We have never been big advocates of outright miles and points purchases at euflyer.com. It’s cheating slightly, isn’t it? That said, with the possibility in this case of being able to buy nights at IHG hotels at $32.85 a night or less, this offer should at least be considered.
Despite our slightly tongue-in-cheek reservations, buying miles/points can on occasion offer very good value: obvious examples are when a special offer is available on a redemption which means that, although the points may not be particularly cheap, the overall redemption is.
Similarly, if you’re a few points away from an award flight or night, there is often some real sense in buying points to enable you to redeem that award when you actually need it.
Finally, occasional point sale bonuses can also offer solid value. IHG Rewards are currently doing exactly this – with a targeted offer to numerous members of a 75% bonus (although some members are reporting a 100%, 50% or 25% bonus and some none at all) on points purchased on or before 23 December 2014. You will need to click on the link and enter your details to see if you are eligible, and if so for what bonus.
We only focus on the 75%+ bonus offer below, as the 0%, 25% or 50% bonus means you will always be paying more than $7 per 1000 points which, as we flag, is not worth doing.
The real value here with the 75% bonus (as we were offered) or the 100% bonus (if you were deemed particularly special) is on points purchases of 26,000 or more (permitted up to a maximum of 60,000 points). Here you will get each 1000 points for $11.50, but with a 75% bonus, you’ll in fact get 1750 points for every $11.50, which equates to a spend of $6.57 per 1000 points:
When used at the top end, this could get you very good value. The highest category Intercontinental hotels will cost you 50,000 points a night, so under this promotion you are effectively paying $328 per night.
Taking a random example, the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand will cost you $435.04, or 50,000 points, for a night in March 2014. Clearly, if you intend to stay here, you are substantially better off buying the 50,000 points for $328, saving almost $100 a night.
A more extreme example is the Intercontinental London Park Lane. A night in March 2015 is $520.13 (at Advance Saver rate), or 50,000 points. So in this case you’d be saving $192 a night.
In either cases here, buying the 50,000 points rather than paying the Advance Saver rate is an absolute no-brainer. As such, even the most vehement opponent of outright points-buying would be crazy not to.
Clearly, those eligible for a 100% points bonus get even better value.
At the absolute other end, IHG Rewards has one of the world’s best value points redemption offers – IHG PointBreaks. Clearly, if you can redeem your IHG Rewards points to get a hotel room at 5,000 points a night, you are getting exceptional value for those points. That very much still applies even where you’ve paid $6.57 per 1000 outright for those points.
IHG PointBreaks come and go regularly. The current offers apply until 28 February 2015 (round about when a fresh list of available hotels will be issued).
As such, if you’ve got a 75% or 100% bonus, this offer is well worth a look.
Where you will pay more than $7 per 1000 points, there is no point in doing so as there is a trick that means you can always buy IHG Rewards points at $7 per 1000.