Targeted Offer: 100% Bonus on Buying IHG Rewards Points – Worth It?

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New offer: The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is a great way to pad your IHG balance with 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within the first 3 months.

Now through August 26, 2013, IHG Rewards (formerly Priority Club), is offering targeted elite members the chance to buy points with a 100% bonus.

Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 9.07.05 AM
For 2 weeks, elite members can buy IHG Rewards points at a 100% bonus.

You normally buy Priority Club points at the following price points:

-1,000-10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000
-11,000-25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000
-26,000-60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000

Members can purchase a maximum of 60,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 60,000 points per year. So normally you pay between 1.15-1.35 cents per point, but with this promo, you’re paying between 0.575-0.675 cents per point.

While I don’t usually suggest buying points speculatively, this could be worth it if can max out their value in a few different ways. IHG Rewards runs PointBreaks hotels frequently that only cost 5,000 points a night. With this promo, that would mean free nights for as low as $28.75 or up to $33.75 if you buy smaller increments. You can find the current list here.

However, remember that IHG will allow you to buy the extra points needed to get to an award redemption level for just 0.7 cents apiece. You can redeem points for a free night using your existing points and 5,000 points purchased for $40 (0.8 cents each) up to the total required points; or using your existing points and 10,000 points purchased for $70 (0.7 cents each) to total the required points for a redemption, so even if you don’t take advantage of this promo, you can still get IHG points inexpensively.

Apart from ultra-discounted PointBreaks properties, which tend to be a random assortment in far-flung destinations, you could also max out the bonus by buying 50,000 points for a total of 100,000 at the price of $575.

100,000 points is enough for two award nights in IHG’s top-tier Category 9 hotels (see the IHG award chart below).

IHG Award Nights ChartSo let’s say you wanted to use your points to stay at the new Intercontinental London Westminster for two night next month. The average nightly rate is 246 GBP ($380) or 50,000 points.

Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 9.30.50 AMSo by paying $575 for the points, you’re getting $720 in room value and saving about $150. For an even better example, let’s say you wanted one last end-of-summer jaunt to New York City. You could book a room at the Intercontinental Times Square for 50,000 points a night.

Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 9.36.00 AMThat same room is going for $479 a night, so by buying the points you’d need for this award, you’d be saving $383.

These two were specific examples of where it might make sense to purchase the points necessary, but before you commit to a large points purchase, do your homework and check out the average rates at the hotel(s) you’re interested in visiting, what the award availability is like for when you’re likely to visit, and make your decision from there.

Also remember that if you just need a few thousand points to top up your account for a specific award, you can buy those points at the time of redemption, or if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus cards, you can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points that you earn on them to Priority Club at an instant 1:1 ratio, so you have other options though I get much, much more value in general transferring to Hyatt for hotel stays since top tier properties are only 22,000 points a night. As always, do the math and see if this promo makes sense for you.

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