Earn extra points at your favorite restaurants with IHG Rewards Club Dining

Jun 18, 2020

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If you use one of the best credit cards for dining when you eat out, you’re already earning ample rewards at restaurants. But, if you’re looking to collect a few extra points or miles, you may also want to enroll in a dining rewards program.

We’ve recently considered other dining rewards programs including Hilton Honors Dining, American Airlines AAdvantage Dining and Marriott’s Eat Around Town. But, today we’ll consider a different program: IHG Rewards Club Dining.

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In This Post

IHG Rewards Club Dining overview

The IHG Rewards Club Dining program allows you to earn IHG points on every dollar you spend at select restaurants, bars and clubs. These points are on top of the rewards you’d normally earn through your credit card or the restaurant’s rewards program.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

To get started, you need to enroll in the program and add at least one card to your account. Then you can search for eligible restaurants, bars and clubs. When you dine and pay at these venues with a registered card, you’ll earn extra IHG points.

The remainder of this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to maximize the IHG Rewards Club Dining program.

Related reading: Maximizing redemptions with the IHG Rewards Club program

How to join

(Photo by Tashdique Mehtaj Ahmed/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tashdique Mehtaj Ahmed/Getty Images)

You can sign-up online to join the IHG Rewards Club Dining program. However, before doing so, it’s worth checking here to see if there’s a welcome bonus available.

As of publishing, new IHG Rewards Club Dining members without a dining profile could earn 1,000 IHG points when they join the program, spend $30 or more at any participating restaurant in their first 90 days on their enrolled credit or debit card and complete an online review within 30 days of their visit. Based on TPG’s valuations, 1,000 IHG points are worth $5.

Regardless of whether you are signing up with a welcome bonus or not, you’ll need to provide some information in order to join the program. First, you’ll need to provide your first name, last name, zip code, and email address. You’ll likely want to opt-in for email notifications, as doing so unlocks a higher earning rate.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

Next, you’ll need to create a username and password as well as provide your IHG member number and address.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

Finally, you’ll need to enter information for a credit or debit card that you’d like to enroll in the IHG Rewards Club Dining program. You can add up to five cards to your account.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

Related reading: Don’t miss out on dining bonuses by deleting emails

How to use IHG Rewards Club Dining

Once you’ve joined the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, you’ll want to search for participating restaurants, bars and clubs near your home, office and frequently traveled areas. To do so, log in to your account and type in your city or zip code.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

As you can see in these sample results for Tampa, FL, some restaurants may not offer rewards every day of the week.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

You can use the advanced search to find eligible restaurants near a particular address. You can also exclude restaurants not offering rewards today, as well as filter and sort by various features.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club Dining)

Then, use an enrolled card to pay at eligible restaurants and earn bonus IHG points on the amount paid.

Normally, IHG Rewards points expire after 12 months if there’s no account activity. But, you can create account activity by dining with an enrolled card at an eligible restaurant. So, using the IHG Rewards Club Dining program can be a useful way to ensure your IHG points don’t expire.

Related reading: 7 restaurant loyalty programs every savvy traveler needs to know

Earning rates

Your rate of earning through the IHG Rewards Club Dining program will depend on whether you have elite status in the IHG Rewards Club Dining program and whether you opt-in for email notifications. Here are the associated status levels, earning rates, and benefits:

Member level How to reach this level Earning rate (return based on TPG’s valuations) Benefits
VIP member Opt-in to emails and complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year 8 points per dollar spent (4%) Special VIP-only offers, more bonuses and benefits and exclusive advance communications
Select member Opt-in to emails 5 points per dollar spent (2.5%) More bonuses and benefits and exclusive advance communications
Basic member Join program 1 point per dollar spent (0.5%) Periodic bonus opportunities

Once you earn VIP status, you’ll keep it for the year that you earn it as well as the entire following year.

As you can see, earning and then maintaining VIP member status with the IHG Rewards Club Dining program will allow you to maximize your earning opportunities. Plus, since the earnings through this program are on top of any rewards you earn from your credit card or the restaurant’s loyalty program, the return you earn from the IHG Rewards Club Dining program is just the beginning.

Related reading: Best ways to earn points with the IHG Rewards Club program

Which cards to use with IHG Rewards Club Dining

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

You’ll want to enroll one or more of the best credit cards for dining when you set up your IHG Rewards Club Dining profile. Here are some cards to consider:

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You can enroll almost any credit or debit card in the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, although a few card types aren’t accepted such as Diner’s Club and internationally-issued JBL cards.

If you’re looking to accrue IHG points quickly for an upcoming redemption, you might be tempted to enroll your IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. If you enrolled your IHG Premier and then used it at an eligible restaurant, you’d earn 2x IHG points due to the credit card’s restaurant bonus category plus 1x to 8x IHG points from IHG Rewards Club Dining. This means you could earn up to 10x IHG points on eligible dining purchases made with your IHG Premier – but 10x IHG points only equates to a 5% total return based on TPG’s valuations. So, you’ll likely want to enroll cards with higher-earning restaurant or dining bonus categories.

You can only enroll each debit or credit card in one Rewards Network-operated dining rewards program. So if you plan on using multiple dining rewards programs, you’ll need to use a different card for each.

Related reading: Can I earn miles with a dining portal and credit card at the same time?

Other dining opportunities for earning IHG points

(Photo courtesy of GrubHub)
(Photo courtesy of GrubHub)

You can also earn IHG points through IHG partnerships with OpenTable and GrubHub. Specifically, you can earn up to 500 IHG points when you make an OpenTable reservation through IHG and dine. Plus, you can earn 500 IHG points on your first food delivery and 250 IHG points on subsequent food deliveries when you order from Grubhub through IHG.

500 IHG points are worth about $2.50 based on TPG’s valuations. So, it’s unlikely that either of these promotions will change your consumer behavior. But, if you’re going to use either of these services, it may be worth earning a few IHG points in the process. To do so or learn more, check out IHG’s partner offers page for dining.

Related reading: 8 easy strategies to save money on food delivery and takeout

Bottom line

Many hotel and airline loyalty programs offer the ability to earn bonus points or miles through their own Rewards Network-operated dining rewards program. And, each of these programs offers distinct promotions as well as slightly different earning structures.

So, before going all-in on the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, it’s worth considering whether it’s the best Rewards Network-operated dining rewards program for you.  This is especially true since most of the dining rewards programs offer higher earning rates and bonuses for consumers who frequently use the program.

Featured image by Michael Berman/Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
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Annual Fee
$250
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