How to Get IHG Points for .292 Cents – Stay in Hotels for $15!

While the offer is limited, IHG – Intercontinental Hotel Group, is still offering the purchase of 100,000 Rewards Club Points for only $565 through Daily Getaways, a purchase value of .565 cents, a better value than the normal points and cash purchase value of .7 cents – 10,000 for $70, it seems most people have not realized that this is actually a much better deal than it appears.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 5.41.18 PM

When purchasing getaways from the site, the purchases are coded as travel, so we are able to buy the points using the Barclay’s Arrival Plus card and earn 2 miles per dollar and then 10% back when redeeming for travel – essentially 2.2 miles per dollar spent; okay, great, we’ll get 1243 miles back – $12.43, not adding up.

IHG_LOGO_PNG_COLORCMYK_1187X591

The great thing here is that we can buy Visa and Mastercard gift cards, $500 for $5.95 (at my local grocery store,) and upload them to BlueBird by American Express and Walmart and then use that money to pay Barclays. But, wait, there’s still the $1,000/day $5,000/month limit, and we need 55,257 miles to redeem for the purchase (minus the miles earned on the purchase,) and we only have 120 days to earn them.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 5.40.30 PM

Here’s something I haven’t read about in any blogs; open Bluebird accounts for friends and families – it’s a prepaid debit card, no attachment to credit, I have done it with my four family members, best friend, and grandma and hope to open others in more family and friends names. This allows for a lot more miles to be earned, much more quickly, now the limit is how many friends and family members will let you open an account in their name instead of the set limitations.

visa-gift-card

Now, during the 120 days, we can buy 55 gift cards (round to the next highest, without factoring the 10% point rebate) for $327.25 and upload each to our Bluebird accounts. Redeem 56,500 miles for the paid value of $565 and voila! Our price has dropped to $327.25, factor in the rebate and you have another 5650 miles left which you didn’t have to buy another 6 gift cards for $35.70 to get, so take that from the price and we’re at $291.55, or .29155 per point.
Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 5.39.25 PM

 

Now, redeem these points for 20 nights at the IHG Pointbreak Hotels for 5,000 points per night, and you’re looking at 20 nights at a hotel for $14.58 – cheaper than a lot of shared dorms in hostels. While most of the hotels are budget ones like Holiday Inn, there are some incredible places on the list – like the beautiful InterContinental Lhasa Paradise in Lhasa, XZ, China, where rooms start at $180 when I looked, a savings of $165.42  or 91.9% every night, and a point redemption value of 3.6 cents. Another top place currently is the Hotel Indigo in San Jose, Costa Rica where the rooms start at $123.  Hurry, because these deals are almost gone.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 5.57.00 PM

Like The Travel Economist on Facebook and Follow on Twitter, make sure to subscribe to The Travel Economist to get updates about posts and newsletters!
-The Travel Economist

 

Total Cost – 23 Days in Central America

Ever wonder how much it costs to spend a few weeks in Costa Rica and Nicaragua while following my travel advice? This post has outlined my expenses for the past three weeks; the first third of my trip!

Flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico with layover in Fort Lauderdal, FL to San Jose, Costa Rica – $130.98

Food for two weeks in Costa Rica (including four days at a friend’s house, during which, I was given food) – I ate rice and beans, some meats, fruits, a lot of peanut butter and jelly (Goober brand) sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, and along with other foods, brownies! – $49.23

Food stand in Monte Verde, CR
Food stand in Monte Verde, CR

Food for one week in Nicaragua – I have been much less conscience about what I’m eating here, eating pretty much whatever looks good, ice cream, shaved ice, cookies, different breads, meats, gallo pinto (rice and beans,) chicken, and a variety of other foods, I also bought one beer for one dollar. – $45.80

10380919_746741152045460_3053093237731642996_n
Gallo Pinto Breakfast

Hostel for one night in San Jose – $10. Hostel for one night and one days use of another hostels facilities in Nicaragua – $8 – Total – $18

10403446_746741548712087_2273955573615029129_n
Meat in a Bag from a Street Vendor

Three souvenirs – $14.18

Tours, guides, and park and country entrance and exit fees – The exit fee from Costa Rica is $7.00, there are no fees for Panama, the Entrance fee into Nicaragua is $12, $30 for Volcano Boarding, and $25 at Monte Verde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica – $92.18

Buses and Ferries – $15.13

Ferry Ride to Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ferry Ride to Ometepe, Nicaragua

Other miscellaneous purchases such as earphones, sim cards, and replacement gear, a hair cut, first aid, and maps (before I found the offline Mapswithme app) – $38.76

Money I have been given during hitch hiking – $2.09

Total: $402.17

After twenty-three days of traveling the average is $17.48/day

Without flight – $402.17 – $130.98 = $271.19/23 = $11.79/day

Without flight and tours/entrance fees – $271.19 – $92.18 = $179.01/23 = $7.83/day

While my total expenses are averaging at $17.48 per day right now, the longer I travel, the less it will become. By following the current and future tricks and tips of my blog, it is possible to reach the actual amount of less than $10 per day, even with tours and excursions!

Here is proof that traveling can be cheaper than you ever imagined, so make a sign and get going!

GOPR3617_1402165940806_low
Make a sign and get going!

Like The Travel Economist on Facebook and Follow on Twitter, make sure to subscribe to The Travel Economist to get updates about posts and newsletters!
-The Travel Economist