16 Best Ways to Earn Lots of IHG Rewards Club Points

Palacio das Cardosas Intercontinental Hotel, Portugal - an IHG Property

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As one of the largest hotel loyalty programs in the world, IHG Rewards Club allows members to earn points for stays at more than 5,000 IHG properties. These points can be redeemed for reward hotel stays and other awards.

Here are great strategies for maximizing your IHG points so you can quickly build up your balance. After all, the more points you accrue, the better redemptions you will qualify for!

The IHG Rewards Club Program

IHG Rewards Club Program
Earn points and redeem them for a variety of travel awards with IHG Rewards Club! Image Credit: IHG

1. Join IHG Rewards Club

Sign up for the IHG Rewards Club to start earning points immediately. In fact, if you enroll during your stay, you get an automatic 1,000 points for that stay! You can also enroll for free on the IHG Rewards Club website or by contacting the service center. Then earn 5x or 10x base points per $1 for future hotel stays depending on the property.

The chart below shows how many points you can earn per $1 spent at each hotel:

IHG Point Earnings
Image Credit: IHG

You’ll earn points for charges to your room such as food, drinks, laundry, and in-room movies, even if staying on a rewards night redemption.

It takes 2-4 weeks to receive your permanent IHG Rewards Club card, but you can print the temporary card right away. Points won’t expire as long as you redeem or earn more within 12 months.

2. IHG Credit Card Welcome Bonus

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card helps you accrue IHG Rewards Club points, including a sign-up bonus to get you started. Plus, you earn 25x points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Not only does the card usually come with a welcome bonus, but it includes tons of benefits like an annual reward night and complimentary elite status.

Not sure if this card is right for you? Check out our analysis on all of the IHG-branded credit cards.

3. IHG Credit Card Bonus Categories

Make purchases with the IHG Premier card to earn points. For instance, earn:

4. IHG Rewards Club Elite Status

ihg rewards club elite status tiers
You get additional benefits when you have elite status with IHG Rewards Club, including earning additional bonus points for your stays. Image Credit: IHG

IHG Rewards Club members start out at Club status — unless you have the IHG Premier card. With this card, you automatically qualify for Platinum Elite status (and all the benefits) for as long as you are a cardmember.

Using your IHG Premier card is a great way to keep your points from expiring as well. Since you get automatic Platinum Elite status, your points won’t expire as long as you have the card.

The table below shows the bonus for each status as well as how to qualify:

LevelBonusQualifying PointsQualifying Nights
Gold Elite10%10,00010
Platinum Elite50%40,00040
Spire Elite
100%75,00075

The top status level, Spire Elite, comes with a host of great perks. One of the best perks is being able to pick a Choice Benefit — 25,000 bonus points or gifting Platinum status to another member.

What an incredible opportunity! Once you qualify for Spire Elite status, you can select a benefit immediately by logging in to your account at ihg.com/rewardsclub.

With all the bonus points and points rebates at your disposal, it can really add up:

  • 2x-25x points for using the IHG Premier card
  • 5x-10x points for being an IHG Rewards Club member
  • 10%-100% status bonus

Hot Tip: Rewards Nights count toward elite status, so you earn points toward achieving a higher status while enjoying your reward night!

5. Join the Ambassador Program

There’s actually another way to get elite status in the IHG Rewards Club. Join Ambassador for $200 and you’ll get automatic Platinum status plus a guaranteed 1 category room upgrade, extended 4 p.m. check-out, a certificate for a reward weekend night, and more.

Transfer Chase Points to IHG Rewards Club

6. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Ultimate Rewards is the only credit card loyalty program that partners with IHG Rewards Club. That means you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to IHG Rewards Club points at a 1:1 ratio, starting at 1,000 points.

Due to how valuable Chase points are, we don’t recommend cashing in all of your Ultimate Reward points for IHG points. However, this can be a fantastic option if you need to top off your IHG points balance in order to have enough points for a certain redemption.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

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

This 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. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. 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.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points 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.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses such as office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services.

IHG Rewards Club Travel Partners

7. Rent a Car With Hertz

Need a rental car? Consider Hertz, an IHG Rewards Club partner that offers 125 points per day on your rental.

Provide your IHG Rewards Club membership number and use the discount code CDP 22754 when making a reservation.

Periodically, Hertz offers discounts and double-points specials for IHG members, so keep an eye on the IHG website for new deals.

8. Book a Ride With GroundLink

IHG Rewards Club GroundLink
Every time you book a ride with GroundLink, you could earn 500 IHG Rewards Club points. Image Credit: IHG

GroundLink will give you 500 IHG Rewards Club points when you book a ride. They have locations all over the country offering one-way and hourly rides.

Other Opportunities To Earn Points

9. IHG Rewards Club Promotions

IHG Rewards Club posts special deals online throughout the year for members. These member offers include additional bonus points for stays, double bonus points, and discounts. Be sure to keep an eye out for the quarterly IHG Accelerate offers that can dramatically increase your point balance by completing tasks like booking a stay through the app or staying at multiple brands.

earn point with ihg rewards club offers
You can earn bonus points for various offers that IHG may put out from time to time. Check-in periodically to see what is available. Image Credit: IHG

10. IHG Rewards Club Dining

Earn points for dining out when you enroll in the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program and dine at one of more than 10,000 select restaurants around the country.

You can join for free and register with a credit or debit card. Then earn up to 5x IHG Rewards Club points per $1 just for registering your email address, and 8x points per $1 after your eleventh dining experience.

11. Protect the Environment

Bet you didn’t know you can earn IHG Rewards Club by conserving water and energy!

That’s right! Earn 500 points by declining housekeeping services at participating hotels. You must stay at least 2 consecutive nights to qualify.

12. IHG Meeting Rewards

IHG Rewards Club Meeting Rewards
Add more points to your IHG Rewards Club balance by joining the Meetings Rewards program. Image Credit: IHG

Become a meeting planner with IHG Meeting Rewards and earn points for hosting qualifying events.

You’ll earn 3 points for each $1 spent on meeting space, food, beverages, and even guest rooms.

Host 1 event to become a Gold Elite member (10% elite point bonus) or 2 events to become a Platinum Elite member (50% elite point bonus).

13. Purchase Discount IHG Points

Are you close to an award but still need more points for the redemption? You may be able to buy IHG points at a discount.

Every so often IHG Rewards Club offers targeted promotions to members. For example, you may be able to take advantage of a 100% bonus on purchases between 5,000 to 100,000 points — the 100% bonus doubles whatever denomination you purchase.

14. Shop With Apple

When you buy your new Apple products through IHG, you can earn 4x points for every $1 you spend on qualifying products. Simply visit the IHG/Apple partnership website, sign in to your IHG Rewards account, and start shopping.

Your points will be deposited in your IHG account after the Apple 30-day product return period has passed.

15. Transfer IHG Points to Another Member

Family at beach
Pool points together for the whole family. Image Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

IHG Rewards Club permits you to transfer your points to another member, or have them transfer points to you! Best of all, there is no limit. You must transfer in 1,000 point increments, but there is a $5 fee per 1,000 points. This could definitely get expensive if you’re transferring a large number of points, so be sure to calculate whether the added cost is worth the redemption.

Final Thoughts

Credit card bonuses, elite status bonuses, promotional offers, and so much more. IHG really does offer plenty of ways to earn IHG Rewards Club points.

Simply pick the strategies from this post that work best for your needs, and you will be on your way to earning plenty of points for an award night in no time!


Frequently asked questions

How does the IHG Rewards Club work?

IHG Rewards Club is a free hotel loyalty program. Members earn points for staying at participating hotels as well as making purchases from travel and non-travel partners.

How many points can I earn per stay?

Earn 10 points per $1 spent at all Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express hotels, and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

Earn 5 points per $1 spent at all Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

Earn 600, 1,300, or 2,000 points per stay at ANA partner hotels.

With elite status, earn bonus points for your stays too. Plus, if you use the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’ll earn 25 points per $1 on top of other earnings!

Can I earn miles instead of points?

Yes, you can choose to earn miles instead of points for hotel stays.

How long does it take for points to post to my IHG Rewards Club account?

Expect points to post to your account within 7 business days.

How can I keep track of my IHG Rewards Club points?

You will receive an IHG Rewards Club eStatement bi-monthly. You also have access to your account online.

Is there an IHG Rewards Club credit card?

Yes, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card earns 25 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels, 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else purchased with the card.

Is there an IHG Rewards Club credit card?

Yes, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card earns 25 points per $1 spent at IHG Hotels, 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocey stores, and restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else purchased with the card.

When do IHG Rewards Club points expire?

Your IHG Rewards Club points will expire if there is no activity on the account for 12 months. Just earn or redeem once a year to keep current.

What is Spire Elite Status?

You can earn Spire Elite status with a minimum of 75 nights, or 75,000 elite qualifying points in a calendar year.

Although Spire Elite status comes with many perks (including 100% bonus points), one of the best benefits is the Choice Benefit program. Spire Elite members can select either 25,000 bonus points or gift Platinum Elite status to another member!

Is the IHG Rewards club free to join?

Yes — anyone can join the IHG Rewards Club and there is no cost to do so.

How many IHG points do you need for a free night?

Standard award nights with IHG range between 10,000 and 70,000 points per night.

Keep in mind that IHG offers a quarterly PointBreaks® promotion where hotels are discounted to anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 from their original price.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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.

20 comments

  1. wesley wilson March 18, 2018

    It has become increasingly harder to find any IHG Resort Hotels that will allow you to use IHG points to pay for a room. I have even had a IHG hotel that had many rooms available deny me the option of using reward points to pay for the room. Their reasoning was they only had a few rooms that points could be used as payment, and those rooms were taken. With nearly 1 million points, I’m doing good to get an upgraded room. Not feelin’ the love!

    Reply

  2. Mister Estrada August 7, 2018

    I have been a IHG Platinum Eilte member for 18 months and noticed hotels increasing the amount of points required to stay and even some hotels, like the Holiday Inn Resorts disappearing from the annual Free Reward Night list when trying to book your free night night. You need to accumulate and use your points quickly or the depreciation factor will render your points useless since last year’s 10,000 point hotel is now going for 15,000 or 20,000. I now have the new IHG black card…Premier Club, we’ll see if anything changes… or I’ll just have to switch to another hotel group credit card… nice post by the way….

    Reply

    • Michael McHugh August 16, 2018

      Thanks for this info Mister Estrada!

      Reply

      • Lucienne CHU October 7, 2018

        Hi team,

        I just joined the IHG programme online and am still waiting for my IHG Card to be posted out to my home address . I am going to visit China soon and already booked three nights at Crowne Plaza Foshan . My enquiry : how can I earn the IHG points as I don’t have the card yet ? If I show my online IHG membership number to the Crowne Plaza when I arrive there, would they allocate the points I earn with this booking ? Or do I have to print out the temporary card to record the nights? I will then visit other cities in China. I am sure I can easily pass the 10 nights required during this trip .
        Hence your advice is really appreciated. Thank you and cheers.

        Lucienne

        Reply

        • Christine Krzyszton October 7, 2018

          Hi Lucienne! Fortunately you do not need your physical IHG membership card to receive credit for your upcoming stays. If you call IHG, they can add your membership number to your reservations. Their phone number is 1(800) 621-0555. You could also email them. It is possible to add it at the hotel but it is best to do it in advance as you will then be able to access all of your reservations online in your account and assure you receive credit. Be sure to have your membership number with you during your trip in case the hotel does not have it on the reservation and check your statement when you check in/out to make sure your IHG membership is on it. I hope your trip goes well.

          Reply

  3. Terry R Wood June 10, 2019

    I have been an IHG Rewards member for 15 years. It was my go-to when traveling on business. Unfortunately something has gone wrong here. Points are practically worthless now. I still have the IHG rewards credit card and I do get an “free” anniversary night for the $89 annual membership fee but there is really no other benefit anymore. Over the last several years it has cost me more to stay loyal to IHG. Today I am trying to book a room in Salt Lake City, just as someone off the street a standard room can be had for $97.22. For me to stay with points would cost me 30,000 points. I recently loaded up for the year on points like I usually do when I am sent an offer to purchase, but to buy 30,000 points cost me $172.50. I do have the option to split the bill by paying cash and buying points. I can get that same standard room for 15,000 points (which cost me $94.50) plus $105.00 cash.
    Someone has let this ship go astray???

    Reply

    • Christine Krzyszton June 10, 2019

      Hello Terry and thanks for your comment. You are using a very specific example and in the case you mention, it would be better to pay cash for the room. As you are probably aware, being a long term IHG Rewards member, even with the increase in redemption costs, it is still possible to find great value using your points. A night at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand, for example, can be secured for 70,000 IHG points but can cost $700 per night to pay cash. The Intercontinental in San Juan, for 50,000 IHG points, can run $350 or more per night. PointBreaks specials have even allowed me to secure a Holiday Inn Express in Madrid for 5,000 points per night. Also, sometimes purchasing points is not always the best value. During promotions you can pick up 100,000 points for $500 which does bring the cost down somewhat but even then, it does not always make sense without a specific redemption in mind that will maximize the value. Thousands of points can also be earned for no additional cost during a promotion such as Accelerate. So yes, while there are plenty of situations where using points is not a good deal, like the one you mention, there are still plenty of great reward redemption options to be found with IHG points.

      Reply

  4. Hi, has anybody recently stayed at an IHG property in Greater China (Mainland, HK, Taiwan)? If so, did you have a choice of either Points or a Drink voucher as welcome amenity gift? I was told today by the Intercontinental Xiamen that Points are no longer offered in Greater China as a welcome amenity gift. Any recent experience proving that statement right (or wrong)?

    Reply

  5. My wife just became a Platinum Elite IHG member and currently, I am Gold Elite. I was looking to transfer the 50k points I have from my Gold account to my wife’s account but IHG is requesting $250 to transfer the points. This seems outrageous to me. I would be interested if anyone has any other methods/success stories to work around this?

    Reply

    • Hi Ed,

      Unfortunately, the only way to transfer your IHG points into your wife’s account is to pay the $250 transfer fee. However, we would advise against doing so as that high of a fee would negate most of the value you would receive from just using the points through your own account.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  6. Peter Seeley August 23, 2019

    I’ve been a loyal IHG member for more years than I can think of. Most of my points have come from the credit card and business hotel stays.

    Recently stayed in a Crown Plaza through work and just had confirmation of points earned, none! When did I miss the fact that you can no longer earn points through bookings with company travel agencies? Why would they do this? We still make a choice which hotel/chain to stay with. May just have to look at alternative loyalty schemes!

    Reply

  7. Edward Temoney December 12, 2019

    Is paying for the Ambassador option worth it?

    Reply

  8. You might want to mention that the credit cards are only available to less than 5% of the world’s people. Those who recide outside of the US cannot apply.

    Reply

  9. The IHG rewards club that gives 5x or 10x points per dollar spent DOES NOT WORK if you chose the Points & Cash option. You will be charged the amount they state on site per night for converting into points, but you will only receive 1 point per dollar spent even though you’re spending the money for a stay at their hotel.

    Reply

  10. You caution against (blindly) transferring points to another member due to the high cost of $5 per 1,000 points transferred. However, my transferring $1,000 points to my wife for $5 (500 cents for 1000 points = 0.5 cents per point) is the same as her capitalizing on a great IHG purchase promo — buying points for 0.5 cents per point. And this transfer can be done anytime, not just during IHG’s promos. And this $5/1000 point transfer rate is in effect for quantities as small as 1,000 points, whereas one often has to buy a lot of points in order to get the best rate of 0.5 cents per point. So I don’t see how this transfer rate is bad, at all. Am I missing something?

    Reply

    • Hi Chuck,

      If you need to move a small number of points to another account in order to make a booking possible, then it can definitely make sense to do so.

      However, if you have the option to buy points at 0.5 cents per point instead, then that would likely be the better option. This is because when you purchase points, you’ll receive new points that you did not have before. When you transfer points, you’re just paying money to move points you already have from one account to another.

      Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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