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IHG points are frequently on sale with 100% bonus, with average cost as low as 0.575 cents per point. Whether it makes sense to purchase points for an award stay will depend on the cash rate of the hotel you are looking at. Clearly, you have to do the math. But often times, even at low category IHG hotels and non-fancy locations, using points purchased would still be cheaper than paying cash for the stay.
Remember, if you are looking to pick up the Chase IHG Mastercard, the signup bonus is currently up to 80,000 points (and some people have been able to match to a 100,000 point offer), you can read Dan’s review here, and find the signup bonus for the card on our top credit card offers page.
Best Uses of IHG points – IHG PointBreaks
Perhaps the very best use of IHG points is to redeem just 5,000 points for IHG PointBreaks hotels, which is like paying less than $30 per night! The list of IHG PointBreaks hotels change every quarter, and usually comes out end of January, April, July and October.
Points With a Crew maintains a list of the IHG Point Breaks map and sortable table, which you can use to find where the Point Breaks hotels are. The next list should come out at the end of July.
While many of the point-breaks hotels are usually outside of U.S. and mostly lower level IHG brands, occasionally one or two InterContinental hotels are included on the list. If your travel plan happens to land you in one of the city with a PointBreaks hotel, you could save some significant cash (or points) for your trip!
Best Uses of IHG points – High-end hotels and resorts
You will find many Intercontinental resorts and hotels in expensive destinations around the world, such as New York, Paris, London, Bora Bora to name a few. Besides using your annual free IHG night at these expensive locations, you can easily extend your visit by booking an award stay using up to 60,000 points per night. You will definitely get one of the best use of IHG points at these high-end IHG properties.
Use IHG points for expensive destinations
Not all expensive destinations are necessarily bucket-list destinations. One example is Ocean City Maryland, a very popular summer beach destination, especially for folks living on the East Coast. Few summers ago, we stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites Ocean City, right on the beach. The hotel was not fancy by any means, but the room it all five of us just fine. It also has a kitchen, separate living area, and accommodates up to six people! The best part? The hotel costs just 40,000 points a night while cash rate is well over $450 during summer! Even if you book your stay using points purchased, you can still get a substantial saving.
Use IHG points for all-inclusive resorts
IHG has three all-inclusive resorts that you can redeem points for a stay.
- Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay – 40,000 points per night
- Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos – 35,000 points per night
- Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa – 35,000 points per night
Rates cover costs for two adults and two kids under the age of 12 plus some additional fees and taxes.
Another thing about these resorts is that IHG often puts their resort hotels on sale for 50% off the points.
Use IHG points for special events
If you are planning to be in Time Square on New Year’s Eve to join millions of people counting down to the New Year, you can stay one night at the Crowne Plaza using 50,000 points for a room that cost $1,900 in cash! Is it worth buying IHG points at less than 0.6 cents per point in this case? Absolutely!
Heading to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend for the sold-out college football kickoff game between Alabama and Florida State? Hope you already have place to stay. If not, you can still book the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta for just 40,000 points per night instead of paying $544, and a two-night minimum is required.
Use IHG points for big family
Holiday Inn Vacation Clubs have two-bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 8 people. Some of these suites can be redeemed for 25,000 to 35,000 points a night. But be sure to check cash rates before redeeming points.
Taking the family to visit San Francisco Bay Area? you can consider staying at the StayBridge Suites San Francisco Airport (see Dan’s full review here). You can book a one-bedroom suite using just 40,000 points, instead of paying for almost $400 after taxes and fees. If you need a two-bedroom suite, consider calling the hotel and ask for a cash upgrade.
Just like Hilton and Choice Hotel programs, there are value to be found with the IHG Rewards Club. As always, it will take some effort, and you do need to crunch numbers each time to see if it make sense to purchase points for an award stay. Besides buying points, IHG points are pretty easy to get.