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IHG Rewards has just announced a flash sale in which members can buy points with a 100% bonus. The sale sees the new maximum purchase limit (100,000 points) maintained and, in some cases, offers a good opportunity to book hotels at a nicely discounted rate.
IHG Flash Sale – The Details
- The flash sale is available for IHG Rewards points purchases made by 11:59 PM on 15 June 2018.
- IHG Rewards members may purchase up to 100,000 points per calendar year (excluding bonuses)
- IHG Rewards members may receive up to 100,000 points per calendar year as a gift.
- Purchases of IHG Rewards Points are processed by Points.com so they’re not eligible for a credit card category bonus
This is the offer that IHG has released this time:
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 points and get no bonus
- Buy 5,000 – 100,000 points and get a 100% bonus
IHG Flash Sale – The Math
Everyone who buys at least 5,000 points may get the full 100% bonus but not everyone will buy points at the cheapest possible rate.
- 5,000 – 10,000 points = 0.675 cents/point
- 11,000 – 25,000 points = 0.575 cents/point
- 26,000 – 100,000 points = 0.500 cents/point
Buying the maximum number of points allowed will see you net 200,000 points at a cost of $1,000….or 0.5cents per point.
Should You Buy Points In This Sale?
It’s important to remember that IHG Rewards has devalued since last year so 100,000 points today isn’t worth what it was back in 2017. Also, the way IHG Rewards manages its PointBreaks promotions has changed too so that’s another change worth bearing in mind.
Most of the top IHG properties around the world now cost between 60,000 and 70,000 points per night so, assuming you buy points at 0.5 cents each, this promotion effectively allows you to buy 2 – 3 nights at very good InterContinental properties for between $300 and $350/night (inclusive of all taxes and fees). It also gets you a flexible reservation which the cheapest cash rates don’t offer (that’s actually a very important bonus).
Overall, although this isn’t as good a deal as we’ve had in the past, there will be occasions where buying points in this sale to then make a booking will save you money….possibly even a lot of money.
There’s a very simple set of tasks you can perform to see if you can save using this sale:
- Explore various locations you’d like to visit and see if there’s a good IHG property there
- Check what award availability is like for the dates you’re thinking of visiting
- Check how much rooms are selling for on the dates you want to visit
- Work out the math – will buying points and booking a room save you cash?
Remember that IHG Rewards bookings are flexible while the cheapest cash rates will most often not be flexible at all so, if the cost of points is close to that of the cheapest cash rate, buying points in this flash sale may be the better way forward.
If you can see award availability at a hotel you’d like to visit and the math works in your favor then go ahead and buy some points in this sale…if not, you should probably give this promotion a miss. There’s no point in stockpiling points “just in case” you find something that works – there will always be another sale.