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IHG Rewards has just launched another best-ever promotion for buying points. Through Sept. 24, 2019, members can purchase points with a 100% bonus. There seem to be at least a couple of different versions of this promotion. Some require juts 7,000 points for the 100% bonus while others require a purchase of at least 25,000 points.
Either way, when you buy at least 26,000 points, your effective purchase price drops to just 0.5 cents apiece. At this rate, you can snag PointBreaks hotels for as little as $25 and Category 1 hotels for $50 per night. Even the most expensive hotels — with a couple of exceptions — cost 70,000 points. At 0.5 cents each, you can score an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora for just $350 per night.
Want to celebrate New Years Eve in Times Square? There’s still award availability in the InterContinental Times Square. By pairing this buy-points promotion with the fourth night free benefit on the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you can book this property for just $250 per night — if you have another 10,000 points in your account.
You can get that incredible rate by buying the maximum 200,000 points for $1,000 through this buy points promotion, pairing it with at least 10,000 points already in your account — or transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards — and then redeeming it for a fourth-night free award. No tricks needed!
As mentioned above, there are at least a couple versions of this promotion. One version gives a 100% bonus with purchases starting at 7,000 points. While the promotion page doesn’t mention it, it’s important to know that there’s a purchase rate break-point at 11,000 points and another at 26,000 points. Here’s how the pricing breaks down:
- Buy 1,000-6,000 points for 1.35 cents per point
- Buy 7,000-11,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.675 cents per point
- Buy 12,000-25,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.575 cents per point
- Buy 26,000-100,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.5 cents per point
The maximum number of points you can buy in a year is limited to 100,000 points, and the good news is that bonus points don’t count toward this limit.
If you want to max out this bonus, you can buy 100,000 points and end up with 200,000 points for $1,000:
Meanwhile, other members are targeted to get a 100% bonus starting at 25,000 points, but the flip-side is that the maximum purchase amount has been increased to 150,000 points:
- Buy 1,000-10,000 points for 1.35 cents per point
- Buy 11,000-24,000 points for 1.15 cents per point
- Buy 25,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.575 cents per point
- Buy 26,000-150,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.5 cents per point
While buying points without a bonus (almost) never makes sense, purchasing points through this promotion could make sense for many IHG Rewards members. The optimal 0.5 cents per point purchase rate is right at TPG’s most recent valuations, which peg IHG points at 0.5 cents apiece. This means there’s potential value to be gained for those that know how to use IHG Rewards points.
For instance, at a 0.5 cent purchase rate and with IHG PointBreaks hotels available starting at 5,000 points per night, you can score hotel nights for just $25 per night.
While the list of 5,000-point properties on the PointBreaks list has been ever shrinking, there are typically over 100 hotels discounted to 10,000 points. In addition, there are currently 366 IHG properties that are priced at 10,000 points. By buying points at 0.5 cents per point, you can effectively buy hotel nights at $50 each at these hotels; just buy points through this promotion and redeem them for a stay.
Over the holidays, I took advantage of one of these PointBreaks hotels, staying at the Hotel Indigo in Birmingham, AL for an average of 11,250 points per night — just $56 per night at the optimal 0.5 cents purchase rate. I got this excellent rate by combining the 15,000-point nightly PointBreaks price with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card‘s fourth night free benefit.
Buying points can save a ton of money on your next vacation. However, it’s important to note that you should only consider buying points if you have a specific use in mind for them. Award charts change along with availability and program rules, sometimes without notice. Unfortunately, points and miles are a bad long-term investment.
How to buy points
- Visit IHG’s Buy Points link.
- Enter your name, IHG Rewards Club number, PIN and email address to log in.
- 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.”
Which credit card should you use?
We put this exact question to the test recently. Here’s our full experience, but in summary, since the purchase is processed by Points.com, you won’t earn a travel category bonus from this purchase on any card. While Points.com purchases on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card have previously earned 3x points (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary), recent purchases have only earned 1x point per dollar.
Instead, consider The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which earns 2x Membership Rewards points (a 4% return based on TPG’s valuations) on the first $50,000 per year and then 1x thereafter. The Chase Freedom Unlimited, which awards new cardholders 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent (or 1.5% for existing cardholders) is a great option too. Note that these points can become fully-transferable Ultimate Rewards points (up to a 6% return based on TPG’s valuations) if you also have an Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you don’t have it yet, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a much cheaper and easier way of scoring IHG points. Sign up today and earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. The card also comes with a free anniversary night, fourth-night free award stays and IHG Platinum Elite status — which has gotten me countless upgrades during my nearly two years living on the road.
Featured image of the InterContinental Houston Medical Center courtesy of the hotel
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about IHG’s “buy points” promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.
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