Buying IHG Points With a 100% Bonus — Reader Success Story

Aug 5, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Today I want to share a story from TPG reader David, who got a steep discount on a hotel stay in Boston:

My wife is hoping to be a charity runner for the Boston Marathon next year. She has to apply, be accepted and raise funding for the charity, but we’re hopeful all that will happen. We’re looking at lodging, but hotels where the race shuttles pick up around the Boston Common are extraordinarily expensive for that weekend. There are some Airbnb options farther away, but they’re still expensive, and I think the area around the Common will be better for entertaining our two little kids until my wife finishes.

I saw IHG’s promotion for a 100% bonus on points purchases, and though I know buying points doesn’t often make sense, I realized this could save us money. I paid $1,000 for 100,000 points, which doubled with the current promotion to 200,000 points. Combined with the points I already had, that was enough for four nights at the Kimpton Nine Zero. The cash rate for those four nights was almost $3,200.

I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (in part because of the reduced PointBreaks offerings lately), so we won’t be getting a fourth night free. But I still have my old Rewards Club Select card, so in addition to a great stay with a nice breakfast in a hotel close to where we want to be (and for a fraction of the cost), we’ll receive 10% of the points we spent back after the stay. This felt like pretty good value to me for the location and the ability to cancel.

David’s story is a textbook example of when buying rewards makes sense. His purchase met all the criteria: he was able to buy IHG points at a substantial discount, he had an immediate plan to redeem them (that is, he wasn’t buying speculatively), and most importantly, the redemption value was well above the purchase price. These might seem like exceptional circumstances induced by a major sporting event, but the same strategy may also be fruitful over a holiday, during peak travel times, or anytime rates are high. One caveat: points purchases generally don’t process right away, so I don’t recommend this approach if you’re booking at the last minute.

Earlier this year, Ethan Steinberg made a compelling case for why you shouldn’t upgrade from the old IHG Select card to the new IHG Premier card. However, I think there’s a case to be made for pairing the Select card with either the Premier card or the lower-tier IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, both of which offer the Fourth Reward Night. That benefit alone increases the value of your points by as much as one third on stays of four nights or longer, and as David indicated, it stacks with the 10% rebate on the Select card, so you can save even more on an already discounted stay. The combination is an easy win for anyone who books IHG award stays regularly.

The information for the IHG Traveler Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Related: The Best Credit Card for Buying IHG Rewards Points

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending David a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually, but we’ll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured photo courtesy of the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.