IHG Rewards Club FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About IHG

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IHG Rewards Club FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About IHG

Just getting started in the IHG Rewards Club program? Have questions about how to start earning and redeeming IHG Rewards points? This IHG Rewards Club FAQ covers answers to all of your questions about the program itself, using the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card, and earning and redeeming IHG points.

General IHG Rewards Club Program

What is IHG Rewards Club?

IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty program for Intercontinental Hotels Group which has more than 5,000 properties across 17 brands. The program allows you to earn IHG points on IHG stays and other qualifying activities that can be redeemed for free IHG stays, merchandise, or transferred to partner airlines.

Is IHG Rewards Club free to join? How do I join?

Yes, IHG Rewards Club is free to join at an IHG hotel or online by clicking here.

What hotels does IHG own?

IHG has 17 brands:

  • Atwell Suites
  • Avid
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Candlewood Suites
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Holiday Inn Resorts
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Hualuxe
  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton
  • Regent Hotels & Resorts
  • Six Senses Hotels & Resorts
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Voco Hotels

What are IHG luxury brands?

The luxury brands in the IHG portfolio include:

  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Regent Hotels & Resorts
  • Six Senses Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

What is the difference between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express?

Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express have several subtle differences. Holiday Inn Express offers more limited services than the Holiday Inn brand with more affordable prices and complimentary breakfast. Holiday Inn is popular with families as kids under 18 stay free with a parent and up to four kids aged 11 and under can eat for free any time at the Holiday Inn on-site restaurant. While Holiday Inns have on-site restaurants where kids eat free, Holiday Inn Express hotels only have free continental breakfast.

Do all IHG hotels have executive lounges?

Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts and Crowne Royal hotels typically have executive lounges. You can also find lounges at Regent Hotels and Six Senses Hotels.

Do IHG Rewards Club points expire?

IHG rewards points expire after 12 months unless you have elite status in which case points do not expire as long as you maintain elite status. Learn more about when IHG points expire here.

How do I keep IHG Rewards Club points from expiring?

Maintaining elite status or having a qualifying earning or redemption activity will keep your IHG points from expiring. Here’s how to do it.

What is the IHG Rewards Club customer service number?

You can reach IHG Rewards Club customer service at 888-695-4678.

How do I check my IHG points balance?

You can always check your IHG points balance by logging into your IHG Rewards Club account or using the IHG Rewards Club app.

How do I find my IHG Rewards number?

You can find your IHG Rewards Club member number by logging into your IHG account or calling IHG customer service at 888-695-4678.

What are IHG Rewards Club base points and bonus points?

Base points are earned for IHG stays and through some partner programs and they count toward elite status. Bonus points are earned through promotions or spending with the IHG Rewards Club Premier card.

Can I gift my IHG Rewards Club points?

You can transfer an unlimited number of IHG points to someone else, but you will be charged a fee of $5 per 1,000 points.

How do I combine multiple accounts?

You can combine multiple IHG Rewards Club accounts by contacting IHG Rewards Club customer service at 888-695-4678.

Can someone else use my IHG Rewards Club number?

While you can book a stay for someone else using your IHG member number, you won’t earn points or elite qualifying credit unless you book under your name and add them as an additional guest.

How do I get my credit for a missing IHG stay?

After logging into your IHG account, go to “Stays and Events” and click on “Search for Missing Past Stay.” If after more than 7 days a stay has not been credited to your account, you can call customer service at 888-695-4678 or complete a Missing Points form.

How long does it take to transfer IHG points?

When transferring IHG points to hotel partners, it can take 4-6 weeks for your transfer to complete. Transfers between IHG accounts are same-day.

IHG Credit Cards

What credit cards earn IHG points?

There are two IHG Rewards Club credit cards: the IHG Rewards Club Premier card by Chase and the IHG Rewards Club Select card (now discontinued).

Is there a IHG credit card?

The only currently available IHG credit card is the IHG Rewards Club Premier card issued by Chase with an $89 annual fee.

Can you have both IHG credit cards?

If you have the discontinued IHG Rewards Club Select card, you can upgrade to the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card and keep both cards. There are advantages to this approach as the old card offers a 10% rebate when you redeem points for stays and the new card offers a 4th night free perk.

Is the IHG credit card worth it?

Even if you don’t stay at IHG regularly, the IHG credit card can be worth it. The free night certificate alone can more than make up for the $89 annual fee. The welcome offer is also typically enough for several nights’ stays and you’ll find it easy to earn free night stays with little effort.

How do I earn a IHG free night certificate?

The only way to earn IHG free night certificates is by holding the IHG Rewards Club Premier card or the discontinued IHG Rewards Club Select card. You get a free night certificate every year on your account anniversary good for any hotel that costs 40,000 or fewer points per night.

What are the benefits of the IHG credit card?

The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card comes with several benefits. In addition to earning IHG points on all spending with bonus points on IHG stays, gas stations, restaurants and groceries, the card comes with automatic Platinum elite status. You also get a 4th night free when you book award stays as a cardholder and a free night certificate every year on your account anniversary.

Is there a IHG business card?

No, IHG only has two credit cards, one of which is discontinued. There are no IHG Rewards Club business credit cards.

Who issues the IHG Credit Card?

Both IHG credit cards are issued by Chase.

Is there a no annual fee IHG credit card?

No, the discontinued IHG credit card has a $49 annual fee and the current IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card has an $89 annual fee.

Earning IHG Points

How do I earn IHG Rewards Club Points?

There are many ways to earn IHG points:

  • Stay at IHG Rewards Club hotels
  • Use the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card
  • Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG
  • Dine through the IHG Rewards Club Dining Program
  • Ride with Uber
  • Rent a car with Avis, Budget, or Hertz
  • Shop through Apple
  • Complete surveys at Opinion Check-In
  • Decline housekeeping at IHG
  • Buy IHG points

You can learn more about ways to earn IHG points here.

How many IHG points do I get per night?

This depends on whether you use an IHG credit card, your elite status, and how much you spend. For a $200 night stay, you can earn 2,000 to 4,000 base points plus up to 4,000 elite status bonus points and 2,000 bonus points for using the IHG credit card. You can also earn additional IHG points if you qualify for and sign up for an IHG promotion.

What is a qualifying night with IHG rewards club?

A qualifying stay refers to paying a qualifying rate through IHG. You need to book directly through IHG, not a third-party website, to earn a qualifying night.

How can I earn IHG points with a credit card?

You’ll earn IHG points on all spending with an IHG credit card plus bonus points for spending at IHG, grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants. You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with a qualifying credit card and transfer the points to IHG.

What flexible points can I transfer to IHG?

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to IHG. You must have an annual fee version of an Ultimate Rewards credit card, however, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred card.

Can I earn IHG Rewards Club points by shopping?

There are limited options for earning IHG points for shopping. You can earn IHG Rewards points for shopping with Apple through IHG, however.

Can I earn IHG Rewards Club points by dining?

You can earn points by dining through the IHG Rewards Club Dining program. After registering a debit or credit card, you’ll earn points by dining at participating restaurants.

Can I earn miles instead of IHG Rewards Club points?

You can choose to earn miles instead of points through the IHG Rewards Club program. The earning rate depends on the airline but it’s usually not the best deal. For example, with Alaska Airlines, you earn just 2x miles per $1 spent at most IHG brands and 1x miles at select brands like Candlewood Suites.

Is buying IHG points worth it?

It’s rarely worth it to buy IHG points unless there is a promotion that reduces the cost to 0.5 cents each, you use the Points and Cash trick to buy points, or you only need a small number of points for a free night award.

How can I earn IHG points fast?

The fastest way to earn IHG points is by staying at IHG, but the IHG credit card can also help you earn points in a hurry.

Can I earn Points for multiple rooms if I am paying for them?

You can earn points on up to 9 rooms at U.S. and Canadian IHG hotels as long as all of the rooms are on the same reservation, but elite qualifying night credits are only earned for one room. Outside of North America, you only earn points for one room per reservation.

Using IHG Points

What can you use IHG points for?

There are many ways to redeem IHG points:
Free stays at IHG hotels
Experiences through IHG Access Rewards
Transfer IHG points to airline partners
Digital rewards like movies and eBooks
Gift cards and merchandise

Learn more about ways to redeem IHG points here.

How do I redeem IHG Rewards Club points?

You can redeem IHG points through your IHG Rewards Club account online or through the app. Some redemption options require logging in and navigating to specific landing pages. You can see IHG redemption options and how to redeem IHG points here.

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

IHG free nights start at 10,000 points for a category 1 hotel. With Points & Cash, stays start at 5,000 points + $40.

What are IHG hotel categories?

IHG’s portfolio of hotels are broken down into 13 categories ranging from 10,000 to 70,000 points per night.

What are IHG Rewards Club points worth?

An IHG point is typically valued at 0.6 cents each, but the value of your points depends on how they’re used.

How do I redeem my IHG free night certificate?

To redeem your free night certificate, log into your IHG account and select “1 Free Night” under Account Management. You will be taken to a page with a link to book your free stay by searching for a hotel at your destination. Learn more about redeeming IHG free night certificates here.

Can you book premium rooms or suites with IHG points?

No, you can only book standard room awards with IHG points.

Can IHG points be transferred to another person?

You can transfer IHG points to someone else in 1,000-point increments. Unfortunately, there is a high $5 fee per 1,000 points transferred.

Can IHG points be transferred to airlines? Can I use IHG points for flights?

You can transfer IHG points to 39 airline partners to book award flights, although you generally get a poor transfer rate. Learn more here.

Can I use my IHG points for someone else?

You can redeem a free stay for someone else with IHG points if you book the reservation under your name and add them as a guest.

Can I redeem IHG Rewards Club points for gift cards?

Yes, IHG points can be redeemed for gift cards, digital merchandise, and physical merchandise.

Does IHG have 5th night free?

No, but the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card has a 4th night free benefit when you redeem points for an award stay of at least 4 nights.

What are Points & Cash Rewards?

Points & Cash lets you book award stays with a combination of points and cash starting at 5,000 points instead of 10,000 points.

Can I cancel or change a free night reservation?

As longas you cancel 24 hours before you arrive (at most hotels), you will receive an instant refund on your points for a free night award.

Do IHG free night certificates expire?

Yes, IHG free night certificates expire 12 months after they are issued. You must book and complete your stay before the certificate expires. Learn more about IHG free night certificates here.

Where can I use my IHG free night certificate?

You can use your IHG free night certificate at any IHG brand or hotel, but the certificate is capped at category 7 hotels that cost 40,000 points or less per stay.

IHG Elite Status

What are the IHG Rewards Club status tiers?

There are four status tiers of the IHG Rewards Club program:

  • Club (or basic membership)
  • Gold elite status
  • Platinum elite status
  • Spire elite status

Learn more about IHG elite status here.

How do I earn IHG Rewards Club elite status?

To earn elite status, you must meet one of several requirements in a calendar year. Here’s how to earn each IHG elite tier:

  • IHG Gold elite status: 10 qualifying nights OR 10,000 elite qualifying points
  • IHG Platinum elite status: 40 qualifying nights OR 40,000 elite qualifying points OR automatically with the IHG Rewards Club Premier card
  • IHG Spire elite status: 75 qualifying nights OR 75,000 elite qualifying points

What are IHG Gold Elite benefits?

With Gold status, you get 10% bonus base points on IHG stays plus a small welcome amenity. Late checkout is available at select hotels but it’s subject to availability.

What are IHG Platinum Elite benefits?

With Platinum status, you get perks such as 50% bonus on IHG base points, space-available room upgrades, and 2pm late checkout subject to availability.

What are IHG Spire Elite benefits?

Spire status doesn’t offer much above Platinum status except from an annual choice benefit, early check-in, and Hertz Five Star elite status. The choice benefit can be worth 25,000 bonus points per year.

What is IHG Ambassador status? How do I earn it?

The IHG Ambassador program is separate from the IHG Rewards Club program. You can’t earn Ambassador status, you pay $200 per year for membership that offers perks at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts like a free weekend night, restaurant and bar credits per stay, and guaranteed room upgrades.

How do I maintain IHG Rewards Club elite status?

You will need to requalify for IHG elite status every year.

How do I get a free breakfast at IHG?

Unfortunately, IHG doesn’t offer free breakfast as an elite status perk. The only way to get free breakfast is by staying at an IHG property that offers complimentary breakfast. Only two IHG brands offer this perk: Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites.

How do I get a free room upgrade at IHG?

Complimentary room upgrades are available for Platinum and Spire elite members and do not apply to award nights or upgrades to suites. You can email the hotel ahead of time to inquire about an upgrade or politely ask at check-in.

Do IHG Rewards Club members get free water?

The welcome amenity offered at check-in starting at Gold elite status can include a complimentary bottle of water, choice of a snack, or points.

What is executive lounge access at IHG? How do I get lounge access?

IHG lounges are available at certain Intercontinental Hotels and Crowne Plaza hotels and they offer complimentary breakfast, evening drinks and snacks, and other perks. Elite status does not offer automatic access to lounges, unfortunately, although Spire level members do get lounge access at a select number of Crowne Plaza hotels. You will need to pay a fee to access an IHG lounge or pay for a premium room on the lounge floor.

Do IHG Rewards Club members get early check in?

With Spire elite status, you get 10 am early check-in subject to availability, but you must request the early check-in on your stay preferences at booking.

Do IHG elite members get free parking?

No elite status comes with free parking at hotels that do charge for parking.

Do IHG elite members pay resort fees?

Unlike Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club does not waive resort fees on award stays.

Do Reward Stays count toward tier qualification?

Yes, award night stays count toward earning elite status.

Does buying IHG points count towards status?

No, buying points won’t count toward earning elite status.

Our Rating
4.5/5

Welcome Offer

Earn 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Annual Fee

$89

Foreign Transaction Fee

None

Card Perks

Earn 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

You’ll earn 10,000 bonus points when you spend $20,000 in a cardmember year and make one additional purchase.

On your card account anniversary you will also receive a free night (worth up to 40,000 points) at an IHG property.

With the card you will get a 4th night free when you redeem points for award stays of 4+ nights. This is essentially a 25% discount on 4-night award bookings.

Some other noteworthy perks of the card include:

  • Automatic Platinum Elite status
  • $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® fee credit (every 4 years)
  • 20% discount on purchased points

Rewards Earning Rate

  • 25X points at IHG hotels
  • 2X points on restaurants, gas, and grocery purchases
  • 1X point on all other purchases

Our Take

This generous welcome offer is the highest we’ve ever seen on this card!

Also the annual free night certificate, 4th night free benefit, and automatic Platinum Elite status makes getting and keeping this card a no brainer.

It’s incredibly easy to get more value from the free night than the cost of the cards annual fee. With a little legwork you can easily get 2-3X value out of it.

The Platinum Elite status is nice for those without IHG status and the $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit is great for those currently in need of it.

Learn More →

Our Rating
4.5/5

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee

None

Card Perks

Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

The card gets you perks that include a fourth night free on award stays.

It also applies to longer stays, so you’ll get a fourth night free when you book award stays in increments of four nights.

You’ll also get a 20% discount on purchased IHG points and automatic IHG Rewards Club Gold status.

Rewards Earning Rate

  • 5X points at IHG properties
  • 2X points at restaurants, gas and grocery

Our Take

The fourth night free benefit can amount to huge points savings if you frequently book award stays of 4 or more nights.

The nice part is that is applies for every four nights you book, even if it’s on the same reservation.

Pro Tip: Stack the fourth night free benefit with an IHG PointBreaks hotel to get huge savings!

Learn More →

Our Rating
4.5/5

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

Annual Fee

$95

Foreign Transaction Fee

None

Card Perks

Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This is the highest public welcome offer ever offered on this card!

With the card you’ll get 25% more value when you redeem points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

The card offers a primary auto rental collision damage waiver benefit, which makes it an ideal card to use for international rental car bookings.

Rewards Earning Rate

  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining
  • 1X on all other purchases

Our Take

For many reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our favorite starter travel credit card!

The huge welcome bonus is a great way to kickstart your points earnings.

The card earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points that you can transfer to an airline or hotel program of your choice.

This makes your points incredible flexible and valuable – so you can use them just how you want.

Learn More →