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IHG Rewards is back with a decent promotion for buying points. For the month of April, members can purchase points with a 80% bonus. When you buy at least 30,000 points, you’re effectively purchase price drops to just 0.56 cents apiece. At this rate, you can snag PointBreaks hotels for as little as $28 and Category 1 hotels for $56 per night.
The promotion page doesn’t mention it, but it’s important to know that there’s a purchase rate breakpoint 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 7,000-10,000 points + 40% bonus points for 0.96 cents per point
- Buy 11,000-19,000 points + 40% bonus points for 0.82 cents per point
- Buy 20,000-25,000 points + 60% bonus points for 0.72 cents per point
- Buy 26,000-29,000 points + 60% bonus points for 0.63 cents per point
- Buy 30,000-100,000 points + 80% bonus points for 0.56 cents per point
If you want to max out this bonus, you can buy 100,000 points and end up with 180,000 points for $1,000:
Last year, IHG increased the number of points you can buy in a year to 100,000 points, and it’s important to note that bonus points don’t count toward this limit. The terms and conditions state that “members may purchase a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year.” However, some TPG readers report being able to purchase an additional 50,000 points per year after maximizing out the 100,000 limit on a prior bonus.
While buying points without a bonus (almost) never makes sense, buying points through this promotion could make sense for some IHG Rewards members. The optimal 0.56 cents per point purchase rate is just above 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 0.56 cent purchase rate and with IHG PointBreaks hotels available starting at 5,000 points per night, you can score hotel nights for just $28 per night at the three remaining hotels by combining these promotions. In addition, there are dozens of hotels still available at 10,000 points through PointBreaks. There are no tricks needed to get a $56 per night rate at these hotels; just buy points through this promotion and then book a stay now through May 31, 2019.
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 $63 per night at the optimal 0.56 cents purchase rate. I got this excellent rate by combining the 15,000-point nightly PointBreak price with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card‘s fourth night free benefit.
While that was on a prior version of the PointBreaks, there’s plenty of excellent options still available on this version. There are four Crowne Plaza properties still available for 10,000 points per night — or just 30,000 for four nights if you have the IHG Rewards Premier card. When purchasing points at 0.56 cents each, stays at these properties would cost just $56 per night or $42 per night with the fourth night free.
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 most cards. The only card that we tested that got a bonus was the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which earned 3x Ultimate Rewards points — netting the best 6% return on your purchase based on TPG valuations. The runners up were The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, which earns 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 per year and then 1x thereafter (4%) or the Chase Freedom Unlimited‘s 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points (3%) as long has you also have a 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 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months plus an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first six 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 one year living on the road.
Featured image of the InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
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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Earn up to 120,000 points, worth up to $600 with the IHG Rewards Premier Card. With this card you'll get IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status which more than negates the value of the $89 annual fee. You'll also earn 10 points per dollar at IHG hotels, 2 points per dollar on gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening plus an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening
- Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
- Earn 10 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
- IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®