The Complete Guide to IHG Points Transfer Partners

Flights, rental cars, even Grubhub orders: You can earn and redeem IHG points for more than just hotel rooms.
Sally French
By Sally French 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee
A complete Guide to IHG Partnerships and Transfers

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A hotel stay at any one of IHG’s roughly 6,000 properties worldwide, including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental properties, is certainly one of the best ways to use IHG One Rewards points (or build up your balance). But it’s not the only way to use them.

IHG points are transferable, meaning they can be converted to other points programs, including frequent flyer miles with IHG airline partners. And if you hold points through other programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you can transfer those over to IHG.

Here’s how to get the most out of IHG’s partnerships and transfer opportunities.

When to transfer IHG points to airline miles

While a hotel stay is generally the best way to redeem IHG points, you can also transfer IHG points to airline partners or to someone else.

Transferring points out of the IHG program can be useful if:

  • You don’t plan on staying at an IHG hotel anytime soon.

  • You need to maintain account activity to keep your IHG points from expiring. IHG points typically expire after 12 months of no account activity.

  • You desperately need some frequent flyer miles to book a flight deal.

On the other hand, maybe you are planning an IHG hotel stay sometime soon, and you need more points to book your room. You can transfer points into your IHG account from Chase's travel portal. Keep reading to learn more about all of IHG’s transfer partners, including how to transfer your points and whether it’s worth it.

IHG airline partners

You may be wondering, "Can I transfer IHG points to airlines?" Absolutely. But should you? Rarely.

IHG has partnerships with nearly 40 airlines, allowing you to exchange 10,000 IHG points for 2,000 airline miles (in the majority of cases). This is a 5:1 ratio, which is pretty bleak.

IHG airline transfer partners include:

Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Aeromexico, Air Miles, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Alitalia, Alaska Airlines, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, China Eastern, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Australia Airlines.

How to transfer IHG points to airline miles

If you’re trying to book a flight today, there's even more bad news than simply the horrible conversion. It can take up to six weeks for transferred IHG points to post to your frequent flyer account. You likely don't want to wait that long to book a flight, so this really is only a good option if you're transferring IHG points to an airline you're certain you'll eventually fly, and you have no plans to stay at an IHG property again.

To transfer IHG points to airline miles, you must call the IHG One Rewards Service Center (sorry, you can’t do it over the web). Those phone numbers are:

  • In the U.S. and Canada: 888-211-9874.

  • In Mexico: 001 800-272-9273.

You’ll have to provide your name and account numbers for both IHG One Rewards and your frequent flyer program of choice. The name on your IHG profile and on your airline frequent flyer account must be an exact match (though an IHG representative told us they can change your name on your account to match your name on your airline account).

Ahead of making the call, check the name on file with your preferred frequent flyer program to know whether you’ll have to go through this extra step.

From there, just wait it out — it usually takes about four to six weeks for a transfer to be completed. Compared with other loyalty program transfers, that’s quite a long time. If you need points in a hurry to book a flight, don’t count on IHG points to get you there.

Is it worth transferring my IHG points to airline miles?

Transferring your IHG points to airline partners generally isn't a good redemption. Not only is it a cumbersome process that usually takes weeks, but also the net value of those transferred IHG points is significantly reduced. Use this option only if:

  • You need to top off a frequent flyer account to book a flight.

  • You don’t anticipate staying at an IHG property again, so your IHG points would otherwise go to waste.

Chase Ultimate Rewards®

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to IHG points at a 1:1 ratio (so you can send 5,000 Chase points over to IHG to become 5,000 IHG points) if you have any of the three cards shown below. That unlocks a path for several credit cards — not just the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card — to help you build up an IHG points balance.

Non-IHG credit cards that could help you include:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
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on Chase's website

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$550.

$95.

$95.

Welcome offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.

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Furthermore, if you have any of the four no-fee cards shown below, you can use the points that you earn and combine them with any of the cards listed above in order to transfer points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio.

For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you could move your Chase points from the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and then transfer the points to IHG.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex℠
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on Chase's website

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
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on Chase's website

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
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Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

$0

$0

$0

Welcome offer

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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How to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to the IHG One Rewards program

It’s easy to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards® to IHG. Log in to your Ultimate Rewards® account and navigate to "Transfer to Travel Partners" button on the menu.

From there, you’ll be redirected to a page that lists all of the Chase transfer partners (there are many airlines, plus a few other hotel companies). Select "IHG One Rewards," click "Transfer Points," enter the number of points to transfer and you’re done.

Point transfers must be made in 1,000 increments, so this option won’t work if you’re trying to burn a few leftover points.

Most point transfer requests process by the next business day, but Chase warns it could take up to seven business days.

Once points are transferred, they can’t be refunded and the transaction can’t be canceled. This is a one-way deal; even though you can give Chase points to your IHG account, you can’t send IHG points back to Chase.

Is it worth transferring my Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to IHG One Rewards?

While it’s certainly possible to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to IHG One Rewards, this is only a ho-hum exchange of currencies. Chase points convert to IHG points at a 1:1 ratio, meaning that you would need to transfer 10,000 Chase points to have enough for a free award night at one of IHG’s lowest-priced properties.

Let’s say you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Since 10,000 Chase points are worth $150 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, this transfer would generally only be worth it if that 10,000-point room otherwise cost more than $150.

NerdWallet values IHG points at just 0.8 cent, so you’re generally devaluing your Chase points when going that route.

Contrast that with other hotels — like Hyatt. NerdWallet values those points at 2.3 cents. Since they also transfer 1:1, transferring Chase points to Hyatt is generally a far better value than transferring to IHG.

Transferring IHG points to friends and family

Can you gift IHG points? Yes, but at a cost. The member authorizing the transfer must pay $5 per 1,000 points transferred (and payment can only be made through an accepted credit card).

How to transfer IHG points to friends and family

Like transferring airline miles, the process of transferring IHG points to friends and family can be done over the phone through IHG’s customer service number:

In the U.S. and Canada: 1-888-211-9874

In Mexico: 800-272-9273

But you have another option: You can transfer points directly online via IHG’s point transfer page. You’ll need your number, as well as the IHG number for the person you’re transferring to.

Can I transfer IHG points to spouse?

Absolutely. Just follow the steps above and you will be able to score the IHG friends and family rate for your husband or wife, too.

Is it worth transferring my IHG points to someone else?

We value 1,000 IHG points at roughly $8. If you net out that brutal $5 transfer fee, you’re left with about $3 in points value. If you’re really not going to use your points for you, but you know someone else who can use them, then you might go for this option.

But in most cases, this isn't the best redemption, especially if you believe that $5 in a fungible currency (cash) is more valuable than $8 worth of points that can only be spent at IHG hotels — which very well could be the case.

Earn even more IHG One Rewards points through partner programs

IHG partnerships and programs offer more ways to earn points. The more points you earn, the more points you’ll have to transfer for flights and more.

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card
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The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is a fantastic option to quickly earn tons of IHG points, especially if you have a lot of spending planned at IHG hotels. You’ll earn 10x for every dollar you charge on the card at IHG hotels, on top of the 16x points you’ll earn by being a Platinum member with IHG — another perk that comes with the card.

Plus, you’ll earn 5x points at gas stations, travel and restaurants, and 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Every year that you renew the card, you get a free night at an IHG hotel, so pack all of this into the $99 annual fee and you’ve got one heck of a card.

Book meetings or business hotel rooms through IHG Business Rewards

The IHG Business Rewards program allows you to earn points into your own personal account when you book rooms, events and meetings for others. You’ll earn 3 points for every $1 spent every time you book room, events and meetings, with no minimum qualifying spend. Points also count toward your personal IHG elite status.

If you work in a job where you can book rooms or event space for others, this could be an easy way to rack up tons of points for rooms you’re not even personally staying in.

Sign up here to enroll in the IHG Business Rewards program.

IHG + Hertz

As a member of the IHG program, you’ll get two benefits when you book an IHG car rental with Hertz. First, you’ll get a discount of up to 35% off base rates for the car rental. Second, you’ll get 1,500 or more points with each rental.

One-day IHG Hertz rentals earn 1,500 points, and each additional day earns another 500 points on top. If you’re a Diamond Elite IHG member, you will even get Hertz Gold Five Star elite status.

And yes, Hertz plans to be around for a while. The company says its recent bankruptcy filing was a way to restructure its debt as it continues with business in the age of the pandemic and beyond.

Eat at IHG One Rewards restaurants

Tons of airlines and hotels have dining programs, and IHG is no exception. And if you eat out with any regularity, chances are you’ll come across a restaurant that participates in the IHG dining program. Simply by linking your credit cards, you’ll be able to automatically earn points and miles for every dollar you spend at the restaurant.

The best part is that you don’t have to do this in conjunction with an IHG hotel stay. Head out for dinner tonight at an eligible restaurant, and you'll earn IHG points.

To make sure that you’re eating at a participating restaurant, head over to their page and search for restaurants in your area. There, you’ll see all the spots that will allow you to earn extra points with your meal. Chances are that your favorite neighborhood restaurant is on the list.

To sweeten the deal, if you spend $30 in the first 30 days (and complete your online review), you’ll earn an additional 1,000 bonus IHG points on top of anything you would normally earn at that restaurant.

Order food through the IHG Grubhub portal

Food delivery app Grubhub has a deal with IHG where they’ll deliver food to IHG hotels in the U.S. Of course, they’ll deliver to your home (or practically anywhere else in an area they serve), too.

Through Grubhub’s partnership with the hotel group, you'll earn 500 IHG points on your first Grubhub order, then 250 points for every order after that. That’s not a bad deal on your meal, considering we value 500 IHG points at about $4 and 250 points at $2.

Go to the IHG Grubhub page and enter the hotel's address. You’ll see the restaurants that will deliver to where you’re staying.

Buy Apple products

If you’ve got some Apple product purchases in your future, you might as well earn some extra points as a perk.

Now for every iPad, iMac, MacBook and iPhone that you buy (up to five) you can earn 4x IHG points. Head over to this dedicated page first, enter your email and IHG number, then shop.

The bottom line

The best way to earn and redeem IHG points is through hotel stays. But that’s not always feasible. You might transfer your IHG points to a frequent flyer program if you need the miles to book a flight.

Transferring points elsewhere is almost never the best use of IHG points if your goal is to get the maximum dollar value. However, it can make sense under the right circumstances. If you need a few more points in another program to take advantage of a great redemption, or if you just don’t see yourself staying at an IHG hotel anytime soon, you might as well transfer them somewhere where they won’t collect virtual dust.

Meanwhile, look to IHG’s partnerships to quickly accrue more points. Ordering food through IHG’s Grubhub portal is a way to slowly build up your balance. And while it’ll take a whole lot of takeout to amount to a free IHG hotel room, it’s not a ton of effort and is almost always worth the extra step. Pay attention to the brands you’re renting cars from or ordering food at, as those can also offer easy, low-effort ways to build up your IHG points balance.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Hotel Cards from Our Partners
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-26x

Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

140,000

Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-9x

Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

Points

Intro offer

30,000

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Points
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
4.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-17x

Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

150,000

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Points
See more hotel cards
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