With over 5,000 hotels and resorts worldwide, IHG is among the largest hotel programs in the world. Its diverse hotel portfolio and extensive footprint makes IHG Rewards Club a valuable loyalty program for many travelers. Whether you’re looking to use your points to stay in some of the top luxury hotels around the world or stretch your points to the max with cheaper redemptions, you’ll find excellent options within the IHG program.
As with most loyalty programs, there are a few strategies that will help you maximize your rewards. Let’s explore the best ways to get the most value from IHG points.
What are IHG points worth?
Before we jump into the best ways to redeem IHG points for maximum value, let’s cover what IHG points are worth. We currently value IHG Rewards Club points at 0.8 cent each.
Of course, everyone’s “best use” depends on their own travel goals, but you can use this as a baseline value for what you should expect to get from your points.
» Learn more: IHG Rewards: More value for the frugal traveler
Redeem IHG points for free nights
Whether you’re looking to stay in overwater bungalows or budget hotels, redeeming IHG points for award nights (almost always) provides the best value.
Unlike other hotel programs such as Hilton and Hyatt, which offer upgraded room and suite award night redemptions, IHG only allows you to book standard rooms.
The good news is that IHG is one of the last hotel programs that still uses fixed award pricing. Depending on the hotel category, a standard award night will cost between 10,000 and 70,000 points.
When booking an award stay, be sure to always compare the cash price of your stay to the points cost. As a rough guideline, you should aim to get at least 0.6 cent in value per point (based on our value above).
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with IHG hotels
Grab IHG PointBreaks deals
Every quarter, IHG offers a promotion called PointBreaks, which is a list of hotels that can be booked for as few as 5,000 points per night. These heavily discounted award nights are an excellent way to get the most value from your points.
Each PointBreaks list offers select hotels around the world that are bookable for 5,000, 10,000 or 15,000 points per night. Typically, you’ll find that luxury hotels such as Intercontinental properties cost 15,000 points per night while budget hotels, such as Holiday Inns, cost only 5,000 points per night.
Note that availability is limited for the discounted PointBreaks rate, so you’ll want to act fast if you see a hotel that fits your travel plans. Also, each member can only book two PointBreaks reservations per hotel.
Get a fourth award night free
Unlike Hilton and Marriott, IHG Rewards Club does not offer a fifth-night-free benefit. However, those who have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card get a fourth award night free. This valuable card perk is a great way to make your IHG points go further, since an effective 25% savings on four-night bookings can quickly add up.
Leveraging the fourth-night-free benefit can also make IHG PointBreaks deals even sweeter. If you book four nights at a PointBreaks hotel with a nightly rate of 5,000 points, you’ll only pay 3,750 per night.
Other ways to use IHG points
Although using IHG points to book free nights will almost always net you the best value per point, there are other options when it comes to using your points. These include:
- Transferring IHG points to airline partners.
- Redeeming points for gift cards.
- Redeeming points for unique experiences through IHG Access.
Depending on your travel goals, these other redemption options may make sense. Just make sure you’re getting at least 0.6 cent per point in value.
The bottom line
With IHG’s expansive global footprint and diverse hotel brands, there are seemingly endless opportunities to redeem IHG points. IHG is one of the last hotel programs that still uses fixed award pricing, which means you’ll always know how much an award night will cost at a hotel.
In addition to booking standard free nights, keep your eye out for PointBreaks deals to score heavily discounted award nights for as little as 5,000 points per night. If you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card the fourth night free benefit is an excellent way to stretch your IHG points even further.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best hotel credit card for you
7 guaranteed ways to find cheap hotel rooms
8 shoulder season destinations with big hotel savings