IHG One Rewards is offering a bonus of up to 100% on points purchases. This deal is as good as it gets, so the offer is certainly worth considering if you’re planning a hotel stay. IHG One Rewards’ points bookings provide excellent flexibility for cancellation where needed.
IHG points can be leveraged into some cheaper hotel nights compared to what you would pay at InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, and Kimpton Hotels. This guide looks at the latest promotions for buying IHG points.
At the upper end of the market, InterContinental, Kimpton, and Crowne Plaza hotel rooms can often go for hefty nightly rates, so buying points to redeem immediately offers a nifty way to potentially reduce costs. But with dynamic room pricing in play, it helps to do some research before you buy points.
Current deal: 100% bonus IHG points on purchases
- Expiry: purchase before 11:59 pm ET on 21 March 2023 (1:59 pm AEDT on 22 March 2023)
- Bonus: 100% when buying at least 5,000 IHG points before the expiry
With the 100% bonus on points purchases, the lowest cost per point is 0.5 US cents, with a total cost of US$1,500 for the maximum purchase of 300,000 IHG One Rewards points including the bonus.
Is this a good deal?
Given the current travel situation, make sure you’re only purchasing points with a specific use in mind. See our ‘offer history’ below for details.
Sometimes with IHG hotels, certain room rates are far cheaper just to book outright with cash than to book with points, especially if you are buying IHG Points during a promotion specifically for that purpose.
Towards the bottom of this guide, we have an example of a booking where it’s not advisable to use points—read on for some tips.
Previous promotions over the last few years have run as follows:
|Date||Bonus offer (%)||Lowest USD/point (cents)||Notes|
|February 2023||100||0.5||lowest price|
|February 2022||100||0.5||lowest price|
|September 2021||100||0.5||lowest price|
|June-July 2021||100||0.5||lowest price|
|May-June 2020||100||0.5||lowest price|
Unfortunately, IHG One Rewards has transitioned to dynamic award pricing, so we can’t accurately tell you how many points are needed for a particular night at a property. But you can easily check this out before buying points. You’ll want to run the numbers for your intended redemptions and compare points purchasing vs a paid stay to ensure you are better off buying and redeeming points than paying outright.
However, like other hotel program redemptions, IHG One Rewards redemptions are flexible and can be cancelled at no cost.
This is a big difference compared to the lowest paid rate, which is usually non-refundable, so if the flexibility of your reservation is important, don’t forget to factor that benefit in.
Things to know about buying and using IHG One Rewards Points
The terms of purchase for IHG One Rewards points state that you can buy a maximum of 150,000 IHG One Rewards points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 150,000 points per calendar year. However, the maximum annual points purchase amount is often boosted under specific points promotions.
You’ll also need to allow 24-48 hours for points to post and appear in your account.
There’s no requirement I know of around the age of an account that’s eligible to buy points, so you should be able to sign up and purchase immediately if it makes sense to do so.
You’ll find that the rooms on offer using IHG One Rewards points in each hotel are usually the base room type. If you’re after a premium or larger room, bear this in mind. I have had some success in contacting the hotel in advance to try and pay my way up to a better room – it’s worth a shot.
An example of where it could make sense to buy points
Buying IHG Points can be useful if you’re just topping up your existing balance or using it for a property where the cash price of the room is high and you can get a reward room from less.
Here’s an example. Looking in June 2023, four nights at the Crowne Plaza in Osaka comes to 24,500 points or AU$315 per night, all-inclusive.
With cash, that’s $1,260 for four nights. With points, you’d need 98,000 IHG points with nothing more to pay. But when there is a 100% bonus on purchasing points, you only need to purchase 49,000 points at a cost of US$490 (AU$720) to book the same four nights. That’s a saving of 43% over the cash price of the booking, so in this case, it could be a good idea to buy the points.
As with any points purchase promotion, you need to run the maths for your own intended redemption and personal circumstances to see if this will yield some good value for you.
It will be harder to get great value out of the top-category points redemptions if buying points outright to redeem, but it’s worth keeping it in your back pocket in case you need to stay at a city hotel at a super expensive time of year.
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