Buying IHG Points for ~$.0025 Each
Back in December I wrote about my wife’s pretty awesome offer for IHG’s latest promotion “Accelerate”. As a reminder, here it is:
In my post about Accelerate I wrote about how we could potentially stay at a Holiday Inn locally in Vegas for $99 per night and earn a total of 51,000 points. Then of course time passed by, I traveled to Scotland and forgot about the promotion until a reminder in my calendar brought it back into the front of my mind. Unfortunately by that time the math had changed slightly for the worse, but it is still good.
Mattress Run Considerations
While I was in Scotland I had considered getting a room in my wife’s name and staying there, but I didn’t want to take a chance that things would get screwed up and the rooms weren’t very cheap anyway. This meant that we would have to do a mattress run, since we want to complete the offer in January for the extra 5K bonus.
When looking for properties for the mattress run, I looked at two main things. The first consideration was obviously cost. I wanted the cheapest rate possible. The second and equally important consideration was time. I wanted to find a hotel that is located somewhere we would already be. That way the only time lost is however long it takes to check-in, etc.
Finding A Property
After finding a date and area of town that would work, I searched for rates. Thankfully I found something decent at an “old friend” of a property. It is the same hotel I did a mattress run at in 2013 to complete IHG’s “The Big Win“. In that promotion I earned a total of 117,334 points for a combined 4 nights with the mattress run being the last.
The room I was able to find costs $109 on a bonus points package that includes 1,000 extra points. (One of the requirements.) The total cost with tax is $122.08 all-in. Here is what this stay will earn:
- January Bonus – 5,000 points.
- Stay Once Offer – 5,000 points.
- Bonus Points Package Offer – 2,000 points.
- Use IHG Credit Card Offer – 1,500 points.
- Complete 3 of 4 Offers – 31,500 points.
- Base points for stay – 545 points.
- 50% Platinum Bonus on Base – 273 points.
- Bonus Points Package – 1,000 points.
- IHG Credit Card 5X – 610
- Total points earned: 47,428
- Total cost: $122.08
- Total Cost Per Point: $.00257
Update: I forgot they also give a 500 point welcome amenity, so the total earned is 47,928 at a cost of $.00254 per point.
What Is The Value?
The value of IHG Rewards Club points is hard to peg. Point Breaks represent an outsized value, however they are not something that can be counted on. On the high-end, the top IHG properties cost 50K points. This is almost enough for a night in a property like the Intercontinental Times Square or Hong Kong. That is how I plan to redeem them.
If I had to assign a dollar value, then I would say the points are probably worth about 1/2 cent each, meaning I am paying $122.08 for $237.14 in value. That number works for me, but I assure you I most likely will get $300-$400 in hotel stays for these points. Either way I come ahead a winner, especially since the time and effort involved is minimal.
At a time when everyone is freaking out about the death of deals and MS opportunities, taking advantage of great value promotions like this one makes even more sense. By planning ahead and minimizing the hassle, we are taking most of the negatives out of the equation. Sure, this probably won’t be for everyone, but it is for me! 🙂