Yesterday I wrote about how you could buy Choice Privileges points and then turn around and transfer them to an airline instead of using them for a hotel stay. You could do that with IHG Rewards points, too, but I think they’re actually pretty good for hotel stays. In this post I describe today’s Daily Getaways offer to purchase IHG points at a price as low as 0.576 cents each. All packages go on sale today only at 10 AM Pacific or 1 PM Eastern time.
Not as good as they used to be — the maximum price for an award has increased from 50,000 points to 70,000 points for some properties in recent years — but still a good deal. In fact, there are often situations where it makes sense to buy points rather than book the regular published rate. And it doesn’t need to be a top-tier InterContinental either. Most hotels charge far less to book a reward.
The example I’ll use is the InterContinental Times Square in New York. It didn’t take me long to find a night later this month when award nights were available for 70,000 points. If you bought one of the Daily Getaways packages with the best price, at 0.576 cents per point, you’d effectively pay $403.20 for your hotel room. The published rate for the same room is $447.44. Buying points through Daily Getaways saves you about 10%.
There are literally thousands of packages available, and you can buy up to four of each package size (24 packages total). That’s potentially millions of points if you were so inclined. It’s the lowest price I’ve ever seen for buying IHG points, so I’m not necessarily against the decision, but I do hope you have a plan in mind for using them.
- 130,000 points for $749 (0.576 cents each; 2,000 available)
- 100,000 points for $580 (0.580 cents each; 1,000 available)
- 50,000 points for $290 (0.580 cents each; 1,255 available)
- 25,000 points for $149 (0.596 cents each; 999 available)
- 15,000 points for $89 (0.593 cents each; 2,210 available)
- 8,500 points for $50 (0.588 cents each; 2,250 available)
Let’s say you do decide you’d rather buy the points and transfer them directly to airline miles. IHG Rewards has over a dozen partners including United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines. There are also lesser-known but still useful loyalty programs like JAL Mileage Bank, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, and Avianca LifeMiles. Nearly all transfer at a ratio of 10,000 IHG points to 2,000 airline miles.
Is that a good deal? Not really. Imagine you purchased 10,000 IHG points at 0.576 cents each. You’d get just 2,000 airline miles at effective price of 2.88 cents each. Sure, it’s good compared to some regularly listed prices like United’s 3.5 cents per mile. But most airlines’ miles are not worth that much. I wouldn’t go this route unless you found a particular sweet spot in the airline’s loyalty program that made the miles valuable for a specific reward.