Update: IHG Points + Cash awards now offer a better "points & cash" rate which allows you to purchase points at 0.6 cents per point.
IHG Rewards Club is one of my favorite hotel loyalty programs--because earning points is incredibly quick and easy. I have previously written about the insanely lucrative IHG(R) Rewards Club Premier Credit Card 80,000 bonus offer and their PointBreaks promotions that offer award nights for only 5,000 points.
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There is another super easy way to earn (well, actually purchase) IHG points using a backdoor method. Using this trick you can buy IHG points for 0.7 cents per point.
IHG Rewards Club (previously called Priority Club) is the loyalty program of InterContinental Hotel Group and includes the following hotels:
- Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts
- Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts
- Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts
- Hotel Indigo
- Even Hotels
- Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Express
- Holiday Inn Resorts
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
- Staybridge Suites
- Candlewood Suites
This trick to buying IHG points has been covered before, but it’s so valuable that I figured it could use a refresher and be useful for anyone new to miles and points.
Normally IHG Rewards Club sells their points for 1.15 to 1.35 cents per point, but using this backdoor method to ‘buying’ IHG points you can buy 10,000 points for $70 (0.7 cents each). You can use these points to stay at any IHG hotel or at an InterContinental hotel on the PointBreaks list for only $35 a night!
IHG Rewards Club’s “Points and Cash” Reservations
When you make a reward night reservation on IHG’s website you have three options. The first is to pay for the stay completely with points, and the other two are “Points and Cash” options that are exactly that, paying for the stay with a combination of points and money.
IHG’s Rewards Clubs terms and conditions say:
IHG® Rewards Club "Points & Cash" is an option for obtaining a Reward Night. You may choose to redeem IHG® Rewards Club points for a Reward Night in three ways: using your existing points for all required points for the desired Reward Night; using your existing points and 5,000 points purchased for US $40 to total the required points; or using your existing points and 10,000 points purchased for US $70 to total the required points. The total purchase on any single day may not exceed $280 US.
The cost for the points purchased is non-refundable. If the Reward Night is cancelled in accordance with these Terms & Conditions and with each hotel's cancellation policy, the purchased IHG® Rewards Club points will be re-deposited into your IHG® Rewards Club account.
This states that you can make a reservation using “Points and Cash” and purchase 10,000 points for $70, and if you end up cancelling the stay, the points you bought for 0.7 cents each will be re-deposited into your IHG Rewards Club account.
Thus, you have an endless way to ‘buy’ IHG Rewards Club points for 0.7 cents each!
Plus, when you redeem IHG points you get a 10% rebate! So, you're really getting 11,000 points for $70 or paying 0.63 cents per point.
IHG normally offers very competitive rates for stays using points, but when you buy points for 0.7 cents each you are getting a very good deal!
Last August, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Sisli in Istanbul that usually runs around ~$322 or 15,000 points per night in the summer. I consider 15,000 a night for this hotel a great value, but using points you bought for 0.7 cents each you'd only be paying $102 per night (or 67% off!).
This is just one example of the amazing value you can get, I’m sure you’ll find many amazing properties (especially InterContinental hotels) that you can save 50% off per night using the points you bought with the trick.
One of the best uses of these points is to redeem them for reward nights at a hotel on IHG’s Point Breaks list for only 5,000 points per night. Using points from the "Points and Cash" trick means you can stay at ANY hotel on the list for $35 per night. This is a great deal for any of the hotels, but certainly a steal for stays at an InterContinental hotel.
Think about that. You could stay a month at an InterContinental hotel on the Point Breaks list for ~$1,000. That's less than rent in most major cities in the US! This is why IHG Rewards Club is an amazing program.
Purchasing IHG Rewards Club Points for 0.7 Cents Each Using the “Points and Cash” Trick
As I mentioned above, when you make an IHG Rewards Club reward night reservation you have three options, including paying for part of the stay using points and part with money. This is "the trick." These “Points and Cash” reservations are how you can buy IHG points for 0.7 cents each.
How Does This Work?
When you choose to make a “Points and Cash” reservation you are essentially buying 10,000 points for $70 and using your existing points for the rest of the cost. Essentially all of these reservations knock 10,000 points off the total price and allow you to buy points at 0.7 cents per point to cover the 10,000 point difference.
BUT, per the terms when you cancel a “Points and Cash” reservation the points you purchased get re-deposited back into your account. This means you will not get money back for these points, but rather a refund in points. Another note: make sure you cancel your reservation within the timeline of hotel’s policy.
Just to clarify, when you cancel the reservation you will get both the points you used from your account and the points you purchased to cover the “Cash” portion of the reservation. This means that when you make a ““Points and Cash” reservation and cancel it within the hotel’s cancellation deadline you are buying IHG points for 0.7 cents per point. This is a much better deal than what IHG normally sells their points for.
Some side notes:
- To use the “Points and Cash” trick you must have 5,000 or more points in your IHG Rewards Club account. You can either transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG or buy 5,000 points for full price (1.15 to 1.35 cents each) directly from IHG.
- Make sure that you use the “Points and Cash” option to buy 10,000 points for $70, since there is another less valuable option of 5,000 points for $40.
- You can only buy up to $280 (40,000) worth of points per day using the “Points and Cash” trick.
- Be sure to check out reward night availability before you buy points using the “Points and Cash” trick.
And now a walk-through on how to buy IHG points using this trick:
It’s simple to buy IHG points using the “Points and Cash” trick, all you need to do is follow these steps and you’ll be set to buy IHG points for 0.7 cents each!
1. Make sure you are logged into your IHG Rewards Club account.
2. Next, on IHG’s reservations page, enter a city and search for a 1 night reservation. The default “Rate Preference” should be set to “Reward Nights” though if it's not then select that option and submit your search by clicking “Find a Hotel”.
3. The search results will show hotels with 3 different price options. In my example you can book the reward night for:
- 15,000 points per night (100% points)
- 10,000 points + $ 40.00 USD per night (points and cash option #1)
- 5,000 points + $ 70.00 USD per night (points and cash option #2)
You want to select the “Points and Cash” option that says “5,000 points + $70.00 USD per night” (points and cash option #2). You’ll notice that the points needed is 10,000 points less than the 100% points option. This is how you buy 10,000 points for $70 (and better deal than 5,000 points for $40) since you are making the reservation using 5,000 of your points and buying 10,000 points that go towards the reservation.
You can choose the cheapest hotel option since you won’t actually be keeping the reservation. So you might as well make the reservation with as few points as possible just incase you want to make additional reservations.
4. Select the “5,000 points + $ 70.00 USD per night” option and click “Check Rates”. Next choose your room option, and again selecting the “5,000 points + $ 70.00 USD per night” option. Then click “Book This Room”.
4. On the confirmation page you will be prompted to enter your credit card info and agree to the terms of buying 10,000 points for $70.00.
I authorize a charge of $70.00 per night for a total of $70.00 charged to my specified credit card for the immediate purchase of 10,000 total IHG®Rewards Club points to be applied towards this Reward Night booking. This point purchase fee is non-refundable.
Note: These points are non-refundable for cash. When you cancel your reservation within the hotel’s policy you will only get the points re-deposited into your account.
This is the ‘trick’ to buying IHG points for 0.7 cents each! When you cancel you will get the points you purchased (10,000 points for $70) plus the points you used from your account to book the reservation re-deposited back into your account.
5. All you have to do now is cancel your “Points and Cash” reservation and the total points amount for the stay will be re-deposited back into your account (including the 10,000 points you purchased for $70.00).
6. You can repeat this process to earn 10,000 points each time, and soon you’ll have enough for stays you want. The only limit is that you can buy a maximum of 40,000 (or $280) IHG points per day using “Points and Cash” reservations.
7. You’ll want to plan ahead so you have the points in your account when you want to use them for stays. I wouldn’t recommend building up a large balance and keeping them over a long period of time, but rather using this trick when you have a stay know you want.
Now you're set to buy IHG points for 0.7 cents each using the "Points and Cash" trick! And remember that when you redeem IHG points you get 10% back, so you're actually getting 11,000 points for $70 or paying 0.63 cents a piece!
You can use the points for any IHG hotel and can check out their award chart here. One of the best uses of IHG points is for booking Point Breaks hotels for 5,000 per night, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a some points in your account before the new list comes out every 2 months. The next one is set to come out around the start of April.
Have you purchased IHG points using this trick? Tell us how you used them in the comments!
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