You have earned piles of IHG rewards points from hotel stays and all-qualifying charges. These points can be redeemed for free hotel nights, hotel upgrades, airline miles and spent on other rewards such as transportation, travel packages, and shopping vouchers. Learn about the different ways you can redeem rewards, and how to maximize your IHG Rewards points value.
Redeem IHG points for hotel stays
IHG has some of the most fair redemption prices of all the hotel chains. The number of points required for Reward nights ranges from 10,000 to 50,000 and varies by property. IHG’s Hotels Anywhere program lets you use points or points+cash to book nights at over 70,000 hotels worldwide that are not affiliated with IHG. Below are the numbers of points needed for one free night at an IHG hotel:
|Hotel Category ||Points Required per Night|
Book IHG award nights
To book award nights, go to IHG.com, choose the destination and the date. In the rate preference dropdown box, select “Rewards Nights”; In your search results, you will see the hotel list along with the room rate and points required for the room.
If you don’t have enough points, you can choose cash+points to pay the room rate. You may choose to redeem IHG® Rewards Club points for a Reward Night in three ways: using your existing points for all required points for the desired Reward Night; using your existing points and 5,000 points purchased for $40USD to total the required points; or using your existing points and 10,000 points purchased for $70USD to total the required points. The total purchase on any single day may not exceed $280USD.
When you book a rewards night, the points are instantly deducted from your account. Reward nights can be canceled easily as well. In general, reservations can be cancelled up to 4pm of the day before checking in; cancellation time may vary by location, so you can check the information when booking your room under “rate details”. When you cancel, your points will be reimbursed to your account.
PointBreaks is one of the most rewarding promotions in the hotel industry, in which select IHG hotels can be booked for just 5,000 points per night. Every couple of months, IHG picks about 100 hotels to be part of the PointBreak promotion for the next few months. For the current period, there are 89 hotels on the list. This is a great redemption opportunity if you book high-end hotel brands. Each member can only book 2 PointBreaks Reward Nights reservations per hotel during the offer time period (the current period is from July 27 – October 31, 2015). There is also limited room availability; IHG often posts a preview of the list participating hotels a few days before booking is officially possible.
Redeem IHG points for airline miles
IHG Rewards Points can also be used toward airline miles. IHG’s partnership with over 400 air carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airline and Alaska Airlines, allows points to be converted into frequent flier miles. However, to redeem points for airline miles, you have to contact your regional IHG Rewards Club Customer Care. The points will be converted at a 10,000-point minimum, and in increments of 1,000 points. When converting, both accounts must be under the same name. The posting time of frequent flyer miles varies by airline and can take up to six weeks to be credited to your frequent flyer account. Below is a list of redemption rates of IHG’s partner airlines.
|Partner Airlines ||Conversion Rate (per 10,000 points)|
|Air China||2,000 kilometers|
|Air France||2,000 miles|
|Air New Zealand Airports||25 Airpoints|
|Airberlin Topbonus||2,000 miles|
|Alaska Airlines||2,000 miles|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||2,000 miles|
|All Nippon Airways||2,000 miles|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||2,000 miles|
|Asia Miles||2,000 miles|
|Asiana Airlines||2,000 miles|
|British Airways||2,000 Avios|
|China Eastern||2,000 kilometers|
|China Southern Airlines||2,000 kilometers|
|Delta SkyMiles||2,000 miles|
|El Al Israel Airlines||40 El Al Points|
|Etihad Airways||2,000 miles|
|Gulf Air||2,000 miles|
|Hainan Airlines||2,000 kilometers|
|Hawaiian Airlines||2,000 miles|
|Japan Airlines||2,000 miles|
|Jet Airways||2,000 miles|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||2,000 miles|
|Malaysia Airlines||1,500 miles|
|Qantas Airlines||2,000 miles|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||2,000 miles|
|Singapore Airlines||2,000 miles|
|South African Airways||2,000 miles|
|TAP Air Portugal||2,000 miles|
|Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus||2,000 miles|
|United Airlines||2,000 miles|
|US Airways||2,000 miles|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||2,000 miles|
|Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer||2,000 miles|
Other ways to redeem IHG points
IHG rewards points can also be redeemed for gift cards, golf lessons, wine tours and other offers, as well as donated to charity. For example, you can redeem 20,000 points for a $50 Amazon gift card or 11,000 points for a $25 gift card. You can redeem for an Apple TV for 45,000 points. You can also purchase, transfer, or gift your points.
How to maximize your IHG Rewards points value
When redeeming points, you can compare the rewards earn rate of different redemption options to see if you are getting the most for your points. To estimate the rewards earn rate, divide the standard rate of the hotel stay by the number of IHG Rewards Points required to redeem one night. Let’s look at 2 Holiday Inn hotel stay redemption examples:
This Holiday Inn in Victorville, California has a nightly rate starting at $80.10, and requires 20,000 Reward points to redeem one night, so each point is roughly worth:
$80.10/20,000 = 0.004, or 0.4 cents per point
This is an example of a low value redemption. As a general rule, you want to aim for a rewards earn rate above 1 cent.
Here is another Holiday Inn located in downtown Long Beach, California. The rates start from $181.00 a night, and only requires 15,000 Rewards points to redeem one night.
$181.00/15,000 = 0.0121, or 1.21 cents per point
This redemption rate is already 3 times better than the Victorville Holiday Inn rate.
Calculating reward earn rates cannot account for all factors that go into making a hotel decision, but browsing around and comparing will definitely help you spot the better redemption options.