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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – View the current offers here.
Earning hotel points via the traditional method (actually staying in hotels) is just one way to accumulate points toward your next free hotel night. Fortunately, hotels make it relatively easy to accrue points without traveling, whether through top credit card offers or by utilizing shopping portals and dining reward programs. You can also purchase points directly from the hotel.
For a limited time, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is offering an enticing special for Rewards Club members on buying IHG points. Now through November 3, you’ll get a 100% bonus when you buy at least 5,000 IHG points or more. And, if you buy 26,000 points or more, you’ll only pay 0.5 cents per IHG point.
That means you can score hotel nights for as cheap as $25 per night by buying points through this promotion and spending the points on PointBreaks hotels. That includes IHG category 5 hotels such as the Crowne Plaza Belfast and the Crowne Plaza Chicago, as well as 98 other hotels scattered across 20 countries and 33 US states.
Although Points.com doesn’t make it obvious, there’s actually different purchase rates depending on how many points you buy. Here’s the structure:
- 1,000-4,000 points: no bonus, buying points at 1.35 cents per point
- 5,000-25,000 points: 100% bonus, buying points at 0.575 cents per point
- 26,000+ points: 100% bonus, buying points at 0.5 cents per point
Here’s how to take advantage of the promotion:
- Visit IHG’s Buy Points link.
- Enter your name, IHG Rewards Club number, PIN and email address to log in to Points.com.
- Select the number of points you want to purchase.
- Enter your credit card information and billing address and click Continue.
- Confirm the details, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Pay Now.
Keep in mind that the usual restrictions for purchasing IHG points apply to purchases, including:
- You can purchase points in increments of 1,000 points up to a maximum of 60,000 points per transaction/calendar year (you can also receive an additional 60,000 gifted points per calendar year).
- Allow 24-48 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account.
- Points don’t count toward earning elite status.
Note that the purchase is processed by Points.com, so you won’t get any travel category bonuses from this purchase. Make sure to use the best non-bonus category credit card for your situation. Based on TPG’s point and mile valuations, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express‘s 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 per year; then 1x thereafter or the Chase Freedom Unlimited‘s 1.5% cash back would be the most rewarding choice.
Is It Worth It?
In his most recent valuations, TPG pegs IHG points at 0.7 cents each. With the 100% bonus creating a purchase price of 0.5 cents per point, you’re saving 30% on the value you can reasonably expect to get from redemption.
The best way to take advantage of this deal is to combine it with the new PointBreaks hotel list. If you are visiting a city home to one of the 100 hotels on the list now through the end of January, buying points at 0.5 cents per point means buying hotel nights at $25 per night. That’s about as close to free as you can get — without it actually being free.
Crazy enough, it can get better than this. If you have the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, you get a 10% rebate on redeemed points. Add to that the standard 500 point “welcome gift” many IHG hotels provide their Platinum Elite members (Platinum Elite status is just one benefit that comes with the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card). So, you can end up paying a net of just 4,000 points per night — which is $20 per night if purchasing points at 0.5 cents each.
If the PointBreaks list doesn’t jive with your travel schedule, it’s still worth checking the point redemption rates at other IHG hotels that might work with your plans. Check to see if you’d be able to book the hotel cheaper by buying and redeeming points than paying for the hotel outright.
This is a great promotion to take advantage of if you have an upcoming hotel stay. At the purchase rate of 0.5 cents per point, you’ll be able to book PointBreaks hotels for $25 per night, category 1 hotels for $50 per night, category 2 hotels for $75 per night, etc.
Featured image by the InterContinental Times Square.
How many points are you buying during this promo?
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