May062022

Hotel deals in Europe IHG points can buy

IHG has a sale with 80% bonus points for a $5.56 per 1,000 points offer. The purchase limit is 450,000 points for $2,500. This offer ends June 10, 2022.

IHG Rewards normally sells points at three different rates, depending on how many points are purchased:

All points sales are increments of 1,000 points.

  • 1,000 – 10,000 =  $13.50 per 1,000 points
  • 11,000 – 25,000 =  $11.50 per 1,000 points
  • 26,000 or more = $10.00 per 1,000 points.

IHG has periodic purchase offers for 100% bonus points several times per year. The current offer is only 80% bonus points.

One reason you might want to buy points during the current 80% bonus points offer is the high purchase limit of 450,000 points for $2,500 allowed with this offer.

You can unlock huge points savings at IHG hotels with a co-branded IHG credit card offering 4th night free on reward stays. IHG has hundreds, maybe thousands of hotels where you can get a significant rate discount buying IHG points at $5.56 per 1,000 for reward nights compared to prevailing room rates. 

An IHG credit card with 4th night free and a points purchase of 108,000 IHG points for $600 opens the door to significant rate savings at many hotels.

Some example rate savings in Europe for a 4-night IHG hotel stay August 1-5, 2022.

I used one set of dates, Monday, August 1 – Friday, August 5 for IHG hotels in several cities around Europe to simply show the kinds of hotel rate discounts possible when buying IHG points at $5.56 per 1,000 points and redeeming points with IHG credit card 4th night free.

London, UK

Holiday Inn London – Bloomsbury

$234 per night published room rate = $936 / 4 nights

$157.07 per night to buy 28,250 points = $628.28 / 4 nights.

Purchased points save $307.72 on 4-night stay.

While this is a good discount and $157 is a reasonable rate for central London, I personally still want to keep my hotel expenses closer to $100 per night, even for London.

Holiday Inn London – Whitechapel

$177 per night published room rate = $708 / 4 nights

$109.81 per night to buy 19,750 points = $439.24 / 4 nights.

Purchased points save $268.76 on 4-night stay.

I have stayed at both of these London hotels. I enjoyed both hotels and London locations. 

Lisbon, Portugal

The stars finally aligned for a trip to Lisbon, Portugal and the Azores this summer. Without question Lisbon has been the low fare destination in Europe from the USA this summer with persistent ultra-cheap fares for months.

Holiday Inn Express Lisbon Saldanha Plaza

  • $95 per night published room rate = $380 / 4 nights
  •  $75.06 per night to buy 13,500 points = $300.24 / 4 nights.
  • Purchased points save $80 on 4-night stay.

Holiday Inn Lisbon

  • $116 per night published room rate = $464 / 4 nights
  •  $82.01 per night to buy 14,750 points = $328 / 4 nights.
  • Purchased points save $136 on 4-night stay.

Barcelona, Spain

Kimpton Vividora Hotel

  • $253 per night published room rate = $1,012 / 4 nights
  •  $189.04 per night to buy 34,000 points = $756 / 4 nights.
  • Purchased points save $256 on 4-night stay.

Holiday Inn Express Barcelona City 22

  • $140 per night published room rate = $560 / 4 nights
  •  $105.64 per night to buy 19,000 points = $423 / 4 nights.
  • Purchased points save $137 on 4-night stay.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow shows an example of two hotels where the lower rate hotel is actually priced higher in points.

Hotel Indigo Krakow – Old Town

  • $123 per night published room rate = $492 / 4 nights
  •  $91.74 per night to buy 16,500 points = $367 / 4 nights.
  • Purchased points save $125 on 4-night stay.

Holiday Inn Krakow – City Centre

  • $129 per night published room rate = $516 / 4 nights
  •  $69.50 per night to buy 12,500 points = $278 / 4 nights.
  • Purchased points save $238 on 4-night stay (46% rate discount).

Thoughts on IHG Rewards since the pandemic

In my opinion, IHG has improved its hotel loyalty program the most since the pandemic started.

 

For several years I found limited usefulness with IHG points due to the high cost of reward nights compared to low room rates in several places I traveled. IHG introduced two beneficial features for someone like me, who needs a comfortable hotel, but nothing fancy.

  1. Variable rates – in the 20teens IHG shifted too many hotels to higher fixed points rates. IHG offered incredibly rewarding points earning promotions, yet also made most IHG hotels I stayed a better value to pay money and earn points rather than redeem points. I ended up with several hundred thousand points from years of lucrative promotions. Variable reward night rates have lowered the price of free hotel nights using points at many lower market segment brand hotels like Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn in the past few years.
  2. 4th reward night free with IHG credit card offers a 25% discount in points on 4-night stays. 

IHG 4th night free is one of the best deals I check for some great hotel rate discounts in places I want to visit.

I rarely spend more than 20,000 points for an IHG reward night. I hesitate to spend over $100 per night on hotel rooms. In general, the place I am visiting is more important to me than the hotel, so I will find whatever lodging I can get for under $100 per night. Therefore I equate 20,000 IHG points as a $100 hotel reward night I can buy. This assumes points are bought at $5.00 per 1,000 points. 

I may need more IHG points now due to having redeemed 200,000 points or so for summer 2022 travel. My $1,000 in points booked 16 nights in IHG hotel rooms with room rates close to $2,000 total. I made me reservations in February. Points rates have increased for all the hotels I booked.

This current IHG sale entices me, even though the price is $5.56 per 1,000 points. My rule of thumb equation that 20,000 points = $100 hotel room night can temporarily be adjusted to $111.20. 

There are numerous cities around Europe where this scheme of buying IHG points in large quantities and using the IHG credit card 4th night free offer can book deep discount extended hotel stays with points.

 

 

 

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. IMO, you are actually UNDERselling the value of the points: I’ve found that the points rates typically have a far more generous cancellation policy than the advance purchase cash rates that you are comparing here.

  2. I agree that points bookings should be valued at the Best Flexible Rate for comparable free cancellation date deadline policies.

    For my own analysis on points value I nearly always use Best Flexible Rate to value the price of a room night. Fewer than 10% of my hotel bookings are made using advance purchase rates.

  3. IHG has some very cheap points redemptions in Japan right now. This reductions are significant with properties that used to be 60-70k nightly currently pricing at 25k. Anyone considering travel to Japan would be advised to lock in these prices.

  4. On Lisbon…I stayed at HIE-Liberdade on points in May 2019.

    Point stays are hard to get. When I stayed there a few years ago pts were a good deal. The price per night on points per cash price might have changed.

    It’s in a business section. It’s on one end of a subway station. About 2 blocks. This gate is closed on weekends. It’s another 4 blocks to the other subway entry.

    I think it has a guest laundry facility.

    There were a few local restaurants close by and a mini- supermarket a block away.

    When I was there around this time of year. Portugal soccer playoffs we’re going on. I guess they had quarterfinals games this day all back to back. Near where the subway exit was, there was a divided street with a city park in the middle. There was an organized soccer game watch festival where they had large tv screens and beer tents set up with police patrolling on foot and street traffic closed off but crossing streets still could pass thru.

    Lisbon is easy to navigate to get to places. You can buy multi day subway passes.

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