Bits: 100% IHG buy points bonus, Marriott to AA bonus, Hyatt New York deal

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News in brief:

(Note: parts of this article appeared on the site by accident on Friday for a few hours which is why it may sound familiar!)

100% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards Club points

IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc scheme – has brought back its ‘100% buy points bonus’ promotion.  It is as generous an offer as you will ever see for IHG points.

The page to buy points is here.  The deal runs until 3rd November.

The offer is targetted but very widely targetted, so it is very likely you will see it on your account.

Here are the standard purchase rates which do NOT include the bonus:

  • 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

I receive a 100% bonus with any order of 5,000 points or more.  Some people seem to have a higher minimum, as high as 25,000. Some people also seem to have been offered a cash discount on top of double points for buying the full 60,000 points, although I did not receive that.

With a 100% bonus, you would be able to buy 120,000 IHG points for (at current exchange rates for $690) £525.  This assumes your credit card has 0% FX fees.

Here are a few examples of how this deal may work.

At the top end of the IHG Rewards Club portfolio, you have InterContinental properties which top out at 50,000 – 60,000 points per night. That’s what you would pay for InterContinental Le Grand in Paris or the InterContinental Amstel in Amsterdam.

With a 100% bonus, IHG is effectively selling you a night at a 50,000 point property for £219 all-in.  A 60,000 point hotel would be £262.  At the bottom end, the points for a 5,000 point PointBreaks night would cost just £22.

You should look at this if you have a ‘buy points’ target for your Accelerate promotion – although it makes more sense to buy 5,000 and get the bonus than buy 1,000 for no bonus.  If you are topping off your account, it is also a good deal irrespective of the exact cents per point cost.  The maximum number of points you can buy per year is 120,000 (ie 60,000 plus the 60,000 bonus).

You can buy via this link.

30% bonus on Marriott Rewards transfers to American Airlines

Until 5th December, American Airlines is offering a 30% bonus if you transfer your Marriott Rewards points into AAdvantage miles.

Full details can be found on the American Airlines site here.

This is NOT necessarily a good deal.  There are two reasons why:

Miles transferred to American as part of a Marriott Rewards Travel Package do not qualify for the bonus.  As a Travel Package is probably the best use of Marriott Rewards points, this is clearly an issue.  You can learn more about Travel Packages in my article here.

As you can now move Marriott Rewards points to Starwood Preferred Guest at 3:1, and since 20,000 Starwood points convert into 25,000 American Airlines miles on a permanent basis, you may find little extra benefit from this offer.

That said, if you’ve got a few orphan Marriott Rewards points and have an American Airlines miles balance, this is a decent chance to use them up.

Interesting Hyatt redemption deal in New York

If you have a small number of World of Hyatt points, you might be interested in a new Hyatt Place hotel which has opened in Long Island City.  Located on the western edge of Queens, this is VERY close to Manhattan, just one subway stop away.

The hotel website is here.

The key benefit is that you can book a free night here for just 8,000 World of Hyatt points.  I tend to value a Hyatt point at 1p and this property clearly exceeds that by a long way given that midweek dates are $230 including tax.  You even get free breakfast.   Hat-tip to US blog Will Run For Miles.

(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.)

Credit & Charge Card Reviews (13): Starwood Preferred Guest / SPG American Express - a handy resource you might not know
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  1. Have I missed the usual article on ihg pointsbreaks that starts today? Searched but couldn’t find it…

  2. I once had a hotel in Long Island City. It’s an interesting neighbourhood to say the least

  3. OT: There’s a Qatar sale once a week, but what happened with Emirates
    great Business and First Class sales?
    There used to 2-4-1 etc. all the time, but I haven’t seen any good one in years,
    not from any country in Europe?
    They fill their planes anyway?

    • I haven’t found any great deals with QR recently in economy where long haul is concerned. By sale do you mean the 10% off coupons they sometimes advertise. Rob, are we likely to get any good QR sales (like the BOGOF last year or exceptional Business class ones) for travel up to April 2018. Wondering if I should just book what’s there or wait for a good sale as we are a family of 4.

      • They usually do a big ‘travel festival’ sale in January don’t they?

        • Thanks, thinking of travelling in February so that would be quite late to book flights and hotels. Let’s see.

  4. OT. I have 4,300 Hyatt points due to expire next week. I don’t have enough to transfer into BAEC or do I have a Hyatt stay coming up at any point soon.

    Any other suggestions on what to do with them?

    • Buy 1,000 to get you to the 5,000 for an airline conversion? Presumably buying 1,000 keeps them all alive anyway?

      • OT but sort of related, I have some orphan Qatar miles expiring soon. Was thinking of transferring to Accor and then to Iberia, but I would have under 1000 Accor points. Anyone know if this can still be transferred to Iberia plus – ie. does this trick still work?…
        (I know Air Berlin is dead, but accor topbonus page still exists)

        • the real harry1 says:

          still working for new people as of a month ago (as reported here)

          those of us who have it working (me!) don’t dare touch our settings 🙂

        • Cheers Harry. Might as well give it a go… The Qpoints are dying anyway!

        • the real harry1 says:

          I warn you: it is blimmin’ fiddly, however only took a few mins to get it working for myself & wife

          when you succeed istr you get an email confirming you’ve set it up right

          great way to activate an IB a/c without buying anything/ flying etc

        • Ok, will ready myself! Should I wait for the Qpoints transfer to hit Accor, or will it still work if you set up the auto-transfer with a zero points balance?

  5. OT

    Rob clock needs changing, still displays summer time.

  6. OT sorry. Mrs W just cancelled her Amex Plat. I know she won’t get any signup bonus for 6 months. However, I currently have a plat so if I refer her for Gold now, will I still get the 9k (or 18k!) bonus? Thanks.

    • In the last week there have been several reports on 18k so if you need those MR points for something soon then probably worth the risk.for an extra 9k. However, if points are not needed urgently then you amd Mrs W wou,d probably be better getting your cards into sync to max referal/upgrade churn cycles.

      • Sorry, forgot the key point to your question. If she successfully applies using a referal link from you there is no reason why you would not get the referal bonus.

        • Great, thanks. I’m about to cancel plat and based on this answer I think it’s better to refer Mrs W for gold as opposed to me downgrading to gold. The latter option I believe I’d be charged gold fees from day 1, whereas Mrs W wouldn’t as she would be in the first year?

  7. Roberto Bartoni says:

    Is there a list somewhere which explains how many points you’d need to pay for each property?

    • No, but there are general unofficial bands – 50/60 for an InterCon, 40-50 for a Crowne Plaza, 20-40 for a Holiday Inn etc. You can reduce these numbers in Asia.

      • Roberto Bartoni says:

        Thanks, Rob.

        • I always use as a start.

          I’m not sure if it’s 100% up to date with new hotels and also rate changes, but gives an idea where the cheaper hotels are going to be.

          Can filter on brands, as well as points per night.

      • RussellH says:

        There are plenty of HIs at 15 000 in the UK, and some at 10 000 too. If I am looking for an overnight spot near a motorway in the UK I would never go as high as 20 000 for an HI – that is for a UK city centre emergency last minute deal only, really. After all, even on the special rate for buying points, 20 000 = $135 which these days is over £100, and more than Rob’s estmated value of an IHG point as being ~£0.005!!

        And I got the CP at Manchester Airport last summer for 25 000, which was arguably more than the room rate. Combining that with free lounge use thanks to a PRG Amex and completely free flights from LH (no taxes and fees for 15 000 miles) it seemed like a decent package, though.

    • Lady London says:

      The more prosaic answer is that to find out how many points properties cost, do a search on ihg dot com. Enter one hotel location or name. So you could enter.just “Frankfurt” and see a list of IHG properties there. If you picked the rate type Rewards Nights as one of the options you took in the pulldown on the field for this on the search, how many rewards points that property would cost will be displayed for each hotel alongside the cash rates.

  8. O/T – Sunday points project

    My brother gets married in Italy next August – Lake Como (actually near Como itself). I am trying to devise a plan to minimise travel & hotel cost for my family. Would be grateful if someone could check my logic!

    Seems there are 2 properties…
    – Sheraton Lake Como – mixed reviews, 12k points / 230eur per night approx.
    – Hilton Lake Como – brand new (slightly better location), opens March 2018, 65k points, 250 eur per night.
    (prices/points for the weekend nights where can maxmise returns – weekday are cheaper).

    Assuming there are two adults (who would be eligible for credit cards) per family, these are the options i considered.

    SPG card – £75 fee, would get 11k points spending £1k in 3 months. Both adults do this and would just about get 2 nights with the ‘normal’ point searned by spending the £1k each.

    Hilton card -no fee in year 1 – free weekend night for spending £750 in 3 months. Again, both adults do this to get sat and sun nights free.

    Amex Gold – the 22k points would convert to either 11k SPG (almost a night -worth £200) or 44k hilton (not quite a free night). Or convert to 22k Avios to use for RFS – which i value at around £130 (cash flights £100 return x 2, vs £35 RFS x2) .We actually live nearer Manchester, where cash flights are closer to £150 return. So it’s a close call for converting to hotel points for a free night, vs RFS flights.
    Would also get 2 free lounge passes.

    Amex Plat – £450 fee in year 1 – would give Hilton Gold, for free breakfasts, and lounge access both ends, travel insurance. Could cancel straight for prorata refund of fee.

    So my thoughts are that the Hilton route is better than SPG – the zero fee in Year 1 (x2 people) and slightly lower spending target (although if used Amex points for SPG, that gives an extra night whereas Hilton not quite). It’s also a brand new hotel (which has its pros and cons) and is a slightly better location for the wedding.

    Realise that takes a few weeks for Hilton nights to be triggered, and vouchers only valid for 6 months, so would need to time it correctly. Also going to be tricky to earn the points and still have enough time to confirm bookings.

    What have i missed, any ideas? suggestions?!

    Any advice for a couple travelling with a 3 year old -thinking about hotel rooms, and also Avios redemptions for RFS?
    Thanks in advance!

    • What’s your length of stay, just 2 wknd nights?

      • Everyone staying different lengths – some just the weekend, and others for a full week.
        Looks like the points/cash values are similar (Hilton and Sheraton) are similar for the weekdays.

        • I was asking in case one Hilton room was 5 nights, so on points, only pay for 4 nights….

        • Trip rep- ok clear – unfortunately we don’t have enough points for 4 nights. We were looking at the Hilton in Oman on that basis, but these points are now being earmarked for Italy!

          (For some reason it won’t let me reply to your last message in the thread – anyone else find that or just me ?)

        • That’s what happens when the maximum depth of reply has been reached – it’s to stop the width of reply getting ever-narrower 🙂

    • You can maximise the credit card sign ups by person A (you) referring person B (your other half)

      A applies for SPG card (using referral), gets spend bonus of 11,000 SPG points + 1,000 for spending
      A refers B and gets 5,000 bonus points
      B gets spend bonus of 11,000 SPG points +1,000 for spending
      SPG total 29,000

      A applies for Amex Gold (using referral), gets spend bonus of 22,000 MR points plus 2,000 for spending
      A upgrades using platinum link gets 20,000 bonus MR points plus 1,000 for spending
      A refers B for Amex gold and gets 9,000 bonus MR points (or 18,000 as per current reports)
      A cancels Amex Plat
      B applies for Amex Gold (using referral), gets spend bonus of 22,000 MR points plus 2,000 for spending
      B upgrades using platinum link gets 20,000 bonus MR points plus 1,000 for spending
      B cancels Amex Plat

      Total 99,000 MR points

      Think that maths is correct…

      • *A should cancel amex plat after referring B and receiving the referral points.

        • Ok great thanks – I didn’t realise the referrals were so valuable. Now it’s clear why rob is so points-rich!
          The only obstacle here might be the spending targets for everyone involved. Will give it some thought, thanks very much for the effort in your reply.

        • For clarity I don’t get any special deal from Amex on referrals, although of course I can rope in family members etc.

        • the real harry1 says:

          somewhat surprising but I take it at face value

          I thought you would/ should get a better deal from them as bringing in the ABC1s?

          might have been a B (stroke A) once lol

          not now

    • Have a look at Marriott too. SPG points transfer at 3:1 and Gold (matched from SPG) gets breakfast. Have not looked at hotels at Como.

      • another major benefit of Marriott is being able to book and so secure rooms before you get the points.

        • but the nearest property is Malpensa so irrelevant, in this case

        • Yep – already looked at Marriott – thanks. Shame!

        • @Tom, two points to add to above suggestions. Firstly, is Easyjet to Milan or Ryanair to Bergamo direct from Manchester an optional alternative to RFS from Manchester or Heathrow? Would think long and hard about Ryanair but I flew Easyjet this year for the first time and rate them above BA based on two flights. Lake Como is beautiful but are you sure you want to be there for the duration? You could consider a two centre with Milan. Hilton might be cheaper for your dates and there will be many other hotel options too. Holiday Inn is a short walk from Garribaldi Station for example and is only 25k points per night IIRC. Another plus of staying in Milan is you can do inexpensive day trips to Venice or Florence if you book train tickets well in advance.

        • Genghis says:

          I use Easyjet a lot within Europe and like the product. I don’t rate Milan that highly though. There are much better places in Italy.

        • @Ghengis, I found Milan something of a disappointment too but with the fast trains and local network it is a good base to see other places even on day trips. Found the seats on easyjet more comfortable than BA, important if spending 2h+ on board. Biggest selling point though for us in regions is direct flights,

        • Genghis says:

          I know a great place to get chateaubriand on a hot stone though in Milan. Delicious. Next time I’m in Zürich for work I plan to go to Milan on the Saturday, travel to Tirano and then on the Sunday take the Bernina Express to Chur then onto Zürich. A few posters here have previously said how good it is – you JamesB might have been one of them.

        • @jamesb – yes Manchester flights are actually easier – but are actually more expensive meaning the value of the RFS increases. However in the last week Ryanair has released bhx flights which are even better so will probably consider that too.

          Re Milan – more than likely we will spend 1-2 nights in Milan – hotels definitely cheaper and can use some other chain points.

          @ghengis – care to share your Milan restaurant tip please?!

    • Can u maybe get a group discount rate?

  9. Graham Walsh says:

    Do buying IHG points count towards Elite Qualifying Points for status?

  10. Not sure if it’s account-specific but I’m looking at the following price bands:

    1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
    11,000 – 25,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
    26,000 – 60,000 points for $10.00 per 1,000 points

    With a 100% bonus for >25k points, it’s basically $5.00 per 1,000 points which is excellent value!

    • Some people have had this – a price cut – it is a great deal for them.

      • I have this offer, is it that good a deal? 52k points for $260? If I want to book an IC at 60k points, thats $300. Or is it a better deal at other IHG brands?

        • It must be one of the best buy points deals ever. There are lots of intercons going for >$300 per night.

        • Might buy some points speculatively, got a big trip to US planned next year…

        • Hmm…the 25% C+P flash sale was certainly a better deal than this

    • So are some people getting offered a better bonus? I am all bought up on my account for the year but hubby’s offer is $11.50 per 1000 from 26000 upwards which is the normal price.

  11. OT Update on the Tesco Premium Credit Card – we cancelled the card on 17/10 as our anniversary was 16/10. 5000 Clubcard points have appeared in our account on 25/10 on not 45 days after anniversary as stated. We were told the fee for one day was 49p which they agreed to waive but they appear to have added a fee credit of £12.74 instead. It might sort itself out by next month, if not I will need to call them.

  12. OT it appears Tesco has added National Express at 3x… Has anyone tried using it? Is it easy to book, and does it include all fares (including saver prices) or just the expensive ones? Thinking it could be useful to get to/from Heathrow, or even between Heathrow and Gatwick…

  13. thehornets says:

    O/T: just like the last few weeks, there are 1,000 free Marriott Rewards points TODAY for those on Twitter. Just answer today’s question (the answer is 10ft) and within the day you will have 1,000 points in your Marriott Rewards account.

    Click here:

    There is a new (easy) competition each sunday to tie in with the NFL season = at least 8,000 free Marriott points, although some people think this is going on for much longer!

  14. Thanks, but how do they know my account number? I guess you need to connect it to Twitter somehow or NFL?

    • You need to go here and link your twitter account to Marriott

      • thanks

      • I have spent most of the evening trying to get my hubby’s Marriott and twitter accounts linked but it keeps saying he is already registered even though we have never registered it. The form keeps taking me round in circles. Twitter has acknowledged the tweet but says the accounts are not linked. Marriott says the account is linked. Marriott have now referred it to the chirpify team so have to wait for a response back from them.

  15. Having burnt 80% of my IHG Stash on hotels for visiting Inlaws / bridesmaids rooms i am questioning whether it is worth still collecting now I don’t stay at hotels enough to get an accelerate target and can’t get that many points from spending. Maybe time to cancel my card and wait for another increased signup bonus

  16. Thanks for the HT!

  17. I’m struggling to get more than 0.32p of value in Japan, so I wouldn’t go near these rates to be honest!

  18. czechoslovakia says:

    Just got an email saying the offer had been extended. 120,000 points bought for $600. No mention of any specific price reduction, but better than the usual $690… Certainly value to be had.

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