How to earn and redeem points with IHG Rewards Club partners

Jun 29, 2020

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If you’re looking for new ways to earn and burn IHG points, you should look into IHG Rewards Club’s various partners. Similar to other hotel loyalty programs, these partners provide options for earning points on everyday activities as well as some non-travel options for redeeming points. So let’s take a closer look at the IHG Rewards Club program’s partners and how they can help you maximize your rewards.

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In This Post

IHG credit card partners

One way to earn IHG points and get elite status is through cobranded IHG credit cards. There are currently two IHG credit cards available: the $89 annual fee IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the no annual fee IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Even if you only stay with IHG a few times each year, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card may be worth it. After all, you can justify the $89 annual fee as long as you utilize the anniversary night each year for a night that would have cost you more than the annual fee. With lots of great properties bookable for 40,000 IHG points or less per night, this is relatively easy to do.

The IHG Premier comes with many other benefits including:

Currently, the card also offers an all-time high sign-up bonus of 125,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth $625.

Related reading: Why you should think twice before upgrading to the Chase IHG Premier Card

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

If you can’t justify the annual fee of the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card but you still want an IHG credit card, you may want to consider the no-annual-fee IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.

The IHG Traveler Card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 75,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. TPG values this bonus at $375.

With the IHG Travelers Card, you’ll get access to the same fourth award night reward benefit as the IHG Premier Card and you won’t need to pay any foreign transaction fees. The IHG Traveler card earns 5x points at IHG hotels and resorts, 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x points on everything else. However, since TPG values IHG points at 0.5 cents each, the rate of return isn’t very impressive.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio. However, since TPG Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents and IHG points at 0.5 cents, this transfer option isn’t ideal if you want to maximize Ultimate  Rewards points.

IHG Trip Extras

(Image courtesy of IHG)
(Image courtesy of IHG)

IHG Trip Extras is a booking platform that allows you to earn IHG points on car rentals, tours and activities, restaurants and transportation services. Specifically, you’ll earn IHG points as follows when you book through the IHG Trip Extras portal:

  • Hertz car rentals: Save on rentals and earn 1,500 IHG Rewards Club points. Elite members earn an extra 500 points per day. Club members earn 125 points per day
  • Dollar and Thrifty car rentals: Get discounts and earn 125 IHG Rewards Club points per day
  • Viator tours and activities: Earn 1,000 IHG Rewards Club points per activity booking
  • OpenTable reservations: Earn up to 500 IHG Rewards Club points when you make an OpenTable restaurant reservation, although many restaurants only earn 150 points (worth less than $1)
  • GrubHub food delivery to select U.S. IHG hotels: Earn 500 IHG points for your first Grubhub order placed through IHG’s food delivery page and 250 points for every subsequent order
  • Viator transport services: Earn up to 1,000 IHG Rewards Club points per transportation booking

While earning IHG points on rentals and services is great, you should compare prices to ensure you aren’t paying more just to earn points.

IHG Rewards Club Dining

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

IHG and the Rewards Network have partnered on the IHG Rewards Club Dining program to offer IHG points at select restaurants. You simply need to join the program, enroll at least one credit or debit card, then use that card to dine at eligible restaurants, bars and clubs.

The earning rate depends on your elite status level within the IHG Rewards Club Dining program:

  • VIP members earn 8x points (4% return based on TPG’s valuations)
  • Select members earn 5x points (2.5% return)
  • Basic members earn 1x (0.5% return)

To earn Select status, simply opt-in to receive emails. To earn VIP status, opt-in to receive emails and complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year. Once you earn VIP status, you’ll keep it for the rest of the current year as well as the following calendar year.

Currently, you can earn 1,000 bonus IHG points when you join, spend $30 or more at a participating restaurant within 90 days, pay with an enrolled card and then complete an online review within 30 days of your visit.

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

Earn IHG points on Apple purchases

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Thanks to IHG’s partnership with Apple, you can earn 4x IHG points on Apple products. You’ll need to enter the email address associated with your IHG account and then you’ll be redirected to the online Apple store. There, you’ll earn IHG points when you purchase select products.

You’ll want to double-check that your purchases won’t be excluded from earning IHG points. When I checked, the following products were excluded: new iPad Pro, new MacBook Air, AirPods Pro, Mac Pro, gift cards, gift wrap, Bose products, Apple Developer Programs and shipping. It’s also worth considering whether you can get a higher return through a different online shopping portal.

Related reading: Worthy of the hype? Apple Card review

Earn with IHG airline partners

IHG Rewards Club members can choose to earn airline miles or points instead of IHG points on qualifying stays. To do so, simply change your earning preferences from points to miles in your online IHG Rewards Club account. Click on the preferences tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page where you’ll see an “Earning Preferences” section.

Currently, you can earn miles or points with the following airline programs:

Airline programs Airline earning rate (return based on TPG’s valuations when available)
Aeroflot Earn 1x at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

Earn 2x at other IHG hotels

Aeromexico Club Premier 1.1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

2.1x at other IHG hotels

Air Canada Aeroplan 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.5% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (3% return)

Air China 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

Air France/KLM Flying Blue 500 miles per stay at InterContinetal Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (worth $6)

400 miles per stay at Crowne Plaza (worth $4.80)

300 miles per stay at Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo (worth $3.60)

250 miles per stay at Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (worth $3)

Air Miles 1 Mile per $5 CAD
Air New Zealand Airpoints 20 Airpoints Dollars at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

10 Airpoints Dollars at other IHG hotels

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (3.6% return)

500 miles per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants outside the U.S. (worth $9)

1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.8% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (3.6% return)

Alitalia Millemiglia 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

American Airlines AAdvantage Earn 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.4% return)

Earn 2x at other IHG hotels excluding The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (2.8% return)

ANA Mileage Club 1x at Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites and The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (1.4% return)

3x at other IHG hotels (4.2% return)

Asiana Airlines 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (500 miles per stay outside of the U.S.)

1x at other IHG hotels

Avianca Airlines LifeMiles 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (3.4% return)

500 miles per stay  at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants outside the U.S. (worth $8.50)

1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.7% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (3.4% return)

British Airways Executive Club 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.5% return)

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (worth $7.50)

2x at other IHG hotels (3% return)

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 500 miles per stay (worth $6.50)
China Airlines 250 miles per stay at Holiday Inn Express

500 miles per stay at other IHG hotels

China Southern 1x at Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites and EVEN Hotels

3x at other IHG hotels

Copa Airlines 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 1x at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.2% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (2.4% return)

El Al 10 miles per $20 at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in the U.S.

1 mile per $20 at other IHG hotels

Emirates Skywards 1x at Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites and The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (1.2% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (2.4% return)

Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 500 miles per stay (worth $7)
EVA Airways Infinity Mileagelands 500 miles per stay
Finnair 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

Gulf Airways Falconflyer 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

Hainan Airlines 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (500 miles per stay outside the U.S.)

1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

2x at other IHG hotels

Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiianmiles 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (1.8% return)

500 miles per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants outside the U.S. (worth $4.50)

1x at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (0.9% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (1.8% return)

Iberia Airlines 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (500 miles per stay outside the U.S.)

1x at Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

2x at other IHG hotels

Intermiles 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

2x at other IHG hotels

Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank 500 miles per stay
JetBlue TrueBlue 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.3% return)

500 points per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (worth $6.50)

2x at other IHG hotels (2.6% return)

Korean Air Skypass 500 miles per stay (worth $8.50)
LATAM 500 miles per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

2.5 miles at all additional IHG hotels globally

Lufthansa Miles & More 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.4% return)

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (worth $7)

2x at other IHG hotels (2.8% return)

Malaysia Airlines 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

Qantas Frequent Flyer 5x at all IHG hotels in Australia

500 points per stay at all IHG hotels outside Australia

Saudia Airlines 500 miles per stay
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1x at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.3% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (2.6% return)

South African Airlines 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x at other IHG hotels

TAP Air Portugal 500 miles per stay
Thai Airways 500 miles per stay
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 2x at other IHG hotels (2.6% return)

1x at Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites and The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (1.3% return)

United Airlines MileagePlus 2x at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. (2.6% return)

500 miles per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants outside the U.S. (worth $6.50)

1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (1.3% return)

2x at other IHG hotels (2.6% return)

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 500 miles per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (worth $8)

400 miles per stay at Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo (worth $6.40)

300 miles per stay at other IHG hotels (worth $4.80)

Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 3 points per $1 AUD at all IHG hotels located in Australia

600 points per stay at all IHG hotels located outside Australia

By earning airline miles, you won’t earn IHG points or elite bonus points on your stays. To put this into perspective, a Club member would normally earn 5x IHG points at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (2.5% return based on TPG’s valuations) and 10x at most other IHG properties (5% return).

Due to a 50% bonus, a Platinum Elite member would earn 7.5x IHG points at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites (3.75% return) and 15x at most other IHG properties (7.5% return). So, it usually won’t make sense to earn airline miles instead of IHG points on your stays.

Related reading: Maximizing redemptions with the IHG Rewards Club program

Redeem with IHG airline partners

IHG Rewards Club members can redeem their IHG points for airline miles with select airline partners. To do so, you must call the IHG Rewards Club Customer Care Center.

It may take up to six weeks for the miles to post to your airline loyalty account. And, you must redeem IHG points in increments of 10,000 points, which TPG values at $50. Here are the current redemption rates for each of IHG’s airline partners:

Airline partner Redemption ratio Value of airline miles (based on TPG’s valuations)
Aeromexico 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Aeroplan 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $30
Air China 10,000 points = 2,000 kilometers n/a
Air France / KLM 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $24
AIR MILES reward miles 10,000 points = 250 miles n/a
Air New Zealand Airpoints 10,000 points = 250 Airpoints n/a
Alaska Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $36
Alitalia MilleMiglia 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
All Nippon Airways 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $28
American Airlines AAdvantage 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $28
Asiana Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Avianca LifeMiles 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $34
British Airways 10,000 points = 2,000 Avios $30
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $26
China Eastern 10,000 points = 2,000 kilometers n/a
China Southern Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 kilometers n/a
Delta SkyMiles 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $24
El Al Israel Airlines 10,000 points = 40 El Al Points n/a
Emirates 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $24
Etihad Airways 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $28
Gulf Air 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Hainan Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 kilometers n/a
Hawaiian Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $18
Iberia Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Japan Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Jet Airways 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
JetBlue TrueBlue 10,000 points = 2,000 points $26
LATAM 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Malaysia Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Qantas Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Saudi Arabian Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Singapore Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $26
South African Airways 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
TAP Air Portugal 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Thai Airways 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
United Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $26
Virgin Atlantic 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $32
Velocity Frequent Flyer 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a

As you can tell from the table, transferring your IHG points to these airline partners isn’t always a good idea. In most cases, you’ll slash the value of your IHG points by almost half if you redeem them for airline miles.

IHG Rewards Club Hotels

Here’s the breakdown of IHG’s brands:

IHG brand Open hotels Open rooms Hotels in pipeline
Six Senses 18 1,448 27
Regent 6 2,003 5
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 213 71,431 68
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants 73 13,501 33
Hotel Indigo 119 14,679 104
EVEN Hotels 15 2,209 28
HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts 10 3,105 22
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts 427 119,565 91
voco Hotels 12 4,293 18
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts 1,246 229,113 282
Holiday Inn Express 2,872 298,667 761
Holiday Inn Club Vacations 28 8,592 1
avid hotels 11 975 212
Staybridge Suites 306 33,476 179
Atwell Suites 0 0 15
Candlewood Suites 410 38,315 91

Frequently asked questions

How much are IHG points worth?

TPG values IHG points at 0.5 cents each. When the redemption value is lower, I’m generally able to get higher value from my points by paying for stays or utilizing the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card’s fourth reward night award benefit. But, for the purposes of this guide, let’s assume IHG points are worth about 0.5 cents each.

Can I transfer IHG points to airlines?

You can transfer IHG points to over 30 different airlines. See the “Redeem for airline miles” section above for more details.

How much does it cost to transfer IHG points?

You can transfer IHG points to another IHG Rewards Club member in 1,000-point increments at a rate of $5 per 1,000 points. There are no caps on how many points you can transfer or receive.

Is IHG membership free?

There is no cost to become an IHG Rewards Club member.

Bottom line

I tend to get a lot of value from IHG points, especially since I often take advantage of the IHG Premier Card’s fourth award night reward benefit when redeeming points. Even with IHG’s shift toward dynamic award pricing, I still expect to get solid value out of my IHG points.

While I may consider earning some IHG points through partners such as IHG Trip Extras and the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, I likely won’t be using any of the partner redemption options discussed in this guide. After all, I can get better value out of my IHG points when I redeem them for hotel stays.

Featured image of the Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

With this card you'll get IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status which more than negates the value of the $89 annual fee.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$89
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.