IHG One Rewards: The Ultimate Guide for Indians

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IHG, or the InterContinental Hotel Group, is a big name in the hotel business with over 6000 properties worldwide. The story of IHG goes way back to 1777 when William Brass first entered the hospitality industry with Brass Hotels. In 1946, Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan-American Airways, established InterContinental Hotels. Over time, new brands like Holiday Inn and later Holiday Inn Express were introduced. In 2003, the hotel chain went through a restructuring process and emerged as the IHG Hotel Group, boasting 19 different brands across the globe. Today, IHG continues its legacy, providing a wide range of accommodations to travellers everywhere. We have curated this Ultimate Guide on the IHG One Rewards for the Indian Travellers.

IHG Hotel Brands

IHG Hotels has 20 different types of hotels to make all kinds of guests happy. From super fancy Six Senses to the budget-friendly Holiday Inn, they have something for everyone. Let’s look at each brand and its speciality:

  1. Luxury and Lifestyle Collection:
    • Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas: Fancy hotels close to nature, with a nod to local culture and a big focus on being kind to the environment.
    • Regent Hotels & Resorts: High-end resorts, especially in Asia, with a focus on sophistication.
    • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts: Luxury hotels in big cities, often with a lot of history.
    • Vignette Collection: Luxury resorts that blend local culture into your stay to support the community.
    • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants: Unique and quirky luxury hotels, each one different and reflecting its location.
    • Hotel Indigo: Like Kimpton, these hotels are unique and break the mould of typical chain hotels.
  2. Premium Collection:
    • HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts: Aimed at Chinese travelers, focusing on Chinese customs and nature.
    • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts: Good for meetings, a step above Holiday Inn but not super fancy.
    • EVEN Hotels: Mid-range hotels focusing on wellness.
    • VOCO Hotels: A high-end conversion brand with clear and concise quality criteria.
  3. Essentials Collection:
    • Holiday Inn: The original brand, is big and focused on leisure.
    • Holiday Inn Express: Like Holiday Inn but with free breakfast and a bit fewer extras in terms of amenities.
    • Avid Hotels: Simple and affordable, great for a good night’s sleep.
    • Garner: Affordable with character, part of IHG’s mid-range conversion spaces.
  4. Suites Collection:
    • Atwell Suites: A newer brand promising a more upscale extended stay experience.
    • Staybridge Suites: Family-friendly suites with kitchens and free breakfast.
    • Holiday Inn Club Vacations: IHG’s version of timeshare ownership properties.
    • Candlewood Suites: No-frills extended stay.
  5. Exclusive Partners:
    • Iberostar Beachfront Resorts: Fancy resorts and all-inclusive properties by the beach.

      IHG tries to make sure there’s a perfect hotel for every guest, no matter what they’re looking for.
Six Senses For Barwara, captured by Luxsutra

IHG Elite Tiers

The IHG One Rewards program offers different membership levels, each with its own set of benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the IHG One Rewards levels:


  • Requirement: Enrollment in the program
  • Benefits:
    • Collect points or miles on stays
    • Discounted member rates
    • Free internet
    • 2 PM late check-out (subject to availability)


  • Requirement: 10 qualified nights
  • Additional Benefits:
    • 20% more points earned on top of the base points
    • Points don’t expire

Gold Elite

  • Requirement: 20 qualified nights or 40,000 Elite qualifying points
  • Additional Benefits:
    • 40% more points earned on top of the base points
    • Elite rollover nights for next year’s status

Platinum Elite

  • Requirement: 40 qualified nights or 60,000 Elite qualifying points
  • Additional Benefits:
    • 60% more points earned over base points
    • Reward Night discounts
    • Guaranteed room availability if booked 72 hours ahead
    • Complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability)
    • Welcome amenity of points, a drink, or a snack
    • Early check-in (subject to availability)

Diamond Elite

  • Requirement: 70 qualified nights or 120,000 Elite qualifying points
  • Additional Benefits:
    • Dedicated Diamond support
    • 100% more points earned on top of the base points
    • Welcome amenities include free daily breakfast for two

IHG Memberships

In addition to these tier levels, IHG offers its paid membership program called the Intercontinental Ambassador.

Intercontinental Ambassador

  • Requirement: US$200/year membership
  • Benefits:
    • Instant Platinum Elite IHG One Rewards status
    • Guaranteed upgrades
    • 4 PM checkout
    • A complimentary weekend night stay
    • US$20 in restaurant and bar credits

This paid program offers exclusive perks, particularly when staying at InterContinental hotels, enhancing the overall IHG experience for members.

Invite-only Memberships

Apart from the above, IHG also offers two exclusive, invite-only programs for their most dedicated customers, providing extraordinary perks beyond publicly available elite statuses:

Royal Ambassador

  • Benefits:
    • Guaranteed two-category room upgrade
    • Complimentary Club InterContinental lounge access or free full breakfast for two
    • Free night at an IHG Hotel (up to 70,000 points per night)
    • Guaranteed early check-in at 10 a.m. on the day of arrival
    • $50 per night minibar credit (up to $200 per stay)
    • In-room welcome amenity choice of fruit, sweet, or savoury snack on the day of arrival
    • Waived amenity or destination fees
    • Single-room rate for double occupancy
    • Guaranteed room availability when booked 24 hours in advance.
  • Compensation for Unfulfilled Benefits:
    • IHG backs up Ambassador benefits with cash, credits, or points if certain benefits cannot be provided during the stay, such as a $50 Restaurant & Bar or Spa credit or 10,000 IHG Rewards Points for not being able to provide a room upgrade or a 4 pm late check-out.

Kimpton Inner Circle Status

  • Benefits:
    • Inner Circle Amenity (personalized treat on arrival)
    • Complimentary Chef’s Taste
    • Complimentary night at new hotels during the limited-time opening offer
    • VIP dedicated phone line
    • Guaranteed one-category room upgrade
    • Guaranteed 10 am check-in and 4 pm check-out
    • Waived amenity fee (excluding resort fees)
  • Invitation Process:
    • Kimpton Inner Circle status is invitation-only and is offered to members who have earned IHG Diamond Elite status and demonstrated loyalty to Kimpton by frequent stays at their hotels.
    • Invitations are typically sent out in January each year via email.

These exclusive programs aim to provide top-tier members with exceptional benefits, ensuring a truly luxurious and personalized experience during their stays.

Status Match & Fast-Track Status

IHG provides both publicly advertised and undisclosed fast-track options for achieving Elite Status. Occasionally, IHG may present a Fast-track Elite Status promotion, allowing you to reach Elite Status with a reduced number of stays at their properties within a specified timeframe. It’s advisable to stay alert for such promotions, particularly around year-end, to expedite your status. You can find such offers here.

Another avenue to explore is the Status Matcher website, where individuals share their experiences attempting to match Elite Status from other loyalty programs with IHG’s Elite Status. These processes involve trial and error, and as of now, individuals have reported success with Hilton and Marriott Elite Status matches.

IHG One Rewards’ Milestones Rewards

IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards are special benefits you get each year based on how many nights you stay at IHG hotels. Starting at just 20 nights and going up to 100 nights, you get Milestone Rewards every 10 nights. All kinds of nights, including ones where you use your points, count.

Here’s what you get for reaching different milestones in a year:

  • 20 nights: Choose between 5,000 bonus points, two $20 food and drink vouchers, or a special upgrade to a suite.
  • 30 nights: Choose between 5,000 bonus points or two $20 food and drink vouchers.
  • 40 nights (pick two): Choose between 10,000 bonus points, five $20 food and drink vouchers, a special suite upgrade (only one time), or a yearly lounge membership (only one time).
  • 50 nights: Choose between 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and drink vouchers.
  • 60 nights: Choose between 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and drink vouchers.
  • 70 nights (pick two): Choose between 10,000 bonus points, five $20 food and drink vouchers, two special suite upgrades (only one time), or a yearly lounge membership (only one time).
  • 80 nights: Choose between 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and drink vouchers.
  • 90 nights: Choose between 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and drink vouchers.
  • 100 nights: Choose between 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and drink vouchers.

These rewards make staying with IHG even more exciting and enjoyable!

InterContinental Chennai, captured by Luxsutra

Ways to Earn IHG Reward Points

Earn Through Hotel Stays

IHG members have various ways to accumulate IHG One Rewards points, with hotel stays being the primary method. When staying at eligible IHG brand properties, members earn points based on the amount spent:

  • 10 IHG One Reward points for each dollar spent at most IHG hotels
  • 5 IHG One Reward points for every dollar spent at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites

For elite status holders, the point-earning potential is even greater. In addition to the standard base points earned for each dollar spent at IHG, elite status brings additional bonuses, allowing members to earn up to 100% more points. Here are the elite status levels and their respective bonus rates:

  • Club: No bonus IHG points earned
  • Silver Elite: 20% bonus
  • Gold Elite: 40% bonus
  • Platinum Elite: 60% bonus
  • Diamond Elite: 100% bonus

Please do note that you can earn Reward Points for up to 9 rooms booked under your name but you’ll only earn Status Night for 1 room only.

Earn Through Transfer Partners

Credit Card Transfer Partners

IHG One Points can be earned through banking transfer partners, currently involving three available banking partners that permit the transfer of credit card points to the IHG One program:

Axis Bank
  • For Axis Reserve and Magnus, the transfer ratio is 5:2 for Edge Reward Points to IHG Reward Points.
  • For Magnus Burgundy and Burgundy Private credit card points, it’s 5:4.
  • For Select and Privilege cards, it’s 5:1.
  • For other Edge Reward earning cards, it’s 10:1.
  • For Atlas, Edge Miles can be transferred at a ratio of 1:2

Burgundy Private Account Holders can transfer Axis Reserve credit card Points at a 5:4 ratio, including all Edge Reward Points earning cards.


HDFC Infinia and Diner Club Black Cards allow points to be transferred at a 1:1 ratio.

  • Citi Premier Miles Card points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Citi Prestige Card points can be transferred at a 1:4 ratio.
  • Citi Ultima Card points can be transferred at a 1:5 ratio.

Earn Through Meetings and Events

You have the opportunity to accumulate IHG One Reward points through the IHG Business Rewards program, which enables you to earn points when organizing various gatherings, including meetings and weddings, at select IHG properties.

To accrue points from meetings and events, it is essential to sign up on the IHG website. Once registered, you can earn 3 points per dollar spent when booking rooms, meetings, and events on behalf of others. Qualifying expenditures encompass:

  1. Guest rooms being reserved for others
  2. Costs associated with meetings and events
  3. Conference room expenses
  4. Food and beverage services connected to meetings and conferences
  5. All-inclusive meeting packages

It’s worth noting that some properties do not participate in the IHG Business Rewards program. A list of non-participating properties can be found on the IHG website. Additionally, there is typically a maximum cap of 60,000 points that can be earned for an individual meeting or event.

Buying IHG One Reward Points

Every year, IHG One Rewards members have the option to purchase points, with a limit of 150,000 points annually. While these points can be gifted to friends or family at a fee, they still fall under the 2,50,000 yearly limit for individual accounts. Members are allowed to receive a maximum of 2,50,000 gift points each year. It’s important to note that purchases are handled by a third-party service called Points.com, meaning no travel category bonuses from credit card spending will be received.

Generally, buying IHG One Rewards points, or any points, is not a practice we often recommend, especially when not on sale. However, if you find yourself in need of boosting your point balance for an upcoming stay, purchasing points may be a viable option.

Before making a purchase, it’s essential to evaluate the value you’ll gain from the points. Additionally, IHG frequently runs promotions offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased points, making it advantageous to wait for such promotions to get a better deal. You can go and buy the points just by clicking here.

Ways to Redeem IHG One Reward Points

Room Redemptions

In 2020, IHG, like many other hotel loyalty programs, abandoned its award charts and introduced a dynamic pricing model, aligning award rates with demand fluctuations, similar to cash rates. While the traditional concept of sweet spots has faded, opportunities for excellent deals still exist. Maximizing the value of your IHG One Rewards points requires flexibility, encouraging consideration of off-peak travel seasons.

When redeeming IHG One Rewards points, it’s advisable to compare cash and award pricing. A generally solid use of points is achieved when you get more than 50 Paisa per point.

For those facing budget constraints, IHG’s Points & Cash option offers a solution. This feature allows you to utilize a minimum of 5,000 points to offset room costs. To employ Points & Cash, conduct an award night search, ensuring “Rewards Nights” is selected under “Rate Preference”. Choose the desired property and select the “Points & Cash” option during the booking process, offering flexibility to tailor your choice based on your preferences.

Transferring to Airline Partners

If you have IHG One Rewards points and no upcoming stays planned, you can still extract value by transferring your points to an airline. Typically, IHG One Rewards points convert at a ratio of 5:1, meaning you get one airline mile for every five IHG One Rewards points transferred. The minimum transfer is 10,000 IHG Reward Points, and multiples of this amount are required for eligible airline partners.

Initiating the conversion of IHG One Rewards points to airline miles must be done via phone. Contact your regional IHG reward service centre based on your location. Keep in mind that it may take 14 to 21 days for the miles to be posted, so plan accordingly. Generally, this may not offer the best value for your points.

IHG’s airline transfer partners encompass a wide range, including Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, United Airlines, and many others. This provides flexibility in choosing the airline program that suits your travel preferences. For the complete list of airline transfer partners Click Here

InterContinental Chennai, captured by Luxsutra

Family Pooling

Following recent updates in IHG Rewards, transferring points between family accounts now incurs a $5 fee for every 1,000 points. However, if you have an IHG Business Rewards account, which is available to regular IHG One Rewards members as well, also considering you’re a Diamond Elite member, you can enjoy fee-free transfers. It’s worth noting that there is a limit of 150,000 points for transfers to and from each account per calendar year.

To enrol on IHG One Business Rewards click here.

Points Expiry

For elite status members, IHG One Rewards points remain valid as long as the status is maintained, with no expiration. However, Club members’ points expire after 12 months of inactivity. To prevent the expiration of IHG One Rewards points, Club members can take any of the following actions:

  1. Book a reward night.
  2. Utilize Points and Cash bookings.
  3. Purchase IHG One Rewards points.


IHG’s loyalty program offers ample chances to accrue IHG One Rewards points, which can be redeemed for reward nights. While the dynamic pricing model requires some effort to find optimal values, opportunities for significant benefits exist. IHG’s extensive global presence ensures that there’s likely a suitable IHG property worldwide, catering to diverse travel needs and points budgets.

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