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IHG Rewards Club has just announced their first promotion on purchased points for 2018. IHG Rewards Club is offering up to a 75% bonus on purchased points through February 28, 2018, meaning that the promotion is valid for over a month. With this promotion you can receive the 75% bonus as long as you purchase at least 20,000 points in one transaction.
If you max out this promotion and purchase 60,000 points you’d end up paying $690 and would get a total of 105,000 IHG Rewards Club points.
That’s a rate of 0.657 cents per IHG Rewards Club point. The value potentially gets better than that, though — if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card you get a 10% refund on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points back each year. That means for the first million points you redeem each year you get a 10% discount. To do the math differently, that lowers the cost per acquired point to ~0.59 cents each, when you factor in the 10% rebate you get when you go to redeem the points, assuming you’re doing so within the above parameters.
Unfortunately this isn’t a very tempting promotion otherwise, though. In the past we’ve seen IHG pretty consistently offer a 100% bonus on purchased points. Not only that, but IHG increased redemption rates at hundreds of their properties a couple of days ago, meaning points are worth less than before. In the future we’ll need more than a 100% bonus to get the same value we got before the recent devaluation.
However, it could still make sense to buy IHG Rewards Club points for the purposes of redemptions at PointBreaks hotels, which are one of the best uses of these points.
IHG Rewards Club points purchases are processed by points.com, so don’t count as hotel spend for the purposes of your credit card. That means if you buy points you’ll want to use a card which maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend, like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Citi® Double Cash Card.
Here are the full terms of the promotion:
Offer available for purchases made between 12:00 AM ET January 19, 2018, and 11:59 PM ET February 28, 2018, inclusive. This is an exclusive, non-transferable offer for the intended recipient only and may not be forwarded. Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer.
Price includes all applicable fees. Purchased points are not refundable and are applicable toward all IHG® Rewards Club awards. Members may purchase a maximum of 60,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 60,000 points per calendar year. Please allow 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account. All other IHG® Rewards Club Terms and Conditions apply.
IHG Rewards Club is going to have to do better than 75% on their buy points promotions if they want people to bite, in my opinion. A 100% bonus should be the absolute minimum nowadays, and I suspect we’ll even seen some bonuses of over 100% for the first time this year… at least that’s what I’m hoping.
Still, I figured the current promotion was worth writing about for context, as I’m sure some will still want to buy points for a specific redemption, as the annual limit on purchased points has just been reset.