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IHG just launched a buy points flash sale, offering members a 100% bonus on point purchases now through March 16, 2021. This sale provides members the ability to buy IHG points for as little as 0.5 cents each. That matches the best purchase rate that IHG Rewards has sold miles.
A Note on Buying IHG Points
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.
IHG Buy Points Offer Details
- This promotion is valid between 12:00 a.m. ET March 12, 2021 through 11:59 p.m. ET on March 16, 2021.
- Members can receive a 100% bonus when you purchase IHG points.
- You'll receive the best purchase rate when buying at least 30,000 points (pre-bonus).
- To receive the 100% bonus, you must purchase a minimum of 30,000 points.
- You can purchase a maximum of 150,000 IHG points for the term of this promotion. With the 100% bonus, this translates into 300,000 IHG points for $1,500, or 0.5 cents each.
- It may take up to 72 hours for the points to post to your account.
- Point purchases are not refundable.
Great IHG 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 reward night at IHG properties 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.
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 many 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 €367, or around $439 per night. However, the same room on the same night only costs 50,000 points.
But, you'll probably want to stay at least two nights. If you took advantage of the promotion with this stay in mind, you could buy the points required for two nights for $500 — or $250 per night. That's a 43% savings 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, that's what you get with an IHG Rewards booking. The rate (when you can find availability) 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 the night where I found award availability, the base rate is over US$1,000 after taxes and fees. However, if you bought the 70,000 IHG points with a 100% bonus, you'd only pay $350 for the night!
The huge caveat is that award availability can be tough 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.
Spring 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 would cost 2,481 Fijian Dollars, or over US$1,200.
However, at only 40,000 points a night, the 160,000 points required would only cost $920, saving you over $240 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 stay. Buying those points under this promotion costs $600, saving over 50% off the cash price!
- Earn 125,000 bonus points plus a Reward Night 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 up to 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 IHG Points Purchase
IHG point 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:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- Discover it® Miles
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.
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This promotion matches the best price we've ever seen IHG sell points. And it comes at a great time, as many travelers are itching to start booking travel again. If you're one of those travelers, it's worth comparing the cash and points rates for hotels to see if you can save by buying and redeeming points instead of paying cash outright.
Are you buying IHG points with a 100% bonus?
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