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Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards

If you been wondering about maximizing your IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards then read on! A frequent patron of InterContinental Hotels and their family of IHG hotels brands such as yourself would probably have amassed (read: hoarded JUST KIDDING! 😜) a lot of IHG Rewards Club points. Also you probably have been thinking that you should burn some of the points. Well me too!

IHG Rewards Club Cash and Points Awards

With IHG, you have the choice to redeem your IHG Rewards Club points at  5,656 hotels across nearly 100 countries. That’s A LOT of CHOICES! Yassss! 🥰Of course you could pay a IHG hotel room by cash but if you have a bunch of points lying around, why not use them? The last thing you want to do is hoard points as they could devalue anytime!

Like many other hotel loyalty programs out there, IHG Rewards Club also gives you the option to pay with a Cash & Points combo. This means instead of paying your IHG hotel room completely with points, you can opt to pay using a reduced number of points and some cash. Now is this a good option? Let’s have a look, shall we?

But first, lemme choose a IHG Hotel

The IHG hotel I chose for this example is Hotel Indigo : Taipei North located at No. 200, Zhifu Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei 10466 Taiwan. This is a brand new hotel that was opened recently. Not many reviews on it yet on TripAdvisor but quite a few on Google. The pictures online look good. The hotel definitely is worth checking out, you know for research purposes of course 😉(read: Instagram pictures 🤣)

Let’s pick a date and run a rate search. By the way, login before you search so that you get the IHG Rewards Club member rate instead of the public rate.

Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards - Search
Website screenshot courtesy IHG.com

Then let’s choose the room that allows us to use our precious IHG Rewards points. You can choose the “Superior Room” (basically the Standard room with 1 bed) or the “Superior Twin Room” with 2 beds.
NOTE: Be careful to read the room description because sometimes Standard room could either be 1 or 2 beds assigned at check-in. I rather choose exact number of beds I require at booking.

Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards - Room selection
Website screenshot courtesy IHG.com

Now for apple-to-apple comparison, we need to choose a cash rate with terms similar to the points or cash & points redemption. That rate is the Best Flexible Rate because it allows cancellation. Note the cheaper Advance Purchase is non-refundable.

Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards - rate selection
Website screenshot courtesy IHG.com

Choosing that rate will get you to the confirm reservation page detailing the breakdown of the cash rate with an estimated total of $205.28. Let’s use that as our cash rate for the night because the final total after currency conversion should be around that.

Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards - cash rate
Website screenshot courtesy IHG.com

Maximizing your IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points awards by calculating your Points Redemption Value

Point Redemption Value or PRV as I like to call it, is how you know if you’re getting a good deal or not. This is easy to calculate. Let’s take the above IHG property and see which option provides the best value.

Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards - points redemption
Website screenshot courtesy IHG.com

So we know the cash value is $205.28. The formula to calculate PRV is as follows:
PRV = ((CASH RATE – SUPPLEMENTAL CASH) / Points required ) x 100
The Supplemental Cash is the extra “Cash” you need to fork over for Cash & Points redemption. x 100 is to convert it to cents per points value.

So for the first ALL POINTS option, 30k points without any cash requirement, the PRV = (205.28 / 30,000) x 100 = 0.684 cents per point (decent value!)

For the second option 25k points plus $30, the
PRV = ( (205.28 – 30) / 25,000) x 100 = 0.701 cents per point (better value!!)

For the third option 20k points plus $60, the
PRV = ( (205.28 – 60) / 20,000) x 100 = 0.726 cents per point (best value!!!)

That’s IT! Isn’t it crystal clear now that you should use 20k points and pay $60 bucks as the PRV is the best among the 3 redemption options for this particular night? Note that local taxes might be added to the room which might change the totals a little bit but they will be the same for all 3 options.

Your IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points awards is actually “buying” points at a discount!

One thing I want to note is that IHG treats the supplemental cash above as you “buying” points. If you click through to the confirm reservation page you will see, for example the 2nd option, the “buying” points is illustrated in the terms:

Maximizing IHG Rewards Club Cash & Points Awards - points purchase
Website screenshot courtesy IHG.com

So your $30 supplemental cash portion of the Cash & Points awards is actually buying 5000 IHG points. If you cancel this reservation, those 5000 points plus the other 25k points will be refunded back into your IHG Rewards account.

This actually is a good deal of “buying” 5000 points because if you go IHG buy points page, you will see that it costs $67.50 for 5000 points normally. IHG oftentimes offers bonus for buying points so this is basically similar as buying during the 100% bonus promotion.

That’s all! Basically, if you are points-rich then calculate the PRV before you book for the best bang for your points! 🤩

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Thanks for reading!

– Shah.

 

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