There are two ‘buy points’ offers available at the moment which are worth a look and which, because they have been running for a while, you may well have forgotten about.
IHG Rewards Club is also running a pseudo ‘buy points’ bonus as well.
Starwood Preferred Guest
You get 10% off purchases of up to 9500 points, 15% off 10000 to 14500, 20% off 15000 to 19500 and the full 30% off only when you buy at least 20,000 points.
At the top end, 30,000 points will cost you $735 (£575). These can be converted to 35,000 airline miles in the majority of programmes. The price per mile works out at 1.7p which is certainly not a bargain but less than a lot of airlines charge for buying their miles directly.
One good reason to do this is to get Lufthansa Miles & More miles, as these cannot be bought directly from the airline.
The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 30,000 points per year, your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.
Remember that you can transfer SPG points into Marriott Rewards at a generous 1:3. This opens up a lot of opportunities, especially around Marriott Travel Package rewards.
If you don’t know about Marriott Travel Package rewards, read this article. As an example, 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (90,000 Starwood points) will get you 7 nights in a Marriott Group Category 1-5 hotel AND 120,000 Avios points. This is exceptional value.
If you are interested, you can buy via SPG points this link.
This is the first bonus promotion since the new Hilton redemption process kicked in. Under this new offering – which applies to purchases of 5,000 points or more – the cheapest price you can pay is 0.40p based on $800 for 160,000 points.
Does this still make sense under the new structure? In theory, yes. Or, to put it another way, it makes as much sense as it ever did.
Whilst the redemption cost of Hilton properties is now more closely linked to the prevailing cash price, there is still a cap on the points required. The best value will generally be at properties which are selling for a very high price but where the points ‘cap’ has kicked in.
Conrad Tokyo, when I booked for my recent stay, was selling for 95,000 points or £517 including tax (this was peak tourist season pricing). That gets me 0.54p per point. My room at the Waldorf-Astoria in Beijing the following week worked out at 0.48p per point.
At both of these hotels, buying points under this offer would have been somewhat cheaper than paying cash although you should net off any points you would earn back.
One upside of the new Hilton redemption structure is that your downside for buying points is limited. You can now use points as part-payment for any hotel at any time and you should get back at least what you pay under this offer – and hopefully more.
The link to buy is here if you’re interested.
IHG Rewards Club
Finally, IHG Rewards Club is offering a 20% discount on the cash element of ‘cash and points’ bookings UNTIL FRIDAY. This allows you to effectively buy points cheaply for future use.
This is a roundabout way of picking up cheap IHG Rewards Club points. You need at least 5,000 points in your account to get started, although in the example below you need 40,000 points.
This is what you do:
Pick a random hotel on ihg.com – let’s take InterContinental London Park Lane as an example which usually costs 60,000 points
Book a room using ‘cash and points’ – the best value is 40,000 points + $100
Make the booking
Cancel the booking – you don’t get your $100 back but you DO get 60,000 points back
You have therefore “bought” 20,000 points for $100 which is a bargain $5 per 1,000
Whether $5 per 1,000 points works for you depends entirely on where you redeem. A top InterContinental would be $300 on this basis (60,000 points) which at peak periods would be a decent deal.
IHG Rewards update – June 2021:
Get bonus points: The current IHG Rewards promotion is ‘Triple Your Points’ – our full article is here. It runs from 15th May to 16th August. You receive double base points on your second stay and triple base points on your third and subsequent stays. You can register on this page of ihg.com.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.
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.