IHG Rewards Club occasionally offers a bonus on the purchase of points. Until June 8th you get 100% bonus (double the points) if you buy at least 7000 points. Sometimes the bonus will vary for different members but this one appears to be the same for everyone. Below are a few examples of how you can save on a stay at certain hotels in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
First, a few important reminders. You really have to do the math to see how much you’ll be paying for these points. The price is in USD and most Canadian credit cards charge a 2.5% foreign exchange fee. Because these point purchases are processed by Points.com, a Canadian company, Canadian residents will be charged HST. This is usually spelled out in the loyalty program’s terms and conditions related to purchasing points but I cannot find it in IHG’s T&Cs. I will have to assume that it is in fact added.
Second, don’t buy points without a use in mind that will save you money. Speculative purchases of points are generally not a good idea.
The price per point is lowest if you buy at least 26,000 points. (You’ll see it’s actually cheaper to buy 26,000 + 26,000 than 25,000 + 25,000). So, for example, if you buy 30,000 points with a 30,000 bonus, it’s $300 USD which is approximately $477 CAD when you add 2.5% forex, 15% HST and convert to CAD.
If you buy 15,000 + 15,000 for $275 CAD, it would effectively cost around $138 per night at a 15,000 point category hotel for 2 nights.
If you buy 30,000 + 30,000 for $477 CAD, it would effectively cost around $119 per night for 4 nights at 15,000 point category hotel.
If there are any hotels on the recently updated PointBreaks page this could be a way to save on a summer hotel stay if you can make your reservation while the property is still on the list. But I’m going to focus on hotels with a regular redemption rate of 15,000 points. There are 3 in the Maritimes – in Fredericton, Truro and Stellarton.
Let’s compare the cost of purchasing points to rates available on the IHG website for the 3 hotels. I looked at flexible rates because point reservations are cancellable so it makes for an even comparison.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fredericton
The flexible rate for a room with 1 King or 2 Queens on August 2nd is $184.63 CAD tax included. This hotel is rated #1 of 22 hotels in Fredericton on TripAdvisor.
Holiday Inn Truro
The flexible rate for 1 Queen or 2 Queens on a random date in July or August is $174.79 CAD tax included. Note that it’s not an “Express” so no free breakfast is included.
Holiday Inn Express Stellarton – New Glasgow
The flexible rate for 2 Queens on July 7th is $189.26 CAD tax included. But the interesting bit is that you can book a family suite on points. A suite with 1 Queen, a double sofa bed and a set of bunkbeds is $245.25 CAD tax included. If you have a desire to visit Pictou County with kids who like waterslides buying points might be a super deal for you. Just be sure to check suite availability as they are limited.
If anyone reading this is thinking about buying points please do the math to make sure you know what you’ll be paying. And do a search of other lodging or rate options to make sure there isn’t some other better deal out there.