Can you buy IHG points for 0.46 cents per point?

We have written about past promotions to buy IHG points for less than half a penny each. It appears that a similar promotion is back, but it is targeted. A couple of days ago, reader Biggie F commented on a previous post to note that he had found a rate offering points as low as 0.46 cents per point. I proceeded to check that hotel for every single date in September and did not find the same rate (while also checking a number of other cities). However, this morning, Doctor of Credit is reporting the promotion as well for discounted cash copays on stays through 9/30/17. In the past, this promotion was targeted to Chase IHG credit card holders. However, neither Greg nor I are seeing these rates and we are both card holders — apparently, this one is more closely targeted than past promotions. But if you’re in the market for IHG points, it’s worth logging in to check for this offer as you can certainly get much more value out of the points with the right redemptions, such as IHG PointBreaks.


This screen shot is an example from the previous sale — this is the type of price you’re looking for

Review on buying points through cash & points

For those new to the method: IHG cash & points bookings are a way to buy IHG points cheaply. When you make a cash & points booking, IHG charges your card immediately for the cash copay. The terms shown when making your booking explicitly state that if plans change and you later cancel your booking, you will not be refunded in cash but rather in points (but make sure to check the cancellation policy for the hotel you choose).

This means that your cash copay is essentially buying points to make up the difference between the points you are using and the full points award cost. For example, in the image above, you can either pay 35,000 points for a free night or as few as 15,000 points + $92. If book cash & points and later cancel your reservation, IHG will refund you 35,000 points — meaning that you have effectively purchased 20,000 points for $92 (35K – 15K = 20K for $92, a rate of 0.46 cents per point). It’s usually possible to find properties where you can buy points for less than 0.6 cents per point, but this rate matches the lowest we’ve seen.

Bottom line

If you have a redemption in mind, it can make sense to buy IHG points at this discounted rate. There are certainly times when IHG points provide a very poor value, as shown here:

Betcha didn’t know IHG points could have negative value….

However, there are also times when you could get over 1 cent per point. IHG PointBreaks hotels only cost 5,000 points per night — buying 20,000 points for $92 could get you 4 nights at a PointBreaks hotel (a net cost of $23 per night). While the PointBreaks list may not be full of the most glamorous vacation destination resorts, it’s hard to beat $23 a night. Of course, points can also be useful for times when cash prices are high — events, last-minute bookings, etc. I wouldn’t speculatively buy a massive stockpile of IHG points, but with a use in mind they can be a good buy at this rate. I don’t believe we have seen a lower rate (though we did previously see a similar rate earlier this year).  We’re still not sure how this one was targeted as it does not seem to be available to all IHG cardholders, but it only takes a few seconds to check.

Were you targeted for this sale? Did you get the same rates?

H/T: Doctor of Credit

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About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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  1. Yeah, I should have made it clear that I got it because I was a Chase Visa IHG cardholder. Weird that it doesn’t (didn’t) go to all such folks.

  2. I just saw this on DofC and I have been trying for about 20 minutes following their suggestions of where and when to try and I found …nada. I was signed into my IHG account and have their credit card but I wasn’t able to find any marked down prices.

  3. I found the $24 rate for 5,000 points at Holiday Inn Express, San Diego Downtown on September 12th. It says because I am an IHG credit card holder.

  4. From my Q on twitter:
    “Glad to hear from our IHG Rewards Club members! I am sorry to inform you that the promo for Points + Cash 20% discount offer had already ended last May 31, 2017. To learn more about our current offers, visit our http://www.ihgrewardsclub,com

  5. Might be too nitty but I think its actually slightly less than .45cpp because you earn 5 points with the IHG mastercard on the purchase don’t you?

    9200c / 20460 = 0.4497

  6. I’m not so sure that it’s narrowly targeted based on the individual. It seems to be more narrowly available based on property location, price level, days of the week (weekend vs weekday) and duration of stay. I’ve seen it available based on shorter, weekend stays at some of the more expensive properties.

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