IHG Rewards Club’s First 2018 Bonus On Purchased Points

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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.

Bottom line

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.

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  1. Devaluations and lower bonus on miles purchased keep diminishing the value of IHG’s rewards program. Using points most often results in the same as walking off the street and paying cash. I only keep the card for the $49/year annual fee and annual free night. Otherwise, my IHG Rewards Platinum card is just about history.

  2. Ditto — IHG lost a lot of love with the last 2 recent devaluations… Who in their right mind is purchasing points these days. This used to be my go-to hotel but since they have zero loyalty to regular / frequent customers I have dropped them like a hot potato… I hope during the next recession they really feel the pain of all those once loyal customers. Treat us like garbage and we will take ourselves out for you.

  3. With the addition of Kimpton and the ease of points/free nights availability and usage, coupled with the IHG CC benefits, this remains a travelers friendly loyalty program. But at a rate of 0.657 cents per IHG Rewards Club point, that’s not a price I would partake. I will wait until we get a rate of ~0.5 per IHG point to dive in, which usually occurs annually during the Daily Getaways by U.S. Travel Association.

    Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

  4. Ties in with the accelerate program where additional points + IHG card spend + bonus of completing 6 of 11 accelerate offers slightly improves the price to point ratio however as previous mentioned posts – lots of love lost with continued increases in points required 70k for prime properties previously 50k – Then the Royal Amb mess Jan – IHG are messing up big time

  5. I just bought points at .575 cents the day before yesterday. A bunch of 45,000 and 40,000 points properties are showing up in my account with a point and cash rate of 25,000 plus $115 and 20,000 plus $115. You can just hook and cancel. I don’t know if this point and cash rate was targeted (I have the credit card) but it’s better and doesn’t use up your yearly purchase cap. You just need some points to start.

    Worked great for me. I used for a specific redemption and got closer to .75 cents value plus I get the 10 percent back.

  6. Buying points is one of my Accelerate challenges so I’ll have to buy at least 1,000 points at some point before end of April.

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