Buy IHG points for just 0.5 cents each through Sept. 9, 2021

Sep 2, 2021

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It’s not a stretch to say IHG Rewards are my favorite hotel points. And even after IHG Rewards moved to dynamic award pricing, I’ve still been able to get 1.24 cents per IHG point. This redemption rate is more than twice TPG’s valuation of IHG Rewards points (0.5 cents per point) and the rate at which you can currently buy IHG Rewards points.

That’s right: IHG is currently offering another buy points sale. From now through Sept. 9, 2021, IHG Rewards is selling points with a 100% bonus. This cuts the cost of IHG Rewards points to 0.5 cents per point, which can be an excellent way to subsidize the cost of future IHG hotel stays.

Today, I’ll take a closer look at this promotion and discuss whether or not this IHG buy points promotion is a good deal.

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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.

Even pre-pandemic and 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. However, as my current IHG Rewards award bookings show, it’s still easy to get substantially more than 0.5 cents per point.

This being said, it’s typically 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, it can be a good idea to buy IHG Rewards points now and book your future trips.

One crucial aspect to remember is that IHG Rewards uses dynamic award pricing. So, although we’re seeing the positive side of dynamic award pricing now with low award night rates, prices and award rates will likely rise as travel demand increases. And 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 Club 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 points. 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.

However, note that points purchases are non-refundable. It may take up to 72 hours to post to your account and award stays don’t count towards earning IHG Rewards elite status.

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 much 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, TX. For a sample stay in February, you could pay $263 or 33,000 points per night. And, during this sale, you could get 66,000 IHG points for $330 and then redeem these points for a two-night stay. By doing so, you’d get your two-night stay for $196 less than if you’d booked a paid rate.

Booking award nights at a Holiday Indigo in Austin, TX
(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

The scale of your savings may be greater on some stays, though. For example, consider if you wanted to stay at the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort. Unfortunately, the dates you can book with points at this resort are limited. But, there are some dates currently available.

For example, you could book a three-night stay in March 2022 for 120,000 points or $1,398 per night. If you got 360,000 points during this sale for $1,800, you could effectively get three award nights for half the cost of a three-night paid stay. Of course, I’d recommend staying four nights and getting a fourth night reward when paying with points if you’re eligible.

Booking award nights in the Maldives
(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.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 and booking your rooms now 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 questions about buying IHG Rewards points. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

How else can I earn IHG Rewards points?

This buy points promotion isn’t the only way to earn IHG Rewards points, though. For example, you could sign-up for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. In addition to a sizable 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. However, 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 Chase Freedom Unlimited.

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 the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa by JT Genter/The Points Guy.

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

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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.

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.