The Best Benefits of the IHG Rewards Club Loyalty Program

IHG Rewards Club membership has automatic benefits, like free Wi-Fi and the opportunity to earn award stays.

Carrie MadisonSeptember 7, 2020
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With 5,900 locations in about 100 countries spanning 14 brands, InterContinental Hotels Group offers many reasons to join its IHG Rewards loyalty program. Here are some of the best benefits offered by the IHG Rewards Club.

Exclusive rates and free internet

IHG members get exclusive rates when they make reservations directly through the individual hotel, the IHG website or the IHG app. Some properties and regions are excluded. But this is still a great benefit because you could get a better rate on your room just by signing up for a free membership. Plus, members get free high-speed Wi-Fi during their stay.

No blackout dates, and Points & Cash payment options

When using points to book a reservation, there are no blackout dates. That means that if the hotel you want to stay at has a room available during your desired dates, you can book it with points.

As a member of IHG Rewards, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you have a massive pile of points before you can apply them toward travel. With IHG’s Points & Cash payment option, you can book a stay using a combination of both. You’ll need at least 5,000 points to use this option. Enter your dates and destination in the reservations search to see the amount of cash and points you’ll need alongside your other payment options.

NerdWallet values IHG Rewards points at 0.9 cent each. You can use the NerdWallet calculator here to see if your hotel and dates offer a better value in cash or in points.

Bonus earnings on base points

As an IHG Rewards member, you can earn points by paying for hotel stays with cash. Most IHG hotels pay you 10 points per dollar, with a few low-cost brands like Staybridge Suites and Candlewood paying 5 points per dollar. But if you’re an elite member, you get a boost on top of those earnings. Gold Elite members get a 10% boost on the base points they earn. Platinum Elite members earn a 50% boost and Spire Elite members get 100% more points.

You can become an elite member by staying at least 10 nights per year at participating properties, by accumulating IHG points or by holding an IHG Rewards Club credit card like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

IHG also gives you the chance to earn bonus points with special packages offering you anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 points per stay on top of the points you already earn.

Ambassador membership

If you are an InterContinental Hotels guest who prefers guaranteed benefits, this is for you. For $200, you can buy an Ambassador membership that gets you a guaranteed room upgrade, 4 p.m. late checkout and a $20 credit to restaurants and bars during your stay at any of 200 InterContinental Hotels and Resorts worldwide. Ambassadors also receive automatic Platinum Elite Status with IHG Rewards Club, which gets you special perks at IHG hotels across the globe, not just InterContinentals.

Perks for having IHG Rewards credit cards

IHG offers two credit cards through Chase that give you opportunities to earn more points. The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is offering this welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The card will also pay you bonus points when you use it to charge stays at an IHG property. Plus you’ll earn points when you use it for everyday spending on purchases like gas and restaurants. There’s no annual fee for holding this card.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card charges $0 intro for the first year, then $89 annual fee but it comes with a nice welcome bonus: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This card also offers additional points-earning opportunities, plus cardmembers get automatic Platinum Elite status.

The bottom line

There are plenty of good reasons to join the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program, from major perks like exclusive rates and no blackout dates to smaller benefits like free Wi-Fi and flexible options to pay for your stays. No matter which benefits appeal to you the most, be sure you get signed up for the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program before you lock in any stays at an IHG property.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

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