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Why I think buying IHG points in August is a good deal

IHG Rewards Club has an offer for elite members for purchases from August 12 to August 26 giving double points. The offer allows the purchase of 60,000 points at $11.50 per 1,000 points, $690 all-in, with an additional 60,000 bonus points for 120,000 points in all.


$690 buys 120,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

Rate = $5.75 per 1,000 points.

This offer allows the purchase of any amount of points from 1,000 to 60,000 and your points are doubled.

There are three price points for IHG points:

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

Since points are doubled during this special offer, the rate is halved:

  • 1,000 – 10,000 points for $6.75 per 1,000 points
  • 11,000 – 25,000 points for $6.25 per 1,000 points
  • 26,000 – 60,000 points for $5.75 per 1,000 points

Considering there was an opportunity to buy points through U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways at $6.00 per 1,000 points and those packages did not sell out, this offer is probably not too appealing to most readers.

I ended up not buying IHG points during the Daily Getaways sale.

So why do I want to buy IHG points now?

My IHG Rewards Club account balance is 2,724 points.

In 2013 I have redeemed points for hotel nights at

  • Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills, California (3 nights for 45,000 points saved $700).
  • Holiday Inn Berlin Alexanderplatz (3 nights for 30,000 points saved $700).
  • InterContinental Toronto Yorkville (2 nights for 30,000 points Saved $500).
  • InterContinental Toronto Centre (3 nights for 45,000 points saved $600).
  • Holiday Inn Express Carson City (1 night for 5,000 points saved $125).
  • Holiday Inn Express Tooele, Utah (1 night for 5,000 points saved $100).
  • Candlewood Suites, Craig Colorado (1 night for 5,000 points saved $100).

14 nights for 165,000 points and room rate savings approximately $2,825.

Redemption value = $17.12 per 1,000 points.

The August promotional offer allows the purchase of points for $5.75 per 1,000 points.

Reasons I want IHG points

PointBreaks at 5,000 points per night.

I stayed three consecutive nights at IHG PointBreaks hotels in July for 5,000 points per night. These hotel stays saved $325.

16,000 points is $108 during this sale.

The next round of PointBreaks hotels should be released about the same time this promotion ends on August 26.


You never know when a good opportunity will arise to spend hotel points. My IHG reward nights for 2013 were such a great value because I had over 100,000 points in January 2013 when there were mistake rates during the days before IHG changed its reward categories worldwide.

Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills and the two Toronto InterContinental hotels were mistake rates available for two or three days. I booked award nights for 15,000 points per night at these three hotels and saved about 150,000 points on these eight award nights.

I cleaned out my account last month when my parents suddenly needed points to book PointBreaks hotels for their summer travel. I had my mother buy IHG points through Daily Getaways at $150 for 25,000 points. One of the hotels on the PointBreaks list she wanted to reserve was dropped off the list before her Daily Getaways points posted. By not having 5,000 points in my account at the time, I let my parents down. I could have booked the PointBreaks room for them if I had not let my account balance drop below 5,000 points. I had too few points to even do “The Trick”.

IHG Daily Getaway points, PointBreaks and the Trick in Pictures – See more at:

Based on the value I have received from IHG points so far in 2013, my plan is to buy 52,000 points for $299.

Here is my rationale in a table:

  • 5,000 points (PointBreaks) = $28.75 per hotel night.
  • 10,000 points (category 1) = $57.50
  • 15,000 points (category 2) = $86.25
  • 20,000 points (category 3) = $115.00
  • 25,000 points (category 4) = $143.75
  • 30,000 points (category 5) = $172.50
  • 35,000 points (category 6) = $201.25
  • 40,000 points (category 7) = $230.00
  • 45,000 points (category 8) = $258.75
  • 50,000 points (category 9) = $287.50

Any room costing more after tax than these amounts is a room that can be booked for less money using points.

IHG Reward Club as of July 1, 2013 counts reward nights for elite status. Just remember award nights do not earn points or count for promotions.

Personally, I am unlikely to redeem points for any IHG hotel above category 4. My past redemptions of 25,000 points have generally been for hotels with lowest available rates over $300 in a city where all the other chains were charging over $300. That was easier to find when award nights were fixed and any Crowne Plaza was 25,000 points.

The hotel reward night changes to IHG in January 2013 significantly reduced the value of IHG points for hundreds of hotels in the high rate market segment by allowing any IHG brand to increase their cost for reward nights in urban centers and resort areas with high rates.

The real value I see for IHG points is for hotels in Category 1, 2 and 3 where the published rates often exceed the rate to buy points through this deal.

And, of course, PointBreaks are always a great value.

Bottom line is I am an IHG Rewards Club Gold elite and I have the opportunity to buy 52,000 points over the next two weeks at a 50% discount for $299.

I know I will save far more than $299 in future reward nights at IHG brand hotels with 52,000 points in my account.


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

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  • toomanybooks August 12, 2013

    Any idea if you get 2x UR points buying with a Sapphire card, since this is travel-related?

  • Ric Garrido August 12, 2013

    @toomanybooks – No idea. I still do not follow credit card programs except for some hotel chain cards.

  • D Wonderment August 12, 2013

    Its a transaction so probably no Chase Double points 🙁
    Though I agree with Ric’s spot on assessment & recommendation
    The only thing we are gambling on will be the possibility of yet another upcoming massive devaluation in Priority Club which has been happening more in the last 24 months amongst number of hotel loyalty programs than anytime in program history

    The only upside I can think of is those folks with the PC Visa will get a 10% rebate on points redeemed making this deal that Ric endorses at least for today an even better deal especially for cities like New York where shortly after Labor Day one can expect sky high revenue rates and this is likely to be a good deal even in the premium IC hotels where rates can be 400 to 500 dollars per night

  • Bob August 12, 2013

    I agree, Ric. It’s always good to have IHG points available because you never know what will be on the next Pointbreaks list. I don’t need any points right now, but if my account was as low as yours, I would be buying, too.

  • hobo13 August 12, 2013

    You let your PC balance drop below the level to do the trick???? That’s hard to believe coming from the discount hotel master! I guess it makes the rest of us mortals feel better though.

  • Jeanne M August 12, 2013

    In June I purchased Alaska Air miles needed for an award. I charged $800 on my Chase Sapphire Preferred which posted as When I did not receive X2 UR points I phoned Chase Customer Service and they gladly credited my account the additional points with no arguement. The T&C’s do state X2 points on anything travel related.

  • D Wonderment August 12, 2013

    Thanks for the post Jeanne M really good to know!

  • Kalboz August 12, 2013

    Is this a cheaper price per point than what it was offered for during the Discover America Daily deals?

  • Ric Garrido August 12, 2013

    @kalboz – slightly less. $300 for 50,000 points in Daily Getaways.

    $299 for 52,000 points with this offer.

    The main reason I did not buy IHG points in Daily Getaways is my travel budget was used up for June and July. I have trvel money again in mid-August.

  • Boraxo August 12, 2013

    Does this make sense for the average Joe after the steep devaluation? My fave HIX properties (normally $179nt on weekends) went from 25k to 35k/nt and most of the nice IC city properties go for 50k/nt. What would be the over under in terms of,rates?

    Do you get bonus points if you use a Chase IC card to buy IC points?

  • Ron August 13, 2013

    It’s all about the redemption value. I’m looking to redeem 35k points/nt at a HI Resort which charges $499/nt. At this rate, that’s $201.25 for 35k points. That’s about a 60% discount. I’ll take it!

  • Bacc August 13, 2013

    I logged on to my account. I’m platinum and it only shows the regular prices no bonuses. How do I log on to the offer?

  • James August 13, 2013

    Just a reminder that Ric’s table above showing the breakeven is inclusive of tax – a cat. 6 hotel charging 35,000 points with a 12% tax rate would actually have a breakeven rate of 201.25 x (1-tax rate, or .88), or $177.10 pre-tax.

  • Ric Garrido August 13, 2013

    @James – Thanks for pointing that out. I went back into the post and added a sentence to say the amounts are the room rate with tax.

    For example: a Category 3 hotel at $100 room rate and 15% tax = $115.

    This is the break-even point for an IHG category 3 hotel reward night at 20,000 points.

    $115 buys 20,000 points.

    Anytime the room rate is higher than $100 and assuming a 15% hotel tax, then it is cheaper to use 20,000 points bought at $5.75/1,000 points than to pay the published rate.

    Personally, I would want about $8/1,000 points redemption value for IHG points I buy at $5.75/1,000 points. This would be like getting a $160 room($140 + $20 hotel tax) for 20,000 points. I think it is fairly easy to get that value.

    Of course, paying for IHG hotels also racks up 20,000 points. My recent travels this summer revealed some rather high Holiday Inn Express rates ($120-$160) in cities I passed. Many of these hotels were 20,000 points and less.

    Hotel industry news in the past month has stated a large proportion of global profits seen in the 2013 Q-2 financial reports of the major hotel chains are due to high rates paid in U.S.

  • EamonSC August 15, 2013

    Overall I agree that if you plan to use points on pointbreakers or category 1 hotels, it might be a good deal. For everything higher, there are probably more inexpensive options in that destination…

    To correct a mistake:
    “Just remember award nights do not earn points or count for promotions and elite status.”

    Not quite. After the changes in the program, award nights do count for elite status (and, yes, they do not earn points, other that what one might spend on incidentals and room service)

  • Ric Garrido August 15, 2013

    @EamonSC – Thanks for the correction. I totally forgot the IHG program changes introduced last month.

    Qualifying Nights – IHG® Rewards Club Gold Elite status will be awarded to members who have earned a minimum of 15 nights at Qualifying Rates during a calendar year. IHG® Rewards Club Platinum Elite status will be awarded to members who have earned a minimum of 50 nights at Qualifying Rates during a calendar year. Once a member earns Elite membership status in any calendar year, such status will be maintained through the end of the following calendar year.

    Starting July 1, 2013, IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights consumed by members will be counted as Qualifying Nights towards Elite membership qualifications.

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