Feb042019

Deep dive into IHG Bonus Points Package rates for Free Nights Faster promotion

IHG Rewards Club ‘Free Nights. Faster.’ promotion runs January 15-April 30, 2019 with targeted tasks for different members. One of my tasks is book two stays as ‘IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points Packages’ to earn 6,600 bonus points. This article is a deep dive analysis into the cost of IHG Bonus Points Packages for hotels I am considering staying at in Warsaw, Poland.

The bigger issue for me with Free Nights Faster and my limiting task likely preventing earning 16,850 Achievement Bonus points is the ‘Saturday Stay Bonus’ requiring a weekend stay at least 2 nights including Saturday night. This appears to be the common task included in most of the offers I have seen. My Saturday Stay Bonus requires 2 weekend stays for 5,600 bonus points.

My travel plans over the next ten weeks do not offer an opportunity to complete the ‘Saturday Stay Bonus’ with hotel nights I actually need. I have two trips to Europe planned and both trips involve flying on Saturdays from one place to another. Chania, Greece is the only city in my travel plans where I will be in the same town for two weekend nights. No IHG hotels there.

My IHG Rewards Club tasks for 52,550 points.

 

Free Nights Faster would add 22,450 bonus points with the completion of Saturday Stay Bonus (5,600 points) and Achievement Bonus (16,850 points). I give IHG Rewards Club points a value of $5.00/1,000 points, which is the rate I can buy them for during the current promotion. The value of 22,450 points is $112 in my estimate. Going out of my way to book 4 hotel nights for $112 in points is not worthwhile to me.

My IHG Rewards Club primary objective is earn 5,600 bonus points with 2 hotel stays and 1,500 bonus points with IHG credit card payment. My secondary objective is stay at 3 different IHG brands to earn 14,400 bonus points. These two tasks can be achieved with two hotel stays that I need in Europe.

My third objective tackled in this article’s analysis is to determine whether it is worthwhile to book IHG Bonus Points Package rates to earn 6,600 bonus points with my Free Nights Faster task.

IHG Bonus Points Package Rates

Is 6,600 bonus points worth booking two IHG ‘Bonus Points Package’ rates?

Using the value estimate of IHG Rewards Club points being worth $5 per 1,000 points, my examination of Bonus Points Package rates compares the increased cost of Bonus Points Package rates at IHG hotels in Warsaw, Poland to see if the extra hotel spend to earn 6,600 bonus points works out to cost less than $5 per 1,000 points for extra points earned.

Basically, I am looking to maximize bonus points earned through Free Nights Faster for the least cost with 2 or 3 hotel nights to earn 5,600 bonus points with 2 nights and 14,400 bonus points with 3 nights staying in 3 different IHG hotel brands.

Main thing to know about IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points Package rates:

  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points Package rates are only available as an add-on to Best Flexible rate. This means advance purchase and group rates like AAA/AARP do not provide the option to book the Bonus Points Package rate.

2 Bonus Package Rates stays earn 6,600 bonus points in my task.

Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport

HIX Warsaw Bonus Points Package rates

Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Bonus Points Package rates

  • $65.93 advance purchase rate
  • $73.11 best flexible rate
  • $79.52 1,000 bonus points package rate
  • $80.81 2,000 bonus points package rate
  • $82.09 3,000 bonus points package rate

The cost at $79.52 for 1,000 bonus points is the lowest price for one eligible IHG Bonus Points Package rate. This is $13.59 more to buy 1,000 bonus points. Add 3,300 bonus points from Free Nights Faster task as 50% of the total bonus after two Bonus Points Package rates and $13.59 more to earn 4,300 points works out to paying $3.16 per 1,000 points. That is a good deal.

Even better is booking the 3,000 bonus points package. $16.16 more in hotel spend to buy 3,000 points + 3,300 Bonus Points earned with Free Nights Faster after 2 stays is 6,600 points earned for an extra $16.16 in hotel spend for a purchase rate of $2.57 per 1,000 points.

I can almost certainly find a hotel reward night offering more than $2.57 per 1,000 points from my IHG points. Most of reward nights with IHG offer more than $8.00 per 1,000 points redemption value. Most of my IHG reward nights are PointBreaks stays.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre Bonus Points Package rates

  • $54.71 advance purchase rate
  • $64.33 best flexible rate
  • $69.40 1,000 bonus points package rate
  • $74.46 2,000 bonus points package rate
  • $79.53 3,000 bonus points package rate

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre Bonus Points Package rates have a fixed $5.06 per 1,000 points for 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 bonus points. Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport offered a lower purchase rate when buying 3,000 bonus points ($3.00 per 1,000 points) compared to 1,000 bonus points ($6.41 per 1,000 points).

Since I value IHG points at $5.00 per 1,000, there is no reason for me to book a higher bonus points package rate than the minimum 1,000 bonus points rate at $69.40 per night.

Spending $69.40 is $14.69 more than the advance purchase rate to buy 1,000 bonus points and earn 3,300 bonus points with completion of Free Nights Faster task to stay two times on Bonus Points Package rates. $14.69/4,300 points = $3.42 per 1,000 points.

IHG rate analysis

$82.09 Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport = $16.16 more to book 3,000 Bonus Points Package rate than lowest advance purchase rate ($65.93).

$69.40 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre = $14.69 more to book 1,000 Bonus Points Package rate than lowest advance purchase rate ($54.71).

$30.85 more in hotel spend to buy 4,000 IHG points would not be a good deal as a stand alone purchase.

Free Nights Faster 6,600 bonus points for task completion of two stays booked as Bonus Points Packages for $151.49 changes the value equation to be much more favorable. $30.85 in additional spend earns 10,600 IHG additional points compared to spending $120.64 as the cheapest room rates for these dates.

This is essentially buying 10,600 IHG points at the rate of $2.91 per 1,000 points.

Net earning for $151.49 in spend at IHG hotels in Warsaw for 2 nights

Faster Free Nights tasks completed:

  • 2 IHG stays = 5,600 bonus points
  • 2 Bonus Points Package Stays = 6,600 bonus points
  • IHG masterCard payment = 1,500 bonus points

Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport = 3,000 bonus points package rate + 1,000 points earned for stay as Platinum member.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre = 1,000 bonus points package rate + 1,000 points earned for stay as Platinum member.

19,700 IHG points earned from $151.49 in hotel spend for two nights.

I give these points about $100 in value on future IHG Rewards Club reward night. Most likely I will end up redeeming 20,000 IHG points for more than $150 in room rate value on a future hotel reward stay.

3 IHG Brands task for 14,400 bonus points

I will be in Warsaw for three nights and potentially can knock out the three different brands task with a third IHG hotel night at either Hotel Indigo Warsaw or InterContinental Warsaw. Hotel Indigo is a new hotel currently on PointBreaks list for 15,000 points for stays through Feb 28 compared to its normal 30,000 points rate.

InterContinental Warsaw is a hotel where I had a lovely stay in October 2017, except for the fact that reception demanded I return my key cards when I wanted to keep one as a souvenir.

InterContinental Warsaw

  • $113.45 advance purchase
  • $126.05 Best Flexible (breakfast purchase for $10.02 is additional option)
  • $131.52 1,000 bonus points (breakfast purchase unavailable with this points rate)
  • $132.77 2,000 bonus points (breakfast purchase unavailable with this points rate)
  • $134.03 3,000 bonus points (breakfast purchase for $15.49 is additional option)
  • $135.28 5,000 bonus points (breakfast purchase unavailable with this points rate)

InterContinental Warsaw Bonus Points Package rates

I included breakfast notes due to the peculiar rate options at InterContinental Warsaw allowing the purchase of breakfast as a package add-on only being available with one of the four Bonus Points Package rates.

Obviously the deal here to me is the option to buy 5,000 IHG points for an additional $9.23 over the Best Flexible Rate.

Spending $135.28 for 5,000 Bonus Points Package is an extra $21.83 over the Advance Purchase rate.

Switch out Holiday Inn Warsaw Centre Bonus Points Package to InterContinental Warsaw Bonus Points Package.

  • $135.28  Intercontinental Warsaw (5,000 bonus points package)
  • $82.09 HIX Warsaw Airport (3,000 bonus points package)
  • $54.71 HI Warsaw City Centre advance purchase

$272.08 total spend buys 8,000 points, earns 28,100 points with Free Nights Faster promotion bonus points and about 3,500 stay points as IHG Platinum member.

$272 for 3 hotel nights in Warsaw earns about 40,000 points. I value 40,000 IHG points as a minimum $200 in reward night value.

Bonus Points Package Rates can be worthwhile at some hotels. Their value depends on the specific hotel and price charged for bonus points package rates.

InterContinental Warsaw convenient for WAW airport train (Oct 11, 2017).

Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport $58 night earned 34,828 points (July 24, 2017).

My stay at IC Warsaw fulfilled a 2017 Accelerate promotion task for a Points & Cash stay. Ultimately, I failed to earn my Accelerate promotion achievement bonus after a stay at Holiday Inn Express London Stratford and missed out on about 30,000 bonus points due to not having my IHG MasterCard in London to pay for my $75 hotel night and complete my remaining task during the last week of the promotion period.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. @KJ – I have one of the best offers for people I know and I don’t like mine due to the two 2-night weekend stays task. My wife has 3 weekends and a 4-night stay for her tasks and my dad has 4 weekends as his major task for Free Nights. Faster. promotion.

    This will be a low earning period for us. Leaves more cash available to buy Hilton points which I know I can get great value from this summer in places I will be around Poland at 10,000 points per night.

  2. I received a much more generous promotion. Close to 30k for the 3 brands challenge. The other tasks are similar to yours and hence rather unattractive. My girlfriend got an even better one and 5 nights spread over two stays will generate more than 55k points.
    As often with IHG, the less you stay, the better the offer. Thank you for finding a good bonus point package btw.

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