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. For more details please see the advertising disclosure found at the bottom of every page.
IHG Rewards has launched a flash sale in which it’s offering a 100% bonus on points purchases through 22 March. This is the highest bonus we’ve seen from IHG so far this year and it’s generally the best deal the loyalty program offers.
If you need IHG Rewards points now may be the time to buy.
- Offer available for purchases made between 12:00 AM ET March 18, 2019 and 11:59 PM March 22, 2019 inclusive.
- 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.
- Price includes all applicable fees.
- Purchased points are not refundable and are applicable toward all IHG Rewards Club awards.
- 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.
- Please allow 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account. All other IHG®Rewards Club Terms and Conditions apply.
This is the offer I’m seeing across all the accounts I control so it would appear as if everyone should have access to the 100% bonus.
- Buy 1,000 – 6,000 IHG Rewards Points and get no bonus
- Buy 7,000 or more IHG Rewards Points and get a 100% Bonus
As is often the case with IHG points sales this is a deceptive looking offer and it would be easy to think that buy buying at least 7,000 points you’ll be getting the best deal – that’s definitely not the case.
There are two variables in this points 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…and here’s why:
Someone buying the maximum allowable 100,000 points in this sale would pay $1,000 and would net 200,000 points courtesy of the 100% bonus:
200,000 points at a cost of $1,000 works out to a cost per point of 0.500 cents.
Lower down the purchasing chart there’s a strange anomaly which seems to appear in every IHG Rewards points sale we see – you can buy 26,000 points for less than it costs to buy 23,000 points:
This is because IHG has set a higher cost per point for purchases of 25,000 points or less – you get the same bonus whether you buy 25,000 points or 26,000 points but the cost/point is very different.
This is what the points sale’s price banding actually looks like:
- Buy 1,000 – 6,000 points at a cost of 675 cents/point
- Buy 7,000 – 25,000 points at a cost of 575 cents/point
- Buy 26,000 – 100,000 points at a cost of 500 cents/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?
Well, it’s all about the math.
- Following the devaluation we saw at the beginning of 2018 the best IHG properties in the world now cost between 60,000 and 70,000 points.
- Buying points at 0.5 cents each, would see you paying between $300 and $350 per night at these properties (inclusive of all taxes).
That pricing band can represent a great deal at some of the more expensive properties and the price may look even more attractive when you consider that IHG Rewards reservations are flexible (i.e. can be cancelled without penalty).
Booking an award night in one of IHG’s regular PointBreaks sales would also probably make buying points in this offer a good deal.
The deals get even better if you have the right credit card
The Chase IHG Rewards Premier credit card 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.
Make Sure You Use The Right Credit Card
Purchases of IHG Rewards Points are processed by Points.com so they’re not eligible for a credit card category bonus.
As bonus points are not an option here you should make sure you use a strong cashback credit card or a credit card with which you will earn points that you value highly.
If you’re currently working your way towards a sign-up bonus on a new credit card this could be a good time to use it.
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 a deal buying points in this promotion may be.