Starting tomorrow, IHG Rewards Club will be discounting award redemption rates at The Palazzo and Venetian hotel in Las Vegas by 50%. Normally, both hotels require 50,000 IHG Rewards Club per night. As part of the promotion, this rate will drop to 25,000 points per night. These discounted redemption rates must be booked by 12 PM (ET) on March 10 and will be valid on stays between March 10 – December 28, 2015. While the 50% discount offers tremendous savings, I would still recommend you do the math and figure out whether paying cash and redeeming Arrival miles is a better value.
If you’re earning IHG points at a rate of 1 point per $1 through the IHG Rewards Club Visa or an Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card, then redeeming Arrival miles makes more sense when the nightly rate at The Venetian or Palazzo is less than $550. That’s because channeling the $25,000 spend that you’d normally put on the IHG/Chase Ink Plus/Sapphire Preferred card would get you $550 worth of travel credits with the Arrival Plus card. Normally, rates at the Palazzo and Venetian hotels are between $200 – $400. So for the most part, if you’re earning points based on spend, you’ll be better off redeeming Arrival miles. However, there are a few exceptions:
1. Category bonuses. If you’re earning IHG points largely through bonus categories, your calculations will differ slightly. For example, if you’re earning your IHG points at a rate of 5 points per $1 spent through the Chase Ink Plus card at office supply stores, then you’ll need to spend just $5,000 to earn 25,000 IHG points. Putting $5,000 of spend on the Arrival Plus card would get you just $110 worth of travel credits, meaning the nightly rate at either hotel needs to be less than this in order for an Arrival mile redemption to be a better option.
If you’re earning IHG points at 2 points per $1 spent, then you’ll need to spend $12,500 on the IHG Rewards Club or Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card to generate 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points. The same amount of spend would generate $275 in travel credits through the Arrival Plus card, so if the nightly rate is less than $275 you should redeem Arrival Miles instead.
2. Point calculations. Not everyone earns their points through credit card spending. If you’re earning your points through credit card churning, it might make sense to assign a value in order to determine when it makes sense to redeem them. Barclay Arrival Plus miles are easy: They are worth 2.2 cents each. Most people value IHG points at $0.50 per point. Based on this value 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points are worth $125. So if the nightly rate at The Palazzo/Venetian is over $125 per night, redeeming 25,000 points makes sense.
3. Purchased points. If you get your points through the Cash & Points trick, you’re paying $0.70 per point. In this case, 25,000 points would set you back $175 so be sure the nightly rate at these hotels is higher than this if you’re going to redeem points.
In addition to point values, you should factor in points you could be earning on cash rates. Since The Palazzo and Venetian are both classified as Intercontinental properties, IHG Rewards Club members will earn 10 points per $1 for paid stay. IHG Gold Elite members will earn a 10% bonus, while Platinum elites receive 50% on top of their base points.
In all, this promotion can be a great value for those of you looking to redeem points at a great Las Vegas hotel. Just be sure to do the math and figure out whether redeeming IHG points makes more sense than using Arrival miles.
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