IHG® Rewards Club Loyalty Program Review

IHG® Rewards Club Loyalty Program Review

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IHG Rewards Club Summary Table

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

IHG has a co-branded credit card and partners with 1 transferable point program. This means that you will have plenty of ways to earn IHG Rewards Club points with your credit card spend.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The IHG Premier card packs a punch for 2 reasons. The first reason is the welcome bonus is elevated way above where you’ll normally see it. The second reason to consider the card is that it comes with an anniversary free night at an IHG property requiring 40,000 points or less for a reward night stay.

In addition to these benefits, the card can be great if you’re interested in elite status as it comes with IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status.

Hot Tip: Before signing up for the IHG Premier cCard, it’s important to note that this card is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. For a full rundown on this rule, we have an entire post covering everything you need to know about 5/24. 

Chase Ultimate Rewards

IHG partners with 1 of the 5 transferable point programs. These 5 programs are Amex, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Marriott. The points that you earn in these programs are transferable because the program has airline and/or hotel partners that you allow you to convert its points into airline miles or hotel points.

In the case of Chase, you can transfer Chase points to IHG Rewards Club points at a 1:1 ratio. The transfer time can take up 24 hours. While we don’t always recommend transferring Chase points to IHG, it can make sense if you’re looking to book an IHG hotel at a Points Break rate.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card, which is currently offering a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

In addition, the card earns 2x points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. With offering other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees , this card is a very rewarding Chase credit card.

The sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,000+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee. As an extra bonus, from 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A fantastic, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - this is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year; as well as a number of other benefits.

Earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, plus 1x on all other purchases — with no limit to the amount you can earn. All for an annual fee of $95.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card - New Offer: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, plus 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card - New Offer: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business.

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. There's no annual fee.

Rewards Club Overview

IHG is a British hospitality company headquartered in England. The company has approximately 5,000 hotels with coverage across nearly 100 countries.

The IHG hotel loyalty program is called Rewards Club and it allows members to earn and redeem Rewards Club points.

Joining Rewards Club 

The Rewards Club program is free to join. Complete the IHG Rewards Club application to start earning points on your next hotel stay.

How to Sign in to Your Rewards Club Account

Head to the IHG homepage and click the “Sign In” tab at the top right of the page. You will then enter your Member # or Email Address and Pin # to access your Rewards Club account.

Viewing Your Account Activity

After signing into your Rewards Club account, follow these steps to view the number of points in your account:

  1. Click your name in the top right corner of the page
  2. Click Account Activity on the left side of the page

Profile Preferences

Members can update their profile and preferences when logged into your account. To update your account, follow these steps:

  1. Click your name in the top right corner of the page
  2. Click Personal Information on the left side of the page

In addition, you can update your stay preferences when you are logged into your account. Click the Preferences tab to make your next stay personalized to your taste.

Points Expiration

Club level membership points expire after 12 months if there’s no account activity. To extend the expiration of your points, simply earn or redeem once a year at any of the IHG hotels or with partners.

If you’ve earned Elite member status (Gold, Platinum, Spire), your Rewards Club points do not expire as long as you hold this status.

Rewards Club Benefits


InterContinental Bora Bora
Use IHG points to stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora. Image courtesy of ihg.com

The Rewards Club program has 3 elite tiers in Gold, Platinum, and Spire. Each elite tier comes with different benefits, but you’ll typically receive the most value when using your Rewards Club points for a reward night.

Gold Elite Member:

  • Earned after 7 Qualifying Nights or 7,000 Qualifying Points
  • $30 in-room spa credit
  • 10% bonus points in addition to base points
  • Points do not expire for elite members

Platinum Elite Member: 

  • Earned after 30 Qualifying Nights or 30,000 Qualifying Points
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • 50% bonus points in addition to base points

Spire Elite Member:

  • Earned after 55 Qualifying Nights or 55,000 Qualifying Points
  • Exclusive access to Kimpton’s CEO
  • Exclusive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status
  • Early check in at 10 a.m.
  • 100% bonus points in addition to base points
  • Complimentary reward night at new hotels

In addition to Gold, Platinum, and Spire, the Rewards Club program has an elite tier where you can pay to hold the status.

InterContinental Ambassador:

  • Membership fee of $200
  • Guaranteed one category room upgrade
  • Extended 4 p.m. check-out
  • Complimentary weekend night at an InterContinental Hotel & Resort valid on the second night of a paid weekend stay on the Ambassador Weekend Rate
  • Restaurants and bars credit of up to $20 for every stay
  • Complimentary breakfast for 1, each night you stay
  • 15% discount at restaurants and bars

Earning Rewards Club Elite Status

IHG Rewards Club elite status is earned per calendar year. Once a member earns elite membership status in any calendar year, such status will be maintained through the end of the following calendar year. IHG determines your elite status based on the number of Qualifying Points or Qualifying Nights during a calendar year.

IHG Rewards Club Reward Nights count towards your Qualifying Nights total, and any nights in excess of the number required for each status level will be counted towards the Member’s Elite status qualification for the following calendar year. Elite Rollover Nights are only valid for 1 calendar year.

2021 Update: All elite nights earned in 2020 have been rolled over to 2021 and elite requirements for 2021 have been reduced by 25%.

Rewards Club Qualification Requirements (Revised for 2021):

Status TierQualifying NightsQualifying Points
Gold Elite770,000
Platinum Elite3030,000
Spire Elite5555,000

Qualifying Nights are earned on every eligible paid rate or award stay at an IHG property.

Qualifying Points are earned when you pay for eligible charges at an IHG property.

Bonus Points are points earned that may count towards your Qualifying Points total. Rewards Club Bonus Points (or miles) from IHG packages are considered eligible Qualifying Points. Elite status bonuses, credit card welcome bonuses, and select promotions are NOT considered Qualifying Points.

Hot Tip: The free award night from the IHG Rewards Club Credit Card will count towards your Qualifying Nights total to help you earn elite status. 

Value of Rewards Club Status:

IHG has a global footprint with premium brands in Hualuxe, InterContinental, Regent Hotels & Resorts, and Six Senses. Its full-service brands include familiar hotels to U.S. travelers in Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

IHG Premier cardholders automatically receive Platinum status for being a cardmember. That credit card alone puts you within range of qualifying for Spire Elite, the top IHG elite status. With that said, the elite benefits offered at the Spire Elite don’t warrant the additional 35 nights or 35,000 points to qualify.

If you’re looking for a brand with a global reach, a few premium brands, and a number of full service brands, IHG may make sense for you.

How to Earn IHG Rewards Club Points

A credit card with a high welcome offer plus a partnership with a transferable point program make it relatively easy to earn IHG points

Earning Points on IHG Stays:

Rewards Club members will earn between 5-10 points/dollar for their stay. If you earn elite status, you will also earn between a 10-100% bonus:

  • Club: 5-10 points/dollar
  • Gold: 5-10 points/dollar + 10% bonus
  • Platinum: 5-10 points/dollar + 50% bonus
  • Spire: 5-10 points/dollar + 100% bonus

Plan Meetings and Events

Another way to earn IHG points is to hold a meeting or event at an IHG hotel. Members earn 3 points/dollar every time you book a meeting or event. In addition, members can also earn elite status by booking a meeting or event:

Elite Status# of Events

Earn Airlines Miles Instead of Points 

Rewards Club members can choose to earn airline miles instead of Rewards Club points for their qualifying stays. Refer to the earning rates of each airline as the rates vary.

Transfer Points to Family and Friends

Points may be transferred between any two member accounts by paying $5 per 1,000 points transferred. You’ll need to complete and submit an authorization to transfer points for the transfer to be completed. 

Hot Tip: Due to the $5 fee, we don’t recommend that you transfer your points to family and friends. Instead, we recommend family and friends sign up for the IHG Premier card to earn Rewards Club points. 

How to Redeem Rewards Club Points

IHG offers 8 different ways to redeem Rewards Club points that include Reward Nights, Shopping, Experiences, Points & Cash, Hotel and Rental Cars, Digital Rewards, Airline Redemptions, and a Points Donation.

The way to unlock the most value with your Rewards Club points is with hotel redemptions.

Award Nights

IHG prices its awards dynamically, similar to Hilton Honors, and there is no longer a published award chart. As the award price fluctuates, you will need to run an award search to determine the number of points required to book a room.

Points & Cash

The Points & Cash option is great if you don’t have the number of points required for a reward night. You’ll search for a reward night, choose the Points & Cash combination at the hotel you want to book, and then book your stay.

Hot Tip: Points & Cash is the perfect option if you you want to save money, use fewer points for a reward night, and have at least 5,000 Rewards Club points available. 

All-Inclusive Resorts

IHG has 2 resorts in the Holiday Inn brand that are all inclusive. Both are located in coastal destinations making each an option to consider for your next vacation.

The cheaper of the 2 resorts is the Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos. This property requires 20,000 per night. The most expensive all inclusive resort is the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay. You’ll need 50,000 per night to stay at this property.


PointBreaks is a special offer whereby members can book reward nights starting at 5,000 points per night at select hotels for a limited period of time. New PointBreaks hotels are released quarterly and each member may book 2 PointBreaks reward nights reservations per hotel during the quarter.

Transfer Points to Airline Miles

Members may convert their Rewards Club points into airline miles with airlines that are IHG partners. Consult the full list of IHG airline partners to see how many miles you will receive when converting your Rewards Club points to an airline.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Frequently asked questions

How do I join the Rewards Club ? Is there a fee to join?

IHG Rewards Club membership is free. Complete the IHG member application to start earning and redeeming IHG points today.

Does the Rewards Club status match to any other program?

For IHG members who earn Platinum or Spire Elite status, you can match that status to Hilton Diamond status.

What are the Rewards Club elite status levels?

The Rewards Club program has 3 elite tiers in Gold, Platinum, and Spire.

What are the different IHG brands?

IHG has 14 different brands:

IHG Brands
HualuxeEven Hotels
InterContinentalHoliday Inn
Regent Hotels & ResortsHotel Indigo
Six SensesKimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Avid HotelsStaybridge Suites
Candlewood Suitesvoco
Crowne PlazaHoliday Inn Express

How do I contact Rewards Club?

You can call Rewards Club at 888-211-9874 or submit a form.

Can I earn Rewards Club points with a credit card?

Yes! The IHG Premier card currently has an excellent welcome bonus and comes with quite a few valuable perks.

Do Rewards Club points expire?

If you’ve earned Elite member status (Gold, Platinum, Spire), your Rewards Club points do not expire as long as you hold this status.

What hotels does IHG own?

Avid Hotels, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Even Hotels, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express Hotel Indigo, Hualuxe, InterContinental, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Six Senses, Staybridge Suites, and voco are hotels in the IHG portfolio.

How many IHG points do you need for an award stay?

You will need between 5,000 – 70,000 points per night to book a reward night.

Can IHG points be transferred?

Yes, but we do not recommend transferring your points to another member or to an airline partner because you will lose value.

What credit cards earn IHG points?

The IHG Premier card earns IHG points. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and/or Chase Ink Business Preferred earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to IHG. Chase credit cards that do not earn Ultimate Rewards can be paired with the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, and then those points can be transferred to IHG.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Be aware that if you book with points + cash, you will be charged the cash immediately; if you cancel the reservation, the cash will not be returned-you will get points instead; if you have the IHG credit card you will not get the 10X loyalty points for IHG purchases, you will get 1X the amount. This makes points + cash a terrible way to pay for your hotel room.


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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