IHG One Rewards InterContinental Hotel

Why IHG 2K/10K promotion changed my reward stays to paid stays

a tall building with a clock tower
Warsaw – PKiN Tower viewed from IC Warsaw Room 2211

Recently I was thinking about how IHG had highly rewarding promotions for several years that made it worthwhile to pay for room nights due to points earned from stays approaching or even exceeding the cost to pay for hotel nights. For several years I earned so many points from promotions that it made more sense to pay for room nights and bank points rather than spending points for my hotel stays.

IHG Premier Mastercard credit card 4th night free benefit on reward stays this summer provided room nights for far less than the cash room rates. I booked 16 nights using points with that option.

I wondered if I would ever pay for another IHG hotel stay given the great value I found buying points for reward nights when paying $5.00 per 1,000 points during the periodic promotional sales and Daily Getaways. I purchased 300,000 points in August for $1,500 and quickly watched my IHG points balance drop from over 300,000 points to about 70,000 points after booking 16 more IHG hotel nights using the 4th night free benefit for upcoming travel. I like to maintain an IHG points balance of at least 100,000 points for deals that might come up in my hotel stay searches.

IHG Promotion Oct 13-Dec 31, 2022

2,000 points every 2 nights or 10,000 points every 4 nights (registration link)

This week I realized that points earned with the 10,000 points for every 4 nights stayed from October 13-December 31, 2022, combined with 26 points per $1 with my IHG Premier Mastercard and an opportunity to book 5,000 bonus points rates at some hotels earns enough points to bring the price to pay for an upgraded room category close to the price for a 4th night free stay in the lowest room category.

InterContinental Warsaw, Poland

Nov 19-21, 2022 (2 night stay)

1 King Bed Classic High Floor = 16,500 points per night = $82.50 per night (based on IHG buy points with 100% bonus points promotions allowing members to buy 1,000 points for $5.00).

33,000 points cost $165.00 to buy during the current 100% IHG bonus points sale through Oct 21, 2022. I purchased 300,000 IHG points for $1,500 in summer 2022 at $5.00 per 1,000 points.

I can pay 1,242 PLN / $248.26 USD for two nights with a bonus points package rate for 5,000 extra points per night for a Classic Room. (Note: I have been upgraded to a King Bed Classic High Floor room on two previous stays at this hotel when booking the base room category.)

How can it possibly be a better value to pay $83 more for a 2-night stay in a lower room category?

InterContinental Warsaw Points Earned

a screenshot of a hotel review
InterContinental Warsaw November 19-21
a screenshot of a room
InterContinental Warsaw November 19-21 Classic Room rates.

Non-refundable rate is about $11 less per night. I rarely book nonrefundable rates.  What makes InterContinental Warsaw room rates a special deal are the Bonus Points Package rates offered when selecting the Free Cancellation rate.

a screenshot of a mobile application
InterContinental Warsaw November 19-21 Bonus Points Package Rates

36 PLN = $7.20 USD meaning this bonus points package rates allows members to buy 5,000 points for $7.20 or $1.44 per 1,000 points. That is quite a deal!

a screenshot of a hotel ticket
InterContinental Warsaw November 19-21 Final Rate = 1,242.06 PLN = $248.27 USD.

Points Earned:

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InterContinental Warsaw November 19-21 points earned.

This 2-night stay can earn 20,993 IHG points worth $105. 

  •     10,000 points purchased with IHG Bonus Points Package Rate
  •     2,305 base points
  •     1,383 Platinum elite points (60% bonus points)
  •     2,305 IHG Mastercard hotel payment points
  •     5,000 points IHG earn 10,000 points after 4 nights (assuming I earn 10,000 points after 4 nights bonus).

Since I find value buying IHG points at $5.00 per 1,000 points, spending $248 to earn 21,000 points is a better deal to me than spending 33,000 points ($165 value) for 2 nights at InterContinental Warsaw. Spending points would drop my account balance by 33,000, whereas spending $248 grows my account balance by 21,000 points. Spending $248 and getting a $105 points rebate brings the net cost down to $143 for two nights. That also keeps 54,000 points in my account for use at other hotels where there is a greater disparity between the value of redeeming points and paying cash for the room nights. Those 54,000 points will likely be worth about $500 for other IHG hotel stays in the future based on my 2022 average redemption value of $9.50 per 1,000 IHG points for 30 hotel nights using points.

This InterContinental Warsaw is a simple  example of how I analyzed several hotel stays planned for an upcoming trip.

Upcoming European Vacation

My actual planned stays are not quite as rewarding. I am looking at spending $1,080 for 10 IHG hotel nights instead of redeeming 113,000 IHG points ($565 value).  Basically I can book 10 nights at a nightly rate of $56.50 using only points.

Alternatively, I can pay $108 per night for 10 nights and earn 85,000 points. I view this as spending $1,080 for upgraded room types better than the standard reward room category available for points at the hotels I booked and earn a $425 rebate in points. Net cost is $655 for 10 nights or $65.50 per night paying cash.

Besides the opportunity to book a higher category room type paying cash, the opportunity to apply an IHG Milestone Reward Suite Upgrade I earned after 20 IHG nights this summer has the potential to be worth as much as $900 at one of the hotels I am staying. That opportunity for a 5-night suite upgrade is why I am willing to pay for 10 room nights, even though I could stay for less using only points.

And this leads me to my next post where I examine IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards.

a tall building with a clock tower
Warsaw – PKiN Tower viewed from InterContinental Warsaw Room 2211












  • Soren October 12, 2022

    Great breakdown.
    I missed this years Daily Getaways, but I’ve been buying IHG 100% points bonus offers during the pandemic. I’ve had the Chase IHG Mastercard for a while. I’m in London / Europe this Fall, first time since Covid.
    My UK£ account is currently taking a hammering, but my discretionary $ is strong.

  • SLM October 12, 2022

    I think the promo mentioned that qualified nights had $30 minimum so reward nights would not have qualified for promo, right? (or if you spend money in the restaurant, does that turn a reward night into a qualified night?)

  • Ric Garrido October 12, 2022

    @SLM – Reward nights do not count for the IHG 2K/10K promotion.

    I originally booked hotels for my entire trip using points with six different reservations. The IHG 2K/10K promotion motivated me to change four of my six reward stays to two 5-night paid stays to earn the 20,000 points for 8 nights and have two opportunities to use my IHG Milestone Reward suite upgrade. The suite upgrade is good for up to 5 nights.

    In my case I am paying an extra $9.00 per night for the 10 nights than if I used IHG points (based on a value of IHG 1,000 points = $5.00). By spending $1,080 on 10 hotel nights I will earn over 85,000 points rather than redeeming 113,000 points.

    In this post I originally estimated 90,000 points earned from 10 paid nights. That was probably too high. It will be at least 85,000 points added to my account from 10 paid nights. I adjusted some numbers in this post to reflect that change to 85,000 points for 10 paid nights. I look at this as spending an extra $90 for 10 paid nights with a chance to get a $900 added value upgrade if I get the suite I am hoping for with my upgrade.

    I do not anticipate completing two more IHG paid nights during the promotion to earn another 10,000 points after 12 paid nights, but I might find some other hotel stay needs before the end of 2022.

  • fahad anjum October 12, 2022

    Dear Ric,

    Your observation and calculations are very good , but i must point out , 5000 bonus points for 7.24 US$ is not available everywhere .

    like i checked malaysia , dubai , thailand and turkey etc , the max bonus points they are offering is 3000 points for US$ 12, thats around 4 cent a point which is not that great , as you can buy at 5 cents each with their 100% bonus sale.


  • Ric Garrido October 12, 2022

    I suspect IHG Bonus Points Package Rates like the one shown in this article might only be available at a few hotels worldwide. I just happened to come across this deal at InterContinental Warsaw. The fact that the 3,000 points per night price is more than 5,000 points per night might even be categorized as a mistake deal.

  • […] couple of days ago I wrote about why I switched 10 reward nights at IHG hotels to 10 paid nights for an upcoming trip to Europe due to calculating the net difference between redeeming 113,000 […]

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