50% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards Club points – and why it is a bad deal

IHG Rewards Club has launched another bonus when you buy points.  Until 2nd December, you will receive a 50% bonus on all purchases of IHG Rewards Club points.

The link you need is here.

Here are the standard purchase rates:

  • 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

With the 50% bonus, you could effectively buy enough points for a night at the InterContinental Times Square (below), Le Grand in Paris or Park Lane in London for $391.  That is not a great deal, frankly, as rates will be lower than that for most of the year.

IC New York Times Square

You also run the risk of IHG changing their reward scheme before you spend the points.  I bought some Hilton points last year and was caught out when they massively devalued their programme earlier in 2013, going from 50,000 to 80-90,000 per night at the top end.

In any event, this deal isn’t worth it because you can ALWAYS buy IHG points for $7 per 1,000.

Most readers will know about this, but if you don’t, this is how to do it.

IHG offers something called ‘points and money’.  Instead of using 15,000 IHG points for a free night, for example, it will offer you the chance to book for 5,000 points + $70 instead.

If you do this, and then immediately cancel the booking, you do NOT get your $70 back.  Instead, 15,000 points are refunded to your IHG Rewards Club account instead of the original 5,000.  Note that these points do not count towards status.

Even at the highest discount level above, you would still be paying more than $7 per 1,000 points.  That’s why I would give this offer a miss.

(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Indeed, I sense a devaluation following the big win promotion.

    • Hopefully points breaks will sitll be available at 5000, I’ll just have to try and get 30 nights of them!

  2. That’s a really great tip on the £7 per 1,000pts, many thanks!

    Does the refund post instantly? Am just thinking it would be a good way to top up my balance if decent pointbreaks become available but obviously wouldn’t want to wait a couple if days, say.

  3. Thunderbirds says:

    The only worthwhile offer is the 100% bonus they do once in a while. I took the 100% option earlier this year and managed to clear half of the 120,000 purchased with 12 point break nights so that was good value. Alas the list of pointbreaks continues to shrink (number & quality) as the economy improves.
    I can’t see the marketing sense of devaluing after the Big Win promotion as encouraging people to build up a large balance and then devaluing that balance would be a P.R. disaster, though nothing would surprise me with IHG.
    The changes at the beginning of the year were huge but I believe the IHG Rewards programme is still the biggest and that must say something.

  4. I got a shed load of IHG points (27000) from a recent stay, courtesy of the flyertalk stacked bonuses. To be honest, I’ll use them but IHG hotels are not at the top of my list, so I was thinking of trading them for AAdvantage points, at 10,000 IHG for 2000 AAdvantage points (which I can then use on overtaxed redemptions between Malta and LGW with BA).

    Anyone have any thoughts on the “value” of 10,000 IHGs for 2000 AAdvantages? Instinct suggests I may be stupid to do this, particularly given the 5000 point IHG PointBreaks redemptions.

    • I would say they are worth £5 per 1,000 for hotels if you pick well, so that would effectively be £50 for 2,000 AA which is very poor. No visiting family you could put up in the IC?!

      You’d get £50 of UK shopping vouchers in the current sale (12,750 for £25) although you’d need someone in the UK who was a big Waitrose / John Lewis / M&S visitor.

      • Cheers Rob, that’s confirmed what I suspected. You’re right, I’ll think of a cleverer way to spend them – although the Malta Intercontinental’s IHG reward levels are stratospheric.