IHG Rewards Lowers The Cost To Buy Points – Now Just 0.5 Cents Each

Bora Bora over water with huts on it

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If, like me, you weren’t one of the lucky ones who got targeted for the flash sale IHG Rewards has just run then there is a little bit of good news for you. IHG Rewards has unveiled its latest “buy points” promotion and the best available rate is over 13% lower than we have seen in the past.

Latest IHG Points Sale – The Details

  • The offer is available for IHG Rewards points purchases 12:00 AM ET 24 October 2017 and 11:59 PM ET 3 November 2017 inclusive.
  • IHG Rewards members may purchase up to 60,000 points per calendar year (excluding bonuses).
  • Purchases of IHG Rewards Points are processed by Points.com so they’re not eligible for a credit card category bonus

a person skiing down a slope

Link to the promotion page

Latest IHG Points Sale – The Math

Although it doesn’t appear to be mentioned anywhere in the terms and conditions, there appears to be a threshold above which the best cost per point is attained.

The promotion info states that as long as a member purchases 5,000 or more Rewards Points he/she will receive a 100% bonus (and that’s true) but, if you purchase the minimum number of points to get the 100% bonus…..

a screenshot of a computer screen

…..the net result is that you end up with 10,000 points at a cost of $67.50 which is equivalent to 0.675 cents per point.

If you purchase 24,000 points in a single transaction you get to buy points at the old “best rate” of 0.575 cents per point:

a screenshot of a phone

In this example a purchase of 24,000 points will net you 48,000 points at a cost of $276 which is equivalent to 0.575 cents per point.

But, as long as you purchase 26,000 points or more, you can now get the rate down to just 0.5 cents per point:

a screenshot of a phone

So if you’re going to buy points in this promotion make sure you buy at least 26,000 to get the best cost/point.

Should You Buy IHG Points In This Sale?

Firstly, don’t rush into anything. IHG points sales with a 100% bonus (or its equivalent) aren’t all that rare so don’t let the November 3rd deadline force your hand.

But, if you are thinking of buying points now, here’s what the value proposition looks like.

If you buy the maximum number of points allowed you would be buying 60,000 points and getting a further 60,000 point bonus for a total of 120,000 points at a cost of $600 ($90 less than we’ve seen before).

The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso SpaIdeally you could redeem points at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa but that has become tough

Most of the top IHG properties around the world cost between 50,000 and 60,000 points per night so, quite simply, this points sale allows you to book 2 nights at a very good InterContinental property for between $250 and $300/night….and that’s inclusive of all taxes and fees.

That’s pretty when you consider how costly nights at InterContinental properties can be.

With my budget I probably wouldn’t pay $345 for a night at a hotel unless it was at a property I really like and somewhere I really wanted to visit……but I would almost certainly pay $250/night to return to the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam where rates before tax are often a lot higher:


And where an award night goes for just 50,000 IHG Rewards points.

Buying points in this promotion and using them to make a booking like the one above would get you two nights at one of my favourite European InterContinentals for $500…..and would save over $480 once you account for the taxes due on the stay.

An added bonus is that all IHG Rewards award night bookings are flexible and refundable….and the same can’t be said of the best cash rate. The rate shown in the image above is a prepaid rate so, once you’ve booked, you’re locked in.

Using points to book the night illustrated above would see you saving money and getting a better type of reservation.

Link to buy points

Bottom Line

Here’s how you decide if you should be buying points:

  • 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?

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.