IHG One Rewards launches ‘money can’t buy’ experiences with points 

You can now access money can’t buy experiences with IHG One Rewards points. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts has launched a brand new benefit that gives members opportunities to redeem points for unforgettable experiences in Australia and around the world. 

To celebrate the new platform, IHG is offering members the chance to score tickets to witness the A-League Men’s Grand Final on 3 June 2023 at CommBank Stadium in Western Sydney, along with other exclusive benefits. 

IHG Access A-League experience

From sideline tickets at sporting events to VIP concert passes and meet-and-greets, here’s what to expect from the all-new IHG Access:

IHG One Rewards Access overview 

IHG One Rewards members in Australia now have the ability to redeem rewards points for money-can’t-buy experiences and packages across a variety of categories, including sports, entertainment, art and more. 

Members can explore experiences based on category, location, and quantity of points, and use their points to either redeem instantly at a fixed amount of points or bid on experiences where the highest bid at the close of the auction period wins. 

IHG Access banner

How it works 

IHG Access is offering members the chance to either bid on exclusive experiences or redeem others instantly. 

Bid to win 

Members currently have one week to bid to win the Ultimate Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s Grand Final experience, including: 

  • 4x category A tickets to the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s Grand Final on Saturday, 3 June 2023 
  • Exclusive pre-game ‘Field of Play’ tour for four people, allowing one lucky member and their guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with the grand final teams 
  • 1x signed match t-shirt from the grand final  

Bids start from 60,000 IHG One Rewards points, which would get you a night at the Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

You’ll need to log in and place your bid before 24 May 2023. 

IHG Access A-League experience bidding

Redeem instantly  

IHG One Rewards members can also redeem 10 Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s Grand Final ticket packages (2 category A tickets per package) for 20,000 IHG One Rewards points. 

What else is on offer in Australia? 

From New York to Abbotsford, IHG Access has a range of featured Mastercard exclusive experiences dotted all over. 

Here’s what else is coming to Australia: 

  • Gourmet Darwin dinner and street art tour – 198,000 points 
  • Corzetti pasta making with award-winning chef Nicole Bampton in Leichhardt – 32,000 points 
  • Gin tasting at Proud Henry in Fortitude Valley – 32,000 points 
  • Chinese dumpling making with a premium bottle of prosecco in Abbotsford – 178,000 points
IHG Access experience

Also available to redeem now, is also a selection of Mastercard exclusive experiences available online (think video tutorials). 

Note that the Mastercard exclusive experiences are only available to eligible Mastercard holders. 

Digging in: What value is on offer? 

When considering whether to redeem points for experiences, it’s always worth noting that you can redeem a free night from 10,000 IHG One Rewards points.

For example, one night in a King Classic room at the newly refurbished InterContinental Sydney would cost 53,000 One Rewards points, or around $468.

As such, you’d be getting around 1 cent value per 100 points, which is at the very least what you should be aiming to extract from the experiences.

InterContinental Sydney

So what is the tangible value of IHG Access experiences?

Some experiences on offer here are harder to place definitive value upon, so it can really boil down to how much you would value the particular offering.

We can see that tickets to the A-League Grand Final are selling for $109.00 each.

As such, redeeming 20,000 IHG One Rewards points for two tickets worth $218.00 means you would get 1.09 cents value per 100 points, which is quite good.

How does IHG Access compare?

Other hotel loyalty programs including Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors also feature platforms that allow members to redeem loyalty points for unique experiences.

Marriott Bonvoy Moments

Marriott Bonvoy Moments also offers compelling value for ‘money can’t buy’ experiences across sporting, culinary and entertainment events (just to name a few).

Unlike many other overseas rewards programs, Marriott Bonvoy Moments frequently offer opportunities to experience the extraordinary in Australia.

We have previously seen offerings such as VIP Australian Open events, including an on-court clinic with Ash Barty.

Similar to IHG Access, Marriott Bonvoy members have the opportunity to bid and redeem points for unique experiences.

Marriott Bonvoy Moments

However, unlike with IHG, Marriott Bonvoy members can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points across, making it easier to lock in a quick redemption if you’re short on points.

Hilton Honors Experiences

Similarly, the Hilton Honors Experiences platform is exclusive to Hilton Honors members.

Members have access to a range of experiences, spanning across music, sports, culture and food categories.

From epic concert and sports event seats to signature spa treatments and culinary events, there’s an Experience to be had with points for just about everyone.

Hilton Honors Experiences

However, we tend to see few Australian experiences listed on the platform, making IHG Access and Marriott Bonvoy Moments likely of best interest to Australian-based members.

Is this a worthwhile redemption?

While you’ll usually get the most bang for your points from locking in an aspirational stay, it’s fair to say that IHG Access experiences could offer compelling value.

It’s well worth doing some research and crunching the numbers to assess whether you’ll be getting enough value out of your points.

As a good rule of thumb, you’ll want to aim to get at least one cent value per 100 One Rewards points. But at the end of the day, it comes down to how much you’d value the experience.

Does buying IHG points make sense? 

IHG One Reward members can even buy points to fatten up their balance for as little as $0.05 per point. 

At the time of writing, members can purchase up to 150,000 points per calendar year and another 150,000 as a gift in the same year. 

While point purchases are not always a good idea, there are certain situations where it does make sense. Purchasing points could be worth your while if you have a specific redemption in mind and if you have access to a promotion offering a discounted purchase price. 

For example, IHG has occasionally run offers where you could earn a 100% bonus on purchased points, and it pays (literally) to keep an eye on these promotions. 

Essentially, buying IHG points makes sense when purchasing points for redemption is less expensive than paying cash for the same good or service. 

IHG points can be purchased through your account at ihg.com. Select ‘buy points’ and follow the prompts to a pot of points gold. 

How to earn IHG One Rewards points in Australia 

The main way to earn IHG points is to stay at the chain’s hotels. For example, the bigger brands (excluding Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites) offer around 10 points per US dollar (or equivalent currency) spent on a hotel room bill including any dining or cheeky mini-bar charges. 

Summing up

IHG Access is now giving Australian-based IHG One Rewards members the opportunity to redeem points for unique and unforgettable experiences.

From culinary masterclasses, to grand finals, these experiences could be your ticket to locking in a high-value redemption.

IHG One Rewards members have just one week to bid for A-League Grand Final tickets in June, but we’ll be sure to report on future Australian-based opportunities here.

Will you be bidding for A-League Grand Final tickets?

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