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IHG Rewards has launched a flash sale in which members are invited to buy points with a 100% bonus thrown in. The promotion doesn’t appear to be targeted or tiered so all members should be eligible for the full bonus….but just how good of a deal is this?
What You Need To Know
- The offer is available for IHG Rewards points purchases made between 12:00 AM ET on 16 May and 11:59 PM ET on 19 May 2017 inclusive.
- IHG Rewards members may purchase up to 60,000 points per calendar year (excluding bonuses).
- Purchases of IHG Rewards Points are processed by Points.com so they’re not eligible for a credit card category bonus
How Does The Math Work Out?
This should be the very first question you ask yourself when faced with an opportunity to purchase miles/points…so what does the math look like in this case?
Firstly, although it doesn’t appear to be mentioned anywhere in the terms and conditions, there appears to be a threshold above which the best cost per point is attained.
Here’s what I mean:
IHG Rewards states that as long as a member purchases 5,000 or more Rewards Points they’ll receive a 100% bonus….and that’s very true.
But, if you purchase the minimum number of points to get the 100% bonus…..
…..you’ll end up with 10,000 points at a cost of $67.50 which is equivalent to 0.625 cents per point.
If, however, you purchase over 25,000 points in a single transaction the math is more favourable.
In this example a purchase of 26,000 points will net you 52,000 points at a cost of $299 which is equivalent to 0.575 cents per point.
So if you’re going to buy points in this promotion make sure you buy over 25,000 to get the best cost/point.
Should You Buy IHG Rewards Points In This Promotion?
Most of the top IHG properties around the world cost 60,000 points per night so, essentially, you would be buying 2 nights at a very good InterContinental for $345/night.
You can also be a canny shopper and book some excellent InterContinental properties for between 50,000 and 55,000 points/night so, in these cases, you would essentially be paying between $287.50 and $316.25 for a night inclusive of all taxes and fees.
That’s a good deal when you consider how expensive some of these InterContinental properties can be.
With my budget I’m not sure I’d pay $345 for a night at a hotel unless it was at a property I really like and somewhere I really want to visit……but I would almost certainly pay $288/night to return to the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam where rates before tax are often a lot higher:
And where an award night goes for just 50,000 IHG Rewards points.
Buying points in this promotion and using them to make a booking like the one above would get you two nights at one of my favourite European InterContinentals for $575…..and would save you over $400 once you take taxes into consideration. That’s not bad at all.
To make the deal even more tempting, all IHG Rewards award night bookings are flexible and refundable while the best cash price quoted (above) is an advance rate that’s not flexible at all.
Put simply: You would be saving money and getting a better type of reservation.
It’s important to have a plan before you even consider buying points….and doing the math will help ensure you don’t go wrong when deciding whether to buy points or not.
Check how much the properties you want to visit cost (at a time of year you’d like to travel) and then see how much an award night would cost if you were to buy points – that will tell you how good a deal you’re getting.
Whatever you do don’t buy points speculatively. No one can say when IHG will decide to move hotels up a category or change the number of points needed for awards so only buy points that you know you’ll be using in the near future.