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The Best Cards to Earn IHG Points in 2019 (Plus a Couple Bonus Strategies)

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The Best Cards to Earn IHG Points in 2019 (Plus a Couple Bonus Strategies)

Devon O'RourkeThe Best Cards to Earn IHG Points in 2019 (Plus a Couple Bonus Strategies)Million Mile Secrets Team

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IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) hotels are everywhere. They have more than 5,000 locations spanning 100 countries worldwide.

Award nights at IHG hotels start at 10,000 points, so with the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card 80,000 IHG point welcome bonus you’ll earn after meeting minimum spending requirements, you could easily book a week of hotels.

That’s not your only option to boost your IHG points balance. Here’s a look at the best cards to earn IHG points.

All the Ways to Earn IHG Points With Credit Cards in 2019!
We’ll show you the best cards to earn IHG points in 2019. (Photo by elesi/Shutterstock)

The Best Cards to Earn IHG Points

You can earn IHG points directly with IHG credit cards or indirectly by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Earn IHG Points Directly With the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card

Chase IHG Premier Credit Card

Apply Here: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card  

Read our review of the IHG Premier Credit Card

With the Chase IHG Premier, you can earn earn 80,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

If you frequently stay at IHG hotels, the Chase IHG Premier credit card is your best option for earning IHG points. You’ll earn:

  • 10 IHG points per dollar spent at IHG hotels
  • 2 IHG points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • 1 IHG point per dollar on everything else

The card also comes with automatic Platinum Elite IHG status.  This IHG status will provide you with late checkout when available, complimentary upgrades (subject to availability), a welcome amenity and much more, including a 50% bonus on the base points you earn!

IHG Rewards Club members earn 10 IHG points per dollar spent at most IHG hotels. So with the Platinum Elite bonus you could earn 15 IHG points per dollar (10 IHG points + 50% bonus) in addition to the 10 IHG points per dollar you could earn for paying with your Chase IHG Premier card.

So with these IHG credit card benefits, you’ll be earning up to 25 IHG points per dollar spent at IHG hotels (10 IHG points per dollar with the card + up to 15 IHG points per dollar as a Platinum Elite).

All the Ways to Earn IHG Points With Credit Cards in 2019!
It’s easy to find IHG award stays starting at 5,000 IHG points. (Photo by Pavel Kapysh/Shutterstock)

In addition, you’ll also be able to earn 10,000 bonus IHG points after you spend $20,000 on purchases during the cardmember year and make one additional purchase at least one day after you spend $20,000.

The card has an $89 annual fee, but it also comes with a free night certificate, valid for an award stay up to 40,000 IHG points, every year you renew the card (that’s potentially worth WAY more than the annual fee).

Earn IHG Points Indirectly With Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Folks can also earn IHG points by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to their IHG account. While we rarely recommend this over earning IHG points directly, this could be a useful way to “top-off” your account for a specific award stay.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Many of us on the Million Mile Secrets team got started with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. In fact, this is the best first credit card for beginners to miles and points!

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

You’ll also earn:

  • 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel purchases
  • 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining
  • 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on everything else

When you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can redeem your points through the Chase Travel Portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point. That’s usually a better value than you can receive by transferring your points to IHG, and why we usually suggest NOT transferring your points to IHG.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Apply Here: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Read our review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred currently has the highest bonus of any card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Because of the incredible bonus and outstanding money saving perks, this is our #1 pick for the best business credit card.

With the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth over $1,000 in travel) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening your account. And you’ll also get:

  • 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
  • 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all other purchases

Again, you’re likely better off using your points on ways other than transferring to IHG. But it could be useful way to top off your account.

Bonus Ways to Earn IHG Points

Earn IHG Points Indirectly With the IHG Points and Cash Trick

Read about the IHG points and cash trick

The IHG Points & Cash trick is a great way to save money on purchasing IHG points, especially if you don’t want to open up another credit card! With it, you can essentially buy IHG points for as little as ~0.6 cents per point.

IHG allows you to book award nights using a combination of points and cash. This means if you don’t have enough points for an award night (or don’t want to use them all), you can buy the points you need to make up the balance.

When you select the Points + Cash method of payment you will need fewer points to book the hotel. So you’re essentially buying IHG points (at what is often a BIG discount). But if you cancel your reservation before the deadline, IHG will NOT refund your money. Instead, they’ll refund the points you purchased.

You Can Buy IHG Points Cheaply With the Points + Cash Trick!
You can “buy” IHG points cheaply with the Points + Cash trick.

That said, not everyone is comfortable using this trick to buy IHG points at a cheaper rate. If you decide to do it, always double-check the cancellation deadline!

IHG Promotions

Check out our permanent IHG promotions page

Another fantastic way to earn IHG points is with various IHG promotions.

One of the most popular is called IHG Accelerate. It’s a “gamified” way to earn thousands of extra points by completing different tasks unique to your account. For example, Jason is currently targeted with:

  • Stay at two different IHG brands and earn 12,600 IHG points
  • Stay two weekends, including Saturday night and another night, and earn 8,400 IHG points
  • Stay at two IHG hotels and earn 5,600 IHG points
  • Complete all three tasks above and earn 26,600 IHG points

Promos like these are fun, and oftentimes coincide with your upcoming travels!

Bottom Line

There are some great ways to earn IHG points using credit cards!

Most notably, you can earn a healthy 80,000 IHG point bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements with the Chase IHG Premier.

You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards and transfer points to your IHG account. And don’t forget the IHG Points and Cash trick if you don’t want to open up another credit card!

IHG points are easy to earn with credit cards and are extremely useful since there are over 5,000 properties spanning 100 countries worldwide.

To learn more about IHG points, check out these guides:

Let me know your favorite way to collect IHG points.  And subscribe to our newsletter for more info on collecting tons of miles & points.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Brian kingston

Is there an IHG credit card for Canadians.
I don’t believe there is. Why not?