100% Bonus: Buy IHG Points for $0.00575 Each

IHG Rewards Club – the loyalty program for Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and related brands — is offering a 100% bonus on purchased points through November 30.

This means you can buy points at just $0.00575 apiece which is a lower price than what they’re worth.

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 — just over the price they’re selling points through this promotion. If the price were lower I would be a buyer. Personally I’d rather hold cash than points at this price and only buy points with a 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 (just over one-tenth of a cent per point).

But you likely won’t get hurt at this price. And it’s the lowest price I’ve seen, though something they’ve offered before (for instance back in June and in fall 2014).

Terms and conditions:

Offer available for purchases made between 12:00 AM ET November 20 and 11:59 PM ET November 30, 2015 inclusive. 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 60,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 60,000 points per calendar year. Please allow 24-48 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account. All other IHG® Rewards Club Terms and Conditions apply.

100% Bonus Purchasing IHG Rewards Club Points Through June 30

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. How are they lower than they are worth?

    If the US government sells one dollar for less than a dollar, the value of dollar is no longer a dollar.

    That is how inflation works. Aren’t you libertarian?

    For this promotion to work only I have to buy these points @ this price and no one else should. And then I should be able to redeem these points like this promotion never existed.

    This is the BS that Federal reserve like to pull.

    So the right response should be to revalue what an IHG point is worth.

  2. Is it possible to purchase the points directly from the Points.com website and still get the 60,000 bonus? Or can it only be done through the IHG link…?

    I’d love to start at my cashback portal, which takes me to Points.com, and make the purchase from there.

  3. Answering my own question: yes it’s possible to do the purchasing through Points.com… I just had to click around the website a little bit to find the “buy” button.

    Next question is re: Gary’s comment about availability of rewards nights at Bora Bora, for example. I looked at their calendar for the next 12 months, and there are only 6 nights available. All 6 of them are in Dec 2015. That’s it. ZERO availability for 2016. Am I missing something?

  4. Also looked at availability of rewards nights in Berlin for specific dates I need next year. Most of the IHG hotels don’t allow rewards usage on those dates. The couple that do allow it are the lower end ones. And a price check through Travelocity shows it would be as cheap or cheaper to pay cash outright than to use these IHG points, even when purchased at 100% bonus.

    I’ve never used IHG for rewards nights (have always collected the airline miles instead). Is there always this problem with 95% of nights being blacked out?

  5. @Lindy

    These IHG points are worth having for certain hotels, and, yes the trick (as always) is to check availability before making the purchase.

    Yes , it can be possible to find availability. I have stayed several times at the InterContinental Mayfair in central London over the last two years in rooms being sold for over $1,000 for an outlay of $350 (50,000 points “bought” by booking points plus cash stays which refund fully as points – the current offer is slightly cheaper than this as Gary explains above) booking only a week or two in advance.

    This year I also stayed in the InterContinental in Rome for flour nights earning some benefit over the cash rate.

    When planning Europe trips I have found availability in other IHG hotels for which points usage would be very cost effective, such as the InterContinental in Paris and Amsterdam, although both can get booked out.

    Of course, in many cases it is possible to find a comfortable hotel at less than the cost of buying those points.

    The prices I am seeing at the Intercontinental Berlin indicate little benefit in buying 35,000 points per night away.

    It may be worth having a small batch of IHG points so you can do the points plus cash buy in trick whenever you need to for the better and pricier hotels – London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, etc.

    Buying “Ambassador” status for around $250 per year would make the strategy even better, with an increased chance of upgrades, late check out, etc….

  6. @cedit

    To the airline/hotel chain the point has a buy/sell value, sure, and both these values can and do change over time. The system is dynamic and totally manipulated by the issuing entity at both the buy and sell ends. Even worse than the stunts being played by governments to try to manipulate/devalue their currencies by printing money and loading up the property debt cycle to keep the status hungry middle classes happy and create an illusion of economic growth.

    The real question is what is that point worth to you as a traveller.

    In one sense a point is worth what it cost you to earn it or buy it! More appropriately, perhaps, what it would cost you to replace it, bearing in mind discount purchase can only be made when an offer is on, not at any time.

    But in reality that point only offers value once spent since it only then the value is released and the risk of devaluation is mitigated.

    The worth of a point depends on the perceptions of the individual and their intended usage/travel goals! Gary’s valuation may be different to mine or yours.

    A point could have even have a negative value in the sense that you decide to stay in a more expensive hotel than required for your needs in order to get a “discount” on the cash rate – your points purchase being more per night than the price you would have paid ordinarily! Fine, a $1000 room in London effectively cost my $350, but maybe I could have stayed in a boutique smaller hotel for less than $350 and still had a comfortable room.

  7. the cost of 25 with 25 bonus for a total of 50,000 is $312.50. I can use these at a Intercontinental hotel or at two Crown Plaza Hotels at $156.25 each. — at this rate it is usually not worth it.

    San Francisco in June 2013
    Intercontinental $454+tax
    Crown Plaza $363+tax
    Holiday Inn $270+tax or $254+tax

    What I have also found is as a Reward night I NEVER get the better room. But the way around this is I book a room paying night 1 and then come back down and tell them got a reward night for 2nd under name 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *