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So far this year IHG Rewards has shown a propensity for flash sales when it comes to selling its currency at a discount, but this time around the loyalty program has gone in completely the other direction – this sale runs all the way through 23 August!
The latest sale is being billed as a targeted promotion in which different IHG Rewards members are offered varying deals but, from what I’ve been seeing, a significant number of people appear to have been targeted for the full 100% bonus.
- Offer available for purchases made by 11:59 PM ET August 23, 2019.
- This is an exclusive, non-transferable offer for 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.
- 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.
- 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 what I can see in all the IHG Rewards accounts I control – your targeted offer may vary.
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 IHG Rewards Points and get no bonus
- Buy 5,000 or more IHG Rewards Points and get a 100% Bonus
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 minimum number pf points required to trigger the 100% bonus would pay $67.50 for a total of 10,000 points.
This works out to a cost per point of 0.675 cents.
Someone buying the maximum allowable 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.
It definitely matters how many points you choose to buy even though most purchases will trigger a 100% bonus.
There’s even a strange anomaly which IHG Rewards likes to throw into all of its points sales – you can buy 26,000 points for less than it costs to buy 23,000 points, you can buy 27,000 points for less than it costs to buy 24,000 points and you can buy 28,000 points for less than it costs to buy 25,000 points.
It’s more than a little off but this comes about because IHG sets a higher cost per point for purchases of 25,000 points or less. The 100% bonus is independent of this cost/point.
This is what the points sale’s price banding actually looks like:
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 points at a cost of 1.35 cents/point
- 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.
Should You Buy Points?
- 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).
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.
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.