7 ways to earn more IHG One Rewards points for your next redemption

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

I typically redeem a lot of IHG One Rewards points each year. Even though IHG One Rewards uses dynamic award pricing, you can still find excellent value when redeeming IHG One Rewards points. And one benefit of dynamic award pricing is that I’ve found a ton of value in rebooking IHG One Rewards award stays after rates decrease.

Luckily, there are also many ways to earn IHG One Rewards points. So, you have options whether you need to top off your account or substantially boost your balance. In this article, I’ll describe how you can earn IHG points for your next award redemption.

In This Post

Earn points by staying at hotels

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort in Vietnam. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

As you might expect, you can earn IHG One Rewards points when you stay at IHG hotels worldwide. However, the exact number of points you’ll earn on these stays depends on a few factors:

The IHG brand.
How much you pay for your stay.
Your IHG One Rewards status.
Any active promotions for which you’ve registered.
Whether you book a qualifying rate.

You’ll only earn IHG One Rewards points and get access to elite benefits when you book a qualifying rate through a qualifying method. Your stay will usually qualify if you book directly with IHG using a business or leisure rate. But, if you book through an online travel agency like Expedia, your stay usually won’t be eligible.

Some IHG brands earn differently

Your earning rate will vary on qualifying stays based on the IHG hotel brand. Specifically, you’ll earn points as follows:

Most IHG hotels: 10 points per dollar.

Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites: 5 points per dollar.

IHG Army Hotels: 3 points per dollar.

IHG Residence properties (excluding voco residences): 2.5 points per dollar.

Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Palazzo at the Venetian Resort: 2,000 points per stay.

You’ll generally earn points on qualifying room rates and additional purchases charged to your room, including food and beverages. However, you may not earn points on other purchases charged to your room at some brands and locations.

Except at InterContinental Alliance Resorts, you can earn points on up to nine hotel rooms. Your IHG One Rewards account number must be associated with each room reservation, and you must stay at the property.

Related: IHG opened its first Atwell Suites in Miami Brickell this spring: Here’s what it’s like

IHG elites earn more

Hotel Indigo London Paddington in the United Kingdom. SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

IHG One Rewards elite members earn additional points on IHG stays. As you’d expect, the higher your elite status tier, the more points you’ll earn on your stay.

Here’s how many bonus points elites will earn:

Silver Elite: 20% bonus.

Gold Elite: 40% bonus.

Platinum Elite: 60% bonus.

Diamond Elite: 100% bonus.

Here’s an example of how these bonus points can add up. If you’re an IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite member staying at a Kimpton hotel for three nights at $200 per night, you’ll earn the following:

Base: $200 at 10 points per dollar for 3 nights = 6,000 points.

Bonus: 100% bonus on 6,000 points = 6,000 points.

As a result, you’d take home 12,000 points on your stay. Based on TPG’s valuations, these points would be worth $60.

Related: Why I often choose IHG and Choice hotels, despite limited elite perks

Choose points as milestone rewards

Holiday Inn Johannesburg Airport in South Africa. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

When IHG launched its new IHG One Rewards program in 2022, one new perk for loyalists was milestone rewards. Starting at just 20 nights in a year, you’ll earn a choice of milestone rewards for every 10 nights (up to 100 nights per year).

IHG gives its elites various rewards to choose from at each milestone. But, if you want to earn more IHG points, you can choose points at each milestone. Specifically, you could earn points through milestone rewards each calendar year as follows:

After 20 and 30 nights: 5,000 points.

After 50, 60, 80, 90 and 100 nights: 10,000 points.

After 40 and 70 nights: 20,000 points (if you choose points for both of your milestone choices at these tiers).

Related: My plan for IHG status and nights

Earn bonus points through promotions

IHG frequently has offers that let you earn additional points on your hotel stays over the standard earning rates. IHG’s current promotion allows members to earn 2,000 points after every two paid nights or 10,000 points after every four paid nights through the end of 2022.

However, you must register for this promotion (and most other IHG promotions) before staying. The current promotion doesn’t involve a promotional multiplier. But, on promotions that offer multipliers (such as double points), the multiplier usually only applies to the stay’s base earnings. So, if you are an IHG elite, your elite bonus usually won’t be multiplied.

Related: These promotions will make your next hotel stay more rewarding

Earn with credit cards

InterContinental Danang in Vietnam. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

One of the easiest ways to earn IHG points is by spending on a cobranded IHG credit card. There are currently three options for new applicants, each offering the following sign-up bonuses:

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

The IHG Premier also offers various perks, including automatic Platinum Elite status, an anniversary night and the fourth-night reward benefit in exchange for its $99 annual fee.

I use the IHG Premier card myself, and it is the card I typically recommend to travelers who enjoy staying at IHG hotels and resorts. However, the IHG Premier Business card may be better for business travelers who often stay with IHG.

Related: Why I’m happy to pay the annual fee on the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

Transfer points

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Bilt Rewards points to the IHG One Rewards program. Points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio from both programs, as indicated in our guides to Ultimate Rewards transfer times and Bilt Rewards transfer times.

However, I don’t necessarily recommend transferring rewards to IHG. After all, TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, Bilt points at 1.8 cents each and IHG One Rewards points at 0.5 cents each. Even if you get 1.24 cents per IHG point like I recently did, you’ll still lose a fair bit of potential value when transferring Ultimate Rewards points or Bilt Rewards points to IHG One Rewards.

As such, you’ll generally only want to transfer points to IHG if you need to top off your account for a specific award. Otherwise, you’ll typically want to save your transferrable points for higher-value redemptions.

Related: Should you buy IHG Rewards points or transfer points from Chase?

Earn points by shopping and dining

There are four main ways to earn IHG points through shopping and dining: the IHG Rewards Dine and Earn program, restaurant reservations, food delivery to select IHG hotels and buying Apple products. In this section, I’ll take a closer look at each method.

IHG Rewards Dine and Earn

MICHAEL BERMAN/GETTY IMAGES

The IHG Rewards Dine and Earn program allows you to earn points when you dine at participating restaurants. To use the program, you’ll need to sign up for an account online and link at least one credit or debit card to your account. Then, you’ll automatically earn IHG points when you dine at participating restaurants, bars and clubs.

The points you’ll earn vary depending on how frequently you use the program and whether you opt in for email notifications. You can earn between 1 and 8 IHG points per dollar on eligible purchases, a 0.5% to 4% return based on TPG’s valuations.

Best of all: these points are in addition to the rewards earned on your credit card. So, link a card that earns bonus points on dining purchases.

Related: 11 of the most generous airline and hotel dining rewards programs

Restaurant reservations

The IHG One Rewards program has an additional partnership that allows you to earn bonus points when dining out. Specifically, if you make OpenTable reservations through the IHG Trip Extras restaurant portal, you’ll earn up to 500 IHG points per reservation. But, when I searched a few different cities, I noticed that most reservations only earned 150 points.

Food delivery

You can also earn IHG points when you order Grubhub delivery in the U.S. To earn points, place your order through the IHG Grubhub portal. You’ll earn 500 IHG One Rewards points for your first order and 250 points for each subsequent order.

Buy Apple products

IHG One Rewards doesn’t have a formal online shopping portal. But you can earn 4 points per dollar spent on select Apple products. Just click through the IHG Apple rewards portal before you make an eligible purchase and you’ll earn points automatically. While not all of Apple’s products are eligible for points, the good news is that these points are in addition to the rewards earned by your credit card on the purchase.

Do note that many credit cards and airline shopping portals give bonus points or miles when shopping with Apple. So, you may want to use a shopping portal aggregator to see which site offers the best bonus.

Related: Which credit card should I use in shopping portals?

Earn points on meetings and events

SIRTRAVELALOT/SHUTTERSTOCK

You can also earn IHG One Rewards points through the IHG Business Rewards program. This program allows you to earn points when you plan a meeting or event — including a wedding — at select IHG properties.

To earn points on meetings and events, you must register on the IHG website. Then, you can earn 3 points per dollar when you book rooms, meetings and events for others. Qualifying spending includes:

Guest rooms booked for others.
Meeting and event costs.
Conference room costs.
Food and beverage service linked to meetings and conferences.
All-inclusive meeting packages.

Some properties don’t participate in IHG Business Rewards. You can see a list of non-participating properties on IHG’s website. And there’s generally a cap of 60,000 points that you can earn on an individual meeting or event.

Earn points with travel partners

You can earn IHG One Rewards points with partners in two primary ways. In this section, I’ll describe both of these methods.

Earn points on rental cars

LUKE SHARRETT/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

You can earn IHG points when you book a rental car through Hertz, Dollar or Thrifty via the IHG Trip Extras portal. Specifically, you can get the following:

Hertz: 500 points per rental day for elite members and 125 points per rental day for non-elite members on qualifying rentals worldwide.

Dollar and Thrifty: 125 IHG points per rental day for all members on qualifying rentals worldwide.

Remember to compare prices with other booking options to ensure you get a good deal. And don’t forget to pay for your rental with a card that provides coverage on your car rental.

Related: How to redeem points and miles for car rentals

Earn points on tours, activities and transportation services

You can also earn IHG One Rewards points when you book Viator tours, activities and transport services through the IHG Trip Extras portal. Specifically, you’ll earn up to 1,000 IHG points when you book a tour, activity or transportation through the portal. Based on TPG’s valuations, 1,000 IHG points are worth about $5.

Buy points

KITE_RUN/SHUTTERSTOCK

Another option for earning IHG points is to purchase them directly. Granted, it doesn’t always make sense to buy points. But it can make sense to buy IHG points.

The standard price to buy IHG points is one cent apiece when you purchase at least 26,000 points. But, the program regularly offers up to 100% bonuses on these transactions. A 100% bonus allows you to pick up points for as little as 0.5 cents each, matching TPG’s most recent valuations.

Since I can typically get much more than 0.5 cents of value per IHG point, I often purchase IHG points when there is a 100% bonus. Note that you typically can’t purchase more than 150,000 IHG points per calendar year.

Related: Current buy points and miles promotions

Which IHG points are elite-qualifying?

Throughout this guide, we’ve discussed earning IHG points that you can redeem for free hotel nights. But, travelers looking to earn elite status with IHG should also consider which points are elite qualifying.

In general, the following activities produce points that are redeemable and elite-qualifying:

Qualifying rates paid for hotel stays.
Spending on select partner activities, including Hertz car rentals, OpenTable reservations, Grubhub orders and Viator experiences (but excluding IHG Dine and Earn).
IHG One Rewards bonus points packages.
Qualified spending through IHG Business Rewards.

On the other hand, the following generally produce points that are redeemable but not elite-qualifying (unless otherwise indicated):

Spending on IHG credit cards.
New cardmember bonuses or selected bonus point promotions on IHG credit cards.
Point transfers to IHG One Rewards.
Points earned from promotions.
Elite status bonuses.
Point vouchers, purchases, transfers or deposits.

Luckily, if you’re only looking to earn redeemable points, the distinction between elite-qualifying and non-elite-qualifying points isn’t all that important.

Related: IHG revamped its loyalty program and travelers noticed; 11 million new members signed up

Bottom line

As you can see, there are quite a few ways to earn IHG One Rewards points. Between cobranded credit cards, hotel promotions and IHG One Rewards partners, you’ll be well on your way to earning enough IHG points for your next redemption before you know it.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Kyle Olsen.