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How to Understand IHG Points Value (and Ways to Save the Most Money on Your Next Hotel Stay)

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How to Understand IHG Points Value (and Ways to Save the Most Money on Your Next Hotel Stay)

Andrew WanHow to Understand IHG Points Value (and Ways to Save the Most Money on Your Next Hotel Stay)Million Mile Secrets Team

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There’s something to be said about IHG points value and flexibility.  With 5,200+ hotels worldwide, there’s a good chance you can find a location for your next trip, no matter where you’re going!

Plus, IHG points are pretty easy to collect.  Through May 1, 2019, you can earn up to 120,000 IHG points with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:

  • 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • An additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening

That’s nearly enough for 2 nights at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, where rooms can go for over $1,000 a night!  Or you could book nearly 2 weeks at a less fancy hotel, like the Holiday Inn Lodz, Poland, where rooms typically go for around $100 per night.

IHG Points Value Totally Depends on Where You’re Using Them.  You’d Have Nearly Enough Points to Redeem for 2 Nights in Paradise at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort After Earning the Welcome Bonus on the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card!

The value you get from your IHG points will vary based on where you’ll be staying and your travel dates.  But I’ll show you some pretty amazing deals with IHG points!

Let’s dive into what value you can expect to get from your IHG points!

What IHG Points Value Can You Expect?

You can book nights at IHG hotels for anywhere from 10,000 to 70,000 IHG points per night.  On average, you’ll find IHG points are worth ~0.5 cents per point, which will vary depending on your dates of travel and where you’ll be staying.

But it’s possible to get a lot more than 0.5 cents per point in value.  IHG’s award chart places hotels in 13 different categories, and generally speaking, higher-end hotels will get you a better value per point.  But again, this isn’t always the case, as it depends on your specific travel dates.

As you’ll see below, there are fantastic options for both high end hotels and more basic hotels for those who want to stretch their points.

Great Ways to Redeem IHG Options

The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (1.5+ cents per point)

Bora Bora is an amazing romantic getaway for couples, and you can’t go wrong with the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa hotel.

Award nights here can be hard to find, and will cost you 70,000 IHG points per night.  But it’s well worth it if you can find available award nights, because rooms here tend to be a bit pricey at around $1,000+ per night.

Hotels in Bora Bora Tend to Be Pricey.  But If You Can Find Award Availability, It’ll Be Well Worthwhile!

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam (1.25 cents per point)

If you’re planning a trip to the Netherlands, the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam is a great hotel to consider!  Fun fact – the restaurant inside the hotel, La Rive, has been recognized as a Michelin star restaurant in the past.  So the food certainly won’t disappoint!

The hotel also overlooks the Amstel River, so if you’re looking for a hotel with a view, this could be perfect for you!  And you’ll get incredible value from your IHG points.  I found rooms for around $750, or 60,000 IHG points.  That’s over 1 cent per point in value!

I Found Available Award Nights in June for 60,000 IHG Points. Considering the Cash Price of $750, You’d Be Getting a Pretty Incredible Value at 1.25 Cents Per Point!

Holiday Inn Lodz (0.93 cents per point)

Here’s a perfect example that shows good deals aren’t limited to expensive hotels.  You can get amazing value from a more budget-conscious hotel, too!  Case in point, the Holiday Inn Lodz in Poland.

Rooms here typically go for around $100 per night, but I found award nights for 10,000 IHG points.  Considering IHG points are typically only worth ~0.5 cents per point, the fact that you’d be getting nearly twice that with this hotel is pretty incredible!

Good Deals Can Be Found With IHG’s Lower Category Hotels Too! Check Out The Holiday Inn Lodz, With a Value of 0.93 Cents per Point!

Not-So-Good Redemption Options

Holiday Inn Bangkok (0.38 cents per point)

So as we showed above, you could get amazing value from IHG points.  But be careful!  The value of your points will also vary depending on when you’ll be traveling and where you’ll be staying.

Here’s one case where you might want to pay cash instead.  I found available award nights here for 25,000 IHG points, but these were for rooms that had a cash price of just $97.

That’s a pretty low value of just 0.38 cents per point, which is a good amount less than the average of 0.5 cents per point.  So unless you’re really trying to save on cash, it might be worthwhile to look at other options.

Remember to Always Check the Cash Price to See if You’re Getting a Good Deal!

InterContinental Hotels: Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort (0.41 cents per point)

Here’s a more middle of the road hotel showing that more expensive hotels don’t necessarily mean you’ll get more bang for your buck when it comes to squeezing value out of your IHG points.

This InterContinental hotel might be nicer than the majority of other IHG hotels, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting better value from your points.

I found that rooms going for around $103 per night could also be booked for 25,000 IHG points.  At a value of just 0.41 cents per point, you might want to pay cash for this room, too.

Redeeming Points at a Higher Category IHG Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You’ll Be Getting a Good Value

InterContinental Hotels: Hong Kong (0.33 cents per point) 

This is a pretty interesting case because this hotel has been known to offer some amazing deals.  But keeping in mind that the value you get from your points will vary based on your travel dates, this is a good example of why you’ll always want to pay close attention to the cash price of the rooms.

Award nights at this hotel will cost 70,000 IHG points per night.  But at a cash price of $234 for the month of May, you’d be getting only 0.33 cents per point in value. 

While You Can Get Great Value From Your IHG Points at a Particular Hotel, It Can Vary Based on Your Travel Dates!  Redeeming Points at This Hotel for a Stay in May Yields a Pretty Low Value of Just 0.33 Cents per Point

More Ways to Boost the Value of Your Points

Here are a few quick tips to ensure you’re getting more from your IHG points:

  • Always check the cash price:   As you saw in the examples above, the value of your points can vary drastically, regardless of the type of hotel you’re booking.  Always check the paid rate because you might want just pay cash and save your IHG points for a different hotel stay where you’ll receive more value
  • 4th award night free:   If you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’ll also get the 4th night free for every standard room award stay of 4+ consecutive nights.  This can save you a ton of points because you can use this perk for an unlimited number of stays!
  • Points + Cash:   You can make award redemptions with points + cash, but if you decide to go this route, just make sure to look at the cash price so you can see if you’re getting a good deal for your points

Bottom Line

There are 5,200+ IHG hotels worldwide, so there’s a good chance you can find one of their hotels for your next trip.  Even if you’re going to a more remote area or small town!

IHG points are typically worth around 0.5 cents each, but keep in mind that this will depend on where you’ll be traveling and the hotel you’ll be staying at.  Here are a few tips to ensure you’re always getting the most from your IHG points!

  • Always check the cash price:  The value you get from your IHG points will depend on your travel dates and where you’ll be staying, so always check the cash price to see if you’re getting a good deal!
  • Don’t forget about perks like the 4th award night free if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
  • Utilize points & cash bookings if it makes sense

Let us know your thoughts and how you feel about the redemption value of IHG points!  And subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful guides like this:

Read more about IHG 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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Are other hotel loyalty rewards similar to IHG by allowing inconsistent points vs. rate ratio? Many IHG hotels require a set amount of points no matter how much the rate. An example is the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach: Sep 13-14 room rate $185 or 50,000 points or Dec 17-18 room rate $75 or 50,000. This hotel uses 50,000 no matter what the rate or date and the owner has several IHG properties in the area doing the same thing.

I would think IHG would enforce a balanced ratio: higher rate – higher points, lower rate – lower points to maintain its point system integrity. If a room is $200 a night then the points required to stay there should be based on the rate for that night (example: $200 = 30,000 points or $100 = 20,000 points). As a long time IHG member, since it was Priority Club in the early 1990s, I don’t remember the point system being this unregulated.

MAKES ME WONDER IF I SHOULD GO BACK TO HILTON OR MARRIOTT…. I agree very frustrating your dollar can go further then a “LOYALTY to a BRAND”

IHG needs to fix this ASAP

I recently tried to book a room at the Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon, and even though they had standard rooms available, I was unable to use points, or points and cash toward a room. It was pay for it, or forget about it. Maybe I’m not totally understanding the “No Blackout Dates” deal, but I was under the impression that if a standard room was available, I could book with IHG points…

The best way I’ve found to increase value is that fourth night free award. I’m self-employed and frequently travel for business, and with the 4th night award I’m always getting more than 1 cent per point in value.

When I do spend cash to stay in IHG hotels, I always use my IHG Premier card, which gets me 10 points per dollar spent. That’s in addition to the 10 points per dollar for being a member of IHG Rewards, plus the extra 50% on points for being platinum (which is included by being a card holder), so that’s at least a combined 25 points per dollar spent. IHG also runs a number of various promotions, including double points from time to time, so I could be getting as many as 35 points per dollar.

So a $100 night gets me 2500 points (at least). There are many IHG properties that can be gotten for 15,000 points per night – so it’s roughly one free night per 6 stays, or, when I can stay in one place for four nights, one free night for every 4.5 stays.

Author

Thanks for sharing Barry. Sounds like you’ve got the value worked out really well!

For the 4th night free award can I count my annual free night into that

Use point for 2nights, free night award then get another free night? I know, it’s a stretch…

Author

Hi Darla! It would need to be booked as a standard award stay, so unfortunately that would not work. Good thinking though!

More like you pay for 3 in pints and get 4 nights PLUS your 5th free night for a total of 5 nights.