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Earn up to 8 extra IHG points at your favorite restaurants this summer

June 25, 2021
10 min read
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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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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.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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)

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 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.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com)

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 earning rate 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 levelHow to reach this levelEarning rate (return based on TPG’s valuations)Benefits
VIP memberOpt-in to emails and complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year8 points per dollar spent (4%)Special VIP-only offers, more bonuses and benefits and exclusive advance communications
Select memberOpt-in to emails5 points per dollar spent (2.5%)More bonuses and benefits and exclusive advance communications
Basic memberJoin program1 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)

You’ll want to enroll in 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 and Amex Green Card 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. However, 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 Premier Credit Card. If you enroll this card and then used it at an eligible restaurant, you’ll earn 2 IHG points per $1 from the card, plus 1-8 points per $1 spent from IHG Rewards Club Dining.

This means you could earn up to 10 IHG points per $1 on eligible dining purchases made with your IHG Premier Card, which 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)

You can also earn IHG points through IHG partnerships with OpenTable and GrubHub. Specifically, you can earn up to 500 IHG points when making 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 dining rewards programs offer higher earning rates and bonuses for consumers who frequently use the program.

Featured image by (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees