One Week Only: The Cheapest Price IHG Rewards Club Ever Sells Points, Should You Buy?

IHG Rewards Club is offering points purchases with a 100% bonus through September 22.

Here’s the offer:

Get up to a 100% more points when you buy between September 15th and September 22, 2014:

Buy 1,000 to 49,000 points and get 50% more points
Buy 50,000 to 60,000 points and get 100% more points

This is the normal pricing:

You may purchase points in 1,000 increments:

1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points

As a result, you can buy points for as little as $0.00575 apiece (half of $11.50 per 1000) or $690 for 120,000 points which is the maximum allowable purchase.

The points are processed by Points.com so this doesn’t count as hotel spend for credit card bonuses.

In general I value an IHG Rewards Club point at about 6/10ths of a cent — right at the price they’re selling points through this promotion. If the price were lower I would be a buyer. But I’d rather hold cash than points at this price. I’d only buy points with a very specific use in mind, especially since it’s long been possible to buy points at 7/10ths of a cent apiece whenever one wishes. The gain by acting right away is marginal (one-tenth of a cent per point).

While you probably won’t get hurt at that price, and IHG Rewards Club has committed not to raise points prices on its hotel awards for the rest of the year, I still prefer cash over these points.

That point of view is further informed by the program lacking an option to redeem points for better than a base room, and that hotels aren’t required to honor most elite benefits on points stays (although many do). As a result I do not love redeeming my IHG Rewards Club points.


(HT: Inside Flyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. “and IHG Rewards Club has committed not to raise points prices on its hotel awards for the rest of the year”

    Um, that’s only 3 and a half months. Not much of a reassurance for anyone who doesn’t already have a trip planned.

  2. this is tempting… but i have no redemption in mind so i decided not to buy. like Robert Hanson said the deval may be coming Jan 1!

  3. Do these points count toward elite status? I know in the past I have gotten platinum from buying points but cant seem to find whether that is still the case

  4. @Dan IHG Platinum is so easy to get. Just having the Chase IHG credit card gives you Plat status. It’s only $49 a year, with the first year waived. Then each year at renewal you get a certificate for a night at any IHG property. It’s valid at Intercontinental properties that run @$400 a night in London and Paris, and is good for a whole year. This is a card to get and keep forever.

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