How to earn and redeem points with IHG Rewards Club partners

Jan 21, 2021

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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. These partners also offer some non-travel options for redeeming points. Today I’ll 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 Premier Credit Card and the no annual fee IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card.

IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Even if you only stay with IHG a few times each year, the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card may be worth it. The IHG Premier comes with many benefits, including:

Currently, the card also offers a sign-up bonus of 125,000 bonus points, plus a reward night (worth up to 40k points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth up to $825 (including reward night).

Related: Why I’m happy to pay the annual fee on the IHG Premier

IHG Rewards Club  Credit Card

If you can’t justify the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card’s annual fee, you may want to consider the no-annual-fee IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card.

The IHG Traveler Card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. TPG values this bonus at $400.

With the IHG Traveler Card, you’ll get access to the same fourth-night reward benefit as the IHG Premier Card and you won’t need to pay any foreign transaction fees. The IHG Traveler card earns up to 15x points at IHG hotels and resorts (5x points when you pay with your IHG Traveler Card and up to 10x points as an IHG member), 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 IHG Traveler Card’s return rate isn’t impressive.

Related: 6 ways IHG Rewards Club should improve its loyalty program

Chase Ultimate Rewards

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

Related: Sweet spots: The best ways to use Chase 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 you can earn IHG points on rentals and services, you should compare prices to ensure you aren’t paying more just to earn points.

Related: Rollover nights, bonus points and extensions: Here’s what IHG Rewards Club is doing for its members in 2021

IHG Rewards Club Dining

(Photo by Michael Berman/Getty Images)

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 a credit or debit card, then use it for dining 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, 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 reach VIP status, you’ll keep it for the rest of the current year as well as the following calendar year.

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

Related: 10 programs that reward you for dining out

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 aren’t on the list of excluded items. It’s also worth considering whether you can get a higher return through a different online shopping portal.

Related: 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 per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

10 Airpoints Dollars per stay 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 Eastern 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

2x at other IHG hotels, excluding Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express

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

500 kilometers per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

2x 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

Iberia Airlines 1x at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites

500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

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 points per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

2.5x at all other IHG hotels

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 500 miles per stay at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas (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 points per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (worth $7.50)

400 points per stay at Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo (worth $6)

300 points per stay at other IHG hotels (worth $4.50)

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 typically 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: Booking direct: How much value does IHG status provide?

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.

You can 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 Premier points n/a
Aeroplan 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $30
Air China 10,000 points = 2,000 miles 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 = 25 Airpoints Dollars 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 miles n/a
China Southern Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 kilometers n/a
Copa Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles 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 miles n/a
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 Multiplus points n/a
Qantas Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 Qantas points n/a
Saudi Arabian Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles n/a
Singapore Airlines 10,000 points = 2,000 miles $26
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 Virgin points $30
Velocity Frequent Flyer 10,000 points = 2,000 Velocity points 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.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with the IHG Rewards Club program

Frequently asked questions

How much are IHG points worth?

TPG values IHG points at 0.5 cents each. However, I’m often able to get higher value from my points by utilizing the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card’s fourth-night reward benefit.

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-night reward benefit when redeeming points. Even with IHG’s shift toward dynamic award pricing, it’s still possible to get excellent value out of IHG points. For example, I recently wrote about the best IHG Rewards Club hotels in the US, bookable for 10k points per night.

While I may consider earning some IHG points through partners such as IHG Trip Extras and the IHG Rewards Club Dining program, I don’t plan to use any of the partner redemption options discussed in this guide. After all, I can get better value from my IHG points when I redeem them for hotel stays. In particular, here are 15 international IHG Rewards Club hotels bookable for 10k points per night or less.

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

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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.

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