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Chase has announced it's second-ever Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus. For a limited time, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG Rewards Club with a 60% bonus.
We are excited to see a new Chase transfer bonus. After all, the last one we saw was in May 2019, when Chase offered a 30% bonus for transferring BA Avios.
However, IHG is one of Chase's least valuable transfer partners. IHG points are worth far less per point than Ultimate Rewards points. Consequently, 1:1 Chase-to-IHG transfers are rarely a good idea. Is a 60% bonus enough to tilt the scales? We don't think so, and we'll show you why.
Transfer Bonus Offer Terms
- Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG Rewards Club and receive 60% bonus IHG points.
- Bonuses are available on point transfers made through 11:59 PM ET on August 31, 2020.
- The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 points (1,600 IHG points after 60% bonus).
- Point transfers to IHG typically take ~5 hours to process and are final/non-reversible.
- Allow up to two days for the bonus points to hit your account.
Why This is a Poor Value Proposition
Without a transfer bonus, Chase uses a 1:1 transfer ratio for all Ultimate Reward travel partners. But all points don't have the same value. While my baseline valuation for Chase URs is 1.7¢ per point, I only value IHG points at 0.5¢ per point. Consequently, if you were to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, you'd effectively cut the value of your points by more than two-thirds. This makes transfers to IHG a poor value in most scenarios.
A 60% bonus doesn't do much to close the gap. Boosting IHG's 0.5¢ value by 60% still only translates into 0.8¢ per point.
While 1.7¢ and 0.5¢ per point are my baseline values for these currencies, you may value them differently. And that's okay. But that still doesn't necessarily make this a good deal.
Personal valuations aside, all Ultimate Rewards members can achieve 1.25–1.5¢ per point through the Chase Travel Portal. Additionally, Sapphire cardholders can—for a limited time—get the same value by using URs to “Pay Yourself Back” for restaurant and grocery purchases. This means you're typically better off using your points in one of these ways instead of transferring to IHG.
For a two-day stay next March, the award price for a base room is 87,500 IHG points. That's actually a great points deal for this property. Before IHG Rewards adopted a dynamic award pricing model, this property cost 70,000 points per night.
With the 60% transfer bonus, you'd need to transfer 55,000 Ultimate Rewards to receive the 88,000 IHG points required.
Meanwhile, the cash price for the same booking is $650.27 all-in for two nights.
If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, URs are worth 1.5¢ per point on bookings made with Chase Travel Portal. Thus, you could book the same room for only 43,351 points by using the portal instead of transferring.
If you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you receive 1.25¢ per point through the portal. That means you'll need to 52,022 Ultimate Rewards to book a cash stay through the Chase Travel Portal. You'd still save almost 3,000 points compared to transferring to IHG.
Chase is offering a 60% transfer bonus to IHG Rewards Club. But it's probably not worth considering too long. If you'd like to grow your balance of IHG points, you're better off applying for an IHG co-branded credit card. For example, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is currently offering 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
There is a silver lining. While this transfer bonus isn't valuable, the fact that Chase is continuing to offer periodic transfer bonuses is a good sign. Hopefully, we'll see some better deals in the future.
What Ultimate Reward partner would you like to see a transfer bonus for next?
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