This Is The Best Way To Use IHG Rewards Points
IHG is one of the largest hotel chains out there, with over 4,600 hotels worldwide. Its brands span from budget, like Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express, to luxury like InterContinental. So, with a new offer out for the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card that offers 140,000 bonus points, you may have wondering how best to use the program to your advantage.
How To Use IHG Rewards Points
Yes, the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has a sign up bonus of 140,000 points if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
So, what can you do with 140,000 IHG Points? As I mentioned, IHG's footprint is worldwide. Their award chart ranges from as low as 10,000 points a night to 70,000 points a night, and IHG has recently updated their awards program to be dynamically priced. So, with this bonus, you could stay 14 nights somewhere, but expect lower-end properties in lesser markets. On the high end, IHG properties can be some of the best in the world, like the Intercontinental Paris-Le Grand.
Keep in mind, you can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points from an Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve (The Preferred card currently has a 60,000 point sign up offer) to top off your balance.
Another bonus of the IHG credit card is you get a free night to use at many IHG properties worldwide on each account member anniversary! There's a list of excluded properties that's worth checking out.
And, IHG often releases Points Break hotels, which go for 5,000 points a night. With this sign up bonus, you're looking at 28 nights free.
Finally, if you're holding the Premier card, every 4th night is free when you redeem. So, redeeming for a Points Break hotel can stretch you all the way out to 35 nights, if you can find availability for that long.
The only issue I've found in using IHG points in the past, is that any status benefits you might have aren't honored on an awards reservation. That being said, the benefits of status in IHG are not that great, but it would be nice to get upgrades at places like the Intercontinental Downtown Los Angeles, where I stayed in 2018.
One last note – be sure you're getting good value out of your IHG points. You should be getting over 0.5 cents per point in value if you are redeeming for an award stay. Otherwise, it's a better deal to pay cash (and earn the points).
Other Uses for IHG Points
IHG points can also be used for other things, like shopping, gift cards, airline miles, and airline tickets. All are bad options, in our opinion. You're better off shopping the deals that Brad's Deals finds for you, not using a terrible points conversion to buy an electronic. Gift cards are an equally bad idea (use someone like Card Cash instead). Unlike Marriott Bonvoy points, which offer favorable conversion rates for airline miles, IHG has terrible rates across the board, most at a 5:1 ratio. And finally, you can buy airline tickets, but the price is atrocious- less than 0.3 cents per point on average.
Summing It Up
IHG can be a good program to leverage in your travels. Its global footprint, especially in smaller markets, can be useful for road warriors and jetsetters alike. Though I don't like the brand's policy on refusing elite benefits during award stays, there's still value in signing up for this card offer. You can stay places you could never afford, all with one credit card.