Amazing: Buy IHG Points For ~0.38 Cents Each

Filed Under: Great Deals, IHG Rewards

IHG Rewards Club frequently sells points at a discount, and when they do, the lowest cost per purchased point is typically 0.5 cents.

Aside from any IHG promotions on purchased points, there’s often a way to indirectly purchase IHG points at a discount, which could also represent a good deal.

IHG Points & Cash

IHG has a Points & Cash feature that allows you to redeem part points and part cash towards an award stay. Typically you can discount an award by 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 points in exchange for some cash.

For example, take the below hotel that costs 30,000 points per night:

  • You could redeem 25,000 points plus $33 (like buying points for 0.66 cents each)
  • You could redeem 20,000 points plus $67 (like buying points for 0.67 cents each)
  • You could redeem 15,000 points plus $90 (like buying points for 0.6 cents each)

The thing is, assuming you book outside the cancelation window, this is also a way to generate points. When you book a stay this way you’re essentially buying points at that cost at the time of booking. In the event that you cancel your booking, you’ll be refunded the entire amount in points.

In the above situation if you chose the option of 15,000 points plus $90 and you needed to cancel, you’d be refunded 30,000 points.

Makes sense so far, right?

Buy IHG points for 0.38 cents each

That brings us to a pretty great opportunity. At the moment IHG has a sale on Points & Cash bookings, where they’re offering a 20% discount. The catch is that the rates aren’t the same across the board, and some hotels have much better rates than others.

The Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta has the best deal I’ve ever seen on a Points & Cash award. This hotel is really cheap if paying cash, and a free night here only costs 10,000 points.

However, with Points & Cash you can choose to pay 5,000 points plus $19.20. In other words, you’re saving 5,000 points for $19.20, which is like buying points for 0.38 cents each.

You could book a seven night stay here for 35,000 points plus $134.40.

Then if you needed to refund that you’d be refunded 70,000 points. That’s like buying 35,000 points for $134.40.

This is the best price I’ve ever seen on an IHG Points & Cash stay, so being able to acquire points for ~0.38 cents each is pretty incredible.

On top of that, these bookings qualify as hotel spend, so if you use the right credit card you could be looking at an additional 5%+ return.

If you do take advantage of this:

  • Make sure you book outside the cancelation window
  • While I’ve never heard of IHG cracking down on accounts over this, and while I don’t think it directly violates any rules, you never know what a hotel program will do

(Tip of the hat to @roniwalakandou)

  1. I’ve done this once in the last to grab a minimal amount of points needed to complete a stay at an amazing IC beach hotel. I hope wide-spread use of this tactic doesn’t lead to any cracking down. Using the IHG CC w/ 10 p/$ brings down to ~0.37 c/p.

  2. They probably have some ‘bad intent’ clause hidden somewhere.

    None the less, I say worth trying for those with small points. At worse you lose it all, at most you could be banking enormous amount of IHG. In the middle, they claw back and nothing happens.

    I say ‘bloggers ruined it’ (no offense) means you have to act fast.

  3. So what’s with booking outside the cancellation window.. how will the refund go through. U will not be fully refunded

  4. I was hunting for the lowest price and found this yesterday, it’s $0.00384 per point, bought some points this way. The other low prices ones were about $0.004 in China. Are there lower ones out there?

  5. @ Ben — I do not agree that this is amazing. 0.38 cpp is all IHG points are worth these days.

  6. Do I need to mention that this is a bit unethical? I love doing points and miles but there are hacks and there are abusive hacks. Lets all try to use the regular hacks and keep the points flowing as long as possible and not abuse the system. If people do enough abusive hacks, our points and miles won’t be there to play with anymore and we will have to pay full price again.

  7. @ Ben,

    Its showing 28 dollars for 5000 points. You’ve booked for which dates please specify. Thanks

  8. I believe IHG has fixed this loophole by hard-coding the cash portion of Points + Cash to never go below $28 USD.
    In the example of Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta, the standard rate = $29 a night, but Points + Cash = 5000 points + $28.8

  9. If anyone finds any more lower values of points ( less than 0.5 cpp ) please share your analysis before 22nd July. Thanks : )

  10. Brilliant deal and I love the way it works….but, one minor gripe, namely that I do not recommend staying at The Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta, unless for business. It is miles from the beach and anything touristy and it is on a very busy road.

  11. @Paul Jackson — I’m having trouble seeing the ethical problem here. IHG is clearly selling points in this manner. That’s their intention. If they wanted to discourage this practice, they could make points and cash bookings nonrefundable or they could price them higher. Or, they could do what every other chain does and make the cash portion of the booking collectible by the hotel. IHG has decided that they want the cash now and that they’ll give back the points.

    I usually find myself a bit on the conservative side when it comes to the ethics of certain travel hacking practices, but this one doesn’t bother me. Perhaps I have a blind spot and I will keep an open mind about it, but IHG has made its points and cash option a points for cash selling scheme and people are just using it as intended. I guess if people were artificially holding hotels rooms before cancelling them that they had no intention to use, that would be distasteful because it might block the hotel from selling those rooms. My guess is that most people are cancelling right away. Plus, people make speculative reservations all the time that they know they are likely to cancel.

  12. Up there someone asked what is “book outside the cancellation window”.
    I am curious too.
    Would anyone please explain what it is.

  13. @Ike Choi and other

    If you book this point + cash “deal” inside the cancellation window you then cannot get any refund whatsoever. It means you are burning your existing points AND cash for exactly nothing

  14. @ike – basically it means to check what a hotel’s cancellation policy is and make sure you cancel in time or if a hotel says no refunds if canceled less than x days before your stay, then make sure you’re not booking a date that’s < x days from now

  15. This is no longer true. It seems like the IHG has increased all the cash rate for point+cash rate. Now, with the 20%, it is no longer attractive. The best I found so far is to buy the point with 100%. Let see if they drop the price after the 20% promo is over.

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