IHG One Rewards is one of our favorite loyalty programs here at MilesCop. While it may be slightly different from other programs, once you understand how it works, the rewards are truly worth it.
Like with any other program, one of the key factors in maximizing your stays with IHG is having a higher elite status. This allows you to enjoy even more perks and privileges during your travels.
You can read more about the various IHG elite levels and status benefits here.
Now, allow me to introduce you to a game-changing status superpower that IHG offers — Bonus Points Packages (BPP).
Let’s delve deeper into this interesting aspect of IHG One Rewards.
IHG Bonus Points Packages offer an opportunity to earn elite status at a much faster rate and with significantly lower spending than the traditional route.
So, what exactly are Bonus Points Packages?
Simply put, IHG Bonus Points Packages are special rates that give you elite qualifying bonus points for your stays at an additional fee. ‘Elite Qualifying’ being the key phrase.
Here are some examples of these bonus points packages.
How to book IHG Bonus Points Packages?
It’s pretty simple to book IHG Bonus Points Packages.
You will see a pop-up with the option to add IHG Bonus Points Packages when booking the best available rate or flexible package, if available.
However, if you reach the booking confirmation page directly (with no pop up), it means that the bonus points are not available for that specific rate. They may still be available for a different rate type at the same hotel.
Typically, these bonus points packages are more likely to show up when selecting the flexible rate.
You can also search for hotels with BPP packages on the Bonus Points Packages search page here.
Quoted rates can be misleading.
It’s important to note that the rates quoted for bonus points can sometimes be misleading. While they may seem like pretty cheap for the number of points offered, there is a catch.
Bonus Points Packages are not offered on all bookable rates and are mostly limited to flexible rates. This means that it may or may not be the lowest rate available. There could be other promotional rates that are cheaper with a similar cancellation policy.
Therefore, your actual cost of bonus points would be the difference between the rate you would have booked otherwise and the additional cost of points.
Many a time, IHG Bonus Points Packages are not bookable on breakfast inclusive rates.
The good news is that in most cases, it is still worth it to choose these bonus points packages. At the same time, there are times when it’s better to let go of the bonus points packages. I have seen some insanely priced options.
Make sure that your account is set to earn points on IHG stays, and not airline miles.
How BPP entirely changes your IHG elite status requirement?
IHG’s Bonus Points Packages significantly reduce the number of nights required and money spent at IHG hotels to achieve elite status.
The most advantageous package is the one that provides 5000 bonus points per night. By utilizing this package, you can expedite your path to elite status. Here is a breakdown of the number of nights required to reach each status:
- IHG Gold Status: Without the package, it takes 20 nights, but with the 5000 points per night package, it only takes 8 nights. (40,000 elite qualifying points required for Gold)
- IHG Platinum Status: Without the package, it takes 40 nights, but with the 5000 points per night package, it only takes 12 nights. (60,000 elite qualifying points required for Platinum)
- IHG Diamond Status: Without the package, it takes 70 nights, but with the package, it only takes 24 nights. (120,000 elite qualifying points required for Diamond)
This is the fastest way to earn IHG Diamond status.
Additionally, it’s important to note that your progress towards elite status would be even faster, as you would also earn base qualifying points for your stay expenses.
Multiple rooms is a bad idea.
If you are making a reservation for multiple rooms, there are some critical factors to consider.
When you choose a bonus points package, the cost of these points will be added to the room rate. As a result, the increased room rate will apply to all the rooms in your booking. However, the bonus points themselves will only be awarded for one room.
To illustrate, let’s say you are booking 2 rooms with a bonus points package of 5,000 points per night by paying $10 extra.
In this case, you will end up paying double($10×2 rooms) and will still earn a total of 5000 points per night. Bonus points are per booking and not per room.
The solution is simple — Make an individual booking for each room. If you are booking with your own account, don’t book BPP for the rest of the rooms. If possible, book each room from a separate account. Of course, the account holder should be traveling with you.
Availability works in mysterious ways.
We would love to secure the Bonus Points Package for every night of our stay at an IHG hotel. However, this rate is not consistently offered.
Although the availability has significantly improved recently, it can still be unpredictable. It may require searching through various hotels and rates to find a bonus points package.
Based on my personal experience, the availability of these packages seems to be influenced by hotel occupancy. I have noticed that during off-season travel, there are more frequent and better-priced bonus points packages compared to peak-season.
Bonus Points Packages significantly reduce the time and cost required to reach a higher elite status with IHG One Rewards. This is also the fastest way to earn IHG Diamond Elite status with stays.