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IHG Rewards has been running its current points sale since the beginning of last month but today is the last day to take advantage of the deal if it’s one that make sense for you.
As a reminder, here are the headline t&cs of the current promotion:
- Offer available for purchases made by 11:59 PM ET May 1, 2019 (today!)
- 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 the bonus.
- 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 purchase limits
- Please allow 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account.
- All other IHG Rewards Club Terms and Conditions apply.
The Promotion & Cost
Here’s what the promotion looks like:
- Buy 1,000 – 6,000 points and get no bonus
- Buy 7,000 – 19,000 points and get 40% bonus
- Buy 20,000 – 29,000 points and get 60% bonus
- Buy 30,000 – 100,000 points and get 80% bonus
The way the tiering has been done for this promotion makes things nice and simple – you’ll be buying points at the cheapest rate this promotion offers whether you buy 30,000 points or 100,000 points (or any number of points in between).
That’s actually pretty good news as it means that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the best cost/point and that makes a deal like this pretty good for topping off an account.
Lowering That Cost Even More
If you have a old-school Chase IHG Rewards credit card (as I do) you get 10% back on all points spent in the year (up to a maximum rebate of 100,000 points/year) so there’s an argument to be made that this will effectively reduce the cost of the points you buy to 0.500 cents each.
This would equal the cheapest rate we’ve ever seen IHG sell its points (they were available at this rate in March)
One of the benefits of the IHG Rewards program is that you get a 4th night free on award bookings so, technically, you could buy enough points in this sale for 4 nights and only end up paying for 3 of those nights.
One could argue that this would drop the cost of any points you buy by 25% but I’m not comfortable putting this forward as a good way to get a discount. Here’s why:
- You would have to book exactly 4 nights to get the full 25% – the more nights you book the lower that discount gets.
- A lot of people don’t book stays of over 3 nights
If you’re very likely to book a stay of 4 nights or more by all means include the appropriate discount in your calculations, otherwise ignore it and consider it a bonus if you do end up booking a qualifying stay.
Is This A Good Deal?
Yes and no.
0.556 cents/point is not the cheapest rate we see IHG Rewards offer its points so if you have no immediate need for any points you’ll probably be better off waiting for IHG to bring back its 100% bonus promotion.
Having said that, the best cost per point being offered by this promotion is only ~11% more than the cheapest rate IHG offers so if you need to top up an account to allow you to book an award this isn’t the worst time to do that.
As I said when this promotion was first announced, I have no interest in jumping on a 80% bonus when I suspect another 100% bonus will turn up at some point later in the year so I won’t be buying points in this sale….but then I don’t need any points right now either and the next 100% bonus may be some months away.
If you happen to need IHG Rewards Points to urgently top up an account or to make a booking that’s cheaper when paid for with points from this sale than it is if paid for with cash, then it’s fine to buy points in this sale. Those are valid reasons to buy this time around and it’s not a bad deal to do exactly that.
Everyone else should probably sit this one out.