Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
The IHG Points & Cash trick is a great way to save money on purchasing IHG points. With it, you can buy IHG points for as little as ~0.6 cents per point. That’s an excellent deal!
And if you’re ready to learn more miles & points tricks, subscribe to our newsletter!
I’ll review how IHG’s Points & Cash works and how you can use it to get an even better deal on award stays!
What’s the Deal?
IHG allows you to book award nights using a combination of points and cash. This means if you don’t have enough points for an award night (or don’t want to use them all), you can buy the points you need to make up the balance.
It’s a good way to stretch your points for more nights! But there’s a way to use this method to “buy” IHG points at a reduced rate!
When you select the Points + Cash method of payment you will need fewer points to book the hotel. So you’re essentially buying IHG points.
But if you cancel your reservation before the deadline, IHG will NOT refund your money. Instead, they’ll refund the points you purchased!
As an example, an award night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Napa Valley costs 30,000 IHG points. But the Points + Cash rate, on the night I looked, was only 15,000 IHG points + $89.
So if you book a refundable Points + Cash rate and then cancel, you’ll get 15,000 IHG points back, which you paid $89 for. That’s only ~0.6 cents per point ($89 rate/ 15,000 IHG points)!
The Points + Cash rates vary by hotel, so you’ll have to do some research to find the best deals.
That said, not everyone is comfortable using this trick to buy IHG points at a cheaper rate. If you decide to do it, always double-check you’re making a refundable reservation (take note of the cancellation deadline!).
Sweeten the Deal!
Several times a year, IHG offers PointBreaks award nights at certain hotels for 5,000 to 15,000 IHG points per night.
These PointBreaks hotels were already a terrific bargain, because by using the Points & Cash trick you could effectively get a PointBreaks night for ~$30 to ~$90 (5,000 to 15,000 IHG points x ~0.6 cents per point).
If you’d otherwise pay for an IHG stay anyway, it’s worth doing the math to see if buying points with this method and booking an award night (not just PointBreaks) is a better deal than paying cash for the room.
As always, only do what you’re comfortable with. And make sure the hotel you want to book has available award nights first!
You can “buy” IHG points for only 0.6 cents per point by making refundable Points & Cash award bookings, then cancelling them.
There are a handful of IHG hotels where you can pay $90 cash for a 15,000 IHG point discount on your award night. That’s like getting the points for 0.6 cents each ($90 cost of points / 15,000 points).
If you have to cancel, you won’t get the cash back. But you will get your 15,000 IHG points!
Remember, you can get IHG PointBreaks award nights for 5,000 IHG points. By buying points with this method, you could get a PointBreaks night for as low as $30 (5,000 IHG points x 0.6 cents per point).
Not everyone is comfortable using this technique, so as always, do what works for you.
Let me know if you find other IHG hotels with a great Points & Cash rate!