Strategically buying points can be a good value, especially for luxury hotel stays. In mid-November, IHG launched its current sale on purchased points, which has the potential to be a good deal, especially in light of the recent program refresh. This is in line with the best offers we see from the program. If you’ve been considering this offer but haven’t yet made a purchase, this is your last chance.
Sale on purchased IHG One Rewards points
Through Thursday, December 29, 2022, IHG One Rewards is offering a bonus on purchased points. Different members will likely be targeted for different offers. The accounts I manage show a bonus of up to 100%. In order to unlock the best bonus you need to purchase at least 5,000 points in one transaction.
How much does it cost to buy IHG One Rewards points?
Ordinarily you can buy IHG One Rewards points for one cent each, before any discounts or bonuses. If you were targeted for a 100% bonus and purchased 250,000 IHG One Rewards points pre-bonus, you’d receive a total of 500,000 points at a cost of $2,500, which is a rate of 0.5 cents per IHG point.
IHG sells points quite often, and when the program does, the bonus is typically in the range of 75-100%. As you can see, the 100% bonus is as good as offers from the program get.
While the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review) and IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (review) offer a 20% discount on purchased points, that benefit only applies when buying points at the normal cost, and wouldn’t be applicable here.
How many IHG One Rewards points can you purchase?
IHG One Rewards ordinarily lets members purchase up to 150,000 points per calendar year, before any bonuses. However, during this promotion, the cap has been lifted to 250,000 points, pre-bonus.
Which credit card should you buy IHG One Rewards points with?
IHG One Rewards 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), Citi® Double Cash Card (review), or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review).
- Earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase, earn 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase
- Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining
- Earn 3% Cash Back at Drugstores
- Earn 1.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases
- Earn 2x Venture miles on every purchase
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary
- Earn 2x Venture miles on every purchase
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit
See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.
Is buying IHG One Rewards points worth it?
IHG One Rewards has dynamic award pricing, which means there’s no minimum or maximum number of points a hotel stay can cost. Rather the cost of an award stay generally correlates somewhat to the cost of a revenue stay.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the same value with all hotel stays. There are many situations where you can get outsized value by buying points and then redeeming them, so let’s get into that in a bit more detail.
Tip: Get a fourth night free with an IHG credit card
You’ll get the most value from your IHG points if you have the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review), IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (review), or IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card (review).
That’s because the cards offer a fourth night free benefit, meaning that you can book a four night award stay for the cost of three nights. This is essentially the equivalent of 25% off in increments of four nights, since you can use this benefit an unlimited number of times.
At what hotels can you redeem IHG One Rewards points?
IHG has over 15 hotel brands, so there are lots of options for redeeming your IHG One Rewards points. IHG points can be redeemed at the following properties, among others:
- For luxury & premium hotels, there’s Six Senses, Regent, InterContinental, Kimpton and Hotel Indigo
- For mid-range and limited service hotels, there’s Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, voco, and EVEN
How much are IHG One Rewards points worth?
Everyone will value points differently, but personally I value IHG One Rewards points at ~0.5 cents each, and I tend to value points pretty conservatively. So the purchase price is right around what I value these points.
Do IHG One Rewards points expire?
For non-elite members, IHG One Rewards points expire after 12 months of inactivity. However, any sort of points earning or redemption activity would reset the expiration of your points. Furthermore, IHG One Rewards points don’t expire for elite members in the program.
Keep in mind that IHG elite status is quite easy to earn. Just for having the IHG Rewards Premier Card you receive Platinum status, without any sort of a spending requirement.
Does IHG One Rewards have blackout dates?
IHG One Rewards doesn’t have blackout dates on award nights, but the program does have capacity controls. What this means is that some number of standard rooms will be made available for award redemptions every night, but that doesn’t mean that all standard rooms are available for award redemptions.
What are good uses of IHG One Rewards points?
While all prices are subject to change, let me give a few examples of some great deals I’m seeing right now using IHG One Rewards points. Again, keep in mind that IHG points could be acquired for 0.5 cents each with this promotion.
For example, you could book an overwater villa at the Six Senses Laamu Maldives for 100,000 IHG points per night (with a fourth night free you’d pay just 75,000 points per night), when the paid rate would be over $1,500 per night.
If you’re looking for a luxury city getaway, the InterContinental London Park Lane is charging 75,500 IHG points per night on many dates (with a fourth night free you’d pay just ~56,600 points per night), when the paid rate would be over $700 per night.
If you’re looking for a luxury beach vacation closer to home, the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa in Grand Cayman is charging 70,000 IHG points per night on many dates (with a fourth night free you’d pay just 52,500 points per night), when the paid rate would be over $800 per night.
IHG One Rewards is offering a sale on purchased points. Through December 29, 2022, IHG One Rewards is offering a bonus, and the most common offer seems to be for a 100% bonus, which is an opportunity to buy points for 0.5 cents each.
There are definitely circumstances where it could make sense to buy IHG points. As you can see above, there are instances where buying points can save you over 50% on the cost of a luxury hotel stay. 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 buying IHG points in conjunction with the IHG Rewards Premier Card, which can get you a fourth night for free on award redemptions.
Do you plan on buying IHG points with a bonus?