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IHG Rewards Club launches 25% – 100% ‘buy points’ bonus

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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.

IHG Mystery Bonus

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.

InterContinental Times Square

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.)


IHG Rewards Club update – January 2021:

Get bonus points: IHG is not currently running a global points promotion as of 1st January 2021.

New to IHG Rewards Club?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards Club here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards Club points, you can buy them here. You will get a 75% bonus if you buy 10,000+ IHG Rewards Club points by 25th February.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (41)

  • Daniel says:

    I was offered 100%. I don’t know the ins and outs of IHG rewards. Say for example that I wasn’t looking for 5* IC accommodation, but instead wanted good value rooms in Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn type hotels. Would I get much value from the points?

    Take an example: I’m currently looking for a room in Rome for a night in June. I’m not too fussy where I stay. Currently the cheapest HI Express room is 98 EUR, cheapest Crowne Plaza is 155 EUR. How many points would these hotels likely cost me?

    • Rob says:

      Unlikely to be a good deal at those prices. Easy to check though as points required show with cash prices if you are logged in.

    • Will says:

      Daniel, in my experience it’s unlikely that you’ll save anything with points in regular hotels if your booking in advance. For late notice stays it can help, for example I recently needed a hotel in cologne at 2 days notice. Website rate on the cheapest IHG property was £240 vs 20,000 points (approx £85 at the $7 per 1000 rate). I had to make this trip so saved me £150+

    • Mark says:

      Don’t forget that the Reward Points bookings are cancellable up to the last minute. It is often worth using points for a booking, and then checking pricessay 10 days before you travel to see if the advance booking rate is better value then.

  • Brian says:

    The thing to do, if you don’t want a top-end IC redemption, is to look out for relatively new Hotel Indigos (possibly also other brands – I don’t know). The Indigo at Earl’s Court, as Raffles pointed out in a post some time ago, is 30,000 points a night, compared to 35,000 for the much poorer HIX at Earl’s Court or HI at Kensington. So you could get four nights there for £418 – I never see rates as low as £104.50 a night there, so it’s a good deal.

    Or the Indigo Ku-Damm in Berlin is, or was the last time I checked, available for 20,000. So you could get 6 nights there for £418, which works out at about 85 euros a night – again, that is cheaper than it normally is.

    As pointed out in other posts, you do have to factor in the points, but remember that the big windfalls of gettings 15-20 thousand points for a stay usually only apply to your first stay. Most of the bonus points only apply to one stay. So any subsequent stays tend to be much more modest. The flexibility of being able to cancel Reward Points bookings is definitely a plus, and Reward Nights do count towards status.

  • Emad says:

    I am offered 100% so purchased 26000, I then decided to go in for more as we are planning a stay in IC Rome. And behold, I am offered to buy 60,000 (plus bonus of100%)

    I thought the annual limit is 120,000, and given I just bought 26,000 plus bonus (52,0000 in total) that I can now only purchase maximum 68,000?!!

    Looks like the bonus points doesn’t count towards the annual limit of 120,000
    So you can buy 240,000 points at £3.5 per 1000!!!

  • Erico1875 says:

    Only 25% for me.

    • Alan says:

      Ditto – I’m wondering if it’s because I’ve already earned and spent a reasonable number of points this year?

      • Alan says:

        Hmm although on checking a relative’s account (with no earning/spending – they got offered 25% too!)

      • Erico1875 says:

        I dont know what algarithm they are using Alan, i am the complete opposite from you.I am only a moderate points earner and occasional user of IC hotels. I even had to buy 10Kpoints to complete my last stay.
        25% isnt going to swing me to buy or use them any more frequently either.
        I’ve had my eye on a weekend in Cannes and at @ £3.50 per 1000 id have bought enough for 3 nights at the IC.

  • vonnie says:

    Only offered 25% ;/

    seeing as i’ve not used my IHG account before could i sign up again with a different email and try for a better offer?

  • Jenni says:

    100% for me as well, will have to do some maths here to see if its worth it. I had a large haul of points but with a few big redemptions this year I’m back down to less than 50,000 points at the moment.

  • Thunderbirds says:

    With the points and cash purchase I thought that the cash amount used to be $40 or $70 plus points but it is now £40 or £70 plus points. Is this my imagination or have they slipped a currency change in?

    • Rob says:

      Still shows as $ for me booking at ihg.com

      • Thunderbirds says:

        Interesting. It appears to be another IHG IT issue! I’m looking at IHG.com from Spain and it is showing £ for a cash and points booking on the main screen but when I go to the payment screen the currency changes to $ for the same amount…

  • Henry C says:

    I didn’t get an email, but was offered 100%! Not sure how much relevance this has but I stay with IHG a lot and have earned/spent a lot of points. Went for 30k (up to 60k) so a nice little bonus.