all applicable fees.
- Purchased Points are not refundable and are applicable toward all IHG® Rewards Club awards.
- Please allow 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account.
IHG Rewards Points Sale – The Offer
The individual details may vary from member to member but as I doubt the differences will be significant here’s the offer I can see in all the IHG Rewards accounts I control:
- Buy 5,000 – 19,000 points and get a 50% bonus
- Buy 20,000 – 100,000 points and get a 75% bonus
Because of the way IHG plays around with the pricing within the bands you have to buy at least 26,000 points to get the lowest cost/point….and then that cost/point remains the same irrespective of how many more points you buy.
Buying 26,000 points in this sale would see you receive 45,500 points (after the bonus) for a total cost of $260:
This works out to ~0.57 cents/point
If you were to buy the full 100,000 points you’d end up receiving 175,000 points at a total cost of $1000:
This also works out to ~0.57 cents/point
Should You Buy Points In This Sale?
I really cannot recommend that anyone buys points in this sale unless they’re desperate and can see that whatever they’ll use the points for will clearly save them money.
This offer is essentially identical to the offer IHG put out at the beginning of 2018 so, if the hotelier stays true to form, the next offer points sale should appear around the middle of March and offer a 100% bonus (it may be a flash sale).
Even if the next points sale doesn’t offer a 100% bonus we’re almost guaranteed to see a 100% bonus at some point this year so why buy points now unless you absolutely have to?
With a 100% bonus the cost per point usually works out to be 0.5 cents making the cost of a night at a top-tier property (70,000 points) come to $350.
Buying points in this sale and booking the same room would see you pay $399.
There’s very little reason to buy IHG Rewards points right now.
TFM earns a small commission every time readers by points in a sale like this one but I would strongly advise anyone considering making a purchase to seriously thinks things through.
Do you really need to buy points now?
If, despite my warnings, you decide to buy some points anyway, just be sure to remember that all IHG points transactions are processed by Points.com so you won’t earn a credit card travel/hotel category bonus through this sale.
The best way forward is to use a credit card whose currency you value highly or a credit card on which you’re working your way up to a sign-up bonus.