IHG Rewards Club Dining guide

Earn a night at a luxurious IHG hotel from a few months of eating out

 

IHG Rewards Club Dining Guide

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The International Hotel Group is the parent company of more than a dozen of the world’s leading hotel brands, from Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza brands to higher-end InterContinental and Kimpton Hotels. These beautiful hotels can be found in the most desirable locations around the world… but paying out of pocket to stay overnight in one of IHG’s French Polynesian overwater bungalows, or for the unbelievable views at the InterContinental Hong Kong may feel out of reach from a financial standpoint.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way for you to earn credit toward future IHG hotel stays without spending an extra penny: Accelerate your IHG points earnings by utilizing the IHG Rewards Club Dining program.

What is IHG Rewards Club Dining?  

The IHG Rewards Club Dining Program allows you to earn points that you can redeem on future hotel stays, simply by registering the credit card you use when you dine out. The program offers up to eight points for each dollar you spend with restaurants, bars and clubs within the IHG dining program’s network of restaurants, bars and other establishments – in addition to any points you earn from the credit card you use to pay.

All you’ll need is your IHG Rewards Club membership number and the credit and debit cards you use the most often. There are no fees and no other data to give up.

As an added benefit, your use of the IHG Rewards Club Dining program counts as activity on your IHG member account, which keeps any existing points in your account from expiring, even if you haven’t stayed in an IHG property for a while or don’t hold an IHG credit card.

How to join IHG Rewards Club Dining 

  1. Sign up for free. You can get started on the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program website by registering for your new membership, using your IHG Rewards Club member login.
  2. Register your credit cards. Once you’ve created your account, just register any credit cards and debit cards you think you might use for dining out. You don’t need to enter any identifying details such as your three-digit code; just the credit card number itself is enough for the system to track when the card is swiped at participating restaurants, so that IHG can credit you for your purchase.
  3. Start dining out. Yay, you’re done! Once you finish registering and adding your cards, you’ll immediately begin earning bonus points on every eligible restaurant spend. We recommend using the IHG Rewards Club Dining program’s search function to decide on your next meal out.

How to use IHG Rewards Club Dining 

There are a few tricks to using the IHG Rewards Club dining program to its full potential. We suggest always checking the list of eligible restaurants on the dining program website and using the search function at the top of the home page. Remember that even takeout orders may qualify for earning opportunities with the more than 10,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs.

The search will give you a lot of helpful information, such as the forms of payment that that a restaurant accepts, as well as hours of operation. You’ll also see the average price of an entrée, the establishment’s distance from your current location, type of cuisine and ratings and reviews from other members (where available).

You might be surprised by the kinds of restaurants you’ll find on this list: It isn’t all five-star restaurants. Hey Cupcake, for example, is a participating restaurant in many areas, which means that even $5 spent at your favorite cupcake stop can get you closer to that French Polynesian overwater villa.

Screenshot of IHG Rewards Club Dining search results

The IHG Rewards Club website lets you search for restaurants by distance, location, price range and type of cuisine.

At what rate do you earn points with IHG Rewards Club Dining? 

The breakdown on potential earnings is really simple. The chart from the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program website offers a handy guide. Here’s a summary:

 
 If you don’t opt in to receive emails 1 point per $1
 If you opt in to receive emails 5 points per $1
 If you opt in to receive emails and complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year 8 points per $1

How to maximize IHG Rewards Club Dining

  • Once you get comfortable with the IHG Rewards Club dining program, we highly suggest registering all of your credit and debit cards into the system. That way, you’ll be able to earn points even on days where you accidentally forgot your primary credit card and had to use your debit card instead.
  • Opt in to IHG Rewards Club Dining Program email communications – and make sure you provide a valid email address. You can always set up an email filter with your provider so that messages skip your inbox. Dining program members can reach elite status and earn a whopping eight points per dollar after completing 11 qualified restaurant transactions, but the earning bonus is only given to members who also registered for newsletters from IHG Rewards Club. Without opting in for email communication, you’ll only earn one point per dollar.
  • Since you’re receiving the program’s emails anyway, we highly recommend skimming each message to make sure you’re maximizing your earning opportunities. From time to time, IHG offer bonus rewards for dining out a certain number of times within a particular month, or for eating out with specific partner restaurants. Don’t miss out on these bonus periods.
  • Every time before you dine out, take a look through the list of participating restaurants. Can’t decide what you want to eat? Let the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program website decide your dinner plans for you.
  • When eating out with family or co-workers at restaurants that participate in the IHG dining program, charge the whole meal to your credit card and let them pay you back. That way, you will earn points for the total amount of the bill – not just for your portion. This also saves the hassle of calculating how to split the bill.
  • Whenever you get a new credit card in the mail, don’t forget to update your credit card number on the IHG dining program website. Whether you just got a replacement after losing your wallet on a recent trip or simply because you switched cards and got a new card number, your earning potential drops to zero if IHG doesn’t have your new card number. So take the extra five seconds to make sure your account is always up-to-date.

Which credit cards can you use with IHG Rewards Club Dining? 

There are several dining programs out there, but you can only earn membership points with one program at a time. For instance, you won’t be able to simultaneously earn points with IHG Rewards Club while also racking up rewards with American Airlines and Southwest Airlines dining programs for the exact same transaction.

However, you can stack up your rewards by using credit cards that offer a bonus on dining purchases, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or AmEx Premier Rewards Gold Card. And of course, if your goal is to accrue IHG hotel points as quickly as possible, you can always use an IHG credit card.

According to The Points Guy, the following cards are great companions to the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, thanks to their category bonuses:

Credit Card Rewards for Dining  Annual Fee  
Chase Sapphire Preferred
2x points $95, $0 first year
Chase Sapphire Reserve
3x points $450
Uber Visa 4x points $0
American Express Premier Rewards Gold
2x points $195
Capital One Savor
3% cash back $0
Citi Prestige
2x points $450
Citi ThankYou Premier
2x points $95, $0 first year
Citi ThankYou Preferred
2x points $0

You can also register your debit cards with IHG Rewards Club Dining (and should probably do so in case your credit cards are out of service).

IHG Rewards Club Dining sign-up bonus 

To whet your appetite, the IHG Rewards Club Dining program offers a bonus for signing up and using the program. For a limited time, new IHG Rewards Club Dining program members can earn an additional 1,000 IHG Rewards Club points by completing the following tasks:

  1. Spend $30 or more at any participating restaurant within the first 30 days of membership.
  2. Pay with a registered credit or debit card.
  3. Complete an online review of your restaurant experience within 30 days of your visit.

Additional bonus earning opportunities may be emailed to participating members from time to time, so always check your IHG emails for potential news.

IHG Rewards Club Dining Restaurants

The restaurants below are just a sampling of some of the dining options among the thousands of restaurants in the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program (check the search tool to see a full list of restaurants in your neighborhood):

  • Planet Sub
  • Fogo de Chao
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
  • Which Wich
  • BRIO Tuscan Grille 

In Conclusion

Remember, utilizing a dining program is a wonderful way to earn extra credit – but it does require a bit of extra work on your end. From making sure your methods of payment are registered with the dining program, to ensuring you spend your money with participating retailers, earning your bonuses will take a little bit more attention and responsibility than just dining out whenever and wherever you choose.

Related stories: Get up to 80,000 bonus points with Chase's new IHG cards, Hotel cards: get the most free nights for the fewest points


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Updated: 07-18-2018