100 Percent Bonus on Purchase of IHG Rewards Club Points: Should You Buy Now?

You can redeem your IHG Rewards Club frequent flier loyalty program points for award nights at the Holiday Inn Amsterdam Schiphol, where I was able to walk to the airport when the shuttle bus seemed to take forever to arrive. It was a long walk — but I could use the exercise. Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

You can receive a bonus of 100 percent on the purchase of IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points through August 26, 2013 — but is it worth it; and should you buy now?

Let us first look at the rates which you may purchase in increments of 1,000 IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points:

Amount of Points Purchased
Typical Rate Per 1,000 Points
Rate Per 1,000 Points Through August 26, 2013
1,000 – 10,000 $13.50 per 1,000 points
$6.75 per 1,000 points or $13.50 per 2,000 points
11,000 – 25,000 $12.50 per 1,000 points $6.25 per 1,000 points or $12.50 per 2,000 points
26,000 – 60,000 $11.50 per 1,000 points $5.75 per 1,000 points or $11.50 per 2,000 points

 

As you can see by the chart above, you effectively get double the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points on your purchase through August 26, 2013.

This may or may not be a good deal, as it all depends on how much your room rate would cost you versus what the amount of IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points your need to purchase for an award night in that same room would cost you.

As FlyerTalk member PaulMSN calculates, a hotel property where you must redeem 25,000 IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points for an award night would cost you $143.75 — a bargain if that room would cost you $250.00 for a night; but certainly no deal if the room rate costs $99.00 for the night.

If the calculation results are negligible, you should build in the time value of money of your purchase — meaning how much will it cost you in potential interest to purchase IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points to reserve an award night several months in advance if you are only saving ten dollars, for example. That savings most likely will not be worth tying up your money for several months — or the use of your time, which is also worth money.

Of course, this may not apply if you intended to purchase your room rate in advance anyway to save money.

If, however, you intend to purchase the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points to use on promotions — such as PointBreaks — then you potentially can save a significant amount of money.

Ric Garrido of the Loyalty Traveler weblog posted a more detailed analysis pertaining to this promotion as it applies to him — but it will not apply to everyone and it may not apply to you. It does not apply to me, which is why I am not participating in this offer.

Ric also states that this offer is for elite members of the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points.

The bottom line is you have to figure out what is your threshold of savings — as well as at which hotel property you plan on staying, which room rate you would pay if you did not use IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points and what time of year you intend to be a guest — to ascertain whether or not it is worth participating in this offer…

…but does this promotion portend a future devaluation of the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program, as some FlyerTalk members fear — even after a perceived major devaluation which was announced at the beginning of this year? Is it a good idea to purchase IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program points even when there is no promotion?

Comments (Showing 3 of 3)

  • FlightNurse at 9:49am August 13, 2013

    I bought IHG points a couple of months back through another deal, I was able to get 200K points for $8xx. A deal since I’m using the points to stay in NYC Time Square. I’m tired of hearing how the hotel industry has “major devaluated” points over the years. These deals to buy points can work in your favor if you redeem them at high price properties.

    • Brian Cohen at 10:32am August 13, 2013

      I agree with you, FlightNurse, as I apply the same mantra to airlines: use your frequent flier loyalty program miles for expensive international airfares to get the best value.

      However, it is important to note that devaluation may not only mean that the frequent travel loyalty program miles or points are simply worth less than they used to be worth where you need more of them to purchase the same award. They could also be more difficult to redeem — such as at a high-priced hotel property or on a premium class seat for an international flight — depending on such factors as the time of year, location, etc.

      The “trick” here, of course, is to be successful — which is not always easy; but also not necessarily difficult if you are flexible and are willing to put some time and effort into research.

  • jackplum at 6:47am August 14, 2013

    I have taken advantage of similar programs with both ICH and Hilton. I have had no problem using them for higher priced properties or for properties that are higher because of seasonal rates and location.

    For the past several years, I have used points for properties in the Caribbean during President’s week. Rates at that time are about twice the off season rate – if not more – yet point redemption is the same. Couple that with the current bonus above and it is a deal – for me.

    YMMV

    I also like to keep a substantial bank of points. One never knows when a deal will rear its ugly head!

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