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As I’ve written about before, at the moment IHG Rewards Club has a flash sale on the purchase of points. Through today (June 15, 2018), IHG Rewards Club is selling points for just 0.5 cents each (that’s a 100% bonus), which is an excellent deal.
You can buy a total of 200,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $1,000.
That can be a great deal if your goal is to redeem points for the purposes of a hotel stay, especially if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, and will help you stretch your points further.
What’s also interesting is the opportunity this presents to buy airline miles at a discount. As I outlined yesterday, at the moment United is offering a 50% bonus when you convert IHG Rewards Club points into United MileagePlus miles.
Ordinarily IHG Rewards Club points convert into United miles at a 5:1 ratio (10,000 IHG Rewards Club points convert into 2,000 United MileagePlus miles), though at the moment they’re offering a 50% bonus, meaning that 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points convert into 3,000 United miles.
In other words, if you bought 200,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $1,000, you could in turn convert those into 60,000 United miles, which is a cost of 1.67 cents per mile. While that’s not a rate at which I’d personally speculatively pick up United miles, that is cheaper than you’ll ever see United sell miles directly, so I know it’s an offer that will interest some.
As it turns out, that’s not the only airline with which that’s possible. Through June 30, 2018, Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program is offering a 50% bonus on select hotel partner points conversions. Note that this is only valid if you haven’t converted any hotel points to Asia Miles since May 2017.
If you did this, the ratio is exactly the same as with United — 200,000 IHG Rewards Club points would convert into 60,000 Asia Miles.
Remember that the transfer won’t be instant, and that Asia Miles is making some program changes as of June 22 (so don’t expect the points to post before then). However, the changes aren’t all negative, and for many this could still be worthwhile.
Ordinarily Asia Miles doesn’t even sell miles directly (you just have the option of topping off for a redemption at the rate of three cents per mile), so this is just about the only opportunity you’ll have to buy Asia Miles directly at a reasonable price.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is a Citi ThankYou transfer partner, so you can also earn Asia Miles with cards like the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. The card has a big welcome bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within the first three months, and the card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. That card offers the following return on spend:
- 3x points on travel, including gas stations
- 2x points on dining & entertainment
- 1x points on all other purchases
At the moment there’s even a 15% bonus when you convert ThankYou points into Asia Miles.
Does anyone plan on buying IHG Rewards Club points in order to acquire Cathay Pacific or United miles at a discount?
(Tip of the hat to LoyaltyLobby)