Maximizing redemptions with the IHG One Rewards program

IHG One Rewards is a loyalty program offered by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which includes popular hotel brands such as Holiday Inn, InterContinental, and Crowne Plaza. While it may not be as well-loved in the points and miles community as programs like Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt, IHG One Rewards still offers great value for travelers. With a wide range of hotels and resorts available in many destinations, it’s easy to find opportunities to maximize your IHG points.

One of the advantages of IHG One Rewards is that earning points is relatively easy. New applicants for the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card can earn 165,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. Similarly, new applicants for the no-annual-fee IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months.

To maximize your IHG One Rewards redemptions, it’s important to calculate your redemption rate. IHG began using dynamic award pricing in 2020, meaning the number of points needed for a stay varies based on various factors. While TPG’s valuations peg the value of IHG points at 0.5 cents each, you can often get a higher redemption rate when redeeming IHG points. It’s important to compare the cash rate to the points rate and calculate your redemption rate to ensure you’re getting good value.

Flexibility is another key factor in maximizing IHG One Rewards. By being flexible with your travel dates and locations, you may be able to redeem fewer points. For example, shifting your stay to different dates or considering alternative locations can help you save points or money. Being open to different options can lead to significant savings and maximize your points.

Another strategy to consider is checking Points & Cash rates. This option allows you to combine IHG points and money to stretch your points further. By selecting “Points + Cash” when searching for hotels, you can see various redemption options. It’s important to run the numbers and compare the different rates to determine which option makes the most sense for you.

If you have an IHG credit card, you can take advantage of the fourth-night-reward perk. This perk reduces the cost of every fourth night on award stays of four nights or longer to zero points. This can provide significant savings, especially for longer stays. There is no limit on how many times you can use this perk, so it’s a valuable benefit for cardholders.

Periodically checking for price drops can also help maximize your IHG points. By doing a new award search for your upcoming stays, you can see if the rates have decreased. If they have, you can cancel your previous booking and rebook at the lower rate. This strategy can help you save points and get more value from your redemptions.

If your IHG points balance is running low, it may be worth considering buying points. IHG offers promotions that allow you to purchase points at a discounted rate, sometimes as low as 0.5 cents per point. This can be a cost-effective way to top up your points and take advantage of high-value redemptions.

Earning IHG elite status can also provide additional perks and benefits. The top-tier Diamond Elite status offers exclusive perks such as the option to choose breakfast as a welcome amenity at select hotels. Platinum Elite status is more attainable and can be obtained through various means, including credit card perks. Having elite status can enhance your stays and provide additional value.

In conclusion, while IHG One Rewards may not be as well-loved as other loyalty programs, it still offers great value for travelers. By calculating your redemption rate, being flexible, checking Points & Cash rates, utilizing the fourth-night-reward perk, checking for price drops, considering buying points, and earning elite status, you can maximize your IHG One Rewards redemptions and get the most out of your points.

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