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About IHG

IHG® Hotels & Resorts is one of the world’s leading hotel companies, with around 345,000 colleagues working across more than 100 countries to deliver True Hospitality for Good. 

  • 929,987 ROOMS GLOBALLY

diverse portfolio of differentiated brands are well known and loved by millions of consumers around the world. We have the right hotel brand for both our guests and owners, whatever their needs.


From the first Bass brewery in 1777 to one of the world's leading hotel companies, IHG's history is one of pioneering people and new ideas.

200 years in hospitality.
It's a passion.

The story of how we got here goes back a long way.

IHG Rewards, the loyalty program for hotels like Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and more, can be a tricky program to navigate. IHG used to have broad appeal even to travelers who were primarily loyal to a different hotel chain, but even that is changing and the opportunity cost of sticking with IHG keeps going up.

We’ll take a deep dive into the program in this IHG Rewards review to help you decide whether it makes sense for you.

IHG Rewards review

There are plenty of weaknesses with IHG.

While the IHG award chart currently prices free nights at hotels by category, it has announced plans to move to a dynamic pricing scheme soon (and it’s anyone’s guess what that is going to mean). The current award chart uses wildly inflated prices, which means it could take you a long time to save up enough points for top-tier redemptions.

Many hotels have weak no blackout date policies, but IHG doesn’t even bother with one. Hotels are allowed to restrict the number of rooms they make available for award redemptions, which can be a problem at upscale brands like InterContinental and Kimpton. Elite status is also comparatively less rewarding, but it’s easy to jump straight to Platinum elite by holding the right credit card (more on that later).

Another reason I’m not the biggest fan of IHG is that it doesn’t have as many diverse brands within its portfolio. Marriott has multiple luxury offerings, including St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, W Hotels and Westin, while IHG only has InterContinental and Kimpton for those seeking a five-star stay.

How to earn IHG Rewards Club points

Stay at IHG hotels

The simplest way to earn IHG points is by booking cash stays at an IHG hotel. Depending on the brand and your IHG elite status, you’ll earn points at the following rate per dollar you spend:

IHG Elite StatusPoints Earned at Most IHG BrandsPoints Earned at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites
General Member10 points per $5 points per $
Gold Elite11 points per $5.5 points per $
Platinum Elite15 points per $7.5 points per $
Spire Elite20 points per $10 points per $

You’ll need to book your stay directly with IHG in order to earn points. Stays booked through an online travel agency like Expedia or with bank points (like Chase Ultimate Rewards) normally won’t earn IHG points or be eligible for elite benefits.

Use the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card currently offers 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll earn 25 points total per dollar at IHG hotels, 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. It’s the best credit card to earn IHG points and makes our list of best hotel credit cards.

With this card you’ll also always get:

  • Platinum IHG status (late checkout when available, complimentary upgrades (subject to availability), a welcome amenity, 50% bonus on the base points you earn and your IHG points won’t expire with elite status)
  • Anniversary reward night worth up to 40,000 points
  • Fourth night reward on standard room award stays of four nights or more
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years (up to $100)
  • 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 each account year
  • No foreign transaction fees

The 140,000 point bonus is the highest the card has ever offered. While we value IHG points around 0.5 cents, that means this bonus should get you at least $700 in value from the bonus alone. However there are many redemptions that will get you much more value than that, usually when staying at a high end resort like the Intercontinental Bora Bora. More on that below.

You can read our IHG Credit Card review for more details on the huge bonus and card benefits.

This card is affected by the Chase 5/24 rule, which means if you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any bank (excluding certain business cards) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved. If you’re new to miles and points or are below 5/24, you’ll have to weigh this increased offer against many of the other best Chase credit cards.

Buy points

IHG is one of the many programs that allows you to buy points, and it frequently runs discount promotions. Each account is allowed to purchase up to 100,000 points per calendar year. I recommend you buy these points only if there’s a points sale, you have a specific redemption in mind, and you’ve already confirmed that there are available award rooms on the dates you’re traveling. Always check the paid price of the room to be sure you’re getting a better deal with points.

Also consider that Chase IHG Premier cardholders get a 20% discount when they purchase points and pay with their IHG credit card. However, this perk does not stack with IHG points sales.

You can also “buy” points by utilizing the IHG Points & Cash trick, usually for ~0.6 cents each.

Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards

IHG is a Chase transfer partner. If you’re short on points, and running out of time and buying points isn’t an option for you, you might consider transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG. IHG uses a very inflated award chart, with the most expensive hotels pricing out at 70,000-100,000 points per night. Still, Chase points only transfer at a 1:1 ratio, the same as Hyatt where the top tier costs one-third as much.

I can’t think of a single scenario where this would be a good use of your Chase points, unless you need a few points to top off your account. But it’s worth knowing all of your options.

IHG Details


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