IHG Sweet Spots: To Maximize Your Points, Think International

Rand ShoafJun 24, 2021
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If you’re looking to get the most value out of your IHG points — look international. Especially in many Asian countries where hotels have incredibly low cash rates than comparable properties in the U.S., the points rate to book IHG hotels comes out even lower.

NerdWallet values IHG points at  0.8 cent each. So, when looking for IHG sweet spots, calculate the value of the points rate versus the dollar cost. To make it easy, we've created an IHG points calculator to do the math for you.

So whether you've been saving your points to splurge on a free night at a luxury resort or prefer to stretch your points further at budget hotels, we've found some great IHG point redemption opportunities. That said, not all hotels are equal when it comes to redeeming points for free nights. There are a handful of hidden gems that allow you to get maximum value from your points.

Let's dive into some of the best sweet spots within the IHG Rewards Club program.

IHG Rewards Club brands

With 16 hotel brands, IHG Rewards Club offers a diverse hotel portfolio to explore. You are likely already familiar with IHG’s household brands, such as Holiday Inn and Intercontinental. But brands such as Voco and Regent Hotels may come as a surprise. No matter your travel style, with IHG's many hotel brands you're sure to find one that fits. To date IHG has 16 hotel brands, which include:

  • Avid.

  • Atwell Suites.

  • Candlewood Suites.

  • Crowne Plaza.

  • Even Hotels.

  • Holiday Inn.

  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations.

  • Holiday Inn Express.

  • Hotel Indigo.

  • Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts.

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

  • Kimpton Hotels.

  • Regent Hotels & Resorts.

  • Six Senses Hotels & Resorts.

  • Staybridge Suites.

  • Voco.

IHG award chart

IHG has hinted about a move to dynamic pricing and no longer publishes an award chart. However, based on our research and knowledge of the previously published chart,  there are 13 hotel categories ranging from 10,000-70,000 points per night.

Category

Cost per night

Category 1

10,000

Category 2

15.000

Category 3

20,000

Category 4

25,000

Category 5

30,000

Category 6

35,000

Category 7

40,000

Category 8

45,000

Category 9

50,0000

Category 10

55,000

Category 11

60,000

Category 12

65,000

Category 13

70,000

Exceptional point redemptions are when the nightly rate is substantially higher than other hotels in the same hotel category. For example, if the nightly paid rate for a hotel is $300 and the points rate is 30,000, you would be getting 1 cent in value per point. You can compare this with our current valuation of IHG points, which is 0.8 cent each.

IHG sweet spots

As with any award redemption, the most valuable use is the one that makes sense for your travel style and needs. That said, some hotels offer particularly high-value redemption opportunities in terms of paid rate vs. points cost. Let’s dive into some of our favorite sweet spot redemptions with IHG Rewards Club:

The InterContinental Kuala Lumpur. Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

Staying at the InterContinental, which is IHG's premier brand, generally isn't cheap. But if you've always dreamed of rolling up to an InterContinental — but don't want to pony up too many points — look to Kuala Lumpur. This hotel provides among the sweetest of the sweet spots, with not only a low points rate to begin with, but an excellent ratio of low points rates relative to cash prices. You can book it for just 13,000 points per night, which we value at roughly $100. The 473-room, five-star InterContinental Kuala Lumpur is located near the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the city’s Convention Centre and other shopping and entertainment venues.

Views from the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong. Image courtesy of IHG.

Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong

A trip to Singapore certainly isn't cheap, but booking the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong on points is actually a swell deal at just 18,000 points nightly. While you won't be in the heart of the city, you're only about a 10-minute drive from the major tourist attractions. Plus, free breakfast for all guests will save you even more.

The InterContinental Mendoza Hotel. Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Mendoza, Argentina

You'll be hard-pressed to find Intercontinental hotels priced at only 20,000 points per night, but that's what you'll pay for an award night at the Intercontinental Mendoza. This luxury hotel features all the amenities you'd expect, including an indoor pool, casino, full spa and more.

At the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, some people come specifically for afternoon tea. Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, Vietnam

With each room featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, you’re guaranteed fantastic views of Hanoi during your stay at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72. The hotel occupies floors 62-71 of a high-rise tower.

The hotel also boasts an impressive club lounge on the 71st floor, and four on-property restaurants and bars. Between the attentive staff and sparkling new building, the hotel ranks as one of the most impressive and luxurious hotels in the city. The best part is an award night only costs 30,000 points per night.

The InterContinental Kyiv. Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Kiev, Ukraine

Let’s start with the the hotel’s prime location near St. Sophia’s Cathedral. The InterContinental Kiev not only offers great views of the city’s beautiful golden domes, but it’s also a great base for exploring all the city has to offer.

The hotel, starting from 30,000 points a night, conveys a nostalgic charm. For a retreat from the city, the hotel’s spa offers a beauty salon, as well as various saunas and a swimming pool. Or head up to enjoy a drink at the rooftop bar while getting incredible panoramic views of the city.

The InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut, Lebanon. Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut, Lebanon

Rated among the top hotels in Beirut by TripAdvisor, the Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut deserves a place on our IHG sweet spot list.

At only 30,000 points per night, you'll get to experience this landmark hotel just steps away from the corniche. Steeped in culture and housed in a historic building, the hotel offers impressive architecture at every turn.

The InterContinental Budapest, Hungary.  Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Budapest, Hungary

For 40,000 points per night, you can stay at the InterContinental Budapest. The hotel is a stone's throw away from the city’s most famous sights.

Considering its location, elegantly designed rooms and breathtaking views, this hotel is a steal for 40,000 points per night.

The Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives. Image courtesy of IHG.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives

The Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a good way to experience an expensive destination like the Maldives. For 45,000 points per night, the beachfront hotel offers a great value.

The resort is a fun 45-minute speedboat ride from the international airport. Setting foot on the property, you’ll quickly realize you’ve just arrived in a little paradise (with some of the Maldives' best diving spots are right on your doorstep).

With great food, superb service, crystal clear water and beach or garden bungalows, you get everything you need for an unforgettable vacation here.

The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Image courtesy of IHG.

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam

Whether you choose to start your day with yoga or a spa treatment, a stay at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort will be one to remember.

Located on a quiet beach, the beautiful five-star resort promises luxury, great service and some memorable views.

At 70,000 points per night, the property is in IHG’s highest category, but it’s worth the splurge.

The bottom line

If you’re after a high-value points redemption, these are just a few of IHG Rewards Club’s sweet spots. With a little extra legwork, you’re sure to find plenty of opportunities when it comes to redeeming IHG Rewards Club points.


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