(EXPIRED) Buy IHG points from 0.48c each [Targeted for cardholders]

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Frequent Miler author Stephen Pepper received an email today about what looks like a targeted promotion from IHG: get 20% off on Points & Cash bookings (presumably on the cash portion). This makes it possible to buy IHG points from 0.48c each. The terms indicate it is available for IHG credit card holders on bookings made by September 20th, 2018 and consumed by November 4, 2018. The public landing pages specify that it is for IHG Rewards Club Premier or IHG Rewards Club Traveler cardholders — I only have the IHG Rewards Club Select card and was not targeted. If you are targeted, this could be a good opportunity to score a nice discount on IHG points.

The Deal

Key Terms

  • Must book by September 20, 2018 and consume by November 4, 2018
  • Cash portion is nonrefundable. If your award stay is canceled in accordance with the hotel’s cancellation policy, points will be redposited into your account
  • See promotion page for more terms

Quick Thoughts

This looks like it could be a good deal if you’e targeted. Some properties have a “regular” price of $120 for 20K points (0.6 cents each). Saving 20% on the cash portion would bring the cost of points down to 0.48 cents each, which would be a solid deal for IHG points. See an example here:

The above screenshot is from an InterContinental property in San Francisco, but you can surely find more examples by hunting around.

IHG Premier and IHG Traveler (which was apparently pulled without notice at some point and is not available for new applicants at this time) cardholders could then later leverage those cheap points further with a 4th night free on award stays and/or those with the IHG Select card (old $49 version no longer available) can stack a 10% rebate when using points. That could all amount to some cheap stays on the lower end of IHG Rewards.

Keep in mind that Points & Cash bookings are excluded for most of the activities targeted in the Fall IHG promotion, so you won’t be able to stack this with those achievements. However, if you’re looking for cheap points for an award stay, this might do the trick.

Last updated on September 22nd, 2018

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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losingtrader
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losingtrader

Doesn’t make sense the points have to be consumed by a specific date if you book and then cancel you just get points redeposited and they are good for how long?

Neil
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Neil

I got the email and twice tried making a reservation but both times got an error. I do have the legacy card (forget the exact name, but the one with the $49 fee and annual unlimited free night award for one more year). From your post I’m wondering if I got the email in error and that’s why I can’t book. Indeed, buying points less than .5c/point and then receiving the 10% rebate that comes with the credit card is an excellent deal.

Edit – the email I got referenced 15% savings (not 20%) and was not linked to a credit card (it just says “save 15% on your next trip,” clearly for generic IHG Rewards Club members) However, the calculations presented to me when I tried to make a booking were the same as in your screenshot above (i.e. 20,000 points for $96). Perhaps that’s why things kept erroring out for me? Will try again tonight.

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Sean
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Sean

Is there a limit to how many times you can do this or how many points you can get? I’ve already maxed out buying 100k+100k points from the $0.50/point deals this year.

Also on another note, I am correct in thinking that if you have both the $49 and $89 annual fee cards to double dip the buy 3 get 1 free and 10% points rebate, then you’d be looking at 33% off:

Double Dip = 1 * 0.75 * 0.9 = 0.675% of original point total after staying.

For example, book 4 nights at 30k each for 90k. Then you get 9k rebate which ends up being 81k. Thus, 81k divided by 120k you basically got 33% off.

My conclusion here is that even though frequent miler values IHG points at $0.05, if you take into account having both cards, the valuation essentially goes up to $0.074 ($0.05/0.675) and actually makes buying points for $0.05 or less actually a reasonable deal if you know you’ll have planned stays where IHG is an option.

Jess
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Jess

So the idea would be to book and then cancel, correct? I assume the discounted points would be refunded to your account?