Purchasing IHG Points: Does It Make Sense?

Pam

I just saw a deal about purchasing IHG points with a 100% bonus. I have to say, that usually, purchasing points doesn’t make sense. We talked about purchasing points in a previous post but I’m wondering, does it make sense this time? I’m working on a $15,000 minimum spend on an American Express Platinum Business card so I want to get some more of that out of the way. Should I purchase IHG points to help meet my minimum spend? Let’s look at a couple of options.

You are actually purchasing these points for 1/2 cent per point and most people value them at 0.8 cents a point. Okay, not too shabby. This sale does happen a couple of times a year so you don’t have to run out and do it this time if you don’t want. I just happen to want to meet my minimum spend. This particular deal is good through August 7th so there isn’t a lot of time for me (or you) to decide. Let’s look at a couple of redemptions to see if it is a good deal. Remember that award stays come with the 4th night free.

 

Seafire Kimpton

Alex and I are heading to the Seafire Kimpton in the Cayman Islands in March. Alex had points for 2 nights but not enough for the 3rd night (to get the 4th night free- you get this by having the IHG Premier card). She bought 70,000 points the last time there was a sale to get that 3rd night on points (and thereby a 4th night!) and it made absolute sense.  This is supposed to be an amazing property so let’s start from scratch and assume you have no points.

 

Screenshot Seafire Kimpton stay

 

Yikes! Below you’ll see the total cost of a three-night stay. What I can’t believe is the taxes and service charges too!

 

Screenshot price to book hotel

Okay, let’s see what the cost is with points. Remember that we will get a 4th night free with an award booking. So we can stay 4 nights for 210,000 points.

Screenshot award stay at hotel

 

To get 210,000 points to book this stay, I would buy 105,000 points because I will earn 105,000 points.

 

Screenshot points purchase

 

Buying these points is actually just the cost of staying one night here. I think this is totally worth doing if you don’t have the points from the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card to stay here. This makes each night only about $250/night for a very luxurious stay. Would you buy points for this stay?

 

Hotel balcony overlooking palm trees and beach area

Looking forward to my stay at the Seafire Kimpton on the Cayman Islands in Spring!

 

The current signup bonus for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is 140K points (2 nights here) plus a free night (worth 40K points that can’t be topped off) so you couldn’t use that free night here. You could buy 35K points and receive 35K points for $350. Then apply for the IHG card for your other 140K points and voila! 4 nights free for only $350 at this amazing hotel. You’d still have to pay whatever the taxes and fees and their weird extra costs are but, still, this is a huge saving!

 

Intercontinental Hotel Paris – LeGrand

Let’s check out another option for using IHG points. Many of our readers are planning trips to Paris in the future with points and miles. Here is the normal cost in cash for a stay here:

 

Screenshot price of Paris Intercontinental hotel

 

That four-night stay would cost $1,922.20 Euros (some nights were cheaper than the night pictured above. The price in points would be 236,000 total points (the average of nights is 78,000/night). We can purchase those points for $1,180.00. Staying here for three nights was $1,922.20 so buying points if we don’t have them definitely makes sense.

 

Screenshot purchasing points cost IHG

hotel room in Paris with Eiffel Tower views

This looks like a beautiful room in Paris!

 

Bottom Line

When you are starting out your travel hacking journey and don’t have the miles or points you need, it sometimes makes sense to purchase points when they are on sale. Just make sure to do the math to see if it’s a good deal for you. In these two examples, purchasing IHG points really does make sense if you haven’t earned the points with a credit card. Will I be purchasing points? I can’t decide!! There are amazing IHG hotels throughout Europe and Asia so I may!

Boats in blue water

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