Buy IHG points for just 0.5 cents each through Nov. 8, 2021

Oct 30, 2021

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It’s not a stretch to say IHG Rewards are my favorite hotel points. After all, even after IHG Rewards moved to dynamic award pricing, I’ve still been able to get excellent value from IHG points. In particular, I’ve regularly gotten significantly more than TPG’s valuation of IHG Rewards points (0.5 cents per point).

So, I’m generally happy to buy IHG Rewards points during buy points promotions for 0.5 cents per point. And through Nov. 8, 2021, you can buy IHG points for as little as 0.5 cents per point. Today, I’ll take a closer look at this IHG buy points promotion and whether you should consider it.

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In This Post

Should I buy IHG Rewards points now?

Mr. & Mrs. Smith Kvosin Hotel in Reykjavik
You can book the Mr. & Mrs. Smith Kvosin Hotel in Reykjavik with IHG Rewards points. (Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

I typically buy the maximum number of IHG Rewards points each year during a 100% bonus buy points promotion. After all, IHG Rewards buy points promotions don’t get better than 0.5 cents per point.

Pre-pandemic (before IHG introduced dynamic award pricing), I easily got more than 0.5 cents per IHG Rewards point when I tried to maximize my IHG Rewards redemptions. Getting substantially more than 0.5 cents per point is still feasible – and since the end of 2021 is rapidly approaching, this promotion could be your last chance to buy IHG points at 0.5 cents per point in 2021.

This being said, it’s usually best to only buy points if you have a specific redemption in mind. Luckily, most IHG Rewards award bookings are flexible until shortly before your arrival date. So, you may want to buy IHG Rewards points now and lock in low award rates for future trips.

Also, remember that IHG Rewards uses dynamic award pricing. So, although we’re still seeing the positive side of dynamic award pricing with low award night rates in many regions, prices and award rates will rise as travel demand increases. At the same time, IHG could decide at any time to change its award pricing algorithm to provide lower redemption value.

Related: Rollover nights, bonus points and extensions: Here’s what IHG Rewards is doing for its members in 2021

IHG buy points flash sale details

Pool at the Kimpton Goodland Hotel
You can redeem IHG points to stay at the Kimpton Goodland Hotel. (Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

IHG’s current buy points flash sale offers 100% bonus points on IHG Rewards point purchases of 30,000 points or more. So if you buy 30,000 points for $300, you’ll wind up with 60,000 points in your account.

You can typically only purchase a maximum of 150,000 points per calendar year, but during this IHG Rewards buy points promotion, IHG has raised the number of points you can buy in a year to 250,000. So, you could buy 250,000 points for $2,500 during this promotion and get 250,000 bonus points, for a total haul of 500,000 points.

Note that points purchases are non-refundable and it may take up to 72 hours for purchased points to appear in your account. Additionally, note that this flash sale may only be available to select members. After all, the offer terms note it is an “exclusive, non-transferable offer for intended recipients only.” You can check whether you’re targeted by going to IHG’s buy points page and logging in.

Related: 6 ways IHG Rewards should improve its loyalty program

Are IHG points worth it?

This IHG buy points deal is a solid way to scoop up points for cheap. And, as I mentioned above, it’s currently easy to get more than 0.5 cents per point in value from your IHG Rewards points.

For example, consider a weekend stay at the Hotel Indigo Austin Downtown-University in Austin, Texas. For a sample stay in April, you could pay $358 or 57,500 points per night. During this sale, you could get 116,000 IHG points for $580 and then redeem these points for a two-night stay. By doing so, you’d get your two-night stay for $136 less than if you’d booked a paid rate.

Redeeming IHG points for a stay
(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

The scale of your savings may be even greater on some stays. For example, consider if you wanted to stay at Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives. You could book a four-night stay in March 2022 for 100,000 points or $1,527 per night. If you got 400,000 points during this sale for $2,000, you could get a massive discount on your stay. And if you’re eligible for a fourth-night reward when paying with points, you’d snag your stay for even fewer points.

Redeeming IHG points for Six Senses Laamu
(Screenshot courtesy of sixsenses.com)

Look at your upcoming travel plans to see if you can save money by purchasing IHG Rewards points instead of paying cash for your stays. If you can, buying points may be worth it.

Related: Why I often choose IHG and Choice hotels, despite limited elite perks

Frequently asked questions about buying IHG Rewards points

InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso
InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

You may have other questions about buying IHG Rewards points. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

How else can I earn IHG Rewards points?

This buy points promotion isn’t the only way to earn IHG Rewards points. For example, you could sign up for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. In addition to a decent sign-up bonus offer, this card offers other IHG-specific perks, including the valuable fourth-night reward perk. This perk will help you stretch your IHG Rewards points further when you redeem IHG points for stays of four nights or longer.

You can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG Rewards, but I don’t usually recommend doing this, since TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents per point, which is a whole 1.5 cents per point more than IHG Rewards points. As such, you’ll typically find more value when you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to other programs.

Check out our guide to earning IHG Rewards points for more ideas. For example, you can earn IHG Rewards points by enrolling in IHG Rewards Club Dining.

Related: Why I’m happy to pay the annual fee on the IHG Premier Card

How much does it cost to buy IHG Rewards points?

Currently, you can buy IHG Rewards points for as low as 0.5 cents per point. When there isn’t a buy points promotion, you’ll need to pay between 1 cent and 1.35 cents per IHG Rewards point.

Which credit card should I use to buy IHG Rewards points?

When you buy IHG Rewards points, Points.com processes the transaction instead of IHG. As such, your purchase won’t code as travel and you won’t earn a travel category bonus if you use one of the top travel rewards credit cards. So, you’ll want to use one of the best cards for everyday spending, such as The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Related: The best credit cards for buying points and miles

Bottom line

When IHG Rewards offers a 100% buy points promotion, it’s time to seriously consider whether you need to stock up on IHG Rewards points. But, since IHG Rewards uses dynamic pricing, there’s always a risk in buying points if you aren’t 100% sure you’ll go on the award trip you book with the points you’ve purchased.

Featured image of Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives courtesy of IHG Rewards.

Additional reporting by JT Genter, Joseph Hostetler and Andrew Kunesh.

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.