IHG® Rewards Club guide

1

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty rewards program for the InterContinental Hotel Group. Currently, it’s one of the largest reward programs around with over 5,000 hotels and 14 brands. The portfolio includes budget-friendly hotels such as the Candlewood Suites to luxury properties like the Regent hotels. This means you have plenty of opportunities to earn points and get rewarded for travel throughout the world under the IHG umbrella.

It may seem as if all rewards programs are the same: You stay in a hotel, earn a few points and maybe one day you’ll have enough to stay somewhere free. While this is technically true, the IHG Rewards Club offers you several ways to earn, so you can quickly take advantage of rewards nights. Upon joining, you immediately start earning, and you automatically qualify for free Internet with your stays.

Redeeming IHG Rewards nights is as easy as going into your dashboard and booking a stay. The best part? You have thousands of hotels and destinations to choose from, making this one of the most exciting reward clubs you can join.

Let’s take a closer look at the numerous benefits and ways to earn points through this free loyalty program.

What is the IHG Rewards Club point value?

You can earn points for each qualifying stay, but how much is the IHG Rewards point value really worth? The average point value for IHG Rewards Club members is 0.5 cents per point. This may sound a little low—and it’s not as competitive as other reward programs—but keep in mind the IHG portfolio of hotels includes higher-value properties, which can impact the value per point.

IHG Rewards point values are based on the price of the hotel you choose for your point redemption. The higher value of the property you’re staying, the more points it takes to redeem a stay. To calculate the point value for a particular redemption, just take the cost in dollars and divide it by the number of points it takes for the same purchase.

How to get more IHG Rewards points

So how do you earn as many points as possible for the least amount of effort? One of the most attractive features of joining the IHG Rewards program is the ability to earn points in several ways, including earning points for qualifying stays. Let’s look at all the possibilities to earn points.

Earn points for stays and extras

You’ll earn either 5 or 10 points per dollar spent at the IHG Rewards hotels (depending on the property). Besides earning points for the cost of your hotel stay, you’re also rewarded for anything you charge to your room, like drinks, food or movies.

Earning points with an IHG Rewards credit card

There are many ways to maximize your credit card rewards, and taking advantage of sign-up offers and bonus points can help you quickly earn rewards. You can start with IHG Rewards credit cards, which offer a variety of rewards and chances to earn a substantial amount of points.

IHG Rewards offers two different credit cards, and they are both issued by Chase Bank.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with an $89 annual fee (waived in the first year) and offers:

  • 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
  • 25X points for spending with IHG (including the points you earn as a Rewards Club member)
  • 2X points at restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations
  • 1X point on all other purchases
  • A $100 credit toward application for the Global Entry program or TSA Precheck every four years

The IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card has no annual fee and provides:

  • 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • 15X points for spending with IHG (including the points you earn as a Rewards Club member)
  • 2X points at gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores
  • 1X point on all other purchases

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you happen to use a Chase credit card and are a member of the popular Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer your points 1:1 to your IHG Rewards Club membership. This means you can quickly beef up your points total if you already have Chase Ultimate Rewards points waiting to be used.

Joining the IHG Club Dining program

If you’re traveling, chances are you’re checking out local restaurants. Why not combine eating out with the opportunity to earn more points? You can do this by joining the IHG Club Dine & Earn program. The program is quite simple to use. Upon joining, you link your debit or credit card and then eat at one of the qualifying 10,000 restaurants worldwide. If you use your linked card, you can earn points for every dollar.

Points will vary depending upon your membership level, but you can earn up to 8 points per dollar spent—including tips and taxes. But pay attention to special offers, there are several times a year where you can earn bonuses.

Shopping with Apple

If you’re an Apple fan, you can further maximize your IHG rewards earning potential by shopping for Apple products. For every dollar you spend with Apple, you can earn 4 IHG Rewards points. To earn these points, you must make a purchase through the Apple and IHG Rewards shopping portal.

Booking with Hertz rental cars

If you’re traveling and need to book a car, you can use Hertz to earn 125 IHG Rewards points per each dollar you spend.

Booking a meeting or a wedding

If you’re in charge of booking meetings for yourself or your company, you can earn up to 3X points on guest rooms, meeting rooms, conference costs and food and beverages.

If you’re getting married and are planning an event at a qualifying IHG property, you can also earn additional points when you book through IHG Rewards Club.

Building up your elite status

The more qualifying stays you have and the more points you earn, the closer you get to one of the elite statuses. This is important because, in addition to your base points, you’ll earn bonus points for each stay. Bonus points range from 10 percent up to 100 percent, depending on your qualifying elite status.

Becoming an Ambassador

If you’d like to bypass the multiple nights needed to earn elite status, you can purchase the Platinum Elite threshold for a $200 annual fee. You’ll immediately qualify for all the benefits of Platinum Elite—which include a 100 percent earning bonus on points for each stay.

Additional bonuses and discounts

Throughout the year, IHG Rewards Club offers opportunities for you to earn additional points. It may be 1,000 points for a specific time period or another fun bonus.

IHG Rewards Club occasionally sends out offers to purchase discounted points. This is a perfect chance to top off your points if you need a little bit more to earn the reward you have your eye on.

What are the levels of IHG Rewards?

There are four IHG Rewards levels and a fifth, exclusive membership level available as a member of the Kimpton Inner Circle. You can keep track of the IHG Rewards tiers by referring to the IHG Rewards chart and logging into your membership dashboard for updates.

Club Member

The basic level of membership is the club level. You enjoy many benefits such as free Internet, no blackout dates for redemptions, exclusive member rates on hotel stays and a chance to work toward higher status.

Gold Elite Member

Normally, to qualify for the IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status, you’d need 10 nights or 10,000 elite-qualifying points in a calendar year. However, IHG has updated the earnings policy in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s now seven nights or 7,000 elite-qualifying points for Gold Elite membership.

Gold Elite members enjoy all the benefits of the club level, but with the addition of perks including:

  • Extended checkout times
  • Priority check-in
  • Welcome amenity

Not only do your redemption points not expire with Gold Elite, but you also earn a 10 percent bonus (on top of base points) for your stays.

Platinum Elite Member

The next stop is the Platinum Elite Membership. It normally requires 40 nights or 40,000 elite-qualifying points in a calendar year to qualify. However, due to the pandemic, the requirements are currently 30 nights or 30,000 elite-qualifying points for Platinum Elite qualification. Don’t forget, you can also pay $200 annually to become an Ambassador and automatically qualify for the Platinum Elite status.

The Platinum Elite member not only has all the benefits of Gold Elite, but you’ll also enjoy:

  • 50 percent bonus earnings
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Guaranteed room availability

Spire Elite Member

The next membership level within the IHG Rewards Club is the Spire Elite status. To qualify, you must have 75 elite-qualifying nights or earn 75,000 elite-qualifying points through IHG within the calendar year. In 2020, IHG decreased the requirements to 55 nights or 55,000 elite-qualifying points.

You’re eligible for all the benefits of Platinum Elite, plus you’ll receive:

  • 100 percent earnings bonus
  • Early check-in
  • Upgraded status with the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

Kimpton Inner Circle

The ultimate membership level is the Kimpton Inner Circle. You can only get access by invitation, and it’s reserved for those who are Spire Elite members and loyal to the Kimpton brand.

As you can imagine, the perks are numerous and include:

  • Waived amenity fees
  • Guaranteed upgrades
  • Free nights at select Kimpton properties

How do I redeem IHG Rewards points?

IHG Rewards Club allows you to redeem your points in a variety of ways to help make your next trip that much better.

IHG reward nights

Redeem your points on free stays at hotels. You can book these reward nights directly through your account dashboard with IHG. Remember to shop around to different properties to find the best value for your points.

IHG transfer partners

You don’t have to use your points only for free nights at an IHG property. You can select from a list of qualifying partners and transfer the points you’ve earned through IHG and use them with a partner. For example, IHG partners with over 35 airlines to allow you to redeem your points for airline miles.

Points and cash

You can choose redemption by combining your points and cash. This allows you to use your points to effectively get a “discount” on a night, as opposed to a free stay. This is also a good option if you don’t have enough points to completely cover a stay but still want to use up your points.

Entertainment

IHG Rewards Club members can also use IHG Rewards Club Access to get member-only access to shows, sporting events and vacations. Additionally, they can redeem points for eBooks, games, music, movies, magazine subscriptions and more.

Shopping

As a member of the IHG Rewards Club, you can shop its online catalog and redeem points for brand name products, electronics, gift cards and more.

How to join IHG Rewards Club

To join IHG Rewards Club, go to go to the IHG Rewards homepage. Once you’re there, you’ll see a button in the top right corner to join. Click “Join” and begin the easy enrollment process. The only requirement is that you’re 18 years or older. Once you have your member number in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of free Internet and points toward reward nights.

After you join, you’ll have your statements right at your fingertips. You’ll be able to keep track of your upcoming stays and points you’ve earned through stays, credit cards and promotions. You can also book your IHG reward nights right through your dashboard.

Earning rewards has never been easier than with the IHG Rewards Club. Whether you’re staying at one of over 5,000 hotels or using one of the many ways to earn additional points, you’ll be on your way to a reward night in record time.

Information about the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card and IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.