If you had 3.7 Million IHG point, how would you use them?

Old May 2, 18, 4:39 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TravelwhileyouEat View Post
At the current 70,000 point top redemption amount, that's around 50-ish nights and at the more average 50,000 point properties that's 74 nights.

I could theoretically get up to 740,000 miles (5 points per mile transfer rate) for my preferred airline program and use them on lots of flights; or book flights and hotels for places I've always wanted to go.

Sample Itinerary:

- LHR - SYD - LHR on SQ Suites is 296,000 miles for a round-trip saver per person; so if you travel with some that's 2,960,000 points (1,480,000 points x 2) leaving you 740,000 points for hotels.
- Stay at the IC Sydney for say 5 nights at 60,000 points per night (leaves you with 440,000 points)
- Add in a free stopover in Singapore and stay at the IC Singapore for say 3 nights which is one of the nice properties and with the recent-ish renovation it's not bad at 50,000 points a night (290,000 points to go)
- I would book a small nested trip from SIN to BKK on a reasonable J fare [or cheapo Y, whatever your spend tolerance is] and stay at the IC Bangkok (3 nights for 120,000 points) and IC Koh Samui (3 nights for 150,000) [total of 270,000, leaving 20,000 points]

So that's ... LHR - SYD / 5 nights in IC Sydney / SYD - SIN / nested trip of SIN - BKK / 3 nights in IC Bangkok / BKK to Koh Samui / 3 nights in IC Koh Samui / BKK - SIN / 3 nights in IC Singapore / SIN - LHR

Of course this plan is subject to having the perfect storm of availability, but this is how I would personally spend the points.
Now that's a plan! And exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for. Yeah I'm good at accumulating the points and miles but less creative in the 'how to apply them' department.

Are you saying I can use the IHG points to convert to flights? Interested in knowing more about that if I've understood correctly.

And indeed I have a large bag of Amex points which could indeed be used for flights. Yes this is exactly the sort of battle plan I was hoping to see. Could do a whole lot worse than copying that. But very interested to understand more about the points conversion to flights

Great plan....thanks for sharing that
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Old May 2, 18, 4:46 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by scubaccr View Post
Although I suggested use good ICs who give lounge+upgrades as basis to plan trip, did not mean don't mix in with some less generous ICs in great citties. In Asia, Eastern Europe where wages are less, eg IC Bangkok club upsell is fairly cheap compared to eg IC PLG/IC-ParkLane.
Of course there are the aspirational ICs eg Bora Bora, Mona, Tahiti. Bali, if one can get the nights booked, not easy if small room numbers so only 3or4 award rooms per night. That also may play a part in your decision, plan around ICs where award nights are far far easier to book.

Good RA Award Treatment
o IC HongKong in Asia have always given lounge on award nights, alas theey no longer give RAs the Superior Junior suite from base room as before (whether paid or points bokings)
o IC Pattaya (I have been regular since rebrand) treat Award same as Paid
o IC Paris Le Grand, since 2017 Lounge seems only regulars on points but nice room upgrades still usually given to all RAs
o IC Kiev , lounge+upgrade on awards like paid nights.

European ICs Citys try if not there before whether or not great treatment
IC Amsterdam (no lounge) Used to give suites for RAs on awards
IC Madrid
IC Paris
IC Berlin
IC Budapest
IC Bucharest
IC Kiev
IC Cannes (no lounge at property)

Plus some locations are fairly inexpensive if you have a corporate rate around circa100-120gbp night maximum I can't see need/value to use points or can book mix of paid/award to get consecutive nights if some award nights sold out
o Budapest
o Berlin
o IC Madrid
o IC Porto
o IC Frankfurt
o Bucharest
o IC Pattaya
o IC Bangkok
o IC Kuala Lumpur (Book Club room as RA and get one of the Ambassador Suite if available/unsold at checkin)
o IC Hanoi
o IC Saigon
o IC Semiramis Egypt
o IC Citystars Egypt

nb
Don't worry about booking only ICs, some CPs are great and ok on award nights treatment and even, in better locations than ICs. , eg CP London City, Amsterdam Zuid
Solid data as always Subaccr, thanks for sharing that. Yes have to plead guilty to often skipping CP as an option. Mrs. Atacama also said same as you.

So if you were to highlight maybe 5-10 IC's who give best RA treatment on award stays what would you say they might be....regardless of location?

Cheers
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Old May 2, 18, 5:19 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Atacama40 View Post
Now that's a plan! And exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for. Yeah I'm good at accumulating the points and miles but less creative in the 'how to apply them' department.

Are you saying I can use the IHG points to convert to flights? Interested in knowing more about that if I've understood correctly.

And indeed I have a large bag of Amex points which could indeed be used for flights. Yes this is exactly the sort of battle plan I was hoping to see. Could do a whole lot worse than copying that. But very interested to understand more about the points conversion to flights

Great plan....thanks for sharing that
I forgot to mention that IHG to airline miles transfers usually at 5 points to 1 mile but there are certain programs that use a different earning system (such as kilometers) and I would only transfer to a program where I can reasonably get a redemption. Note also how long miles will be valid for; in my example I gave SQ wherein miles go bye bye after 3 years unless you are a PPS club member [requires SG$25,000 in J or F spend in one year].

IHG transfer window is usually 2 to 4 weeks depending on your airline program.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 8:33 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by scubaccr View Post
Plus some locations are fairly inexpensive if you have a corporate rate around circa100-120gbp night maximum I can't see need/value to use points or can book mix of paid/award to get consecutive nights if some award nights sold out
As a very long time RA I would never ever consider at all booking a 100 GBP IC for 30k to 40k points:
  • Exchanging points against IHG rewards Mastercards gives a value of 3,75 USD for 1000 points.
  • Using Shoop.de earns 12 to 15% Cashback in "real money" -
  • A revenue stay earns at least 20 fresh points per Dollar, which constitutes another 7,5% discount in "IHG Mastercards Money"
Besides that, all the perks due will be granted without any stupid discussions (and you get all the nights an turnover you require to requalify and requirefor promotions). I only use points if the rates are very high and/or the hotels offers cash upgrades to suites. Last stay was at IC HKG over new year. I used points to book and cash to upgrade to a Deluxe Junior Suite. At the end I paid 200 USD per night plus points for the suite which was pretty good considering room rates of about 1000 USD per night for that suite.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 8:37 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by TravelwhileyouEat View Post
I forgot to mention that IHG to airline miles transfers usually at 5 points to 1 mile but there are certain programs that use a different earning system (such as kilometers) and I would only transfer to a program where I can reasonably get a redemption. Note also how long miles will be valid for; in my example I gave SQ wherein miles go bye bye after 3 years unless you are a PPS club member [requires SG$25,000 in J or F spend in one year].

IHG transfer window is usually 2 to 4 weeks depending on your airline program.

260.000 points for 52k air miles looks like a bad deal compared to 260.000 points to 1000 USD in cash.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 9:51 am
  #36  
 
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Converting into airline miles sounds attractive to me.
Instead of spending 50.000 points for a 250 US$ hotel room (where you get more points and possibly RA status for the next year when paid with cash) has a value of less than 0.5 cents per point.
If you can get a first class award ticket which costs 10.000 US$ for around 150.000-200.000 miles or 750.000 to 1M miles then this sounds tempting.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:21 am
  #37  
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@flying Lawer: Are you referring to the Meeting Credits Prepaid MasterCard?
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:16 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
...Besides that, all the perks due will be granted without any stupid discussions (and you get all the nights an turnover you require to requalify and requirefor promotions)...
This is the logic that caused me to rack up over 4 million points during the crazy stackable codes/crack-the-case/free night promo years (2009-2012ish). I always found myself at hotels that didn't grant benefits on award stays, or where cash rates were too low to justify using points. That was, of course, a time when the top hotels cost 40k/nt, and in hindsight, it would have made sense to use points much more often, rather than trying to save them for the improbable rare cpp/great hotel/benefits granted redemption. I'm now down to under a million points, and had some great redemptions along the way, including $250 Anyhotel giftcards for 27k points, 25k/nt for IC DAD, 40k for IC Thalasso, presidential suite at IC Paris (all these are long gone), and even the occasional decent cpp/limited benefits stay at expensive HI/CP/Indigos. But also lots of so-so redemptions. I would advise anyone who has millions of points laying around NOT to save them up for the perfect redemption -- we're now at 70k/nt for the top hotels (and 40-50k for mediocre hotels in expensive locations), and points inflation will continue.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:40 pm
  #39  
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I would use them for any stays with a personal cost.

The problem is that the value of points changes when you have more than a million from if you have 100k.

I normally hover at about 1.1M but will use 30k points for a 110 stay, if I didn't I would never use any. The value reduces with the the total balance. I value IHG points at around 0.3p at this level or more you get value.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by Land-of-Miles View Post
I would use them for any stays with a personal cost.

The problem is that the value of points changes when you have more than a million from if you have 100k.

I normally hover at about 1.1M but will use 30k points for a 110 stay, if I didn't I would never use any. The value reduces with the the total balance. I value IHG points at around 0.3p at this level or more you get value.
I'm in the same ballpark in terms of points and logic. Though I'm happier spending the points on non-IC stays as these, it seems, no longer count as anything in the RA programme.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 2:28 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
Converting into airline miles sounds attractive to me.
Instead of spending 50.000 points for a 250 US$ hotel room (where you get more points and possibly RA status for the next year when paid with cash) has a value of less than 0.5 cents per point.
If you can get a first class award ticket which costs 10.000 US$ for around 150.000-200.000 miles or 750.000 to 1M miles then this sounds tempting.
This is the usual incorrect logic regarding first class plane tickets.

First of all, you would never spend $10k. Second of all, you can use the points on hotel stays and take the cash you save on those hotel nights and simply buy airline miles during a promo - you'd end up spending far less...
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Old Aug 27, 18, 4:54 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I'm in the same ballpark in terms of points and logic. Though I'm happier spending the points on non-IC stays as these, it seems, no longer count as anything in the RA programme.
Snap, my spend was 75% non-IC last 18months. Value of points is no longer the old p+c usd70/10k but new lower P+C usd55/10k ratios and agree if large balance the value is what you can gret from every dst award redemptions, rather than C+P trick cost to replace spent points which I previously used.

Also as RA/Spire 100% Bonus means 33% more per $$ spend 20pts v 15pts, so 25% off old usd70/10k is just usd53/10k . Maybe easier for UK guests to justify redeeming nights as usd is higher versus gbp than before brexit vote, conversely UK/London hotels awards give worse ratio post brexit to American guests since usd buys 25% more gbp's and Americans no longer want to redeem in UK

Burnt loads points on mainly CP hotels as non-IC $$$ no longer count for RA, and for CP v IC less worried about upgrade/lounge foc benefit that may be lost as award stay, case in point CP Miami Z South Beach 100k for 2nights when cash usd600/night , actually like so extended by 2x paid nights at a more reasonabke usd250/night

As not bouncing around Europe last 18months, unable to book ICs in Amsterdam (no lounge anyway), Paris LG (gor lounge on awards too), London PL (upsell lounge paid+award anyway) where the 50/6k0 (now 70k) can be room going for usd700/night and I was getting 100usd/10k value (more rally as have to pay taxes on paid nights)...
Been booking awards circa us45/10k ratio else would still have too many, but some far better ratios mean I maintained usd70/10k ratio for my 2m points so value/saving circa usd14k

As thinking I'll jump ship from RA due to program not being what it once was, burnt through in last 20months 2.0M points, down to 500k which will be gone by Jan2019 . As per some other FT RA thoughts, it might be that a high points balance gets one RA noticed by IC hotel more than a RA with low total, and thus better treatment (not that should happen) so as jumping ship I am ok to run my balance down and out.

nb's
o Regards convert points to buy IHG Credit Card (trick, I would not as redeeming in Europe I was getting 2x that value at minimum.
o Always thought converting 10k hotel points to 2k (5:1 reverse ratio) airline avios/miles poor, 1m hotel = 200k airline. and Longhaul F needs 100k per direction, so 2M IHG is 2x F flights versus 40x IHG 50k nights
Yes is ok swap if book BA HKG-LHR F at just 35gbp tax instead of hk$5500 , but if you would not normally fly F then a false saving.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 4:38 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
Converting into airline miles sounds attractive to me.
Instead of spending 50.000 points for a 250 US$ hotel room (where you get more points and possibly RA status for the next year when paid with cash) has a value of less than 0.5 cents per point.
If you can get a first class award ticket which costs 10.000 US$ for around 150.000-200.000 miles or 750.000 to 1M miles then this sounds tempting.
Being European based we are in the fortunate position that we can literally "print" LH airmiles via a certain CC system. Besides that, I fortunately would never pay 10000 USD for a first class ticket, so this is always a bit of a fake calculation. The days tickets are as expensive as10k you normally will not find award space. I had four F/C long distance flights this year I had to pay for myself: JFK on BA for 3200 EUR, JNB on LX for 2200 EUR, Key West on LH/LX for 4000 EUR, SYD on QF for 6000 EUR. None of this was available as award flights the days I required it. Hotel points are by far more valuable for me as I can convert them into real cash via the IHG Mastercards on business travel.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 4:40 am
  #44  
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Originally Posted by 336 View Post
@flying Lawer: Are you referring to the Meeting Credits Prepaid MasterCard?
Yes, good for any charges at IHG branded hotels, not only for meetings as the name might suggest
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