We’ve written in the past about the IHG points and cash trick. Essentially, if you book an IHG points and cash reward stay, IHG sells you the points to make up the difference between the full points cost and the number of points you are contributing. If your plans later change and you cancel the stay, you will not receive a refund in cash, but rather in the points you purchased for the award.
Typically, points and cash awards allow you to buy points at the rate of about 0.57 cents per point. Recently, there has been some fluctuation in the cost of the cash portion. First, there was a specific promotion for IHG Rewards Credit Card holders for 15% off the cash portion of such an award, though that promotion required bookings to be made by February 12th for stays through March 31st. Currently, pricing has gotten even better — there are opportunities to buy IHG points for as little as 0.506 cents each.
Looking at the Holiday Inn Express Union Square, we can see a lot of fluctuation in the cash portion of the points and cash rate depending on the dates of stay:
But then we see the winner — April 1-2 at this property produced a cash rate of just $101 for 20,000 points — just 0.506 cents per point:
This phenomenon is not limited to a single property. Here is the Hotel Indigo Chicago Downtown Gold Coast for April 8-9th:
These rates appear available through April 30th. I see several Chicago properties at this rate on April 30th, but starting on May 1st the discounted cash portion disappears:
Judging from how widespread the discounts seem to be, it should be possible to find a number of other properties and dates. I’m also seeing points for sale at other price points between 0.506-0.55.
Best of luck searching!
HT: Reader Tom