IHG is offering reduced-price Points & Cash rates to elite members that result in some solid prices for buying IHG points — as low as .488 cents per point — maybe even less.
- Make Points & Cash bookings at a discount of 15% on the cash portion (note that the cash portion has some variance from hotel to hotel)
- Valid for IHG Elite members, including those with Platinum status courtesy of the IHG Rewards Mastercard
- Valid for bookings made by November 29, 2017 for stays through January 31, 2017
IHG Points & Cash bookings are basically a chance to buy IHG points on the cheap. When you make a Points & Cash booking, your credit card is charged immediately for the cash portion of the booking. Should you later cancel the reservation, you do not receive a refund to your credit card — you instead receive the points difference between the IHG points you used and those needed for a full award stay. For example, I looked up a random December date at a Holiday Inn Express in San Francisco and saw the following award stay rates:
If you were to make a reservation for 30,000 points + $55.25, you are effectively buying 10,000 points for $55.25. Should you later cancel, you would receive 40,000 points returned to your IHG account (30,000 points you used plus the 10,000 you bought for $55.25). That would be a cost of .55 cents per point. However, you’ll find better rates available at other hotels. For example, I tried another hotel and found the cash portions a bit cheaper:
But the cheapest I’ve seen is the rate found by Ric Garrido of Loyalty Traveler at the Intercontinental Monterrey The Clement:
At the bottom end, you’re buying 20,000 points for $97.75 — that’s a rate of just .48875 cents per point. That’s a price I like for IHG points. They come in handy now and then — for example, my sister-in-law is running a half marathon tomorrow morning. We’ll be rooting her on, and I was able to book a room within walking distance of the start/finish line at a nice savings over the cash price thanks to opportunities like this to buy points cheaply (and without transferring more valuable points). I don’t generally prefer to buy points over earning them — but if you have a near-future use for the points, you could get much better value than the selling price.
I wouldn’t generally suggest buying points speculatively, but with the right redemption in mind, this can be a good price.
H/T: Loyalty Traveler