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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 Club 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:
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Holiday Inn Express
Holiday Inn Resort
Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Regent Hotels & Resorts
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
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.
» Learn more: IHG Rewards: More value for the frugal traveler
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.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with IHG hotels
Do IHG points expire?
IHG membership points 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 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 Club Premier Credit Card, which also allows you to earn additional reward points.
Booking an IHG award night with an anniversary night certificate
One of the best benefits of holding the IHG® Rewards Club 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: $0 intro for the first year, then $89.
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 date of issue, though certificates set to expire in 2020 have been extended through Aug. 31, 2021.
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 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card