Expiration Date – April 15, 2016
Until April 15, 2016, certain “targeted’ IHG Rewards Club members will enjoy up to a 100% bonus on points purchases - some of these offers expire March 15 so check your account! Most other members will receive up to 60% off during this sale.
While IHG puts their points on sale almost every month, their 100% bonus is the best we’ve seen, so if you need points and can wait until the 100% bonus is offered universally, that sale is typically offered twice a year.
Without a bonus offer, IHG points you buy or gift will cost between 1.15 and 1.35 cents per point, which is about twice what we feel they are worth.
If you receive the offer for up to 60% off your purchase, your price will range from 0.72 cents per point if you purchase 60,000 points with a 60% bonus to 1.13 cents per point for 1,000 points with a 20% bonus.
As you know from prior trvlvip Perks and Tips, we believe the value of an IHG Rewards Club point is 0.7 cents per point, which is the value we would be willing to pay for IHG Rewards Club points if we could buy them for cash. It is also the minimum value we feel you should expect before redeeming your points.
So you are essentially buying points during this 60% bonus sale for slightly more than we believe they are worth if you purchase 60,000 points.
If you were lucky enough to receive the targeted 100% bonus, you will enjoy points at 0.57 cents per point as long as you purchase the minimum required to receive the 100% bonus.
So does a purchase make sense?
Maybe – we don’t suggest buying points speculatively, but rather advise you to purchase only with a specific award stay in mind.
Here is a quick calculation to help you decide:
Find an award stay.
Determine the full price of that stay if you were to pay cash including all taxes and fees.
Divide that amount by the number of IHG Rewards Club points required for the award stay (for Points & Cash award stays subtract the cash outlay for the stay from the total in #2 before dividing by the points required).
If the value per point exceeds the price of each purchased point you’ve found a good deal and, if not, we don’t suggest you buy the points.
A special note on Points & Cash awards:
IHG handles Points & Cash award stays in a unique way compared to the other major hotel companies.
When you book your stay using Points & Cash, you have three options and are basically buying IHG Rewards Club points for the points portion of your stay:
If you choose the option to pay 5,000 less rewards points and $40 per night, you are paying 0.8 cents per point
If you choose the option to pay 10,000 less rewards points and $70 per night, you are paying 0.7 cents per point.
If you choose the option to pay 20,000 less rewards points and $90 per night, you are paying 0.45 cents per point (this option isn’t always available, but when it is, it’s an excellent option to purchase points for quite a bit less than we believe they are worth)
Your debit or credit card will be charged right away for the $40, $70 or $90 per night depending on the option you choose
If you cancel your stay you will not receive the $40, $70 or $90 you paid per night back in the form of a cash credit, you will instead have the 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points for each night of your stay credited to your account (depending on the option you chose)
It rarely makes sense to buy points until you’ve chosen a location, picked your dates and have taken the steps to ensure award availability. Make the small effort to crunch the numbers to ensure the point purchase makes good economic sense (you’ve found an award that will yield you more value than the cost of the points)!
And, IHG Rewards Club typically offers a 100% bonus to purchase points twice a year. If you can delay a points purchase and wait for a better sale, you will benefit from a purchase price that is typically as low as 0.57 cents per point. And when the Points & Cash option to pay 20,000 less points for $90 is available, it’s a good way to buy points for 0.45 cents per point!
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