IHG Rewards Points On Sale Today. Should You Buy? The Answer Might Be Yes.

Today marks the first day of Daily Getaways, the annual collection of travel deals but together by the US Travel Association.  For the next five weeks they’ll feature a daily “deal”.  Not all deals are created equally.  This is a quick post to get things started for today’s deal.  I won’t be posting daily on these deals but I do plan to cover them all in summary format.  I’ll also be on Twitter reminding folks about deals before they launch each day at 1pm ET.

IHG Rewards Points On Sale Today

Here’s a link to the Daily Getaways IHG Rewards points sale today at 1pm ET.

Today is a great example of the fact that not all deals are winners.  IHG usually sells their points for just a bit more than today’s price (half a penny each).  So, you won’t get a huge discount buying today just to stock up for the future. I’m a strong opponent of buying points in most cases.

The only reason to be considering today’s sale is if you have a specific use in mind. What does that mean?  You’ve already picked out the hotel or hotels you want to visit.  You’ve locked in your dates and know when you plan to travel, or have a rough idea of when and what the rates look like right now.

If you’re really savvy, there are other strategies out there to help maximize offers like this one.  I’ll cover one of those as we wrap up this post.

I searched a dozen cities for a weekend stay where this deal made sense.  I only found a couple of decent opportunities and a bunch of so-so ones.  I’m sure there are plenty out there, but I searched Seattle, New York, Orlando, Miami, Cancun and London to name a few.

I had a few people ask me recently about Daily Getaways and about the calculation of whether the deal makes sense, so here are a couple of quick examples.

New York:

In the above example, the Intercontinental New York Times Square is going for $317.77 per night or 70,000 IHG Rewards points.  How do we figure out the value of those points?  We need the full total for the reservation, which we find by selecting a room and a rate:

With all the fees included, the rate works out to roughly $402 per night.  If you were to divide $402 by 70,000, you’d come up with .00574 and some change.   That’s 5.7 tenths of a penny, or just over the half a cent we sent those IHG Rewards points is worth.  If we could buy exactly 140,000 IHG Rewards points for two nights at this property, our total should be $700, which would save us about $100 on this hotel stay.

Seattle:

This example from the Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle is interested.  You can get a standard room with less space and a smaller bed for $285 per night.  With fees it works out to about the same value as our first example.  However, if the bigger room is appealing to you, that rate is over $300.  Here’s what the total looks like for that:

That premier room will set you back 50,000 IHG Rewards points per night.  That means you could buy the 100,000 point offer from Daily Getaways for $500 and save $328.09 on this reservation.  Now, that’s a really good deal.

The Final Two Pennies (And That Strategy)

I picked this IHG offer to make a point on the value of strategic planning.  Last week on my podcast we covered some great ways to stretch the value of your IHG Rewards points.   Jen covers a couple of good strategies, including using their 4th night free benefit to your advantage.  If you can stack 4th night free with these purchased points, you can really maximize your savings.

Please keep in mind that purchasing points is a final transaction.  If you already had the points, or if you were booking a flexible rate, you could change your plans without penalty.  In the case of purchasing points, once you buy them you own them.  They have a shelf life, though that can be quite long if you get creative.  What I wouldn’t do is buy these points if you don’t have a plan.  If you’re setting up a vacation, you can absolutely buy points through an offer like this as part of your planning.   Just make sure you’re really ready to commit (or have a backup plan) before you make the choice to buy today.

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