IHG Rewards Transfer Partners & How To Use Them [2021]

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IHG Hotels & Resorts is one of the world’s largest hotel management and hospitality companies. This U.K.-headquartered company has over 6,000 properties in more than 100 countries worldwide, making it easy to rack up points.

One of the great features of IHG Rewards points is that they can be used in many different ways.

So if you’ve got a generous stash of these points sitting around and are looking for unique ways to redeem them, you should consider transferring IHG Rewards points to airline partners.

We’ll show you how in this guide. Let’s begin!

IHG Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

At the moment, IHG Rewards has 37 airline partners, which is an astonishing number! Each program has unique transfer terms and conditions, but most of them transfer at a 5:1 ratio.

This means you’ll earn 1,000 airline miles with most of these partners when you transfer 5,000 IHG Rewards points.

Transfers usually take around 14 to 21 days, which is appreciably faster than other hotel currencies that can sometimes take up to 2 months!

Here is the complete table of transfer partners, as well as the transfer ratios and minimum transfer amounts associated with each partner.

IHG Rewards Airline Transfer PartnerMinimum TransferTransfer Ratio (IHG:Airline)
Aeromexico Club Premier10,0005:1
Air Canada Aeroplan10,0005:1
Air China PhoenixMiles10,0005:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue10,0005:1
Air Miles10,00040:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints10,000400:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan10,0005:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia10,0005:1
American Airlines AAdvantage10,0005:1
ANA Mileage Club10,0005:1
Asiana Club10,0005:1
Avianca LifeMiles10,0005:1
British Airways Executive Club10,0005:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles10,0005:1
China Eastern EasternMiles10,0005:1
China Southern Sky Pearl Club10,0005:1
Delta SkyMiles10,0005:1
EL AL Matmid10,000250:1
Emirates Skywards10,0005:1
Etihad Guest10,0005:1
Gulf Air Falconflyer10,0005:1
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club10,0005:1
Iberia Plus10,0005:1
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank10,0005:1
JetBlue TrueBlue10,0005:1
Korean Air SKYPASS10,0005:1
LATAM Pass10,0005:1
Malaysia Airlines Enrich10,0005:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer10,0005:1
Saudia Alfursan10,0005:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer10,0005:1
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go10,0005:1
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus10,0005:1
United MileagePlus10,0005:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club10,0005:1
Virgin Australia Velocity10,0005:1

Out of all the transfer partners above, just 3 of them stray away from the 5:1 transfer ratio.

Let’s look at some transfer examples:

  • 5:1 ratio (the rate for the majority of partners) — Transfer 10,000 IHG Rewards points to United and earn 2,000 United MileagePlus miles.
  • 40:1 ratio — Transfer 10,000 IHG Rewards points to Air Miles and earn 250 Air Miles.
  • 250:1 ratio — Transfer 10,000 IHG Rewards points to EL AL Matmid and earn 40 EL AL Matmid points.
  • 400:1 ratio — Transfer 10,000 IHG Rewards points to Air New Zealand Airpoints and earn up with 25 Airpoints.

Earning IHG Rewards Points

One of the best ways to earn IHG Rewards points is to use the co-branded credit cards issued by Chase. These cards earn up to 25 IHG Rewards points total per dollar spent.

Recommended IHG Rewards Cards

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 15 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • No Annual Fee
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommend (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $89 thereafter

With the generous bonus categories and multipliers, it’s easy to earn lots of IHG Rewards points.

However, if you’re short on IHG Rewards points, you can transfer points from a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card at a 1:1 ratio to IHG Rewards. We don’t recommend this transfer because you’re almost guaranteed to devalue your points, and there are so many fantastic ways to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points other than transferring them to IHG!

Recommended Chase Cards

How To Transfer IHG Rewards Points

Unlike most other hotel programs, it’s not possible to transfer IHG Rewards points without picking up the phone.

Luckily, the process is super easy. Simply call 888-211-9874 to transfer your points. Provide the agent with your IHG Rewards number, choose which transfer partner you’d like to move points to, and confirm the transfer amounts.

Points are transferred in 14 to 21 days.

Should You Transfer to a Partner or Book Hotel Stays?

IHG Rewards points are generally considered to be some of the most valuable. The rewards program is one of the “Big 4” hotel loyalty programs, alongside World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and Hilton Honors.

We value IHG Rewards points at 0.5 cents each, which means 10,000 points are worth around $50, but it’s certainly possible to get better (or worse) value, especially when redeeming at upscale or luxury hotels.

For example, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort charges 100,000 IHG Rewards points per night, while cash rates are usually around $1,100 per night, enabling you to get 1.1 cents per point in redemption value.

You probably won’t get that much value when booking a stay at your local Holiday Inn.

But if you don’t see yourself needing to book a stay at an IHG property anytime soon, you should consider transferring points to airline partners.

When It Makes Sense To Transfer IHG Rewards Points

If you feel confident that you can get at least 2.5 cents for every airline mile you earn through IHG Rewards transfers, then it makes sense to transfer IHG Rewards points at a 5:1 ratio.

In most cases, getting 2.5 cents per mile from frequent flyer programs is difficult, unless you’re booking premium cabin flights via Saver-level award tickets.

Another situation when it makes sense to transfer IHG Rewards points to frequent flyer programs is if you are just a few thousand miles short of what you need to book a specific flight.

If you need 50,000 Delta SkyMiles to book a flight but only have 48,000 SkyMiles, you can simply transfer 10,000 IHG Rewards points to Delta and book it.

Other Ways To Use Your Points

In addition to free nights and airline miles, there are a handful of creative ways to redeem your IHG Rewards points, including:

  • Charitable donations
  • Ambassador memberships
  • Shopping
  • Magazines
  • Media (eBooks, games, music, movies, etc.)

Taking a closer look at each method, you can donate IHG Rewards points in 2,500-point increments, up to 10,000 points in a single transaction. Eligible charities include The American Red Cross, The Global FoodBanking Network, and the National Urban League. It’s not clear what your donation will translate to in terms of value for the charity.

InterContinental Ambassador is a benefit program offering elevated elite recognition, room upgrades, late checkout, and more. Normally, a 12-month membership costs $200, but you can redeem 40,000 IHG Rewards points for it — a value of 0.5 cents per point.

When you shop for merchandise, your IHG Rewards points will be worth around 0.2 to 0.4 cents each, depending on what you purchase.

Although the redemption catalog for magazines and media varies across geographies and locations, you’ll get an approximate redemption value of 0.3 to 0.4 cents per point. For example, a single issue of National Geographic is 1,550 IHG Rewards points ($5.99 value) and a 12-issue subscription is 11,450 IHG Rewards points ($39 value).

Bottom Line: IHG Rewards points are worth up to 0.5 cents each through “alternate” redemptions, including an InterContinental Ambassador membership, shopping, and magazine subscriptions. Unfortunately, this redemption value is subpar, so we don’t recommend going out of your way to redeem points like this.

Combining IHG Rewards From Multiple Accounts

IHG allows you to transfer points from one member to another for a flat rate of $5 for every 1,000 points. You can do this for an unlimited number of points.

So if you want to transfer 20,000 IHG Rewards points to your friend, it’ll cost $100. Unfortunately, this negates much of the redemption value you’d get from any of your points, so we don’t recommend doing it.

Visit the transfer page and fill in the details to transfer your points to another member via points.com.

Redeeming IHG Rewards Points

IHG Rewards points can be very valuable when redeemed optimally. Our favorite way to redeem IHG Rewards points is for hotel stays. That’s because you can squeeze outsized value from IHG’s reward pricing structure, especially at luxury properties.

For example, if you redeem your IHG Rewards points for a peak-season hotel stay during a spring break holiday in Miami, you’re probably going to get great value.

The best way to figure out the value of your points on a particular booking is to compare your points price to the cash rate.

The second-best way to get lots of value from IHG Rewards points is to transfer points to airline frequent flyer programs.

Final Thoughts

IHG Rewards is a valuable hotel loyalty program used by those deep in the points landscape. Considered to be one of the “Big 4” loyalty programs along with Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards points are incredibly popular.

One of the best ways to redeem IHG Rewards points (other than hotel stays) is to transfer them for airline miles.

Normally, you’ll transfer your IHG Rewards points at a 5:1 ratio, but a few of the 35+ transfer partners have different transfer ratios.

Nonetheless, if you can get at least 2.5 cents per mile in redemption value (which is really only possible when redeeming for business or first class flights), then it makes plenty of sense to transfer IHG Rewards points at a 5:1 ratio.

Whatever the case, we hope you’ve learned a bit about IHG Rewards’ transfer partners and how to use them.

The information regarding the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Frequently asked questions

Is IHG Rewards a Chase travel partner?

Yes! Chase transfers to IHG Rewards at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.

How do I transfer IHG Rewards points to miles?

All you need to do is call IHG Rewards at 888-211-9874 to transfer your points to airline miles. These transfers will take around 14 to 21 days to process.

How do I transfer IHG Rewards points to Emirates?

You can transfer IHG Rewards points to Emirates at a 5:1 ratio. The minimum transfer amount is 5,000 IHG Rewards points, which will earn you 1,000 Emirates miles.

Can I transfer IHG Rewards points to my spouse?

Yes, you can. IHG Rewards charges a fee of $5 for every 1,000 points you transfer, so keep that in mind. You can also buy IHG Rewards points in 1,000-point increments (up to 100,000 points per calendar year).

How much is 20,000 IHG Rewards points worth?

By our valuations of 0.5 cents each, 20,000 IHG Rewards points are worth $100.

Can hotel points be transferred?

In most cases, they can! IHG Rewards allows its points to be transferred to a long list of over 35+ airline partners.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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