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To put it bluntly, it takes a very good deal to ever get me to buy loyalty points. Occasionally, however, offers come along that at least give me food for thought.
One such temptation can be found in the current IHG Rewards Club points sale – you will get a 100% bonus on points bought until 30 November.
You can purchase in 1,000 point increments:
- 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
- 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
- 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
The above excludes the 100% bonus, so at the 26,000-60,000 point level you are paying $5.75 per 1,000 points. Still not exceptional value when you look at point redemption costs generally (although you will get the occasional bargain redeeming at the upper levels, including many Intercontinentals at 30k points – see further below), but in my book well worth looking at for two particular reasons: PointBreaks and IHG Category 1 hotels.
PointBreaks is the quarterly IHG redemption sale that offers rooms at certain IHG hotels globally for a mere 5,000 points a night. While always a somewhat random selection, if you can find a hotel that suits, you have yourself a bargain. At the points cost above, you are paying $28.75 per night, which is a remarkable £19.
While slightly less of a bargain than PointBreaks, the IHG Category 1 hotels give you a more predictable and visible range of good value redemptions at 10,000 points per night. Buying points at the above prices, you will be paying $57.50 a night, or £38. Again, this is pretty good value and certainly worth thinking about if any of the Category 1 hotels can work for you.
Finally, bag yourself a higher end hotel at 30,000 points, and you’ll be paying £113.50 a night. That is potentially a good deal, although you will of course need to check the standard rates to confirm this. By way of example, the Intercontinental Buenos Aires is 30,000 points a night ($172.50 at the sale prices above). Taking a random date in February 2016, this hotel ordinarily costs $375 a night. So buying points in the sale for this hotel would be a massive saving.