Your Guide to Booking Award Nights With IHG Hotels

IHG uses dynamic pricing, so the number of points needed per night fluctuates depending on the date and property.
Lissa Poirot
By Lissa Poirot 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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With about 6,000 properties spanning more than a dozen brands around the world, IHG is a leader in hotels. Through its IHG One Rewards program, the company rewards its loyal guests handsomely. Thanks to a generous reward structure and bonus point promotions, frequent travelers can easily build a collection of points to cash in for free hotel stays. Even those who don’t travel as often can earn points through other avenues.

Once you’re ready to cash in your points for free nights, here is what you can expect from booking with IHG One Rewards points:

How many IHG points are needed for a free night?

While IHG One Rewards no longer publishes an award chart, members can cash in points for free nights starting at 10,000 points. There are no blackout dates, so you have many redemption options. How does this work? No matter what status member you are, if you have the points and they have availability, you can redeem your points.

IHG has more than a dozen hotel brands to choose from, including:

  • Avid hotels.

  • Candlewood Suites.

  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.

  • EVEN Hotels.

  • Holiday Inn Express.

  • Holiday Inn Hotels.

  • Holiday Inn Resorts.

  • Hotel Indigo.

  • Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts.

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

  • Kimpton Hotels.

  • Regent Hotels.

  • Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

  • Staybridge Suites.

  • Voco.

Six Senses is one of the newest brands to the IHG family, having been acquired in 2019 by InterContinental Hotels Group. While there are more than a dozen Six Senses properties worldwide, IHG One Rewards members currently are only able to earn and spend points on stays at the following locations (though more Six Senses properties will be progressively added to IHG's loyalty program over time):

  • Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand.

  • Six Senses Laamu, Maldives.

  • Six Senses Botanique, Brazil.

  • Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam.

  • Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.

  • Six Senses Fiji, Fiji.

How many IHG points will I earn on hotel stays and how can I use them?

IHG members earn 10 points per $1 spent at all hotels, except for Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. These properties earn 5 points per $1 spent.

Don’t have enough points for any of the categories? You can use a combination of points with cash, as long as you have a minimum of 5,000 points. You’ll spend a bit more as the categories rise, as shown in this example of booking a Category 11 property.

IHG’s brands span from budget properties to luxury, and you can redeem your points for some good options, if you do your homework.

For example, you can redeem points at the InterContinental Shanghai Pudong for 30,000 points per night, Mexico City for 35,000 points, Porto for 50,000 points, or New York City for 70,000 points.

Need more points? Loyalty is rewarded

IHG rewards loyal travelers with extra points. Base members earn 5 points per $1 spent at Candlewood and Staybridge Suites and 10 points per $1 at all other brands. If you reach elite status, you can earn bonus points when you stay at IHG properties. Here are the qualifications to reach elite status and the bonus points you'll earn:

For lovers of IHG’s luxe Intercontinental properties, Ambassador awards — which are given out annually to members who pay for an upgraded status tier called IHG Ambassador — can be used at over 200 properties around the world. Ambassadors receive IHG Platinum status, guaranteed room upgrades, as well as a $20 dining credit per stay.

Royal Ambassadors, an invitation-only status tier for IHG Ambassador members who spend and stay a ton with IHG, are provided two category room upgrades, club lounge access, $50 nightly minibar credit (up to $200 per stay) and a free night at InterContinental properties, to name a few...

If you need to plan an event, IHG One Rewards offers an additional 3 points per $1 spent — up to $60,000 — for booking event spaces or meeting rooms. This is a big incentive for those planning meetings, as it’s one of the highest returns for business spending in loyalty programs.

Earn more points with the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is currently offering a generous sign-up bonus in addition to accelerated point earnings: Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This card charges an annual fee of $99, but it also gives you up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA precheck fee credits every 4 years. The card also grants you Platinum status, along with a free anniversary night and the fourth night free when booking with points.

Those who have an IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card also get the fourth reward night free. Essentially, this translates to a 25% saving on four-night bookings.

How else can you use IHG points? Let us count the ways

The best use of your IHG points is on hotel stays. However, if you have points to burn, there are other ways to spend your points.

IHG has partnerships with airlines, allowing you to convert your points to airline miles. Points will convert to most airlines at a rate of 10,000 points for 2,000 miles, including Delta, British Airways, American and United.

Outside of travel, IHG points can be used mainly for shopping, including:

  • Redeem points with IHG Rewards Club for kitchen tools, jewelry, magazines, electronics, sporting goods, apparel, gifts and more. IHG even offers DNA kits from Orig3n and 23andMe. There is also a category of rotating items available for 10,000 points or less.

  • Gift cards for nationwide retailers, such as Lowe’s, Best Buy, Target, AMC Theatres and Apple.

  • Donations of 2,500 to 10,000 points to nonprofits like Goodwill, American Red Cross, Care, Prince’s Trust and Youth Career Initiative.

  • One-of-a-kind Access experiences. From concert tickets to special events, you can redeem points for entertainment around the world.

Just keep in mind that these redemptions don't tend to deliver as strong of a value as using your IHG points on actual hotel room nights.

The bottom line

IHG properties are plentiful in popular travel destinations, and the awards are easy to comprehend. That makes them a worthy investment for travelers.

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
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


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.


Intro offer


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

World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


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.


Intro offer


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.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


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.


Intro offer


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!

See more hotel cards
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