For as long as I can remember, IHG Rewards Club and its predecessor, Priority Club, has offered a small range of ‘real’ goods for points redemption. There was also a modest range of retailer gift cards. For people who earned huge amounts of IHG Rewards Club points and couldn’t face another night in a hotel, even a free one, it gave them an option for cashing out.
Over the years, the range of items offered has grown and there is now a mini-Argos catalogue of potential redemptions for your IHG points.
You will find the IHG gift catalogue here. There is a drop down menu to select your country of residence – they appear to have a different range of gifts for virtually every country.
The big question, of course, is whether IHG’s gift catalogue offers good value or not for your hard-earned points.
The easiest place to check out the value proposition is with gift cards. IHG has always offered to redeem points for gift cards. Occasionally they discounted the points price and they would look like ‘just about acceptable’ value. About 10 years ago they offered gift cards at half price for a few weeks and everyone, including myself, redeemed their entire collection of points.
No longer. The current prices are poor value although, oddly they are a better deal than they used to be.
Two years ago IHG wanted 67,500 points for a £100 UK shopping voucher. It seems that even IHG realised what a poor deal this was as the cost is now 53,500 or 54,000 points for £100. Options include Amazon, Mango, Debenhams, M&S, Currys, Argos, B&Q, Gap, Harrods and many more.
Even at this level, I can’t recommend it.
I tend to value IHG points at £4 – £5 per 1000 when used for hotel redemptions. You are trading off £220 – £270 of free hotel stays for £100 of shopping voucher. This isn’t great. You get a similar loss of value compared to what happens when you convert IHG points into airline miles at the poor 5:1 rate.
Deals involving physical goods are even worse. Looking at ‘real’ goods which are easy to price, an iPad Mini 4 (128GB, wi-fi version) costs 291,500 points. That would be £479 at John Lewis, but you are trading off 5 nights at the finest InterContinental hotels in the world. It equates to just £1.64 per 1,000 points!
Let’s see. 5 nights at the InterContinental New York Times Square (above) or a £479 iPad. The choice is yours.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)