The Cheapest Rate I’ve Ever Seen On Purchased IHG Points

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IHG Rewards Club isn’t my favorite hotel loyalty program, though I do think the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is the most widely useful hotel credit card, given that it offers an annual free night certificate without category caps, and has among the lowest annual fees of any hotel card.

IHG frequently sells points with a 100% bonus, which is essentially an opportunity to pick them up for as little as 0.575 cents each. Even during Daily Getaways promotions the deals don’t get any better. Daily Getaways offered a promotion on the purchase of IHG points last week, and the lowest cost was ~0.6 cents per point.

However, at the moment it looks like there’s an even cheaper opportunity to pick up IHG points, for just 0.5 cents each. As I’ve written about in the past, one indirect way to buy IHG points is to make a Points + Cash booking and then refund it.

IHG Points + Cash bookings aren’t capacity controlled (at least not beyond normal award availability), and essentially you can pay a certain amount to reduce the number of points required by 5,000 to 20,000 per night. Running With Miles notes that at the moment IHG seems to be offering a 20% discount on the cash component of IHG Points + Cash bookings.

In looking at a bunch of hotels, you’ll see the option to reduce the number of points needed by 20,000 in exchange for $100. For example, the InterContinental Le Grand Paris is 60,000 points per night, or otherwise you can pay 40,000 points plus $100.

Do note that when I search I see a message saying “as a Platinum Elite member, you are eligible for a 20% discount on Points & Cash.” I have Platinum status just because I have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, but even many who aren’t Platinum report receiving this offer. I even saw it before I logged into my account. However, it’s possible that this won’t work for everyone.


The terms & conditions clarify what happens when you make this booking:

  • I authorize a charge of $100.00 per night for a total of $100.00 charged to my specified payment method for the immediate purchase of 20000 total IHG® Rewards Club points to be applied towards this Reward Night booking.
  • This point purchase fee is non-refundable, even if the reservation is cancelled. In the event of reservation cancellation, you will keep all points associated with the transaction.

As you can see, you’d have 40,000 points debited and you’d be charged $100, but then if you canceled, you’d receive 60,000 points back. That’s a rate of 0.5 cents per point, which is the lowest cost I’ve ever seen to acquire IHG points.

Also keep in mind that if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, you’ll get a 10% refund on all redeemed points, for a total refund of up to 100,000 points per year. In reality that reduces your cost per redeemed point to ~0.45 cents each for the future reservations you make with the points you acquire this way.

That’s pretty compelling…

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  1. One option in renewing Intercontinental Ambassador status allows you to receive an additional 10% back on all point redemptions which stacks nicely with the IHG card rebate.

  2. Fewer starting points needed for similar offer at Intercontinental Shenzhen.
    Points alone = 35K or
    30K +$32
    25K + $56
    20K + $79.20
    15K + $100

  3. A couple HI’s in San Diego had 20K pts for $101 instead on the normal $110 last month. IHG is having a lot of cheap sales on points lately which makes it seem devaluation is planned or will be necessary.

    At .5 cents I’ve been able recently to get several IHG’s for half the lowest cash rate during events and peak times. IHG’s are over the place on rates vs. points but I suspect this will change.

    C+P is not subject to the normal limits on points purchases and are not subject to the normal 10% sales tax on either points purchases or redemptions and are cancellable without penalty usually 24 hrs before, additional incentives.

  4. It doesn’t seem to apply to everything. I get it for some properties but not for others.

    For example, IC Vienna doesn’t give me any discount.

  5. OK, now I think I understand what’s going on.

    Bookings out to May 31 get the 20% C+P discount offered.
    Bookings from June 1 and beyond don’t.

    At least that’s how it’s behaving for me. And it would be interesting to know if people below Plat status or seeing the offer too.

  6. Am I the only one who sees that IHG points are good only for renewing Ambassador status? The hotel I want never seems to have award availability. If by chance it does show an award, it’s for a basic room, not the one I really want. I find it’s better to get the second night free with Ambassador upgrade that’s (almost) guaranteed.

  7. @ Amir – check your booking is earlier than June 1. I don’t see any places that offer this after May 31 currently.

  8. I recently booked an IHG hotel for 20,000+$125 when the cash rate was $360. So nearly 1.2 centers per point.

  9. Here are the details on this sale (from IHG’s website):

    Save 20% This Week Only
    When you combine points with cash, you can enjoy Reward Nights at more than 5,000 hotels around the world. And as part of a special Sunshine Sale offer, you can save 20% on the cash portion of Points & Cash bookings now through Friday, April 28, 2017.*

    Not only will you stay for less, but you’ll also retain more of your IHG® Rewards Club points—and you can keep saving for future Reward Nights at any IHG® property.

    So whether you’re traveling on business or crossing a destination off your bucket list, make your next trip more rewarding by combining Points & Cash.

    *Terms and Conditions:
    • IHG® Rewards Club members must be logged in to receive 20% savings.
    • Stay dates include 4/24/2017-5/31/2017.
    • 20% discount is offered at time of booking and only pertains to the cash cost of bookings.
    • Bookings for The Venetian® and The Palazzo® hotels are excluded from discounts.
    • This offer is subject to the general IHG® Rewards Club membership Terms and Conditions.

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