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Update: This offer is targeted. The 10% redemption rebate is for those who have the Chase IHG Rewards Club credit card.
IHG Rewards (formerly Priority Club) is offering a 60% bonus for purchasing 10,000 or more points through August 18, 2014. IHG offers bonuses for points purchases every so often, ranging from 25% to 100%, so this offer is about average compared to past promotions.
Points can be purchased in increments of 1,000 at the following rates:
- 1,000-10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
- 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
- 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
This usually equates to spending 1.15-1.35 cents per point. In my most recent monthly valuations, I list IHG Rewards as being worth 0.7 cents apiece, so the normal purchase rate provides poor value. With the 60% bonus, however, that rate can get as low as 0.719 cents per point for 26,000 or more. While that’s still more than my valuation, it’s close enough to be useful in a few scenarios, as I’ll describe below.
To purchase points, log in through the link provided above, and select the number of points you want as shown in the screenshot above. The bonus points will show up next to the purchased points where applicable. If you don’t see any bonus points listed, you may not be eligible for this promotion. I have no official word that the bonus is targeted, but there could be other reasons why certain members would be ineligible. If that’s the case for you, these promotions come around every so often, so you can get in on the next one.
First, you can find IHG properties where the cash rate is much higher than the cost of buying the points and redeeming for an award night. For example, an award night at the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam is 40,000 points, while the typical cash rate is €420 ($564) per night. With the current promotion, you could buy 26,000 IHG Rewards Club points and get 15,600 bonus points (a total of 41,600 points) for $299, saving you almost 50% off the cash price.
Second, if you need points to top up your account in advance of an award redemption, you may as well get them now while they’re at a discount. Say, for example, you needed 16,000 more points to complete your award stay.Normally you’d have to pay $200 to purchase those 16,000 points, but with the 60% promotion, you can instead pay $135 for 10,000 points and receive the extra 6,000 bonus points free.
Finally, the new IHG PointBreaks list for July 28 – September 30 goes live on Monday. IHG PointBreaks are discounted award nights in select properties worldwide that go for just 5,000 points per night. The most desirable properties tend to sell out quickly, so if you find yourself wanting to book a PointBreaks room, but don’t have enough points on hand, buying points with this bonus could make sense, since the PointBreaks discount is so steep.
As an example from the previous PointBreaks list, a night at the Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park typically starts around $95, or costs 25,000 points, so a seven night stay would cost about $665 or 175,000 points. With the PointsBreak discount, that award stay would cost only 35,000 points, which you could buy during the current 60% bonus promotion for just $275.
Note that with IHG Rewards, there’s a trick you can use any time (no promotion needed) to buy points for 0.6 cents apiece. This involves making a “cash and points” reservation, which you then cancel. The cash portion is then refunded to you in the form of points, which you’ve effectively purchased at 0.7 cents each (or 0.63 cents with the 10% redemption rebate given to those who have the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card from Chase). However, you must have at least 5,000 points in your IHG Rewards account to book using cash and points, so for those who have low balances or don’t feel comfortable navigating that kind of redemption, the current bonus is almost as good.
If you’re looking for other ways to boost your IHG Rewards balance, consider the aforementioned IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card from Chase, which currently offers 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, and comes with a free night at any IHG hotel each year upon your account anniversary. You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to IHG, though this should only be done selectively to take advantage of PointBreaks or other promotions, since Ultimate Rewards are otherwise much more valuable. Those thinking of using this option should consider the current in-branch offer for the Chase Ink Plus card of 70,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.
A few notes from the terms and conditions (as of July 2014):
“Offer available for purchases made between 6:00 PM ET July 24 and 11:59 PM ET August 18, 2014 inclusive. Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Only purchases made online are eligible for the bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards