Good Things About IHG
Easy Elite Status- You can get Platinum Elite status from holding the IHG credit card, which I recommend due to its' free night at any IHG for only a $49 annual fee.
Promotions- IHG regularly runs promotions that allow you to rack up a large amount of IHG points. The most popular one that is year round and resets every quarter is their IHG Accelerate promotion, which is a custom tailored promotion for each member.
Bad Things About IHG
Devaluation- Over the past year or so, IHG has devalued their program in a few different ways. Point Break hotels previously cost only 5,000 points, but IHG changed that to either 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 depending on hotels. Additionally, many hotels went up in categories, which has caused several hotels to be overpriced for using points.
Low Point Value- IHG, Hilton, and Marriott all suffer from low points values for their programs. This hurts IHG since their credit card only earns 1 point per dollar for most categories. That is the equivalent of only earning 0.8% cashback, when you could easily earn 2% cashback with Citi Double Cash card.
Account Security- Your password to your IHG account is only a four-digit pin. This makes it really easy for someone to hack into your account and use your points. IHG will restore those points, but some people who don't check their accounts regularly might not notice. IHG either needs to switch to traditional passwords or send a text or email whenever a new booking or change to the account is made.
Summary: IHG has an interesting mix of hotels with the acquisition of Kimpton Hotels and the launch of the EVEN brand. The IHG credit card offers great perks such as a free night every anniversary (for $49 annual fee) and platinum status. Additionally, IHG regularly offers a 5,000 points per night "PointBreaks" promotion on about 50-100 hotels every three months.
1 IHG Point is Worth About: 0.8 Cents according to our valuations.
Best Rate Guarantee: If you book a room at an IHG property directly with IHG and find a cheaper rate within 24 hours, IHG will match the lower rate and give you 5x the IHG points, up to 40,000 points, for the room rate for that hotel stay. Here is the fine print and you can fill out the form online.
Phone Numbers: 1-888-211-9874 (IHG) or 1-888-211-7996 (Intercontinental Ambassador)
List of Hotels: Hotels by Region/Country
Intercontinental: Luxury resorts and hotels. Hotels in downtown areas are oriented toward higher-end business travelers.
Kimpton: Unique boutique hotels that are very pet-friendly, offers a nightly wine hour, and nice fitness centers.
Holiday Inn: Midscale family-oriented hotels.
Holiday Inn Express: Budget hotel with free breakfast.
Staybridge Suites: All-suite extended stay with fully-equipped kitchens, free food and drinks three times a week, free breakfast, pet-friendly, workout rooms, workspaces, free laundry, and storage lockers.
Hotel Indigo: Unique Boutique located in fun neighborhoods. Typically, very nice bathrooms, very comfortable beds, and on-site bar and restaurant.
EVEN: Upscale health-oriented hotels with excellent fitness centers and healthy food options.
Crowne Plaza: Midscale Business oriented hotels located near business centers or airports.
Candlewood Suites: Budget suites. Free laundry, grill, full kitchens, and pet-friendly.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations: Family-oriented multiple bedrooms villas near US tourist destinations.
Holiday Inn Resorts: Family-oriented resorts in popular tourist destinations. The all-inclusive resorts are located in Cabo San Lucas, Ixtapa, and Montego Bay
Hualuxe: Traditional Chinese-oriented hotels in China.
Regents Hotels- IHG bought a 51% stake in 2018. They only have six luxury hotels. I expect you will eventually be able to earn IHG points with them by 2019.
Voco- IHG plans to launch this brand in late 2018 as an upscale hotel brand.