Bad Deal: 50% Bonus On Chase Transfers To IHG One Rewards

Chase already has current transfer bonuses to Marriott and British Airways. They had a transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic last month.

Now they’re running a 50% bonus on transfers to IHG One Rewards through August 15. Normally 1000 Chase transfers to 1000 IHG, but with this offer you get 1500 IHG points per 1000 Chase points. You shouldn’t take advantage of this bonus (and definitely shouldn’t ever transfer Chase points to IHG without a bonus).

IHG points ae worth about half a cent apiece. They also commonly sell points at this price (when running a 100% bonus). A 50% bonus gets you 75 basis points in value per Chase point which is awful return.

  • I value Aeroplan points at 1.4 cents apiece, Hyatt points at 1.4 cents apiece, and United miles at 1.3 cents apiece. Even with this bonus you’re not getting much more than half as much value as those other Chase transfer options without a bonus.

  • You can cash out Sapphire Preferred points at 1.25 cents apiece through their travel portal, Sapphire Reserve points at 1.5 cents that way, and get similar values through Chase ‘Pay Yourself Back’.

So the use case here is very limited. You might need to top off an account with a few thousand points. I tend to think that in most cases you’re better off buying the points than using your Chase points this way, but some will still do it. Transferring the full balance of points needed fo a booking to IHG One Rewards is usually going to be marginal value at best, even with the best value redemptions (for instance if you find an edge case where you’re getting 1 cent apiece per IHG point from the redemption).

Bottom line is that different currencies exist on different scales. You earn a lot of IHG points and need to spend a lot of IHG points for their hotel stays, compared to say Hyatt. “One point does not equal one point” across all programs and a 1:1 transfer ratio with IHG doesn’t make sense. IHG exists on an inflated scale, which is fine most of the time since there’s balance between the earn and burn sides of the program, but that doesn’t work when transfer rates ae 1000 Chase points into 1000 Hyatt points, 1000 United miles or 1000 IHG points.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Flexible point transfer to any hotel program, even with bonuses is rarely, ever a good deal. Sure there are reasons to do it like topping off for an award but the math doesn’t usually add up as you mention. This isn’t limited to IHG.

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