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Following a truly terrible sale back in April, IHG Rewards has been running a very good sale for the past 10 days in which it has been offering members the opportunity to buy up to 500,000 points at a cost of just 0.5 cents per point. Despite the fact that IHG surprised members with an unpleasant devaluation earlier this year, this sale can still offer incredible value (as I show in this post) but you have just hours left to make the most of it.
- Offer available for purchases made between 12:00 AM ET June 1, 2021 and 11:59 PM ET June 10, 2021 (TODAY).
- In order to qualify for the 100% Bonus points offer, Members must make a minimum of 15,000 points purchase per transaction.
- Members may purchase a maximum of 250,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 250,000 points per calendar year.
- 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 2021 are included in the 250,000 points limit.
- Purchased points do not count towards IHG Rewards Elite status.
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 $172.50 for a total of 30,000 points.
This works out to a cost per point of 0.575 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.
Also, it may be worth reading my post covering how I believe a lot of people should deal with IHG Rewards given that it’s not a very rewarding program – IHG Rewards: How To Deal With The Problem Child Of Loyalty Programs. This post discusses how points sales like this one can be used to make IHG Rewards a useful part of a well-rounded miles and points strategy.
Having now said all of that, it’s important to point out that 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 65,000 – 75,000 points per night will effectively cost you $325 – $375 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).
Better yet and despite the recent devaluation, it’s still possible to book some truly high-end properties with a lot fewer points than were needed before IHG introduced dynamic pricing:
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 example of the InterContinental London O2 from above, a 4-night stay could cost an IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card holder just 114,000 points which, at 0.5 cents per point, is a cash cost of just $570 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.