Monday is the Last Day to Buy IHG Rewards Club Points at Up to 100% Bonus

IHG Rewards Club is offering a targeted purchased points bonus (the bonus amount varies by member) on a sliding scale (the more points you buy the lower the price per point).

When you go to the purchase page you have to identify yourself in order to determine the bonus you’re going to be offered.

Does this look familiar, like what US Airways Dividend Miles does sometimes – both the targeting, and the occasionally varying of bonus amounts? Interestingly the IHG Rewards Club manager is himself late of Dividend Miles.

I’m only offered a 25% bonus, however most reports are of people being offered 100% (and even people who were earlier offered 25% now seeing the 100% offer).

Here’s IHG’s points pricing:

You may purchase points in 1,000 increments:
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

The normal price of 1.15 cents per point (at the highest purchase tier) is crazy to do since you can buy points any time you wish at 7/10ths of a cent apiece by making and cancelling cash and points reservations. (Buy only what you need, manufacturing points purchases in bulk in this fashion could attract unwanted attention to your account and isn’t worth it at this price anyway.)

At a 25% bonus I’d get 75,000 points for $690. That’s just over 9/10ths of a cent per point and not a good deal.

At a 100% bonus you can buy 120,000 points for $690, or 0.00575 per point.

That’s a better price than you can get with ‘the trick’ and it’s completely above-board.

That said, it’s also about the price that I value IHG Rewards Club points. So while you probably won’t get hurt at that price, and IHG Rewards Club has committed not to raise points prices on its hotel awards for the rest of the year, I still prefer cash over these points.

That point of view is further informed by the program lacking an option to redeem points for better than a base room, and that hotels aren’t required to honor most elite benefits on points stays (although many do). As a result I do not love redeeming my IHG Rewards Club points.

Nonetheless there are some fantastic redemption options in the program. In fact, perhaps the single best hotel points redemption may be in IHG Rewards Club.

Purchases are processed by so do not earn credit card bonuses for hotel or IHG-specific spending.

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. I was offered 25% off. Not worth it (especially with all the point devaluations in the last few years).

    However, as I’m sure Gary will notify us, the U.S. Travel Association/American Express “Daily Getaways” are coming up pretty soon. Previews available May 12, 2014; live offers May 19 – June 20. In the past, Daily Getaways have offered IHG points for only ~$.0067 each. (Only purchasable in specified blocks of points, e.g., 10,000 points for $67.) In addition to the low price, you get an extra 10% off for using an American Express card to purchase. And (in the past at least) these purchased points count towards status. Probably the best deal generally available for IHG points, but I didn’t bother with it last year (because of devaluations, it’s just not as good a deal as it used to be), and am not sure whether I will this year.

  2. My offer was originally 25%. I checked just now and it went up to 100%!!! Check again on the last day – maybe they will bump you up. Thanks for the reminder on this, Gary. I also used one of those nifty Staples $200 Visa gift cards to purchase my points. 16,000 + 16,000 bonus = $200 even!

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