Buy IHG points with up to 75% bonus, just 0.57 cents per point
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
IHG Rewards has launched its first buy-points promotion of the year. Now through Feb. 27, 2020, members can purchase points with up to a 75% bonus. Plus, targeted IHG Rewards members can buy up to 150,000 points before the 75% bonus. That means eligible members can buy up to 262,500 IHG Rewards points through this offer at a rate of just 0.57 cents each.
While buying points without a bonus (almost) never makes sense, purchasing points through this promotion could make sense for some IHG Rewards members. The optimal 0.57 cents per point purchase rate is just over TPG’s most recent valuations, which peg IHG points at 0.5 cents apiece. That means there’s potential value to be gained for those who know how to use IHG Rewards points.
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At this rate, you can snag PointBreaks hotels for as little as $28.50 and Category 1 hotels for $57 per night. Even the most expensive hotels — with a couple of exceptions — cost 70,000 points. At 0.57 cents each, you can score an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora for just $399 per night if you can find the availability.
Want to get away for Spring Break? There’s still plenty of availability at IHG hotels in sunny destinations like Miami Beach, starting at 45,000 IHG points per night.
A new round of IHG PointBreaks hotels should be coming out at the end of the month. While the list of properties available for 5,000 points per night isn’t normally impressive, you can score hotel nights at these hotels for just $28.50 per night.
PointBreaks discounts some hotels to 10,000 points, plus there are around 366 IHG properties that are regularly priced at the same level. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our roundup of the best domestic and international 10k properties. By buying points at 0.57 cents per point, you can effectively buy hotel nights at $57 each at these hotels; just buy points through this promotion and redeem them for a stay.
Last year, my wife Katie and I took advantage of a PointBreaks offer to stay at the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort for just 15,000 points per night. At 0.57 cents per point, that’s just $85.50 per night if we bought points through this promotion for this redemption.
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.
Sold on buying points to make this happen? Let’s dive into the details of this promotion. Many TPG staffers have this version of the bonus:
Bonus starting at 7,000 points with a 150,000-point cap: This offer gives members the chance to get a bonus when buying 7,000 points or more. But, you’re going to need to buy just a little more than that to get the optimal rate. While the promotion page doesn’t mention it, it’s important to know that there are purchase rate breakpoints at 7,000 points and another at 26,000 points. Here’s how the pricing breaks down:
- Buy 1,000 to 6,000 points for 1.35 cents per point
- Buy 7,000 to 25,000 points for 0.66 cents per point
- Buy 26,000 to 150,000 points for 0.575 cents per point
The maximum number of points you can buy in a year is increased to 150,000 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 150,000 points and end up with 262,500 points for $1,500:
Another version of the bonus some TPG staff received offers a 50% bonus when you purchase 5,000 to 14,000 points, and a 75% bonus for 15,000 points or more.
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 what we found. In summary, since the purchase is processed by Points.com, you won’t earn a travel category bonus from this purchase on any card.
So you’ll want to consider everyday spending cards like 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 offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases is a great option too. Note that the cash back can become fully-transferable Ultimate Rewards points (up to a 3% 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. You’ll earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The card also comes with a reward anniversary night, fourth-night-reward stays and IHG Platinum Elite status — which got me countless upgrades during my nearly two years living on the road before I earned Spire Elite status.
Featured photo courtesy of InterContinental Houston Medical Center.
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.