IHG has just rolled out its latest promotion on purchased points, which is the first promotion we’ve seen from the program in many weeks. Unfortunately it’s not in line with the best deals offered by IHG, which seems odd.
Buy IHG points with 75% bonus
Through Sunday, October 11, 2020, IHG Rewards Club is offering up to a 75% bonus on purchased points. With this promotion, you earn a 75% bonus as long as you purchase at least 3,000 points in one transaction.
If you maxed out the promotion and purchased 150,000 points, you’d end up paying $1,500 and would get a total of 262,500 IHG Rewards Club points. That’s 0.57 cents per point.
A 75% bonus is better than nothing, but I’d note that IHG offers a 100% bonus on purchased points several times per year, which lowers the cost per purchased point to 0.5 cents.
However, one huge benefit of the card is that it offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, so you can book four nights and only pay for three. If you are staying somewhere for four nights, think of it as a further 25% discount.
Which credit card should you buy IHG points with?
IHG Rewards Club points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as a hotel purchase for the purposes of credit card spending.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spending requirement, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review).
See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.
Is it worth buying IHG points?
Over the years IHG Rewards Club has devalued its redemption rates quite a few times, though for people buying points, it hasn’t necessarily been bad news. IHG has lowered the cost to purchase points, with many promotions the cap has been increased on how many points you can buy, and the IHG Premier Card has a great fourth night free benefit.
For example, at a rate of 0.57 cents per point, you could acquire 210,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $1,200.
With a few exceptions, IHG’s most expensive hotels typically retail for 70,000 points per night, so if you had the IHG Premier Card, you could get four nights at that rate. That’s like paying just $300 per night including taxes and fees at some of IHG’s best properties.
This represents significant savings over what many of these hotels usually charge.
IHG has also recently rolled out dynamic award pricing, and in many cases the pricing is attractive, though it’s increasingly becoming a mixed bag.
I wouldn’t speculatively buy points, but there’s value to be had under the right circumstances. Sometimes this can be a deal on IHG’s highest-end hotels, and other times there’s value to be had with mid-range properties as well.
An example of when I bought points
Last year I purchased IHG points with a 75% bonus. I was going to Beirut, and one of the best points hotels in the city is the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut. It’s generally regarded as one of the top five hotels in the city, and several people recommended I stay here.
It was a very good use of points. For my three night stay the absolute lowest cost was $868 including taxes and fees.
In reality that was the pre-paid rate, while the flexible rate would have been over $1,000 for the three nights (and that’s likely what I would have otherwise booked).
Meanwhile, this hotel cost just 30,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.
I didn’t have a lot of IHG Rewards Club points, and I also never speculatively bought them in the past.
With the 75% bonus I could buy 91,000 points (more than enough for three nights) for $510, which was about half off the flexible rate.
Sometimes I think it’s useful to share circumstances where I buy points, and explain why. I don’t promote deals on purchased points because I think everyone should always buy them. Rather I think it’s all about buying points with the right use in mind.
IHG points promo bottom line
IHG Rewards Club has just launched a 75% bonus on purchased points. We do sometimes see 100% bonuses, so this isn’t quite as good as some past offers.
However, there are definitely circumstances where it could make sense to buy IHG points, and I also think there’s value in having a “reserve” of IHG points, given the brand’s global footprint.
You can get even more value out of the promotion in conjunction with the IHG Premier Card, which can get you a fourth night for free on award redemptions.
Do you plan on buying IHG points with a 75% bonus?