Intercontinental Bora Bora – Overwater Bungalows 50K pts/nt (Chase IHG Mastercard 80k bonus)

Updated on February 19, 2016

Bora Bora Islands


I recently posted the Top 5 credit cards for August.  This post will explain why pick #5, the Intercontinental Chase credit card, is extremely valuable for those who are planning a trip to Bora Bora.

There are two Intercontinental (IC) properties in Bora Bora, Le Moana Bora Bora and the IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa.  The IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa is clearly the better property.  For a mere 50k IC pts, you can secure an overwater bungalow.  All other big chained properties which have overwater bungalows available will only secure a standard room and NOT an overwater bungalow.

A standard room is fine you say?

I can’t argue if that’s your preference, but why would you travel halfway around the world to stay in a standard room?!?!  Status usually means nothing for scoring an upgrade to an overwater bungalow so expect to pay hundreds per night to upgrade (if it’s even available).  Redeeming IC pts for IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa is the shiniest gem in the entire IC award program.


Don’t Have Any IC points?

The Intercontinental Chase credit card comes with an 80,000pt bonus after $1,000 spend in 3 months and an annual fee of $49 waived the first year.  Note there is no landing page with the details of the 80k bonus – refer to this FlyerTalk thread to read about the successful applications and other details.   On the membership anniversary date, Chase will issue 1 free night certificate, which can be redeemed at any IC property in the world, including the IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa.  Best part is that so long as you are an IC Chase cardholder, award bookings will get 10% rebated after the stay is complete.

IC also “sells” points at a rate of $70 per 10,000pts indirectly by booking a cash and pts award and then cancelling the reservation.  Keeping this in mind, there are several options out there:


Options for Booking the IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa

Option A (Easiest but Costly)

  • Indirectly buy IC points at $70 / 10k pts until you have reached the amount needed
  • Example: 6 night redemption = 300k IC pts = $2,100 (each additional night costs $350)


Option B (Just as Easy and Cost Effective)

  • Apply for the Intercontinental Chase credit card to receive 80k bonus points
  • Wait 1 year to receive the anniversary free night certificate
  • Indirectly buy 20k worth of IC points at $70 / 10k pts
  • Example: 3 night redemption = 1 anniversary free night certificate + 100k IC pts, subtotal $140, with $49 annual fee = $189


Option C (Equally as Cost Effective but Requires Convincing of Your Other Half)

  • Sign up for the Intercontinental Chase credit card and also convince your husband/wife/fiancé/boyfriend/girlfriend to sign up as well
  • Indirectly buy 40k worth of IC points at $70 / 10k pts (20k per account)
  • Example: 6 night redemption = 2 anniversary free night certificates + 200k IC pts, subtotal $280, with 2 x $49 AF = $378.  3 rooms booked with your account / 3 rooms  booked with your husband/wife/fiancé/boyfriend/girlfriend's account



Things to Keep in Mind

Here is a list of assumptions in order to take advantage of Options B and C:

  • IC does not devalue its award program
  • Overwater bungalows will still be available for redemption at the IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa
  • Points can still be indirectly purchased at the rate of $70 / 10k pts
  • Chase’s annual fee does not change materially
  • Chase continues to offer anniversary free night certificates that are not limited in category
  • The IC Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa remains as an IC affiliated hotel
  • The 10s of 10s of subscribers here do not book up all the award rooms!


Sign up link: Intercontinental Chase credit card



Related posts:



To address some comments noting scarce and non-consecutive availability, see the following for Jan – Feb 2015:

Availability Jan - Feb 2015


April – July 2015 not looking too hot – possibly due to the following:

  • Peak travel season (less award space released)
  • Hotel has not fully released award rooms yet
  • Award rooms are immediately booked as soon as released – hey, this gem has been discussed for at least 1 year


Note:  I do not receive any referral bonus if you use the links above.


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  1. Agree the Thalasso is the better of the two. But honestly, these two hotels make the perfect combo for any of the chains on the island. With their complimentary shuttle that runs 2x an hour each way, it is the most cost effective way to go back and forth. Makes for a fun ride to Villa Mahana for dinner for sure.

  2. Award availability is awfully poor at the better IHG property for the rest of 2014 and for all of the currently loaded 2015 period on Good luck trying to get even one award night, not to mention getting even two consecutive award nights.

    • Tons of availability (consecutive as well) for Jan – March. Will update the post with what I see.

  3. I’d been eyeing this property for years for my honeymoon which is a little over a year away now. I always planned to pay the upgrade fee from the coral suites and now that points book into OWBs and every blogger is talking about this availability in peak season is impossible to find even when it first opens. I’m talking about the first minute it opens up. NOTHING. Never used to be like this…any thoughts? Really wish everyone would stop babbling to the world about this property…wondering if they no longer offer point rates in peak times as a result of all the recent publicity. Ugh 🙁

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