UPDATE | Members of IHG Rewards Club once again have a shot at discounted hotel stays, with the chain offering travellers a 60% bonus on Rewards Club points bought by 1:59pm (AEST) on November 1 2014.
Rather than booking a hotel room the more 'traditional' way, travellers can instead purchase points in a hotel's loyalty scheme and then redeem them for a hotel stay – often for less than they'd pay to book the room outright.
Under the current promotion, buying between 5,000 and 19,000 points comes with a 30% bonus; 20,000 to 39,000 points nets 40% more points; 40,000 to 49,000 points scores a 50% boost, while 50,000 to 60,000 points pockets the full 60% bonus.
You'd pay US$690 (A$784) to pick up the full swag of 60,000 points, plus the extra 60% helping of 36,000 points. All up, you're looking at 96,000 points for the price you'd ordinarily pay for 60,000.
If you're travelling to Melbourne, you could swap just 40,000 points with a net cost of $326 for a night at the InterContinental: Melbourne The Rialto hotel, which would have otherwise set you back $459 on the dates we searched – a saving of $133.
Or, the London-bound can trade 50,000 points for an overnight stay at the InterContinental: London Park Lane hotel, which can be bought for $408 at the 60% bonus rate.
On our date, the cheapest available room was A$546 – again saving over $130 per night by using purchased points to book a hotel room at less than it costs at face value.
The article below, while written around a previous (and slightly more generous) 100% bonus points promotion, explains more about the process of buying and using IHG Rewards Club points to book hotel stays with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.
Or, if you're already familiar with IHG, jump in and buy Rewards Club points now!
PREVIOUS - September 19 2014 | Thrifty business travellers have a short window of time to slash their hotel costs by as much as 44% with IHG when buying Rewards Club points to redeem for hotel nights rather than booking a more traditional room rate.
Until 1:59pm on September 23 (AEST), IHG is serving up 50-100% more Rewards Club points. At the upper end of the scale, that effectively makes points available at half the normal asking price.
Buying between 1,000 and 49,000 points nets you the 50% bonus, while purchases of 50,000-60,000 points comes with the full serve of double points.
Rewards Club members can buy up to 120,000 points each year – so why not splurge just US$690 (A$768) to pick up the full bounty while they’re available at half the usual price?
It takes between 24 and 48 hours for purchased points to appear in your IHG account, but once they’ve arrived you’re free to redeem them for nights at hotels such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
Here are a few money-saving ways to redeem those points, both at home and abroad.
Redeeming IHG Rewards Club points for discounted hotel nights
Using dates in March next year, rooms at the InterContinental Sydney hotel can be had for 50,000 points, or for $423 outright:
Assuming you bought the full swag points to grab the 100% bonus, 50,000 Rewards Club points come in at A$320 – that’s a saving of over $100 to stay on the same night, in the same room, at the same hotel.
Further south at the InterContinental: Melbourne The Rialto hotel, a standard room would set you back $459 on the same date:
Or, you could instead part with only 40,000 Rewards Club points for the same reservation.
With the 100% bonus, you’d wind up paying a mere $256 to lock in that room – 45% less than the published room rate.
As IHG Rewards Club has an international network of 4,700 hotels in nearly 100 countries, you could also look abroad for your redemptions. In U.K., consider swapping your points for nights at the InterContinental: London Park Lane hotel.
Again using dates in March 2015, a standard room weighs in at £296 – around A$546 – or 50,000 points:
As with the InterContinental Sydney hotel, 50,000 points can be bought for A$423. Again, you’re paying A$123 less for the same hotel stay.
The fine print
As each IHG Rewards Club member can only buy 120,000 points each year, you’re limited in the number of times you can use this trick in a 12-month period.
But, the limit applies per account – not per guest – so if you’re planning a getaway with your significant other, you could each top up your respective points balances and take turns redeeming for nights away.
Also, it’s worth flagging that some IHG Ambassador and Royal Ambassador perks such as room upgrades, free in-house movies, 8am early check-in and free minibar beverages aren’t available on bookings made with points – so you’ll need to cough up for the full room rate if that’s an issue.
The same is true of room upgrades for Platinum Elite members of IHG Rewards Club, although other privileges such as free Internet access and priority check-in still apply.
To buy Rewards Club points before the September 23 deadline, head to the IHG website to get started.
More ways to save on business and luxury travel from the AusBT team:
- Slash your hotel costs: flash your NRMA, RACV or RACQ card
- Low-cost Qantas business, first class buying US Airways frequent flyer miles
- How codeshare flights could be costing you thousands...
- Trim your Qantas travel budget by booking passengers separately
- Avianca LifeMiles unlocks low-cost business, first class flights
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