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Get 9x American Airlines miles on IHG stays while still earning IHG points, elite nights

Nov. 10, 2019
4 min read
Get 9x American Airlines miles on IHG stays while still earning IHG points, elite nights
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

One of the foundational elements of the points and miles hobby is that you should maximize every online purchases by going through a shopping portal. This doesn’t just apply when buying stuff online; you also can score bonus points, miles or cash back on hotel reservations and flight purchases by using these shopping portals.

A new offer popped up this weekend that makes it especially valuable to book through a portal. Instead of the standard 3x AAdvantage miles you’d normally get from IHG reservations through AA's eShopping portal, you'll get three times the standard rate: 9x miles per dollar spent.

There aren’t many terms and conditions for this offer, but they’re important to keep in mind:

Not eligible until reservations have been fulfilled. Specialty rates such as corporate, negotiated rates, and IHG Friends & Family are not eligible for Rewards. Rooms booked and paid for by IHG reward Club Points are not eligible. Not eligible on purchases made with coupon or discount codes that are not found on this site. Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Purchases made with a gift card may be ineligible.

While the earning rate for booking direct with IHG is 9x miles, the rate drops to 5x if you book through one of the individual hotel brand websites — such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn:

At current TPG valuations, AAdvantage miles are valued at 1.4 cents each. At a 9x earning rate, you’re getting around a 12.6% return on your spending. Even better, this is in addition to the IHG Rewards points that you’d earn otherwise from the stay. Since you're booking directly with IHG — instead of an Online Travel Agency (OTA) — you'll also earn stay credits and get valuable elite benefits.

While AAdvantage is currently the most valuable option, there are other decent shopping portal bonus payouts for IHG purchases:

If you’re just looking to maximize your cash back, you can currently earn 7% cash back from Mr. Rebates. Note: while this landing page references InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, clicking the "shop now" link takes you to the general IHG landing page:

Or, get 6% cash back through Top Cashback:

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None of these portal bonuses have a stated end date, meaning that these offers can change at anytime. So, if you’re looking to book (or rebook) an IHG stay at these elevated rates, don’t delay.

When you do, make sure that you’re putting the purchase on the right credit card to further maximize your earnings. That means checking your American Express cards for Amex Offers and Chase cards for Chase Offers. If you don't have any offers, use a card that maximizes your spending at IHG hotels:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel, 6% return)
  • Citi Prestige® Card (3x on hotels, 5.1%)
  • Citi Premier® Card (3x on hotels, 5.1%)
  • IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card (10x points on IHG stays, 5%)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel, 4%)

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.

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.