Note: I wrote this post and prepared to publish it. I went back to grab one last screen shot after I finished it and the prices seem to have gotten jacked up. I’m hopeful that there are still some dates to be found, so I’m still publishing this post, but beware that this one may have been dead before it was reported unfortunately. Still makes me hopeful that there are others like it to be found!
A few days ago, we reported an IHG sale on the cash portion of points & cash (See: IHG points & cash promo: 20% off cash portion (buy points for 0.56c, maybe less)). A reader on Twitter has discovered what I think is the lowest price I remember seeing for IHG points since I got into the game: less than four tenths of a cent per point. While that’s not always going to yield a deal, I just bought a chunk of points with this and have already used some to much better value.
- Buy IHG points via Points & Money reservation at the Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta for 0.384c per point
- Always check cancellation terms / penalties before you reserve
- Cancellations are refunded in points only
A keen-eyed reader on Twitter found this one and shared it with us.
@garyleff @OneMileataTime @LiveandLetsFly @LoyaltyLobby @FrequentMiler @NickatFM #datapoint I just bought IHG points for $0.00384 a piece!! Gotta be a the lowest price ever?? pic.twitter.com/3BIeQxn1qy
— Roni Walakandou (@roniwalakandou) July 18, 2019
As he notes in his screen shots, the Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta is available for 10,000 IHG points per night.
Of course, booking that would be a terrible deal since it is available to book from about thirty bucks a night via cash.
Therefore, paying 5,000 points and $19.20 would also seem like you’re getting a horrible value from your IHG points if you actually wanted to stay at this property.
As you can see, there is a price of $24 crossed out. That’s because of the 20% discount on Points & Cash reservations. Note that you must be logged in to your IHG account to see the discount. I did not see the discount immediately and realized I wasn’t logged in.
Note also that the cash portion at this hotel varies — on some dates, the “original” price is $25, reduced to $20. On others, it is $24 reduced to $19.20. You’ll obviously want to reserve the cheaper price (which ironically matches with more expensive dates I think).
This could be a very cost-effective way to purchase IHG points. For example, if you currently have 50K IHG points in your account, you could reserve 10 nights and use those 50K points plus buy another 50K points for $192 (a rate of 0.384c per point).
IHG does not hide that you are effectively buying points. In my case, I didn’t realize that there were cheaper dates pricing at $19.20 per night and I booked a 10-night reservation paying 5K and $20 per night. IHG was clear that I would immediately be charged $200 and if I canceled I would receive 50K points.
Once I’d made my reservation, IHG correctly showed that I had used 100K points — 50K pre-existing and 50K purchased.
Afterwards, I realized that those dates wouldn’t work for me after all.
But luckily, I still had a use for some of the points. My wife is taking a girls’ trip with friends this weekend, and an IHG property just happens to be the closest chain to where they need to be. They’ll be happy to have spent $80 for the points in lieu of the cash rate.
One thing I can’t remember for sure: do I get the 10% rebate on redemption of the points portion of the points & cash reservation? The rebate is a benefit of the old IHG Rewards Club credit card ($49 version). If I do get the 10% rebate on the 50K points I used (not the ones I purchased), that I could effectively get 55K points for $192 with a new reservation — a rate of just 0.349c per point. Again, I’m not positive on that, so it’ll be more of a pleasant surprise than an expectation.
I don’t generally recommend buying points speculatively, but at this rate it may just be worth it. I don’t use IHG points all that often since there is no status level that guarantees free breakfast or lounge access. However, at least once or twice a year there is a situation like the one above where it’s the right place and time. It won’t be hard for me to get much better value out of the points I purchased. Those who also have the newer IHG credit card can get the 4th night free on award stays (which stacks with the 10% back from the old card if you have both). You could really get a pretty decent stay on the cheap in the right situations.
H/T: Roni on Twitter.