Two of the four IHG Rewards Club accounts in our family received an email yesterday:
Receive between 25% and 100% additional points when you buy IHG® Rewards Club points between now and 21 April 2014. Reveal your mystery bonus and find out how many additional points you could receive.
Note, though, that this deal seems to work even if you didn’t get the email. I logged in to the site and was offered a 50% bonus, despite not receiving anything.
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
IF – and this is a big ‘if’ – you receive the 100% bonus, you would be able to buy 120,000 IHG points for (at current exchange rates) £418.
At the top end of the IHG Rewards Club portfolio, you have InterContinental properties which top out at 50,000 points per night. That’s what you would have paid for InterContinental LeGrand in Paris where I was last week (review to follow next week).
If you got a 100% bonus, IHG is effectively selling you a night at these properties for £174 all-in. There is no doubt that this could be a great deal – taking a random night in May (20th), IC London is £345, IC Paris LeGrand is €475 and IC New York Times Square, pictured above, is $535 inc tax. All three had reward nights available.
Of course, I could run a different list of low season dates at the same properties – or other hotels in the group – where this would not look like such a great deal. That said, I doubt you will ever pay less than £174 for the IC’s above at any time of year.
Of course, if you got a bonus lower than 100% then the maths looks worse. I would definitely NOT be a buyer at less than 100%, especially as you can buy IHG points for $7 per 1,000 (compared to $5.75 per 1,000 with the 100% bonus) via the ‘cash and points and cancel’ trick explained at the bottom of this post.
You also run the risk of IHG changing their reward scheme before you spend the points. If you are concerned about a possible devaluation, think twice before opening your wallet.
However, this is also the cheapest I can ever remember seeing Rewards Club points. Given that you can no longer transfer Amex points to IHG, this is not a bad opportunity to top off your account if you are a few short of a target reward. It may even be worth buying enough points for an entire stay – but do the maths.
If you didn’t get the email, you can check to see if you are targetted by going to this webpage and inputting your IHG membership number. As I said at the top of the page, I didn’t receive an email but was still offered a 50% bonus.
If you see something you like on the new PointBreaks list, this could be a good opportunity to jump in!
This ‘buy points’ offer runs until April 21st.
(NB. The ‘cash and points and cancel’ trick requires you to have 5,000 IHG points in your account. Find a 15,000 point property and book a reward night. You will be forced to use ‘cash and points’ which is 5,000 points plus $70. Once you have booked, cancel. Your $70 is not returned to you – instead, you get 15,000 points back in your account. You have therefore effectively bought 10,000 points for $70. Repeat as required.)
(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.)