Your Guide to IHG Award Categories

IHG doesn't publish an award chart, but they have a wide range of properties from budget-friendly to luxury.
Christie Olsen
By Christie Olsen 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Whether you've racked up tons of points through stays at one of IHG's nearly 5,900 hotels and resorts worldwide, or you're looking to spend a free night certificate earned through the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, InterContinental Hotels Group provides a huge range of hotels where you can spend your award nights. After all, IHG is one of the largest hotel loyalty programs in the world, with properties ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 points per night.

While IHG no longer publishes an official award category chart, here's your guide to navigating the IHG award categories:

Know the IHG brands

Whatever your travel style or budget, IHG has you covered with a variety of lodging options. IHG properties include more than a dozen brands, which range from affordable and extended-stay hotels to international luxury resorts.

The major IHG brands include:

  • Avid Hotels.

  • Candlewood Suites.

  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.

  • Even Hotels.

  • Holiday Inn.

  • Holiday Inn Express.

  • Holiday Inn Resort.

  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations.

  • Hotel Indigo.

  • Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts.

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

  • Regent Hotels & Resorts.

  • Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

  • Staybridge Suites.

  • Voco.

A stay at the Holiday Inn, which is the motel line of IHG properties, will likely cost you a lot less than a stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. Before booking your award night, be realistic about what kind of property you can afford to stay at based on how many points you have.

Understand the categories

IHG redemptions range from 10,000 points per night for budget-friendly hotels such as Holiday Inn Express to 70,000 points per night for luxury accommodations, including InterContinental Hotels. Properties in Macau and the Maldives can cost up to 100,000 points on certain nights.

Before you book, visit the IHG Reward Nights page to verify the points required to stay at your desired location. Unlike other loyalty program sites, IHG does not currently offer a filter to search for properties by points.

Categories breakdown

If you’re interested in stretching your points, a standard hotel with basic amenities may be the best option. Value accommodations cost between 10,000 and 25,000 points per night, and they maximize your redemption value. These properties are ideal for travelers looking for family-friendly or extended-stay brands like Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites or Holiday Inn Express.

Mid-range properties cost between 30,000 and 45,000 points per night. You’ll find these properties in many locations, including Paris and Bali.

Luxury resorts cost 50,000 to 65,000 points per night and include worldwide locales such as French Polynesia and Australia. For example, InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa will currently cost you 50,000 points per night and offers bucket-list resort accommodations and amenities.

Top-tier properties cost between 70,000 and 100,000 points per night and offer travelers a premier five-star hotel experience.

Do IHG points expire?

IHG membership points typically expire if your account becomes inactive for 12 months. To keep your account active, you must have at least one “earn” or “redeem” transaction posted to your account every 12 months. If you have elite status with IHG One Rewards, your points don’t expire as long as you maintain that status.

The easiest way to prevent point expiration is to spend with an IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, which also allows you to earn additional reward points.

However, in light of the pandemic, IHG has paused expiration on all IHG One Rewards points through Dec. 31, 2022.

Booking an IHG award night with an anniversary night certificate

One of the best benefits of holding the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card: you'll receive a certificate for an anniversary night, which you'll find in your credit card account upon your renewal anniversary date each year. That's a pretty good deal considering the card's low annual fee: $99.

That anniversary night certificate is valid at IHG hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less.

Additionally, the certificates typically must be used for stays booked and completed within 12 months from the date of issue, but IHG has announced that certificates issued in 2021 will remain valid through the end of 2022 regardless of when in 2021 they were issued.

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 2023, including those best for:

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