There are a number of ways IHG customers can earn some extra points, including capitalizing on dining. If you’re already going out to eat or ordering take-out, this method is pretty darned simple!
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about joining and utilizing the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
How to Sign up and Log in
To earn rewards points for dining experiences, customers must log in or join the program. This process just takes a quick couple of minutes to complete.
If you are already an IHG Rewards Club member, you will still need to fill out few simple forms to join the dining program. Be sure to use the same name and email that’s on your IHG Rewards Club membership.
If you are not an IHG Rewards Club member, you will need to sign up (1 basic form) since you must enter your Rewards Club membership number to submit your other forms for the dining program.
Additionally, before your sign-up process can be finalized, IHG will ask you to provide a credit card to link to the program. There is no fee to join the program, and don’t worry—you can link more cards later.
Don’t miss the section below on which credit cards you should link to maximize your earnings in this program!
Basics of Using the Program
There are 3 membership tiers within the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program. Depending on your tier, you’ll earn a different amount of points and be offered certain additional benefits when you dine.
You’ll see that simply by signing up to receive e-mails, you’re bumped up to earning 5 points per $1. If you dine 12+ times a year, you’re considered an elite member and can earn up to 8 points per $1.
To earn points when dining, the restaurant must also be an IHG Rewards Club Dining restaurant. You can easily search for these by city, state, zip code, or restaurant name.
You will then be presented with a list view, or you can choose a map view. A number of details are listed including neighborhood, member rating, average price of an entree, days of the week that rewards are applicable, and more.
Once you dine at a participating restaurant, be sure to pay with a card that is registered/linked with your IHG Rewards Club Dining Program. You’ll earn bonus points based on the cost of your meal, including tax and tip!
Remember, it may take up to 5 days after dining to view the transaction in your club account.
Each restaurant in the program earns the same ratio of points per dollar depending on your membership status.
At the time of this writing, IHG was offering a new member bonus of 1,000 points if you spent $30 within the first 30 days. To earn any applicable introductory bonus, you’ll need to pay for purchases with your linked card and complete an online review.
If you’re doing this solely for the points, this bonus isn’t especially lucrative. You can just as easily buy 1,000 points for $13.50 straight from the Buy Points section of the website (at the time of this writing).
However, if you’re already planning to dine out at one of IHG’s participating restaurants, it’s not an awful way to earn 1,000 extra points!
As previously mentioned, each IHG Rewards Club Dining Restaurant earns the same ratio of points to spending. So, whether you spend $30 at a cafe or $30 at a fine dining location, you’ll receive the same number of points.
Regarding example restaurants: at the time of writing this article, a search of the Chicago area revealed 373 participating restaurants within 30 miles of the city center.
Most of these restaurants are smaller, local restaurants rather than chains, so the participating venues will vary quite a bit from city to city.
Similarly, each city may have a vastly different number of participating merchants. For example, at the time of writing, Atlanta had 318 participating restaurants within 30 miles of the city center, while Boston had 204, San Diego had 149, and Dallas had 169.
While most participating restaurants are local spots, you’ll want to note the address in case there is a chain you’re interested in visiting (not every restaurant of the same name may be participating).
This is also applicable for the few regional or national chains you may find—check the address so you’re not disappointed!
Here are a couple of larger chain restaurants we saw listed in Chicago:
- Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
- Buca di Beppo
Using Credit Cards to Earn Extra Points
You have several card options to link with the IHG Rewards Club dining program to help you earn even more IHG points.
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
Chase provides the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card that earns IHG points directly. This card earns 2X points per dollar at restaurants and provides an annual free night certificate on your account anniversary (capped at 40,000 points/night for certificates issued starting May 1, 2019, so our review for further details.
If you link this card to the IHG Rewards Club dining program, you will earn these 2X points for using the card in addition to points earned from the dining program.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards
Using a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards can also help boost your account since you can transfer Chase points to the IHG Rewards Club. A couple of these cards even include restaurants as a bonus category.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel card that earns valuable points and it comes with a big 60,000 sign up bonus (highest ever & valued at $750), after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $95.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. A good card to get after the Sapphire Preferred because then you can transfer your cash-back into points (which is how you maximize value).|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This is a premium travel rewards card with a higher annual fee, but it'll get you into a lot of airport lounges (Priority Pass). 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 $450 annual fee.|
Recommended Chase Cards (Business)
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and comes with a whopping 80,000 sign up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000. You can earn lots of points by leveraging the cards bonus categories.|
|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. In addition, get up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses. A simple, $0 annual fee card.|
By joining the IHG Rewards Club Dining program and linking a couple of credit cards, you can earn some easy IHG points!
If you’re already dining out, why not earn a few extra points on your burger and that pint of beer? Grabbing take-out? You might even earn extra IHG points at your favorite Thai place.
Plus, if you pair your IHG Rewards Program membership with a credit card that earns a category bonus on dining, you’re earning points on top of points!