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Why you shouldn't transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, even with the 50% transfer bonus

July 19, 2022
4 min read
Holiday Inn sign in Australia
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Taking advantage of transfer bonuses is one of the best ways to stretch your stash of points and miles for more trips and bigger savings. But one thing you should know is that not all transfer bonuses are a good deal.

In fact, some are offensively rotten. Don’t be drawn into utilizing a transfer bonus just because the transfer ratio looks generous.

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Case in point: You’ll receive a 50% bonus when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG. That may sound like a no-brainer — but we’ll show you why it’s a bad idea.

Get a 50% bonus when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG

(Photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Getty Images)

Here’s the simple reason transfer bonuses are sometimes a bad idea: All points are not created equal.

For example, TPG valuations find that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents each, on average — while IHG One Rewards are worth just 0.5 cents each.

Related: What are points and miles worth?

Chase currently offers a 50% bonus when transferring Ultimate Rewards to IHG. That’s a ratio of 2:3. But based on TPG valuations, that’s like trading 4 cents worth of rewards for 1.5 cents. It's quite a bad deal unless you need just a few thousand more points for a particular award stay.

Take the Holiday Inn Express Columbus — Ohio Expo Center. You can reserve the hotel for 24,000 IHG points (or by transferring 16,000 Chase points to IHG during this transfer bonus).

(Screenshot from ihg.com)

TPG valuations estimate 16,000 Chase points to be worth $320. But the cash rate for this same room is just $116. In other words, even with this 50% bonus, the value you’ll get for your Chase points is severely below average.

Related: When to transfer Ultimate Rewards and when to book directly

(Screenshot from ihg.com)

In this scenario, you’ll save 6,500 Chase points (or more, depending on which Ultimate Rewards card you have) by foregoing the transfer bonus and simply booking the stay with points through the Chase Travel Portal. Chase points are worth between 1.25 and 1.5 cents each when redeemed this way.

(Screenshot from ultimaterewardstravel.chase.com)

Even cashing out your points at a rate of 1 cent each would save you thousands of points over using the current transfer bonus.

Related: Best Chase Ultimate Rewards sweet spots

Bottom line

There are a few Chase Ultimate Rewards partners that are rarely a good transfer option — even with a healthy transfer bonus. IHG One Rewards is one of those partners.

To decide if a transfer bonus is a good idea, consult TPG’s monthly valuations and do the math to see if the value you’re getting is above or below the value of our average points.

That said, some transfer bonuses are excellent deals. Be sure to bookmark our transfer bonus page, which is updated regularly. We’ll let you know when a showstopper pops up.

Featured image by (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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1 - 3X points
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670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases