What? Chase transfer bonus to….IHG?

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In the weirdest news of the week (which is saying a lot in 2020), Chase Ultimate Rewards is offering a 60% transfer bonus to IHG. With this bonus, you’ll get…a bad deal. Seriously, give this one a hard pass.

The Deal

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards is offering a 60% transfer bonus to IHG Rewards. With this bonus, the transfer ratio is 1,000:1,600 (though note that the 600 bonus points are awarded on IHG’s end, so Chase will only show 1,000:1,000)

Key Terms

  • Bonus points offer is valid for point transfers to IHG Rewards Club completed between 12:00AM ET on August 1, 2020 and 11:59PM ET on August 31, 2020.
  • Minimum transfer is 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Bonus points will be awarded by IHG in your IHG Rewards Club account after your transfer is complete.  Please allow two (2) business days for the Bonus points to post to your IHG Rewards Club account.
  • For the Bonus points offer, you will receive 60% Bonus points for each Ultimate Rewards point transferred during the promotional period listed above.  For example, if you transfer 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you will receive a total of 1,600 points.
  • You must be enrolled in IHG Rewards Club with both your membership in good standing and your Ultimate Rewards credit card account open and not in default in order to participate in this offer. Visit IHG.com/rewardsclub to enroll.
  • Once you have transferred Ultimate Rewards points, they become points subject to the Terms and Conditions of the IHG Rewards Club and cannot be transferred back to your Chase Ultimate Rewards Program account.

Quick Thoughts

Before I get into what a bad deal this is, it’s worth noting that like the only other transfer bonus I ever recall from Chase (which was to British Airways last April), the bonus is awarded on the loyalty program side. Chase will show you a 1,000:1,000 ratio, but is advertising the fact that IHG will give you a 60% bonus within a couple of days after you transfer (provided you transfer before the deadline on August 31st).

As noted, this is a terrible deal. You can frequently buy IHG points for half a cent each (the most recent sale ended last night, but I’m sure it’ll be back before long). For every 1 Chase point transferred here, you’re getting 1.6 IHG points. At half a cent each, you could buy those IHG points for a cost of 8 tenths of a cent ($0.008). You would be better off cashing out your Ultimate Rewards points for 1c each and using them to buy 2 IHG points when they are on sale for half a cent each. Every 1,000 Chase points would yield you an effective 2,000 IHG points.

Better yet, if you have the Chase Sapphire  Reserve, you could use points at a value of 1.5c each to pay yourself back for grocery or home improvement store purchases. Then take the cash you saved thanks to your points and buy IHG points for half a cent each — your effective rate there is 1,000 Chase points to 3,000 IHG points.

I am glad to see a second Chase transfer bonus nearly 17 months after the first one they ran, though at this pace they have some work to do to make transfer bonuses useful (not to mention they’ll need to find a more desirable partner than IHG).

Still, we have added this to our Current point transfer bonuses.

H/T: Reader Adam

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