IHG stands for InterContinental Hotels Group, and IHG® Rewards Club is its loyalty program. Between credit cards, large bonuses and frequent promotions, IHG points are pretty easy to earn. Redeeming them for optimal value, however, demands patience and a little bit of luck.
See our list of the best credit card bonuses here.
Let’s take a closer look at IHG Rewards Club below, so you can decide if it makes sense for you.
Personal Credit Cards
|Redemption Options||Hotel stays|
Points & Cash
|Value Per Point||$0.005 average|
InterContinental Hotels Group properties include these familiar hotels:
|InterContinental Hotels & Resorts||InterContinetal Alliance Resorts||Kimpton Hotels|
|Crowne Plaza||Hotel Indigo||Holiday Inn|
|Holiday Inn Express||Holiday Inn Club Vacations||Regent Hotels & Resorts|
|Staybridge Suites||Candlewood Suites||EVEN Hotels|
|AtWell Suites||Six Senses|
*Click here for a complete updated list.
IHG Rewards Club Elite Status
IHG Rewards Club status depends on the number of qualifying nights or points you earn in one calendar year. When you move up in status, you’ll get that status through the end of the year until the end of the following calendar year.
|ELITE STATUS||QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS|
|Gold||10 nights or 10,000 points|
|Platinum||40 nights or 40,000 points|
|Spire||75 nights or 75,000 points|
Award nights count towards your qualifying nights total. And, any excess qualifying nights you have will rollover towards status qualification for the following calendar year.
As you move up from Club to Spire, you’ll unlock additional hotel benefits.
*Click here for our source.
Earning IHG Rewards Club Points: Co-Branded Credit Cards
Earning IHG Rewards Club Points: Other Ways
The simplest way to earn IHG points is by staying at an IHG hotel. The number of points you’ll get depends on the brand and your elite status:
|ELITE STATUS||MOST IHG BRANDS||STAYBRIDGE & CANDLEWOOD|
|Club||10x points||5x points|
|Gold||11x points||5.5 points|
|Platinum||15x points||7.5 points|
|Spire||20x points||10x points|
Keep in mind, you must book directly with IHG to earn points. Using an online travel agency (Expedia, Priceline, etc.) or a bank travel portal (Chase Ultimate Rewards®, etc.) won’t get you IHG points or elite benefits.
*Click here for our source.
Earn up to 5,000 points per stay with IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points Packages. What’s more, these bonus points count towards earning and maintaining your elite status. Simply select your room type and add an available package at participating properties. The amount and availability of bonus points vary.
With over 10,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs, stacking up on points via IHG Rewards Club Dining is quick and easy. The program has three different membership levels:
|Basic||No requirements||1x points|
|Select||Provide a valid email address & opt to receive emails||5x points|
|VIP||Provide a valid email address & opt to receive emails|
11 qualified transasctions in a calendar year
To maximize your earning potential, read our complete guide to dining programs.
Earn 3x points on meeting or event expenses at IHG properties. Qualified expenses include meeting spaces, guest rooms, and food and beverage.
You can also fast track your way to elite status this way:
- Gold status after 1 event
- Platinum status after 2 events
Talk to a IHG catering representative for more information.
If you’re short on points, you might want to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio.
However, we don’t recommend doing it. Ultimate Rewards points are worth approximately $0.02 each, while IHG points are worth much less. So you’ll be drastically reducing your point value by moving them from Ultimate Rewards to IHG Rewards Club.
Purchasing points is usually not a great idea. You’ll most likely pay much more than the points are worth.
|AMOUNT OF POINTS||PRICE PER 1,000 POINTS||PRICE PER POINT|
|1,000 – 10,000||$13.50||$0.0135|
|11,000 – 25,000||$12.50||$0.0125|
|26,000 – 60,000||$11.50||$0.01|
But every once in a while, IHG does a points sale. If you must purchase points, we recommend you wait for one of these discount promotions.
IHG Rewards Club credit cardholders get a 20% discount when you purchase your points with your card. Unfortunately, you can’t stack this discount with IHG points sales.
*The prices for buying points may vary. The above chart is for illustrative purposes only. Log into your IHG account to see the latest cost to buy points.
Redeeming IHG Rewards Club Points
Before going through all the ways you can use your IHG points, let’s go over when they expire.
|Club||After 12 months of account inactivity|
|Gold, Platinum or Spire||No expiration as long as you hold elite status|
*Read more on maintaining points here.
IHG Rewards Club prices its award nights dynamically. This means the redemption rate fluctuates the way it would if it were priced in cash. This is a recent change from years past when pricing was based on a fixed chart with hotels ranked by category and the point cost per night was set by tier. Either dynamic or fixed pricing, it’s been known that prices are extremely inflated and it takes a lot of points for more sought-after hotels.
The move to dynamic award pricing means the actual redemption cost changes based on season, demand, and other market factors. This makes it harder to find sweet spots and the only way for you to know how many points you need to redeem for award nights is to search for properties and enter your travel dates.
To search for hotel stays, search the Reward Nights section of the IHG Rewards Club website or by calling the Customer Care Center in your region.
IHG lets you pay for an award night with a combination of points and cash. When you book this way, IHG “sells” you the extra points and then debits them from your account. As opposed to just charging your credit card.
Expect to pay a rate between $0.007 and $0.01 per point. The more points you decide to buy, the less the cost for each point.
- Shawn Mendes VIP Suite tickets
- Land and sea adventures in Key West, Florida
- US Open tickets
- Milwaukee city experience package
Some Access experiences can be purchased in the moment, while others are up for auction.
Of course, the availability of these experiences are subject to change.
Book award stays at two Holiday Inn all-inclusive resorts using your IHG points.
|Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos||20,000 points per night|
|Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay||50,000 points per night|
*Points required for award booking subject to change.
Convert your IHG points into airline miles. Here’s the full list of IHG airline partners:
Most transfers are at a 10,000 points to 2,000 miles ratio, which is not ideal. You’ll lose point value if you redeem this way.
You also have the option to transfer points to another IHG Rewards Club member at a rate of $5 for every 1,000 points. Just complete the authorization and submit. Learn more here (you must sign in to your account).
Other redemption options include:
- Gift cards
- Digital downloads
- Charitable donations
However, we don’t recommend using your points for any of the above options. They’ll get you far less value than the average $0.005 per point.
IHG Rewards Club Tips & Tricks
Take full advantage of your IHG Rewards Club membership with the following tips and tricks:
The current offer is: if you find a lower rate on a third-party site, IHG will match it and give you five times the IHG® Rewards Club points, up to a 40,000-point maximum.
The best price guarantee offer may change from time to time. For example, the previous deal was if you found a lower price, they will match it or your first night is free. The bottom line is keep checking to see what their current offer is.
IHG will deny a claim for various reasons, so make sure to keep in mind the following:
- The reservation must match in every way: room type, bed type, breakfast, cancellation policy, payment and more.
- Make sure the room is bookable, so click all the way to the end.
- The rate has to be lower before and after tax.
- The lower rate must be more than $1 or 1%.
- Must be able to book in the same currency.
Short on points? Need a quick 5,000 to book your PointBreaks stay? You’ll want to use this little trick.
When you book with points and cash, IHG charges your credit card immediately. Then after you cancel the reservation, you’ll get your full refund in points.
|LESS POINTS||PAY IN CASH||VALUE PER POINT|
So you’ll pay for the reservation with a combination of points and cash, but you’ll get your refund in points only.
Obviously this is not an advertised strategy, so it is not guaranteed to work but it has worked for many.
IHG Rewards Club members can choose to earn airline miles – as opposed to IHG points – for qualifying stays. The rate you’ll earn depends on the airline. You might want this option if your priority is free flights rather than free hotel stays.
It’s tough to find good value redemptions with IHG Rewards Club because of its inflated dynamic pricing. With only two premium brands, InterContinental and Kimpton, you’re pretty limited if you’re looking for a luxury stay. .
Families and budget-minded travelers will find good value at various IHG brands like Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites. And if you take advantage of the Points + Cash redemptions, this rewards program might be well worth your loyalty.