When to Consider Buying IHG Points With a 100% Bonus

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IHG has announced its latest points sale, offering up to a 100% bonus on point purchases now through June 15, 2020. This sale provides members the ability to buy IHG points for as little as half a cent each, matching the best price we've ever seen IHG offer.

A Note on Buying Miles

In general, buying miles without a bonus is not a great idea. Loyalty programs typically sell miles at a much higher price than members can redeem them for. These sales can generate a lot of money for the program, but it's generally a poor value for the customer. However, promotions like this can shrink or eliminate that gap.

Additionally, there are two exceptions when buying miles can be a smart move. The first is when topping off your account to position for a specific redemption. The second is when the price to buy points for a redemption is cheaper than paying for the same product outright.

Key Terms

  • This promotion is valid between 12:00 a.m. ET May 6, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. ET on June 15, 2020.
  • You can receive a bonus of up to 100% when you purchase IHG points.
  • You'll receive the best purchase rate when buying at least 26,000 points.
  • To receive the 100% bonus, you must purchase a minimum number of points. The minimum is unique to every account.
  • You can purchase a maximum of 250,000 IHG points for the term of this promotion.
  • It may take up to 72 hours for the points to post to your account.
  • Point purchases are not refundable.

Great Redemption Options

IHG is a dark horse among the major hotel brands. For a lot of people, IHG makes you think of a generic Holiday Inn Express right off the highway. Yet in reality, there are a ton of fantastic IHG properties strewn across a substantial global footprint—many of which can offer a stellar value on point redemptions.

A night at an IHG property typically costs between 10,000–70,000 points, with a few exceptions. Depending on what the cash price is, you may be better off buying the points necessary instead.

InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas

New Year's Eve in Portugal

The Intercontinental in Porto is among the nicest hotels in the city, situated at the end of Praça da Liberdade, the main city square. This is where a lot of the city's celebrations are held each year, including the performances and fireworks on New Year's Eve. As expected, this view and convenience come at a cost.

For New Year's Eve, the cheapest room you can buy is €440, or around $476 per night. However, the same room on the same night only costs 50,000 points.

If you took advantage of the promotion with this stay in mind, you could buy all of the points required for $287.50, saving almost $200 compared to the lowest cash price.

Overwater villa in Bora Bora

The crown jewel of the IHG Rewards program is the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa. As the only room type at this property is overwater villas, you can redeem your IHG Rewards points for an overwater villa. The rate is 70,000 IHG Rewards points per night:

As you can see in the small print in the screenshot above, the paid room rates are extraordinarily high. For these two nights where I found award availability, the base rate is $879 per night. After taxes and fees, the all-in price grows to $1,029.63 per night. That means you'd get an incredible 1.47¢ per point.

The huge caveat is that award availability can be extremely hard to find at this property. When award availability does open, it's usually only available for 1-2 nights at a time. So, you're going to need to pair this stay with others around Bora Bora to make a proper trip.

Fall in Fiji

The Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa is one of our favorite IHG sweet spots for point redemptions. Cash rates are regularly north of $400 per night, meaning a four-night stay in September would cost 2,912 Fijian Dollars, or almost US$1,300.

However, at only 40,000 points a night, the 160,000 points required would only cost $800, saving you almost 38% off the cash rate.

If you hold the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, this deal gets even sweeter. Thanks to the Fourth Reward Night Free when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights, you'd only need 120,000 points total for this trip. Buying those points under this promotion costs $600, saving almost 54% off the cash price!

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Annual Fee$89
Welcome Bonus Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • 2X points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

The earning for spending at IHG hotels breaks down as follows:
  • Earn 10X points for being a IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Cardmember
  • Earn 5X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of having this card
  • Earn 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG® Rewards Club Member (Being a cardholder is not required to earn this bonus for participating in the IHG® loyalty program)

Maximizing your Purchase

Unfortunately, IHG Purchases are processed by Points.com—not IHG directly—so they won't trigger any multiplier on cards with travel or hotel purchases as a bonus category. That being the case, your best options are to use the purchase to meet a minimum spending requirement, or to use a card optimized for everyday spending. Here are a few of our favorite options:

It's worth noting that one of the perks offered to cardholders of the IHG Rewards Premier Card is a 20% discount on the purchase of IHG Rewards points. However, this benefit can't be stacked with a buy points promotion. So, you’re better off sticking with one of the cards listed above.

IHG Buy Points History

We have compiled a partial list of the best former IHG buy miles promotions. As you can see, there have been plenty of former promotions that offered 100% bonus points. So, if you don't have an immediate use for IHG Rewards points, you may want to wait for the next promotion.

Promotion EndedMax BonusMin Cents Per Mile
05/01/201980%0.55
11/30/2018100%0.5
10/31/2018100%0.5
09/20/2018100%0.5
08/22/2018100%0.5
06/15/2018100%0.5
03/22/2018100%0.5
12/08/2017100%0.5
11/09/2017100%0.5
05/19/2017100%0.575
12/02/2016100%0.575
11/16/2016100%0.575
09/30/2016100%0.575

Bottom Line

This promotion matches the best price we've ever seen IHG sell points. Admittedly, now might not be the best time to be planning hotel stays. But with over a month before the cutoff date, there's still time to figure out how to take advantage of this pricing for when the travel climate improves. If you have a redemption in mind, it could be a terrific opportunity.

Would you buy IHG points with a 100% bonus?

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Comments

  • Right now I’m afraid to buy points or miles really anywhere given the Aviance bankruptcy and the possibility so many others will do the same. Sell the miles or points, give execs bonuses and file bankruptcy…do you trust corporate America not to do it?

  • Florencia says:

    I think they are very good deals, although I don’t know if I would like to book now for New Year’s Eve 2020 in Portugal.

  • This is a cash generator for a company that needs it for operating expenses now. I keep a small stash of IHG points for last minute stays (when the value is right) and wouldn’t buy anymore however I would treat any purchase as I would like buying “gift certificates” from my local restaurants – assuming they stay in business so when they open again they are still around. if they are close down them I think of it as a donation.

  • It has been awhile since my last IHG stay, so this is a good opportunity to reset the expiration date.

  • No, I wouldn’t buy points right now, even with the bonus. I have a fairly decent stash already, plus I have no idea when I’ll be able to use them. Sure, the points don’t expire (with elite status) and expiration dates are being extended across most if not all programs anyway, but I’d rather hold on to my cash in these uncertain times. The bonus will be back soon enough. Stay safe, everyone!

  • I heard that IHG recently had an offer for 4x on IHG Visa card spend. Any info?

  • Do you expect a devaluation as the company tries to survive the Covid downturn?

  • The offer itself is great, but considering the current coronavirus outbreak, it would be wise to reconsider your plan before making purchase. If you are destined to travel in a certain period, then this is the offer you don’t want to miss. For people who are still hesitant, maybe it’s good to wait for the next available offer just like the author mentioned.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    It’s a good time for this deal. During this massive over reaction to the covid, companies are starting to offer some great deals that benefit the consumer.

  • Long-term planning gives us something to look forward to, so we can cheer up a bit.

  • I can’t believe that I never thought of filling up credit card bonus requirement spending on purchasing points before. I guess that I would prefer spending for immediate and direct usage on travel, rather than just purchasing points to bank for later use.

  • Right now I dont see it as a good time to buy miles.

  • IHG has always been selling points with a 100% bonus, so I’m hoping they will increase the bonus amount to account for the current situation.
    If the bonus goes up beyond 100%, I will definitely buy some.

  • I agree with the other commenters who say “buyer beware.” I’m working on a 140,000 cc IHG bonus at the moment, and there will simply have to be a devaluation after this… based on everything that’s happened over the past few years in this game.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    I don’t think we will be traveling for a long, long time. So, no purchasing points now.

  • I think that the promotion is quite good with my only 7000 points minimum requirements. Unfortunately, with so many travel restrictions now I cannot take advantage of it.

  • The rate at which you are buying points in this promotion appears to be similar to the cash rate paid for points plus cash. Unless there was simmering that I was immediately going to book that was better value in points I wouldn’t buy at the moment. There is too much of a risk of a devaluation in all hotel and airline points/miles schemes at the moment.

  • Here comes the sun, oops, I meant devaluation.

  • As there is the same offer almost each month it’s better to buy points only when necessary so to avaoid any risk of devaluation.

  • I much prefer Hilton as a chain and use IHG as my back up. Although points are a similar cost to buy when you actually compare redemption rates generally IHG seem to be much cheaper for similar standards of hotels in similar areas.

  • Not sure this is a good time to buy points.

    The future is still uncertain for travel and hospitality.

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