Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
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The IHG One Rewards program is one that travelers new to points and miles may not hear much about. And while IHG may not get the same amount of attention as Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt, that does not mean it should be written off.
IHG has a full suite of hotel brand offerings for any traveler, and for luxury travelers, IHG has you covered as well. As with all of the luxury hotel articles that we have covered in this series, the goal is to show the best luxury hotels that you can book with your IHG One Rewards points. Currently, we value IHG One Rewards points at around 0.5 cents per point, so if you can book hotels for more than our cents per point value, you are in good shape.
When you go to book any of these hotels, it is important to note that the cash cost will fluctuate throughout the year. The points required will be the same, so the cents-per-value you receive may not match what we are showing below. It’s also important to include taxes and fees in your calculation of value received since taxes and fees are usually included in reservations made with points.
Now that the groundwork has been laid, let’s highlight the luxury IHG hotels that you can book for the best value. First, we’ll cover the best ways to earn IHG One Rewards points and then which hotels you should consider booking.
IHG One Rewards resembles World of Hyatt when looking at its credit card offering. Unlike Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, both of which have an array of credit cards to choose from, IHG currently offers 3 credit cards exclusively issued by Chase.
The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.
If you regularly visit IHG hotels throughout the year, then the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is probably a perfect card to have in your wallet.
The IHG Premier card offers a great bundle of perks and benefits, including automatic Platinum elite status, an annual free night certificate, and travel protections.
The IHG Premier card is geared towards travelers who value IHG elite status and can receive value from the anniversary award night.
The card will rotate a huge welcome offer throughout the year, and on the benefits and perks front, it comes with an anniversary reward night at any IHG property that costs up to 40,000 points per night, now with the ability to be “topped off” by additional points. Cardmembers also receive complimentary IHG Platinum elite status.
The IHG Premier card is a Chase 5/24 credit card. This is important to take into account as you will not be approved if you have opened 5 or more personal credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months. Some business cards count as well, so we recommend checking out our Chase 5/24 guide to see if you are eligible for this card.
Earn up to 17x when you stay at IHG hotels, 3x on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants, and 2x on all other purchases.
If you’re someone who is looking to enhance your IHG stays by earning more points and benefits, without paying an annual fee, then the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card might be the perfect fit for you.
In this guide, we will provide a detailed view of what the card can offer so you can decide if it makes sense to add to your wallet.
The IHG Traveler card allows you high earnings when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts, along with bonus earnings on everyday spending on monthly bills, gas stations, and restaurants.
As a cardmember, one of the biggest benefits is that you will get a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights — all without an annual fee!
The card also offers complimentary Silver Elite status and a way to earn Gold Elite status through card spend, which allows you a faster path to status without the stay requirement.
The new IHG Premier Business card is a great option for business owners who want IHG status since it comes with Platinum Elite status automatically. Some of the card’s other benefits include:
IHG does not have an award chart because it uses dynamic pricing, similar to Hilton Honors. The number of points required to book a room will vary depending on several factors, including the cash rate, the date range, seasonality, and availability.
For those travelers who may be low on points, IHG offers a way to book hotels with a cash co-pay. Not all properties offer this option, so you will need to run an award search to see if this option is available at the hotel that you want to book.
ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa is one of IHG’s most expensive resorts. It’s also one of the most unique properties in its portfolio because it is one of the rare hot spring resorts that can be booked using points.
This exceptional, aspirational property offers an indulgent wellness experience centered around traditional Japanese hot spring baths (onsens) with a fusion of Western luxury elements.
This hotel contains an all-day restaurant, a fine-dining Japanese restaurant, a Club InterContinental lounge, a beautiful cocktail bar, a gym, an outdoor infinity pool, a public hot spring bath with water said to have medicinal properties, bay views, meeting/event space, and business center.
This property costs around 60,000 points per night, although this number might fluctuate slightly due to IHG’s dynamic pricing system.
If you paid cash, you’d be spending a minimum of $600 per night, an average of $760 per night, and a maximum peak season rate of $1,750 per night, which would net you a value of up to 2.9 cents per point!
If you have the privilege of visiting Bora Bora and enjoying its incredible natural beauty, you’ll be pleased to learn that InterContinental has a few incredible resorts.
In particular, the most luxurious property is the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa that offers 2 fine-dining French restaurants, a beachfront eatery and bar, 3 cocktail bars, a spa, a gym, tennis courts, a water sports center, a lagoonarium, a phenomenal concierge, and a number of complimentary resort activities.
Best of all, even standard room rewards are overwater villas at least 1,022 square feet in size, complete with plush bedding, luxurious décor, and private terraces.
This property costs around 70,000 points per night for award stays, assuming you can find standard room availability. For paid rates, the average sits around $1,100 per night, while the low season rate is approximately $720 per night and the peak season rate is up to $1,300 per night. That’s up to 1.9 cents per point in value!
The Maldives is a destination that you hear and read about all the time. While it’s a long way from the U.S., it can be a great place to visit if you find yourself in that part of the world.
Located on the Raa Atoll, the InterContinental Maldives offers guests everything they could need on a vacation. From the overwater spa to the fitness center to the executive rooms and suites to the UNESCO marine conservation site, there are plenty of things to do.
The hotel requires 100,000 to 120,000 points per night, but if you have the points to spend you will not be disappointed with the value you receive.
This hotel is one of the most expensive at nearly $1,700 per night during the high season and $900 per night on average. The great news for those with IHG One Rewards points is that you can receive up to 1.7 cents per night value with points.
Hot Tip: The round-trip transfer for InterContinental Maldives is a 20-minute flight to Dharavandhoo Domestic Airport followed by a 35-minute boat ride to the resort, which costs $600 for adults and $300 for children (2 to 11 years old).
What U.S. traveler does not want to visit the Caribbean in the wintertime? For most Americans, the Caribbean is an easy getaway from the cold temperatures. All of the major U.S. airlines offer nonstop flights from several cities to the Caymans. JetBlue and Southwest also have nonstop flights throughout the year, and a flight to the Caribbean can be booked on points.
If you decide to book a trip to the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, you will be pleasantly surprised by the amenities offered. There’s a spa, a 1,770-square-foot fitness center, 3 restaurants, kayaks, paddleboards, water tricycles, and a sailboat.
During the peak season, expect to redeem around 70,000 points per night for a standard room — for reference, cash bookings during this time usually hover around $1,300 per night. However, low season cash rates can go as low as $500 per night.
Even during the low season, the points price doesn’t seem to change, so you’ll generally want to redeem points for high-season bookings here. With a high-season booking, expect to get a value of around 1.9 cents per point, which is nearly 4x the ordinary value, making this one of the best Kimpton hotels to book with points!
Hot Tip: There is an $80 daily guest amenities fee charged to your hotel bill. The cents per point value does not include this fee in the calculation.
There are several ways to earn IHG One Rewards points. The 2 primary ways to earn points are by:
Members with IHG elite status will be able to rack up points quickly by focusing their stays at IHG properties. The higher your elite status, the more IHG One Rewards points that you will earn. The IHG Premier card sign-up bonus is a quick way to earn IHG One Rewards points.
Chase credit cards are another way to earn IHG One Rewards points. While transferring Chase points to IHG might sound like a reasonable idea, we do not recommend it. Unless you are short on IHG One Rewards points, we recommend redeeming Chase points with Chase’s other more valuable partners like Hyatt.
What was surprising to us is the value you can receive when booking IHG luxury hotels. The IHG One Rewards point value is ~0.5 cents per point, however, we were able to find several properties where you can receive 2 to 4 times that value. With that said, IHG still comes in fourth in our rankings. Hyatt is number 1 followed by Marriott in second place and Hilton in third place.
While IHG One Rewards elite status does not offer many of the benefits and perks that you will find at Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott, the brand does have a luxury property portfolio where you can receive outsized value with your IHG One Rewards points.
Atwell Suites, Avid Hotels, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, EVEN Hotels, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Resort, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Staybridge Suites, and voco are brands within IHG’s portfolio.
There are InterContinental hotels that are 5-star hotels. Almost all InterContinental hotels are either 4- or 5-star properties.
Actually, Marriott is its own hotel brand. IHG and Marriott own different portfolios of hotel brands.
Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are brands within IHG’s mainstream hotel portfolio. Holiday Inn has more than 1,243 hotels while Holiday Inn Express has more than 2,872 hotels. Holiday Inn Express offers more limited services than Holiday Inn.
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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.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.