IHG Rewards Club has been selling points with numerous promotions lately. I guess they figure if members are willing to pay a purchase rate of $70 for 10,000 points by booking Points & Cash Rewards and then cancelling them to keep the points, then there is a buying market among members at a certain price point below the normal $11.50 rate through Points.com.
Is the current offer a good deal? Buy IHG Points with 60% bonus (Points.com link).
Buy IHG Rewards Club Points Current Offer October 1-31, 2014
Get up to 60% bonus points when you buy 5,000 or more IHG® Rewards Club points, from now until October 31, 2014:*
• Purchase 5,000 to 19,000 points and get a 30% bonus
• Purchase 20,000 to 39,000 points and get a 40% bonus
• Purchase 40,000 to 49,000 points and get a 50% bonus
• Purchase 50,000 to 60,000 points and get a 60% bonus
Buying Points is the easy way to top off your account to get the award you want!
You may purchase points in 1,000 increments:
- 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
- 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
- 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
IHG Rewards Club now allows members to buy 120,000 points per calendar year and receive 120,000 points per calendar year. 240,000 points is 4x the 60,000 points limit from a couple years ago.
Loyalty Traveler Analysis
Price rates with the current 50% and 60% bonuses:
Buy 40,000 points and get 60,000 points for $460 = $76.70 per 10,000 points. (Higher rate than Points & Cash Reward purchase).
Buy 50,000 points and get 80,000 points for $575 = $71.88 per 10,000 points. (Higher rate than Points & Cash Reward purchase).
I say this is not a good deal for buying IHG points on speculation.
Unless you have a pressing need for IHG Rewards Club points, this is an offer to hold back on.
Recent IHG Rewards Club Buy Points Promotions
July 27, 2014 – Loyalty Traveler on the IHG Rewards Club 60% bonus offer for purchases through August 18, 2014. IHG Rewards Club buy 60% bonus points promotion to August 18.
Sep 15 – Sep 22, 2014 – IHG 100% bonus on purchased points when buying 50,000 to 60,000 points. I missed writing about this offer since I was traveling across Norway. The Points Guy has a post on this offer.
Remember, you can get 10,000 points for $70 booking a Points & Cash reward and canceling the stay. I would not do this a bunch of times in a row and risk getting my account closed. I simply make a Points & Cash reservation for sometime next month, wait a week and cancel the reservation. The 10,000 points I bought go into my account. If I do this for a 4-night stay, then I have purchased 40,000 points for $280.
I would hold out for a better bonus promotional offer sometime in the last two months of 2014.
IHG Rewards Club is a tough program to give a general rule for the value of points. PointBreaks hotels offer tremendous value at 5,000 points per night, but are you going to stay at one of these hotels for many nights?
Since the program changed to a 10 category reward system, there are fewer hotels with great leverage for point rewards. Either you need to be at the high end InterContinental Hotels where some hotels are 30,000 or 35,000 points per night with $300 room rates.
Or there are some good deals at the low end 10,000 points hotels where a free night can be $70 in points on a $100 room rate. In the middle at 20,000 to 30,000 points the cost of points is often more than the room rate.
Buying IHG Rewards Club points on speculation of good value for a hotel stay is a gamble that I generally do not find worthwhile.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.