We have written in the past about the ability to cheaply buy IHG points with Points & Cash bookings. In a nutshell, when booking a Points & Cash rate with IHG, you are actually buying points with the cash co-pay — your card is immediately charged. If you later cancel your reservation, you are refunded in points rather than cash.
We reported last month about some properties where it was possible to use this method to buy points from just .506 cents per point. The deal has gotten better. Charlie at Running with Miles reported this morning on the ability to buy points for as little as .5 cents each at some properties. We have since found some hotels where it is possible to buy points for just .46 cents each!
As an example, this Crowne Plaza in San Francisco normally costs 45,000 points. If you book the last points + cash option, you must pay 25,000 points and $92 in cash. This means you are “buying” 20,000 points (45,000 – 25,000) for $92 — or .46 cents per point.
IHG makes it very clear that you are buying the points for the transaction, like in this example reserving 2 nights — buying 40,000 points for $184:
That hotel isn’t the only option. We also see some properties in Chicago with these rates:
Note that the text above the Points & Cash rates states that this is an offer for Platinum Elite members. Those who are IHG Credit Card holders automatically receive Platinum status. However, Charlie reports that he has no elite status and was able to see discounted Points & Cash rates.
There are surely plenty of other examples if you hunt around. My initial searches in May tuned up these rates, but searches in June did not show the discount. Look for dates with award availability in May.
Remember that the PointBreaks list will be live for bookings today — meaning that through this deal, you could buy the 5,000 points required per night for just $23. While many of the PointBreaks hotels are not luxury vacation destinations, I’m sure that many are an absolute steal at $23 a night.
H/T: Running with Miles