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Following a truly terrible sale back at the end of October, IHG Rewards Club brought back its best-ever points sale in honor of Black Friday so, for the past few days, it has been offering members the opportunity to buy up to 500,000 points at a cost of just 0.5 cents per point. That opportunity ends today.
- Offer available for purchases made between by 11:59 PM ET on 27 November 2020 (TODAY)
- Members will receive a 100% Bonus when they purchase a minimum 10,000 points purchase threshold on a per transaction basis in order to qualify for the bonus.
- Members may purchase a maximum of 250,000 points during the promotional period only.
- Members may gift a maximum of 250,000 points or receive as a gift from another member a combined maximum of 250,000 points during the promotional period only.
- Points that have been already purchased, gifted or received as a gift in 2020 are included in the 250,000 points limit.
- Purchased Points are not refundable and are applicable toward all IHG Rewards Club awards.
- Please allow 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account.
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. Here’s why:
Someone buying the minimum number of points required to trigger the 100% bonus would pay $135.00 for a total of 20,000 points.
This works out to a cost per point of 0.675 cents.
Someone buying the maximum allowable points in this sale would pay $2,500 and would net 500,000 points courtesy of the 100% bonus:
500,000 points at a cost of $2,500 come to a cost per point of 0.500 cents – It matters how many points you choose to buy even though most purchases will trigger a 100% bonus.
There continues to be 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 odd 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.
To get the best value out of this promotion you need to buy at least 26,000 IHG Rewards points.
Should You Buy Points?
As usual, my golden rule about miles and points sales comes into play here (more than ever before) so no one should be buying points in this sale without a solid plan in place for how they’re going to use them…and use them soon.
Still, at 0.5 cents/point, this sale can offer great deals at some of the more expensive properties in the IHG portfolio. A room costing 60,000 – 70,000 points per night will effectively cost you $300 – $350 per night (including all taxes and fees) if you use points purchased in this sale and that can represent a big saving on the cash rate that’s being offered on the same date(s).
Also, now that variable pricing is up and running within the IHG Rewards program, it’s possible to book some truly high-end properties with a lot fewer points than were needed just a few months ago: Just be sure to check that the cash price for the same night isn’t also very low – that would make an award booking uneconomic.
In further good news, the deals can get even better if you have the right credit card.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card (review) 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. Using the examples of the InterContinental Sydney and the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City from above, a 4-night stay at either of those properties could cost an IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card holder as few as 105,000 points which, at 0.5 cents per point, is a cash cost of just $525 including taxes – that’s a fantastic deal.
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…but don’t forget that you only have until Friday to buy whatever points you need.