Posted by Ric Garrido

Daily Getaways today and Monday are a lower rate for buying IHG Rewards Club points, but not so low as to be a major discount in the way Choice Privileges points were yesterday with the Daily Getaways sale. Choice points were over 60% off the normal purchase rate while IHG points are less than 15% to 20% lower than using the IHG Points & Cash ‘Trick’.

Staying 20 nights at an InterContinental Hotel in some old city in Central America or Saigon or Athens might be a bucket list fantasy for some travelers that can be made real with the purchase of 100,000 points today at U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways and a new list of PointBreaks hotels for 5,000 points per night until August 31, 2013.

Three weeks at the InterContinental Medellin, Colombia anyone?

My summer plans don’t look so exciting.

A trip to Ireland was the summer vacation wish, but family matters weigh in on this year’s summer travel season and it looks like Holiday Inn Express Carson City, Nevada and Holiday Inn Express Roseburg, Oregon may be the best value I can get out of the current IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks.

Last summer I had a great Oregon vacation at a Holiday Inn Resort for three nights on PointBreaks with a trip to Crater Lake National Park.

Today, June 28 at 1pm ET and Monday, July 1 at 1pm ET there will be discounted IHG Rewards Club points available at Daily Getaways.

15,000 points = $100 ($90 with American Express payment).

  • 2,500 sets available.
  • May purchase up to 5 sets.
  • Rate = $6.00 per 1,000 points (AmEx).

25,000 points = $167 ($150.30 with American Express payment).

  • 2,000 sets available.
  • May purchase up to 4 sets.
  • Rate = $6.01 per 1,000 points (AmEx).

50,000 points = $325 ($292.50 with American Express payment).

  • 1,250 sets available.
  • May purchase up to 4 sets.
  • Rate = $5.85 per 1,000 points (AmEx).

100,000 points = $630 ($567 with American Express payment).

  • 1,000 sets available.
  • May purchase up to 3 sets.
  • Rate = $5.67 per 1,000 points (AmEx).

Analysis:

IHG Rewards Club offers Points & Cash Reward Nights allowing a member to book a hotel reward and buy 5,000 points ($40) or 10,000 points ($70) at time of booking. The Points & Cash ‘trick’, as referred to by many points and miles bloggers, is simply the ability to book a IHG Points & Cash reward stay and buy points for the stay and then cancel the reward stay. The points purchased are nonrefundable and the points from the canceled stay go back into your account.

Basically a member can buy points at the rate of $7.00 per 1,000 points at anytime. This is a far better deal than the $11.50 per 1,000 rate charged to buy IHG Rewards Club points through the normal channels and that channel is limited to a maximum 50,000 purchased points per year.

I have purchased hundreds of thousands of points through Points & Cash rewards at $70 per 10,000 points.

IHG Points Trick in Pictures

Firstly, you need to have some Priority Club points to use the IHG Points & Cash trick. 5,000 points is the minimum needed, but having at least 20,000 points makes it work more easily. That is one reason to buy 15,000 or 25,000 points in the Daily Getaways sales today and Monday.

I have actually blown my stash of IHG points this year and I need a refill.

Step One: Search for a hotel checking reward nights availability and cost.

Denver, Colorado.

image

Step Two: Like Goldilocks, you want to locate a hotel that looks just right.

image

To book a Points & Cash reward night requires having sufficient points to make the reservation.

This property is too high for me.

Staybridge Suites Cherry Creek is 25,000 points per night. I need at least 15,000 points in my account to book the 15,000 points + $70 rate. The $70 buys 10,000 points for the 25,000 points per night reward redemption.

I only have 7,000 points at the moment. I spent 75,000 IHG points this month for five nights at the InterContinental Yorkville and Toronto Centre. I can’t book the Staybridge Suites hotel using Points & Cash with my current points balance of 7,000 points.

This property is too low for my purposes.

Candlewood Suites – Denver Federal West 10,000 points.

image

10,000 points for a standard reward of 5,000 points + $40.

This Points & Cash reservation works if I want to buy 5,000 points for $40. But I can get a lower rate on points buying 10,000 points for $70.

This property is just right for my needs.

Holiday Inn Express Wheat Ridge-Denver West at 15,000 points per night.

image

This property is available as a Points & Cash reward night for 5,000 points + $70.

image

My balance of 7,724 points means I can book this hotel using Points & Cash to redeem 5,000 points I already have in my account and buy the remaining 10,000 points I need for the reservation.

IMPORTANT – check the cancellation policy before you book the Points & Cash reward stay.

In March I had four nights booked in Berlin at the Holiday Inn Express on a Points & Cash reservation. A much better hotel stay opportunity came my way a few days before my arrival in Berlin. Turned out the cancellation policy was seven days and I could not change my reservation without forfeit.

CANCELLATION POLICY:Canceling your reservation before 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on Friday, 12 July, 2013 will result in no charge. Canceling your reservation after 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on 12 July, 2013, or failing to show, will result in a charge of 1 night per room to your credit card. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation.

This hotel has a day-of-arrival cancellation policy. I like that. Continuing on.

Book the Points & Cash Reward Stay

image

The cancellation policy for this reservation is repeated in another box on the left side of the page.

Book the Points & Cash reservation

The page asking for credit card information is the last step in the purchase of points for an IHG Points & Cash Reward stay. This reservation is buying 10,000 points. If I had 20,000 points in my account, then I could book a four night stay and purchase 40,000 points for $280.

image

Check the box and confirm and I will have purchased 10,000 points for $70.

My Points & Cash hotel reward stay reservation is confirmed and my account balance is now reduced by 5,000 points.

image

7,724 – 5,000 points for Points & Cash reservation = 2,724 points.

All is set if this is a reservation I am able to keep.

But plans change.

I need to cancel my hotel stay in Denver.

image

And now I have 10,000 extra points deposited immediately into my account for $70.

That’s the IHG Rewards Club trick.

Bottom Line:

The IHG Points & Cash trick has been around since Points & Cash rewards have been offered. The rate used to be $60 for 10,000 points.

This is actually the first time I have purposely booked and cancelled an IHG Reward stay simply to show step-by-step what is meant by the “Trick” which has been referenced in numerous points and miles blogs this week.

Please don’t punish me IHG Rewards Club.

I recommend you not abuse the trick, but you should know about it as long as the option is there. This is a well known tactic among many points and miles travelers.

Anyway, IHG Rewards Club has two days of Daily Getaways for buying points at less than $70 per 10,000 points.

An InterContinental Hotel on PointBreaks nights at 5,000 points per night is one cheap hotel stay. And there are several options available right now for you to get those points quickly.

On a side note, the PointBreaks webpage has been updated to the new IHG Rewards Club color scheme. And all the hotel photos have been removed meaning the list will be much easier to copy and paste into my blog in the future.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to a daily email newsletter on the upper left side of this page.

5 Responses

  1. Again, thanks for the great breakdown in costs. I am no math major. :-) Got two.

  2. Very good post!

  3. Looks like there is an unlimited inventory of IHG points today. It keeps saying there are 1000 packages available, even at 10:15pm…

  4. I have been trying to use PointBreaks as a hedge: book a cheap night, look for a better fit (because places going for 5k are rare or shitty). I think that’s a fine model, and AFAICT, all my points have been redeposited, etc. But the problem is this: PointBreaks seems enmeshed in fine print and caveats that make it hard to know if you can really cancel or not.

    Words like this are a big turn off:

    “Cancellations in conjunction with PointBreaks reservations will forfeit points equal to the first night of the reservation.”

    “A can­cel­la­tion penalty equal to 1 night per room will be charged to your credit card on file.Canceling your reser­va­tion or fail­ing to show will result in a charge for 1 night per room to your credit card. Taxes may apply. Fail­ing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reser­va­tion will result in can­cel­la­tion of the remain­der of your reservation.”

    Care to comment?

  5. @ed – Which hotel?

    The hotel I just checked for Pointbreaks (Arkansas) had a day of arrival cancellation with no penalty. Of course the cancellation penalty depends on hotel. I have had day before arrival, 7 days before arrival, but never forfeit points if stay is cancelled.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on September 13th, 2013 at 10:15 pm

home top