IHG award chart basics: Now 100% dynamic pricing

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With 5,900+ hotels in more than 100 countries around the world, there’s certainly no shortage of IHG hotels to choose from.

But if you’re new to miles & points or are just familiarizing yourself with IHG’s loyalty program, you might be wondering what IHG’s award chart is like. IHG no longer publishes an award chart — it has fully moved to dynamic pricing as of May 2020. This means reward prices will fluctuate similar to the cash price of the hotel. This makes “sweet spots” theoretically harder to come by, as reward prices will likely raise when cash prices are high.

From what we can tell, free nights at IHG hotels still cost anywhere from 10,000 to 70,000 points per night, with a small handful of properties occasionally hitting 100,000 points per night. You can easily earn IHG points with its co-branded hotel credit card, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and with travel credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer to IHG at a 1:1 ratio.

Here’s a rundown of IHG’s method of pricing hotels, including an alternate way you can use your points to help offset the cost of a stay and a way to buy discounted points, too.

Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. (Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock.)

IHG award chart eliminated

Whatever kind of stay you’re looking for, you can book it with IHG points. With 17 different brands, you can choose from more basic and efficient rooms at hotels like Holiday Inn Express or Candlewood Suites and you can use IHG points to splurge at a luxury InterContinental or Six Senses hotels.

I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Hong Kong and it was undoubtedly one of the best hotel points redemptions I’ve ever had. Our room overlooked Victoria Harbor and my family and I had the best time enjoying cocktails as we watched the boats move about.

Here’s a look at IHG’s old award chart to give you some historical context of how many points they’ve charged for a free night:

CategoryPoints per Night
Category 110,000
Category 215,000
Category 320,000
Category 425,000
Category 530,000
Category 635,000
Category 740,000
Category 845,000
Category 950,000
Category 1055,000
Category 1160,000
Category 1265,000
Category 1370,000*

Some hotels in Macau and the Maldives can even cost 75,000-100,000 on certain nights! Now, however, the rates vary by day — dramatically. To find out how many points you’ll need for a desired stay, you’ll have to look up your exact travel dates.

Dynamic award charts have upsides and downsides (though we prefer rigid award charts). If you’re flexible with your dates, you can make out like a bandit with this new IHG award pricing method. For example, Hotel Indigo Nashville used to cost 55,000 points per night as a Category 10 hotel. But you can now find it for 25,000 points per night. That’s more than 50% off!

With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’ll earn 125,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You could have reserved nearly three nights at Hotel Indigo Nashville with the old award chart. Now, you could book five nights (or potentially more) thanks to dynamic pricing.

Tangentially, this dynamic pricing likely puts the last nail in the coffin of what was once the best hotel promotion which disappeared a few months back — IHG PointBreaks. If you don’t know what it is, that’s okay. There’s no way it’s coming back.

More ways to use IHG points

IHG also offers Points & Cash rates that vary by destination. There’s a 5,000-point minimum for Points & Cash stays and essentially, you’ll be using your points to offset the cost of a booking. Lastly, don’t forget you can also use the IHG Points & Cash trick to “buy” IHG points for as little as ~0.6 cents each, giving you yet another option to book discounted hotel stays.

Want to earn more IHG points?

Once you’ve setup an IHG account, you’re ready to start earning points. If you want to earn points in a hurry, you should again consider applying for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. It currently comes with a welcome offer: 140,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You can check out our full review of the IHG credit card here.

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from certain Chase credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to IHG at a 1:1 ratio, but I usually don’t recommend this. There are much better transfer partners that will give you exponentially more value for your points, like United Airlines and Hyatt.

There are also fairly regular IHG promotions with opportunities to earn bonus points for your IHG stays or spending. IHG points do expire after being inactive (no earning or redeeming activity) for 12 months, but if you have any level of IHG status your points will never expire.

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Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

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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