IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty program for the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) which includes Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and of course InterContinental hotels.
They have launched a 3-day flash sale offering a 100% bonus when you purchase at least 5,000 points. But is it a good deal?
What’s on offer here?
If you elected to purchase the maximum amount via this promotion the maths would look like this:
As you can see, via this flash sale you can purchase 200,000 IHG points for $1000. At the time of writing that was approximately £748.
In other words, you would be paying roughly 0.37p per point.
Is that a good price?
The first thing to consider is: are we likely to see a better bonus come along? I’d say that was unlikely. IHG Rewards Club runs numerous ‘buy points’ promotions throughout the year and historically a 100% bonus seems to be the largest version we’ve seen.
The second important thing to note is that the dynamics have shifted. In the past, I wasn’t tempted to buy points even in a 100% flash sale. That’s because by using the trick explained in this article, you can buy points at any time year-round at ‘just’ 0.43p per point. That was more or less the same price as we’d seen in the past during 100% bonus periods – hence I wasn’t rushing to buy points during flash sales.
However, earlier this year IHG lowered their price per point as well as upping the number of points that members are allowed to purchase in a calendar year from 60,000 to 100,000.
That makes this new price of 0.37p per point very cheap indeed!
Should you swap cold hard cash for points?
Generally speaking, I wouldn’t recommend speculatively purchasing points even at this price.
That said, there are situations where buying and then using those points could prove a huge bargain. One of the best times to use points is when hotel prices are seasonally high.
Take the InterContinental Times Square, New York for example.
This is the price for a three-night stay including New Year’s Eve:
As you can see, the cheapest cash rate is a whopping £745 per night before tax. Or, you could redeem 70,000 IHG points per night.
If you were to use points purchased almost entirely in this promotion, you will have effectively paid circa £260 per night for your room – a ‘discount’ of roughly £500 per night on the cash rate!
How to buy points
Visit this page on the IHG website
You’ll be prompted to provide your IHG log-in details after which you will be able to see the different price levels of points available.
This flash sale runs until 23:59 P.M Eastern Time on 15th June 2018.
Despite the excellent potential for savings, I still wouldn’t generally recommend buying points for the sake of it unless you have a specific use in mind. Especially because we’ve already seen IHG raise the price of many top hotels from 60,000 IHG points per night to 70,000 this year.
Nevertheless, at this price, it’s hard to see how you’d go wrong. Remember that a 100% bonus is as good as it has gotten in recent years.