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IHG has launched a new points sale in which IHG Rewards members are being offered a mystery bonus. Normally with these promotions you see people being targeted for bonuses ranging between 70% through to 100% but, in this instance, I’ve yet to hear of anyone who isn’t seeing the 100% bonus….and I’ve seen or heard from at least 30 accounts so far.
I’m sure there will IHG Rewards members who haven’t been targeted for the 100% bonus but there may be fewer people missing out than normal this time around.
The Headline T&Cs
- Offer available for purchases made between 12:00 AM ET July 13, 2018, and 11:59 PM ET August 22, 2018.
- This is an exclusive, non-transferable offer for the intended recipient only and may not be forwarded.
- Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction.
- Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase.
- 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 (excluding bonuses).
- 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 in my account and the other accounts I control – you may see a lower bonus in your account.
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 IHG Rewards Points and get no bonus
- Buy 5,000+ IHG Rewards Points and get a 100% Bonus
This is actually a deceptive looking offer as you could be mistaken for thinking that as long as you buy 5,000 points you’ll be getting the best deal – but that’s definitely not the case.
There are two variables in IHG’s promotion – the bonus and the cost per point and they’re not related. Just because you’re getting a 100% doesn’t mean that you should ignore just how much you’re paying per point….here’s why:
If you were to purchase 5,000 points they would cost you $67.50 and you would net 10,000 points in total after the 100% bonus is applied:
10,000 points at a cost of $67.50 would give you a cost per point of 0.675 cents.
If you were to buy the maximum number of points permitted (100,000) you would net 200,000 points which would cost you $1,000:
200,000 points at a cost of $1,000 works out to 0.500 cents/point.
That’s significantly cheaper.
Here’s how the price banding looks:
- Buy 5,000 – 10,000 points at a cost of 0.675 cents/point
- Buy 11,000 – 25,000 points at a cost of 0.575 cents/point
- Buy 26,000 – 100,000 points at a cost of 0.500 cents/point
To get the best value out of this promotion you need to buy at least 26,000 IHG Rewards points.
Is This A Good Deal?
The best IHG properties in the world cost between 60,000 and 70,000 points following the devaluation we saw at the beginning of the year so, 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 can be a very good deal at some of the more expensive properties…especially when you consider that IHG Rewards reservations are flexible (can be cancelled without penalty).
What you must do is allow yourself to believe that you’ll be able to book the highly sought after InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa with the points you buy in this promotion.
This resort may cost 70,000 points/night and cash rates may regularly exceed $1,000/night but award night availability here is harder to find than an honest politician – you’re much more likely to find availability at the property’s sister resort a short boat ride away (InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora).
It’s an even better deal if you have the right credit card
The Chase IHG Rewards Premier credit card gives cardholders the 4th night free on 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.
Speaking Of Credit Cards….
Don’t Forget To Buy Points With 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. In my case I’d probably use one of the SPG Amex cards before they’re devalued in August.
If you have a credit card on which you have yet to meet the minimum spend criteria for a sign-up bonus this would be a good time to use it.
I always recommend that readers find out the cost of a night at the properties they would like to visit (at the time of year they would like to travel) and then compare that cost to the cost of an award night paid for with points purchased in this sale. That way you’ll know just how good of a deal buying points in this promotion may be.