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Earlier today I went online to check prices at a Holiday Inn that I’m looking to book for an upcoming stay and I noticed something useful – IHG Rewards is offering me a 15% discount on the cash portion of the “points & cash” rate that’s available at all IHG properties and there is a way to use this to manufacture cheap IHG Rewards points.
As there doesn’t appear to be an IHG page detailing the offer (and as I haven’t received an email promotion this offer) I’ve used trial and error to determine that the promotion is valid for stays up to 31 January 2018.
I wasn’t offered the last discount that was available on points & cash rates a couple of weeks ago (that was a 20% discount) so there’s a good chance that this promotion is targeted.
- Joanna is a Club Member and wasn’t targeted for the last promotion but has been targeted this time
- I’m a Platinum Member and wasn’t targeted for the last promotion but have been targeted this time
Based on this I don’t think status is playing a role in the targeting IHG Rewards is using for this promotion.
A 15% saving on the cash portion of a Points & Cash booking is a good opportunity to acquire IHG Rewards points at an attractive rate….you just have to know what you’re doing.
There’s nothing very complicated about what you have to do to manufacture IHG Rewards points at 0.489 cents each, you just have to know the “trick”.
When you make a Points & Cash booking with IHG (such as the one you can see in the image below) you are technically purchasing points with which to complete your booking:
In the example above the reward nights costs 35,000 points but, rather than pay the full 35,000 points, I can buy 20,000 IHG Rewards points for $97.75 and, together with 15,000 points from my IHG Rewards account, I can book the room.
The trick is that, if I was to cancel this booking, IHG Rewards would refund 35,000 points to my IHG Rewards account rather than refunding me both the cash and points that I used – I would have essentially purchased 20,000 points for $97.75 (0.489 cents/point).
How To Manufacture Chap IHG Rewards Points
There are four steps to the process:
- Find a property on the IHG website which will let you “buy” 20,000 points as part of its Points & Cash rate (Sydney and LA both have some) and buy them for $97.75.
- Make a booking using Points & Cash
- Wait for the booking to be confirmed and then cancel the reservation (I usually wait a few days just to be on the safe side).
- Wait for the points to be credited to your IHG Rewards account
We’ve seen promotions like this quite a few times in the past but, with this one, you need to be a little careful.
I’ve looked at a number of IHG properties for stays within the promotion period and there are some serious variances between properties that will allow you to “buy” 20,000 points per night booked – not every property will give you the opportunity to manufacture points at a rate of 0.489 cents each.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
The InterContinental in Sydney will happily let you buy 20,000 points….
….but when you work out the math you’ll see that you would essentially be buying points at a rate of 0.531 cents each.
Similarly, the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour will also allow you to buy 20,000 points in a points and cash booking….
…but there the rate is even worse. In this example you would be paying 0.553 cents/point.
What you need to look out for is a property where the 20,000 points will cost you $97.97…like at the new Indigo in LA:
Do not assume that just because you’re “buying” 20,000 points in a points & cash booking that you’re getting the best rate.
The Drawbacks To This Promotion
- You need to have at least 15,000 IHG Rewards Points in your account to be able to generate points like this.
- IHG is almost certainly aware of this “trick” but that doesn’t mean that the loyalty program will look too kindly on members who make a large number of bookings just to then cancel them in an effort to manufacture cheap points. This isn’t a way to print cheap points, it a way to acquire some IHG Rewards points at a very good rate.
- The 15% discount appears to be a targeted offer
At 0.489 cents each IHG Rewards points look very attractive and, for anyone with plans to make a reward night booking, this could be a good way of bringing the cost of the trip down.
If, however, you don’t have any plans for the points once you’ve manufactured them this isn’t something you should be playing around with. Stockpiling points in the hope that you may possibly use for them at some point in the future is a bad idea (points have a horrible habit of devaluing when you least want them to).
If you are thinking of manufacturing some points with the method I’ve outlined above then please do so in moderation.
This “trick” has been around for a while but it will only take a small number of people to go a bit crazy with this idea before IHG will pull the plug…so don’t be “that guy”. Be thankful we have this method of generating points and don’t go overboard – thanks!