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While it isn’t the most valuable hotel loyalty program out there, you can still get plenty of value out of IHG Rewards. TPG’s latest valuations peg IHG points at 0.5 cents each, but you can get a lot more value out of them at a number of hotels and through promotions like PointBreaks.

And now through May 10, targeted members can generate IHG points for as little as 0.46 cents per point using a Points & Cash promotion. Here’s how it works.

IHG Points & Cash bookings are billed as a way to book a hotel stay when you don’t have enough points, as you pay for the stay partially with points and partially with cash. However, if you then need to cancel the stay, you don’t get any of the cash portion back. That amount is “converted” to points and refunded to your IHG Rewards Club account. In other words, you can effectively buy IHG points through the Points & Cash redemption option, with rates as low as 0.575 cents per point.

This hasn’t been necessary as of late, given the program’s 80% bonus on purchases of IHG points (0.56 cents each) and Daily Getaways deal (0.5 cents each). Why go through the bother of “buying” points through Points & Cash when you could’ve straight-up bought points at a lower rate?

Well you now have a reason, since this flash sale offers 20% off the cash portion of Points & Cash bookings and thus drops the potential purchase rate of IHG points as low as 0.46 cents each.

Details of the deal:

  • Save 20% off the cash portion of the booking
  • Book by May 10, 2019
  • Stays now through July 1, 2019
  • The Venetian and The Palazzo hotels are excluded

Unfortunately, this promotion is targeted and neither Katie or I were targeted. It seems the only way of knowing for sure whether or not you’re targeted is to log into your account and search for a Points & Cash award. If the search results look like this, you’re not targeted:

If the cash prices have a strike-through with a lower price, you’re targeted for this promotion.

However, your search is just beginning. Not all hotels have the same Points & Cash discount rate. So the trick is to search around to find a hotel with a low enough rate. In our hunting here at TPG, the best rate that we could find is a 0.575 cents per point rate (before the 20% discount) such as at InterContinental Hotels New York Barclay:

Again, since the cash portion of these stays is refunded in points if you cancel, that discount breaks down to:

  • 5,000 points for $30 = 0.6 cents per point
  • 10,000 points for $60 = 0.6 cents per point
  • 15,000 points for $89 = 0.593 cents per point
  • 20,000 points for $115 = 0.575 cents per point

If you’re targeted for the 20% discount, this will be reduced to:

  • 5,000 points for $24 = 0.48 cents per point
  • 10,000 points for $48 = 0.48 cents per point
  • 15,000 points for $71 = 0.475 cents per point
  • 20,000 points for $92 = 0.46 cents per point

And by putting this purchase on your IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’ll get 10x IHG points from the purchase. In this example, you’ll get 20,000 points from the Points & Cash booking plus 920 points from the IHG purchase for a total of 20,920 points at a cost of $92 for a net rate of 0.44 cents per point.

If you don’t already have the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you can currently get a sign-up bonus of 80,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three. In addition to the 10x points on IHG purchases, you’ll also enjoy automatic Platinum Elite status (which I’ve used to get numerous suite upgrades in my travels), a fourth night free on all award stays and a free night on your card anniversary (valid at hotels up to 40,000 points per night).

Of course, if you’re targeted for this promotion you could also just book a room and save some of your points for a future redemption. Simply login to your account and search for your stay. But hurry, the promotion ends May 10.

Know before you go.

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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.

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