Chase just launched a new Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus. Now through August 15, 2022, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG One Rewards with a 50% bonus.
We are excited to see a new Chase transfer bonus. However, IHG is one of Chase’s least valuable transfer partners. IHG points are worth far less per point than Ultimate Rewards points. Consequently, 1:1 Chase-to-IHG transfers are rarely a good idea.
Is a 50% bonus enough to tilt the scales? We don’t think so. Let’s show you why.
Transfer Bonus Offer Terms
- Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG One Rewards and receive 50% bonus IHG points.
- Bonuses are available on point transfers made through 11:59 PM ET on August 15, 2022.
- The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 points (1,500 IHG points after 50% bonus).
- Point transfers to IHG typically take ~5 hours to process and are final/non-reversible.
- Allow up to two days for the bonus points to hit your account.
Why This is a Poor Value Proposition
Without a transfer bonus, Chase uses a 1:1 transfer ratio for all Ultimate Reward travel partners. But all points don’t have the same value. While my baseline valuation for Chase Ultimate Rewards points is 1.7¢ per point, AwardWallet users have only been able to redeem IHG points for 0.73¢ per point in recent redemptions. Consequently, if you were to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, you’d effectively cut the value of your points by more than half. This makes transfers to IHG a poor value in most scenarios.
A 50% bonus doesn’t do much to close the gap. Boosting IHG’s 0.73¢ value by 50% still only translates into under 1.1¢ per point.
While 1.7¢ and 0.73¢ per point are my baseline values for these currencies, you may value them differently. And that’s okay. But that still doesn’t necessarily make this a good deal.
Personal valuations aside, all Ultimate Rewards members can achieve 1.25–1.5¢ per point through the Chase Travel Portal. Additionally, Sapphire cardholders can get the same value by using Ultimate Rewards points to Pay Yourself Back. This means you’re typically better off using your points in one of these ways instead of transferring to IHG.
Let’s use a dummy booking at The Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula—one of our favorite IHG sweet spots—to demonstrate this point.
For an award stay in January 2023, the award price for a base room is 80,000 IHG points per night — a great points deal for this property. With the 50% transfer bonus, you’d need to transfer 54k Ultimate Rewards to receive the IHG points required.
Meanwhile, the cash price for the same booking is $563 all-in per night:
That nets a redemption rate of 0.7¢ per IHG point. That’s in line with the value AwardWallet users have gotten in recent redemptions. However, by making a fourth-night free booking, eligible IHG cardholders can book a four-night stay for 240,000 IHG points. That boosts the redemption rate to almost 0.94¢ per IHG point.
If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25¢ per point on bookings made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Thus, you could book the same room for only 45,866 points per night through the portal — or a total of 183,465 points for four nights:
If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get an even better deal. Cardholders receive 1.5¢ per point through the portal. That means you’ll only need 38,222 Ultimate Rewards to book a cash stay through the Chase Travel Portal. That’s a savings of 16k points per night compared to transferring to IHG with this 50% transfer bonus.
Chase is offering a 50% transfer bonus when transferring Ultimate Rewards points to IHG One Rewards. But it’s probably not worth considering too long. If you’d like to grow your balance of IHG points, you’re better off applying for an IHG co-branded credit card.
There is a silver lining. While this transfer bonus isn’t valuable, the fact that Chase continues to offer periodic transfer bonuses is a good sign. Hopefully, we’ll see some better deals in the future.
What Ultimate Reward partner would you like to see a transfer bonus for next?