Mastering the IHG Rewards Game: Your Guide to Earning More Points

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Guide to Earning More IHG® One Rewards Points
IHG One Rewards Program | Screenshot from IHG website

The world of hospitality offers diverse options for travelers and tourists, but one avenue that stands out is the IHG One Rewards Program. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has crafted this rewards program to bring added value and enhanced experiences for its loyal guests. If you’re contemplating joining or have recently become a member, here’s a comprehensive overview to help you navigate the sea of benefits that come with it.

How to Become a Member of the IHG One Rewards Program

Step-by-Step Registration

Join IHG One Rewards
Join IHG One Rewards | Screenshot from IHG website
  1. Visit the official IHG website: Navigate to the IHG One Rewards Program page.
  2. Click on “Join Now”: You’ll find this option prominently displayed.
  3. Fill in your details: Provide essential information like name, email, and address.
  4. Set up a password: Make sure it’s strong for security reasons.
  5. Confirm your membership: After submitting, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Verify your membership through this email.

Best Ways To Earn IHG One Rewards Points

Co-branded IHG Credit Cards

IHG credit cards
Co-Branded IHG Credit Cards | Image source IHG

IHG has joined hands with financial institutions to offer co-branded credit cards that fast-track your rewards point accumulation. Below is a table that outlines some of the major cards and their benefits:

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit CardIHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card Secure 80,000 Bonus Points by making $2,000 worth of purchases within the initial three months. Additionally, benefit from up to $50 as IHG® credits for expenditures at IHG® Hotels and Resorts in the first year.
This comes with no annual fee.
IHG One Rewards Premier Credit CardIHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card Attain 140,000 Bonus Points by spending $3,000 in the first three months. Also, you can avail up to $100 in IHG® statement credits for transactions at IHG® Hotels and Resorts during the initial year.
An annual fee of $99 applies.
IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit CardIHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Collect 140,000 Bonus Points by spending $3,000 in the first three months of account initiation.
This card has an annual fee of $99.
Co-Branded IHG Credit Cards

Categories of Bonuses for IHG Credit Cards

IHG credit cards aren’t just a way to earn points on hotel stays; they provide an opportunity to accumulate vast amounts of IHG One Reward points on daily transactions. Here’s a breakdown of points you can earn with different IHG cards:

1. IHG Premier Card

  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on purchases at IHG® Hotels and Resorts during the first 12 months from account opening
  • Up to 26X total points at IHG® Hotels and Resorts
  • That’s 10X points with this card
  • Plus up to 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG One Rewards member
  • Plus up to 6X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of this card
  • Rake in 5 points per dollar on expenses related to travel, gas, and dining.
  • For all other miscellaneous purchases, you can get 3 points per dollar.
  • Anniversary Free Night
  • Redeem 3 Nights, Get 4th Night Free
  • Plus, earn a $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 each calendar year

2. IHG Premier Business Card

  • Earn 140,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Up to 26X total points at IHG® Hotels and Resorts
  • That’s 10X points with this card
  • Plus up to 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG One Rewards member
  • Plus up to 6X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of this card
  • Benefit from 5 points per dollar spent on travel, dining, gas, office supplies, and even on advertising with social media platforms and search engines.
  • Acquire 3 points for every dollar on all other transactions.
  • Anniversary Free Night
  • Redeem 3 Nights, Get 4th Night Free
  • Plus, earn a $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 each calendar year

3. IHG Traveler Card

  • Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Plus, earn up to $50 in Statement Credits on purchases at IHG® Hotels and Resorts during the first 12 months from account opening
  • Up to 17X total points at IHG® Hotels and Resorts
  • That’s 5X points with this card
  • Plus up to 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG One Rewards member
  • Plus up to 2X points from IHG® with Silver Elite Status, a benefit of this card
  • Earn 3 points per dollar on expenses like dining, utilities, select streaming platforms and gas stations.
  • All other purchases will let you gather 2 points per dollar.
  • Gold Elite Status
  • Earn IHG One Rewards Gold Elite Status after you spend $20,000 on purchases each calendar year
  • Redeem 3 Nights, Get 4th Night Free
  • Plus, earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on purchases each calendar year

These cards and their bonus structures emphasize the benefits of integrating your daily spending habits with your IHG loyalty, optimizing the rewards you can reap from the program.

Overview of IHG One Rewards membership levels

Members will receive Elite status if they meet specified criteria with either Elite Qualifying Points or Elite Qualifying Nights within a calendar year, which runs from January 1st to December 31st (For each calendar day, only one night will be recognized as a Qualifying Night. For instance, if a member reserves two rooms on the same date, just one of those nights will contribute to their Elite Qualifying Nights).

IHG One Rewards
Silver Elite
IHG One Rewards
Gold Elite
IHG One Rewards Platinum EliteIHG One Rewards Diamond Elite
Elite Qualifying Pointsn/a40,00060,000120,000
Elite Qualifying Nights102040
Bonus points earned on top of base points20%40%60%100%
IHG One Rewards elite status levels

When determining elite status within the IHG One Rewards program, points are classified into two types: Elite Qualifying Points and Non-Elite Qualifying Points. Only the Elite Qualifying Points contribute to achieving Elite status.

Elite Qualifying Points are awarded for stays booked through avenues like IHG Customer Care, IHG websites, the IHG One Rewards app, and directly at IHG branded hotels, among others, provided they are paid at Qualifying Rates. On the other hand, Non-Qualifying Points are accrued from stays on Non-Qualifying Rates, which include complimentary rooms provided by the hotel, rates provided by online travel agencies like Expedia, and rates offered by tour operators, to name a few. Essentially, it’s crucial to understand where and how you book your stay to ensure you earn the right type of points for elite status.

ActivityProvides Elite Qualifying PointsProvides Non-Elite Qualifying Points
Qualifying Rates* paid for Hotel StaysX 
Spend on select partner activity**X 
IHG One Rewards Bonus Points PackagesX 
Qualified Spend through IHG Business RewardsX 
Purchases on IHG One Rewards credit cards in the United Kingdom and Greater ChinaX 
Purchases on IHG One Rewards credit cards in the U.S. and Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfers to IHG One Rewards X
New cardmember bonuses or selected Bonus Point promotions are offered through IHG One Rewards credit cards unless otherwise indicated X
Points or Bonus Points earned from IHG and select partner promotions X
Elite Tier Bonus Points X
Point vouchers, purchases, deposits, and transfers unless otherwise indicated X
Сompliance of membership activity with the crediting of Elite Qualifying Points and Non-Qualifying Points

*Qualifying Rates – see here

**Partner activity  – Members earn Elite Qualifying Points on Hertz car rentals, OpenTable reservations, Grubhub orders, and Viator experiences. Members earn Non-Elite Qualifying Points with IHG Dine & Earn

The IHG Traveler card grants holders Silver Elite status. On the other hand, the IHG Premier card, IHG Premier Business card, and  a little-known benefit of the partner card  United Club℠ Infinite Card bestow users with Platinum Elite status.

United Club Infinite CardUnited Club℠ Infinite Card  
Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status and a $75 annual credit.
Annual fee $525
United Club Infinite Card welcome offer

Milestone Rewards program

The more often you stay with IHG One Rewards, the more your loyalty is valued. IHG has introduced a new Milestone Rewards program. Starting from the 20th qualifying night, for every 10 nights you stay at IHG hotels during the calendar year, you have the opportunity to choose a reward until you reach 100 nights.

Number of Elite NightsMilestone Reward ChoiceFood & Beverage RewardConfirmable Suite UpgradeAnnual Lounge Membership
205,000 points21
305,000 points2
4010,000 points511
5010,000 points5
6010,000 points5
7010,000 points521
8010,000 points5
9010,000 points5
10010,000 points5
Milestone Rewards program

How It Works

Milestone Rewards are unlocked based on the number of nights stayed at IHG properties within a calendar year. As members reach specific milestones, they are given the opportunity to select from a variety of rewards. These rewards are designed to enhance the travel experience and provide added value for IHG One Rewards members.

Reward Options

  1. Bonus Points: Members can choose to receive a set number of bonus points, which can be used for free nights, gift cards, merchandise, or other rewards available through the IHG One Rewards catalog.
  2. Food & Beverage Credit: This credit can be used at participating IHG hotel restaurants and bars, enhancing the dining experience during stays.
  3. Confirmable Suite Upgrade: This reward allows members to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking, providing a more luxurious stay.
  4. Annual Lounge Membership: This membership grants access to hotel lounges, where members can enjoy complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi, and a quiet space to relax or work.

How to Redeem Milestone Rewards

Members will be notified when they reach a milestone and can log into their IHG One Rewards account to select their preferred reward. The selection process is straightforward, allowing members to choose the reward that best aligns with their travel plans and preferences.

Benefits of the Milestone Rewards Program

The Milestone Rewards program has three things going for it: 

  • It’s one made for man since one can easily fit bonuses, upgrades, and lounge access into the rewards. 
  • Enhanced travel experience: features like suite upgrades and lounge memberships will ensure one enjoys a more convenient and pleasurable stay. 
  • Getting more bang for your buck: these extra rewards come on top of the standard elite status benefits and deliver even more value to the globetrotting customer.

The Milestone Rewards program is another piece of the puzzle within the broader IHG One Rewards program, providing our members with more ways to personalize the journey as they reach key stay milestones. Whether in the form of bonus points, food and beverage credits, suite upgrades, or lounge memberships, Milestone Rewards further enrich the travel experience and add immeasurable value for IHG One Rewards members.

Another quick way to achieve Platinum Elite status in IHG One Rewards is to join the InterContinental Ambassador Program.

InterContinental Ambassador Program

By joining the InterContinental Ambassador program for $200, you will automatically receive Platinum Elite status as well:

  • Guaranteed room upgrades.
  • A complimentary weekend night.
  • Extended 4 pm check-out.

You can become an IHG Royal Ambassador with frequent stays, high spending and by invitation only. Learn more about the benefits of this status here.

Perks of Elite Membership

Upon joining the IHG One Rewards program, Club Members receive foundational benefits such as earning and using points, accessing special promotions, and getting complimentary internet at IHG properties.

When you attain an elite tier within the IHG One Rewards program, you’re entitled to its specific advantages. These can vary from extra IHG points to enhanced room accommodations and welcoming features, potentially inclusive of complimentary breakfast.

Platinum EliteDiamond Elite
Bonus points20%40%60%100%
Points don’t expire++++
Rollover nights for next year’s status+++
Rewards night promotional discounts++
Diamond Support+
Guaranteed room availability++
Complimentary upgrades, based on availability at check-in++
Early check-in, based on availability++
Welcome amenity at check-in++
Free internet+++++
Late Check-Out2 pm2 pm2 pm2 pm2 pm
Benefits that IHG Club members receive depending on their status

Transferring points from Chase to IHG One Rewards

You can add points to your wallet with a 1:1 transfer from a Chase partner, starting at 1,000 points.

To transfer points, you need to possess an Ultimate Rewards premium card that accumulates points. Regrettably, cards that come without an annual fee are excluded from the point transfer feature.

Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cardChase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Annual Fee $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit CardChase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Annual Fee $550; $75 for each authorized user
Credit cards of the Chase Transfer Partner

Earn IHG One Rewards points during promotions

Throughout the year, IHG One Rewards updates its online platform with exclusive offers for its members. These promotions range from extra bonus points for stays and doubled bonus points to discounts. It’s essential to stay vigilant for the periodic IHG Accelerate deals that offer substantial boosts to your points, especially when you undertake actions like reserving through the app or choosing stays across various brands. Stay informed about the most lucrative IHG offers in the world of rewards by following PointsCrowd. Subscribe to ensure you never miss out on the latest promotional deals. 

Keep in mind that you almost always need to register for IHG promotions separately.

Boost Your Balance with IHG Business Rewards

Another fantastic avenue to amplify your IHG points is through the IHG Business Rewards program. It’s tailor-made for those who often book on behalf of others, be it for professional commitments or personal gatherings.

  1. Enrollment & Earning: By joining the IHG Business Rewards, you stand to gain 3 points for every $1 you spend.
  2. Diverse Booking Opportunities: Whether you’re orchestrating corporate meetings or planning grand events such as weddings for groups, IHG caters to your needs, ensuring you are duly rewarded.
  3. Special Promotions: To maximize your earnings, keep an eye out for exclusive promotions. They’re crafted to speed up your rewards accumulation process.

In a nutshell, if you’re someone who frequently manages bookings for others, the IHG® Business Rewards is an invaluable tool in your arsenal. It not only rewards your effort but also enhances your connection with nearly 6,000 participating IHG® Hotels & Resorts globally.

4th Night Free on Redemption

When you book four consecutive nights at an IHG hotel using your points and one of our co-branded credit cards, you’ll get the fourth night free. In other words, redeem points for the first three nights and get a fourth reward night at the same hotel during that stay for free.

Understanding IHG’s Flexible Certificate for Free Night

The IHG flexible award night certificate is a unique benefit given annually to holders of specific IHG credit cards. This certificate grants a free stay at IHG hotels that demand 40,000 points or less per night. But what makes this certificate “flexible”? Well, if you fancy a stay at a more premium hotel, you’re allowed to do so by topping up with some extra points.

The Evolution of the IHG Free Night Certificate

Initially, this certificate was exclusively applicable to hotels that required 40,000 points per night or under. But in March 2022, IHG introduced greater flexibility. Now you can freely use the certificate at almost any IHG hotel, as long as you can compensate for the necessary additional points.

Which Credit Cards are Eligible?

The annual IHG flexible free night certificate is a privilege for:

Despite both these cards having a $99 annual fee, the value derived from a well-utilized free night can easily surpass this cost.

How To Redeem Your IHG Flexible Free Night Certificate

Step 1: Access Your IHG Account
Step 2: Input Travel Details
  • Start by entering your desired destination and travel dates.
  • Make sure the “IHG Rewards Premier Card Annual Flex Night” option is checked under “Rate Preference.”
  • Proceed by clicking “Search”.
Step 3: Property & Room Selection
  • Choose the option “points” from the “Display Price In” dropdown.
  • The certificate will cover up to 40,000 points of an award night. If your hotel demands, say, 50,000 points a night, you’ll have to redeem the certificate plus an additional 10,000 IHG points.
  • As you select your hotel and room, rates will be shown as “Chase Anniversary Night + ___ points”. This extra point value is the gap between your certificate’s 40,000-point value and the hotel’s rate.
Step 4: Complete the Booking
  • Confirm all details of your booking and ensure you’re aware of any additional charges that might apply during your stay.

Remember, while redeeming your free night certificate provides excellent value, be wary of additional fees. IHG, unlike some other loyalty programs, doesn’t waive resort or “destination” fees on award stays.

Using PointsCrowd to find eligible nights for gift certificates

Finding the right nights to use your certificates might seem daunting. However, the PointsCrowd search feature can make this process simpler by identifying the best options that can be booked with your certificates. To benefit from this feature, add your certificates to your PointsCrowd account, and the platform will display the available options for you.

Transferring points between IHG One Rewards members

You can transfer points to or receive points from another member. There is no limit to the number of points you can transfer. However, transfers must be in multiples of 1,000 points and there is a $5 fee for each transfer over 1,000 points. 

Purchasing IHG Points

You have the option to purchase IHG points. Initially, the cost is set at $13.50 for every 1,000 points. However, for acquisitions exceeding 25,000 points, the price decreases to $10 for each 1,000 points. Additionally, IHG Rewards frequently introduces promotional campaigns where you can secure up to 100% additional bonus points when buying points.  IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card selected gives you the privilege of saving 20% on purchases for points (when you purchase points with your card).

Earn points for your hotel stays:

  • 10 Points per Dollar Spent at the following hotels: AvidCrowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, EVEN Hotels, Holiday Inn brands (Club Vacations, Express, Hotels & Resorts), Hotel Indigo, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Six Senses Hotels & Resorts, Vignetti Collection, voco Hotels
  • 5 Points per Dollar Spent at: Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites hotels.


Mastering IHG’s One Rewards Program can truly elevate your travel experiences. With diverse avenues to earn points — from co-branded credit cards to exclusive promotions and business rewards — the IHG’s One Rewards Program offers tangible benefits to its loyalists. Whether it’s for a leisurely vacation or business, IHG goes the extra mile to reward you. Now that you’re armed with this comprehensive guide, we’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips you may have for fellow travelers. Dive in, explore, and share your feedback!

How Many IHG Points Per Night?

The number of points required for a night's stay at IHG hotels varies widely. Depending on the hotel brand and location, you could spend anywhere from 10,000 to 70,000 points per night. Luxury properties and high-demand destinations typically require more points.

How much are IHG points worth in 2024?

As of 2024, the value of IHG points varies slightly depending on the source and method of obtaining them. According to NerdWallet, IHG points are valued at about 0.8 cents each.

This means that 10,000 IHG points are equivalent to approximately $80 that can be redeemed for free nights. The value may vary depending on the redemption option, with bonus nights generally being the most beneficial. Other options for redeeming points, such as transferring points to partners, the IHG Rewards catalog, and gift cards, generally offer less value per point.

When do IHG points expire?

IHG points expire if there is no activity in your account for a continuous period of 12 months. However, this does not apply to elite members. If you are an IHG Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Elite member, your points do not expire as long as you maintain your elite status. In case you drop from an elite status to a regular IHG Club level, the 12-month countdown to point expiration begins from the day of your downgrade.

To prevent your points from expiring, you need to have at least one earn or redeem activity in your account during the prior 12-month period. This can be achieved through various means, including earning points (e.g., by buying points, transferring points from another member, or through partner programs) or redeeming points (e.g., transferring points to another member, converting points into airline miles, or redeeming for gift cards or merchandise).

If you're close to the expiration date and need a quick solution, you can buy a small number of IHG points online, use some points for IHG experiences, convert a few points to air miles with partner airlines, or transfer points to/from another IHG account.

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