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IHG Rewards is back with its best-ever promotion for buying points — but you need a little bit of luck to get it. Now through August 23, targeted members can purchase points with up to a 100% bonus.
When you buy at least 26,000 points, you’re 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.
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 1,000-4,000 points for 1.35 cents per point
- Buy 5,000-10,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.675 cents per point
- Buy 11,000-25,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.575 cents per point
- Buy 26,000-150,000 points + 100% bonus for 0.50 cents per point
If you want to max out this bonus, you can buy 100,000 points and end up with 200,000 points for $1,000:
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.
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 at the 11 remaining hotels by combining these promotions. In addition, there are dozens of PointBreaks hotels — plus hundreds of Category 1 hotels — still available at 10,000 points. There are no tricks needed to get a $50 per night rate 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.
While that was on a prior version of the PointBreaks, there’s plenty of excellent options still available on this version. There are still 8 Crowne Plaza properties 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 0.5 cents each, stays at these properties would cost just $50 per night or $38 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 any card. While Points.com purchases on the Ink Business Preferred have previously earned 3x points, recent purchases have only earned 1x point per dollar.
Instead, consider options like 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, 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). 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 a 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 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 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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