IHG One Rewards, the loyalty program of IHG Hotels, is currently running a promotion to buy points with a bonus of 80%.
Purchasing points in addition to earning points on cash stays and credit card spending can be a good way to unlock luxury award travel, especially if you are already close to a redemption threshold. Of course, the argument for buying points is definitely stronger when a bonus or discount promotion like this one is on offer.
What’s the deal?
From August 8, 2023, to September 1, 2023, you can purchase IHG One Reward points with a bonus of 80%. The bonus rate kicks in when you purchase 5,000 or more points up to a maximum of 150,000 points.
You can purchase points in blocks of 1,000, and each block of points costs $13.50. With the bonus rate applied, you could earn the following:
- 9,000 points for just $67.50
- 16,200 points for just $121.50
- 27,000 points for just $172.50
- 72,000 points for just $400
It can take up to 72 hours for purchased miles to be posted to your account, so this is something to factor in if you intend to purchase miles for a specific redemption.
Maximum purchase amount
IHG One Rewards lets members purchase up to a maximum of 150,000 points per calendar year. The number of points you can purchase does not include the bonus rate, so you could max out the promotion and buy 150,000 points for $1,500 and receive an additional 120,000 bonus points.
What are the pros and cons?
- An 80% bonus is definitely on the better end of point purchase promotions
- Lots of award opportunities and a huge array of hotel brands to choose from
- Get a fourth night free with select co-branded credit cards
- This isn’t the best deal we’ve seen from IHG One Rewards to purchase points in the last few months.
- IHG’s dynamic award pricing model means that the value of your points can vary massively.
- Points expire after 12 months of account inactivity for non-elites.
How much is an IHG One Rewards point worth?
Each IHG One Rewards Point is worth approximately 0.5 cents
On average, I value an IHG One Rewards point to be worth around 0.5 cents per point. However, the value can fluctuate based on factors such as the specific hotel property, location, and demand.
IHG One Rewards operates a revenue-based redemption program, and that means on award stays, the value of each point is pegged to the cash price for the same room.
To assess the value of your points for an award stay, you’ll want to compare the price in points against the cash price for the same room.
💡 To work out the value of your points for an award stay, simply divide the cost of the stay in cash by the cost of booking the same stay in points. The result is known as the ‘cents per point’ – a rate above the average represents good value for money, whereas a rate below the average could represent poor value for money.
Unlike some hotel loyalty programs, IHG does not have a points price cap on award night redemptions, and this can mean that in some circumstances, you could find the cents per point rate is well below average stated here.
Is it worth speculatively buying points?
I generally advise only to buy points in order to boost your points balance to achieve a specific redemption, but this latest deal is an excellent opportunity to acquire points for a very reasonable price which could, in turn, unlock some pretty compelling award opportunities.
The case for speculatively buying points is definitely stronger when there’s an attractive bonus promotion such as this one, although you’ll want to be certain you are getting value for money when you book an award stay.
How many points do I need for a free award night?
Reward nights can be redeemed for as few as 5,000 points per night, but IHG One Rewards operates as a revenue-based rewards program which means that the number of points you need for an award night redemption is linked to the cash price for the same room.
As a result of IHG’s dynamic award pricing model, the number of points you’ll need for a redemption can fluctuate based on a number of factors. These include:
- Local hotel capacity
- And local events
This way of pricing award night without an upper limit or cap can create bizarre situations where the number of points required to stay in a Holiday Inn could be far more than an InterContinental just down the road.
The IHG Fourth Night Free Perk
The IHG One Rewards ‘Fourth Night Free’ perk allows members to redeem points for three nights at an IHG hotel and get the fourth night free. This benefit is, however, only available to members who have one of the following co-branded credit cards:
- IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
- IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
- IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
To use the Fourth Night Free perk, you must book four consecutive nights at the same hotel. The fourth night will be free, but you will still need to pay taxes and fees. This benefit can only be used on standard room bookings and its not available at all IHG hotels.
What other ways are there to earn IHG One Reward points?
Aside from booking a cash stay at an IHG property or buying points, there are a whole host of ways you can earn IHG One Reward points. One of the easiest ways to earn additional points is with a cobranded credit card which offers a signup bonus. Some credit cards also offer elite status without a minimum stay requirement, meaning your points won’t run the risk of expiring (see below).
- The fee-free IHG One Rewards Traveler card offers an 80,000 bonus point signup plus free Silver Elite status.
- For a $99 annual fee, the IHG One Rewards Premier card offers platinum elite status, an annual free night certificate and a 140,000-point signup bonus.
Other popular point-earning options include:
- Transferring Chase points at a 1:1 ratio
- The IHG Dining program
Do IHG One Rewards points expire?
The answer to this question depends on whether you are an IHG elite member or not.
If you are an IHG elite member, the good news is that IHG One Rewards points never expire. Unfortunately, for non-elite members, points can expire after 12 months of inactivity, where you haven’t earned or redeemed any points.
Aside from booking a cash or points stay, there are various to earn points in order to keep your account active. Options include buying points or having points transferred into your account from another member.
How does this offer compare to previous promotions?
The IHG One Rewards program runs promotions to purchase points with a bonus or discount on a regular basis. Compared to some of the most recent promotions, the latest offer isn’t the most generous, but it does still represent a pretty good deal.
Here are some of the most recent IHG One Rewards points promotions…
Bonus of up to 100%
Bonus of up to 100%
Summer promotion – 10,000 point bonus
IHG One Rewards is currently running a promotion to purchase points with a bonus of 80%. The promotion runs from August 8, 2023, to September 1, 2023. To qualify, you must purchase at least 5,000 points. The bonus rate applies to all purchases up to a maximum of 150,000 points.
This is a great opportunity to acquire points for a very reasonable price. The cost per point is just $0.675, which is below the average value of an IHG One Rewards point. This promotion could be especially valuable if you are planning a redemption that requires a large number of points.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.