Should you transfer Chase points to IHG or buy points?

Many award travelers tend to overlook the IHG One Rewards program when considering their travel options. However, it’s important to note that you can get good value when redeeming IHG points, regardless of whether you’re staying at a local Candlewood Suites or an aspirational InterContinental resort. In this article, we will explore how you can earn IHG points and the best ways to redeem them.

If you don’t frequently use the IHG One Rewards program, you may need to earn IHG points so that you have enough to cover a stay at an IHG property with points. There are two quick ways to earn IHG points: buying them directly or transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Buying IHG One Rewards points is a straightforward option. IHG typically offers points for sale at various rates. For example, you can buy 1,000 to 10,000 points for 1.35 cents per point, 11,000 to 25,000 points for 1.15 cents per point, and 26,000 to 150,000 points for 1 cent per point. However, IHG frequently runs promotions that offer a 100% bonus on purchased points, which brings the price down to as low as 0.5 cents per point. Keep an eye out for these sales as they can provide excellent value for your money.

It’s important to note that IHG allows its members to buy up to 150,000 points per calendar year, and some members can transfer up to 500,000 points per calendar year to other members. Purchased points do not count towards IHG elite status and are non-refundable. Once you buy IHG points, they should appear in your account within 72 hours, although in practice, they typically appear within 10 minutes.

When buying IHG points, the purchase is made through, which means it won’t be coded as a travel purchase on your credit card. Therefore, it may be wise to use an everyday spending card that earns bonus rewards on all purchases, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or the Citi Double Cash Card. However, if you have an eligible IHG credit card, such as the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, or the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you can save 20% on IHG points purchases by using the card to pay. This discount cannot be combined with other promotions, but if you’re buying IHG points without a bonus, it’s worth using one of these cards to save 20% on your purchase.

Alternatively, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG One Rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the currency earned by select Chase credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. To transfer Chase points to IHG, you’ll need to navigate to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and select “Hotels” and then click on the “IHG Hotels & Resorts” tile. The transfer can be done in increments of 1,000 points at a 1:1 ratio. TPG’s tests have shown that Chase Ultimate Rewards points typically reach your IHG account instantaneously.

When deciding whether to buy IHG points or transfer Chase points to IHG, it depends on your current situation. If you have ample Chase Ultimate Rewards points, are short on cash, or have already reached the annual cap for buying IHG points, transferring Chase points may be the better option. However, keep in mind that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are generally more valuable than IHG points, so it may be more beneficial to save your Ultimate Rewards points for transfers to higher-value partners.

IHG points can be valuable when redeemed for stays of four nights or longer, as the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, and the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card offer a fourth-night-free reward perk. This means that you’ll only need to redeem points for the first three nights, and the fourth night is free. There’s no limit to how many times you can use this perk each year, making it a great way to maximize the value of your IHG points.

In conclusion, while many award travelers overlook the IHG One Rewards program, it can provide excellent value when redeeming points for stays at IHG properties. Whether you choose to buy IHG points or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG depends on your individual circumstances. However, it’s important to consider the value of the points and the potential benefits of each option. By understanding how to earn and redeem IHG points effectively, you can make the most of the program and enhance your travel experiences.

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