Your complete guide to IHG Rewards Club Dining

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The IHG® Rewards Club is the loyalty program for the International Hotel Group family of hotels, which includes brands like Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts and the trendy Hotel Indigo family of boutique hotels. This program can be incredibly rewarding to join since you get the chance to earn points for free hotel nights at more than 6,000 properties around the globe.

However, you should know that you don’t have to stay with IHG properties to earn points. One way to rack up rewards in this program involves utilizing the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, which is an offshoot of the IHG Rewards Club.

If you’re ready to boost your earnings and score more free hotel nights, read on to learn how IHG Rewards Club Dining works and how you can get started.

What is IHG Dining?

The IHG Rewards Club Dining program works similarly to other dining programs in that it lets you earn points when you sign up then dine at participating restaurants. You can even start off by earning 1,000 bonus points when you spend $30 dining at a participating restaurant and leave an online review within your first 30 days of membership.

From there, the number of points you’ll earn in this program depends on your level of membership. For example:

  • Basic members earn 1 IHG Rewards Club point for each dollar they spend, provided they decide not to subscribe to email communications from the program.
  • Select members earn 5 points for each dollar they spend, and you can reach this tier by electing to receive email communications from IHG Rewards Club Dining.
  • VIP members earn 8 points for each dollar they spend, and you can reach this tier by electing to receive electronic communication and dining out 11 times in the program within a calendar year.

Keep in mind that utilizing the IHG Rewards Club Dining program is free, and that you can choose to pay for your meal with a credit card or a debit card that you link to your account.

How to sign up

To get started with this program, all you have to do is head to the IHG Rewards Club Dining program website. Once there, you’ll click on the button that says “Join Now.”

At this point in the process, you can join the program by offering up your name, your email address and your IHG Rewards Club number. You’ll also create a password for your dining rewards account.

Screenshot of the IHG Rewards Club Dining registration webpage

Note that you do have to be an IHG Rewards Club member to join the dining program. Fortunately, this program is also free to join and easy to sign up for.

If you’re not a member of the IHG Rewards Club already, you can join this loyalty program here.

How much are points worth?

Points in the IHG Rewards Club are worth an average of .5 cents each, according to The Points Guy’s monthly point valuations, but you may get more or less value depending on how you redeem them. This estimate takes into account award redemptions for high-end IHG properties that can offer an excellent per-point value, as well as redemption values for properties like Holiday Inn Express, which may be on the lower end.

While IHG Rewards points are not worth as much as rewards in some other programs, keep in mind that these points are easy to earn. If you sign up for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, for example, you can earn up to 25X points total per dollar spent at IHG hotels.

How to earn and redeem points

There are numerous ways to earn points in the IHG Rewards program, including with paid hotel stays or the IHG Rewards Club dining program.

Other ways to earn points include:

  • Making a restaurant reservation through OpenTable and linking your account
  • Ordering food from GrubHub through IHG
  • Booking travel with IHG hotel or rental car partners
  • Taking advantage of special promotions

When it comes to redeeming points in the IHG Rewards Club program, you can choose from the following:

  • Cashing in your points for stays at more than 6,000 IHG properties worldwide
  • Merchandise through IHG
  • Gift cards
  • Redeeming points for experiences like concerts or sporting events
  • Digital rewards, including ebooks, games and music
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Donate your points to charity
  • Turn your points into airline miles with select partners

Best cards for IHG Dining

Savvy shoppers know the way to ramp up the rewards when you eat out is by stacking your points with one of the best dining rewards credit cards.

The IHG Rewards Club Dining program makes it easy because you’ll have to link a credit card or debit card when you sign up. You can link up to five additional cards later on, giving you lots of flexibility.

Which are the best dining rewards credit cards to link to the IHG Rewards Club Dining program? We recommend the following:

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card can be a smart choice for the IHG Rewards Club Dining program if you really want to rack up rewards for hotel stays with the IHG brand. Because you earn points with the card’s loyalty program and with IHG dining, you’re essentially double dipping if you link this card. Here are the main card details you should know about.

  • Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
  • Earn up to 25X points total on paid IHG stays
  • Earn 2X points on gas station, grocery store, and restaurant purchases and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Anniversary night on your cardmember anniversary (up to 40,000 points)
  • Fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years
  • $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $89

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards credit card may be one of the best dining rewards credit cards of the year, although this is also a solid grocery store card as well. Consider the card’s bonus offer and earning rates before you apply.

  • Earn $300 cash back if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening
  • Earn 4 percent cash back on restaurants and entertainment
  • Earn 2 percent cash back on grocery store purchases and 1 percent everywhere else
  • $95 annual fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a popular cash back credit card that offers exceptional rewards on dining and in other important categories. Here are the main card details to consider as you weigh your card options.

  • Earn $200 in bonus cash when you spend $500 within three months of account opening
  • Earn 5 percent cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery spending your first year (excluding Target® and Walmart® purchases), 5 percent back on Lyft rides through March 2022, and 5 percent back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5 percent back on other spending
  • $0 annual fee

The bottom line

If you are an IHG Rewards Club member and you’re looking for ways to earn points faster, the IHG Rewards Club Dining program is a free and easy way to do it.

However, you’ll want to remember to link one of the best dining rewards credit cards to increase your earnings whether you’re at home or enjoying a getaway at an IHG hotel.

For more rewards research, read our latest rewards program guides.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."
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