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Best ways to redeem IHG points

Reward nights offer the best value

Summary

See how to get the most value out of your IHG points.

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IHG Rewards Club points are best used for booking hotel stays with IHG, though you can also use your points to buy gift cards and other merchandise or donate to charity. Rewards Club members can also transfer their points to 39 different travel partners.

However, your points won’t stretch quite as far with some redemption options, so carefully consider the value before you cash in.

Earn 140,000 bonus points in your first three months

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Why should you get this card?

Though IHG points are a bit inflated, the bonus on the new IHG Rewards Club Premier card is a great incentive to sign up.

Learn more

More things to know:

  • 140,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
  • Up to 25 points per dollar on IHG hotel stays (10 points per dollar from the card and 15 points per dollar as an IHG Rewards Club member)
  • 2 points per dollar on gas station, grocery store and restaurant purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • 10,000 bonus points every year you spend $20,000
  • Reward night on your card member anniversary
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status with IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club redemption options

Redemption optionAverage point value (cents)
Reward nights0.75
Gift cards0.25
Merchandise/digital downloads0.25

Reward nights

To get the most out of your points, you’ll want to redeem them for reward nights. We currently value IHG points at around 0.75 cents per point when redeemed this way. This is calculated based on the average value when redeemed for properties of different prices (including budget, mid-tier and luxury properties) across different dates and locations.

A reward night at an IHG property costs anywhere from 10,000 to 70,000 points, but given IHG Rewards Club’s recent shift away from a fixed reward redemption chart to a dynamic award pricing model, pricing will vary based on a number of factors, including demand, when you plan to travel and the cost of a cash stay.

In our recent valuation, we found that many IHG properties had lower prices following the move to dynamic pricing, which increased the average value of IHG points from 0.55 to 0.75 cents per point.

Luxury brands like InterContinental and Kimpton offered the best value on average – 0.79 cents per point. That’s compared to an average value of 0.71 cents per point when redeemed at mid-tier properties like Crowne Plaza and 0.74 cents per point when redeemed at budget properties like Holiday Inn Express.

Of course, this pricing decrease could be driven by the recent coronavirus outbreak, and we may see prices go up in the near future. This could diminish IHG point value once more.

Gift cards

Unfortunately, the only cash redemption option IHG offers for Rewards Club points is gift cards. If you choose to redeem your points this way, you’ll only get about a quarter of a cent per point. While not the greatest value, this option can be good for those who want to use points but don’t have a trip scheduled anytime soon.

Merchandise

Another way to redeem IHG Rewards Club points is through its online catalog, where you can shop for various merchandise. The value of your points varies drastically based on the item you buy, so savvy shoppers can often find great deals. However, most purchases only get you around 0.25 cents per point. If you choose to shop for merchandise with your points, be sure to research the cost of each item in cash to ensure you are getting a good deal.

Alternatively, you can use your points to pay for digital downloads. Like merchandise, these rewards don’t always get a high value out of your points – though they tend to be a little more fruitful.

Transfer to a partner airline

If none of these redemption options appeal to you, you can also transfer IHG points to 39 partner airline programs. The transfer rate for most partners is poor (5:2 in most cases), but since many airline miles are worth more than an IHG point, you can still stretch your points a bit further in some cases.

Reward nights at an IHG hotel will always get the best value for each point. However, the transfer partners listed below will get a better deal than the other IHG redemption options. (View a full list of IHG transfer partners and transfer rates on its website.)

Transfer partnerTransfer rateMiles valuation (cents)Value of transferred IHG point (cents)
Air Canada5:11.50.3
Alaska Airlines5:11.610.32
American Airlines5:11.90.38
British Airways5:11.40.28
Delta Airlines5:11.610.32
JetBlue5:11.530.31
Singapore Airlines5:12.360.47
United Airlines5:11.520.3

Bottom line

To stretch your IHG points, redeem for reward nights whenever possible. If you need to redeem for other purchases, opt for merchandise or a point transfer. If you are willing to hunt for a good deal, these options can all get good value out of your rewards.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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