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If you’ve booked a hotel directly through IHG’s site, you’ve probably noticed the option to reduce your points rate by adding some cash. For example, rather than redeeming 50,000 for an entirely free night, you could instead redeem 45,000 points + $40 or 40,000 points + $70, in which you’re effectively purchasing points for 0.8 or 0.7 cents each, respectively.
TPG values IHG points at 0.7 cents each, so neither of these options were an absolute must — However, IHG just added a third points + cash redemption option at some of its pricier properties, and it’s definitely worth considering.
Now, when you search for higher-end IHG hotels, such as InterContinental properties in key markets, you’ll see an option to save 15,000 points by paying $90. In the InterContinental Hong Kong example above, that drops the price from 50,000 points per night to 35,000 points, plus $90. With this new option, you’re essentially purchasing points for 0.6 cents each, which is well below TPG’s valuation.
Better yet, if you book using points plus cash and you cancel your reservation, you’ll receive a refund of the full points amount, including those you “purchased.” While IHG often offers points for as little as 0.575 cents each, there’s usually a minimum purchase requirement, making this a great option for buying points throughout the year.
H/T: One Mile at a Time