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Million Mile Secrets reader Tammy Horvath commented:
What does this mean: “If you’re comfortable with using the cash and points trick, you can buy IHG Rewards points and then get a statement credit of 1 cent per Chase Ultimate Rewards point. This is a better value than redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly for IHG Rewards points.”
I did the cash and points trick already in the past but is this referring to buying them with my Ink card or something? I don’t understand how to get a statement credit of 1 cent per Ultimate Reward point.
Tammy is referring to the IHG Cash and Points trick, which allows you to “buy” IHG points for 0.7 cents per point.
If you want to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for IHG hotel stays, it’s better to use this trick than to transfer points directly to IHG. I’ll explain why!
How Does the IHG Cash and Points Trick Work?
IHG normally sells their points for 1.15 to 1.35 cents per point. But by using the Cash and Points trick, you can effectively “buy” points for 0.7 cents per point.
I’ve written detailed instructions, but here’s a quick overview of how it works.
IHG allows you to book nights using a combination of points and cash. So if you don’t have enough points for an award night, you can buy the points you need to make up the balance.
If you make a points and cash reservation, then cancel it before the deadline, IHG will NOT refund your money. But they WILL refund the points you purchased!
In order to do this trick, you’ll need at least 5,000 IHG points in your account. If you don’t have a lot of IHG points, your best bet is to find a hotel that normally costs 15,000 points per night.
For example, the Staybridge Suites Toronto – Markham costs:
- 15,000 points per night, or
- 10,000 points plus $40 (so you’re buying 5,000 points for $40), or
- 5,000 points plus $70 (so you’re buying 10,000 points for $70)
By using cash and points, you’ll usually get the hotel for less than retail cost. But always double-check to be sure!
If you book using 5,000 points plus $70, you’re effectively paying $70 for 10,000 points (15,000 point normal room cost – 5,000 points for cash and points). That works out to 0.7 cents per point ($70 cash cost / 10,000 points).
Then, when you cancel the reservation, you won’t be refunded the $70 you paid. But the points will be re-deposited into your account! So you’ve just bought 10,000 points for $70.
The great thing about this deal is that there’s no limit to the number of points you can get (though you’re limited to spending $280 per day on cash and points bookings). Normally, IHG only allows members to purchase a maximum of 120,000 points per year.
What About Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?
If you want to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for IHG hotel stays, you could transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to IHG.
So if you need 10,000 IHG points, you’ll have to transfer 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
But the better way to do this is to use the IHG Cash and Points trick, and use your Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold) to pay for the purchase. Remember, you’re “buying” 10,000 IHG points for $70.
Note: There is currently a better in-branch offer for the Chase Ink Plus.
Then, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards a statement credit for $70. Points are worth 1 cent each when used towards statement credits, so $70 costs 7,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
To do this, log into your Chase account, go to Ultimate Rewards, then click “Cash Back” on the menu.
So instead of transferring 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to get 10,000 IHG points, you’re using only 7,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a $70 statement credit. And that $70 earned you 10,000 IHG points through the cash and points trick!
You’re saving 3,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points! Using Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards a statement credit means you’re getting a transfer ratio of 1 Chase Ultimate Reward point to ~1.43 IHG points (10,000 IHG points / 7,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points). That’s much better than the 1:1 ratio if you transferred points directly.
Note: Direct transfers of Chase Ultimate Rewards points could be worth it if you have no IHG points to start with, and need 5,000 points to take advantage of the Cash and Points trick. Or if you’re redeeming points for a PointBreaks reservation (which only costs 5,000 points per night).
If you want to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for IHG hotel stays, you’ll save points by using the IHG Cash and Points trick. Then use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a statement credit against that purchase.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer directly to IHG in a 1:1 ratio. So if you needed 10,000 IHG points, it would cost you 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
But by using your Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card to pay $70 for 10,000 points (using the IHG Cash and Points trick), then using Ultimate Rewards points for a $70 statement credit, it would only cost you 7,000 points.
That’s a much better deal! Thanks for the question, Tammy!