When booking a hotel, you have many choices available and why you pick one over another can be due to location, price or reviews. If you’re into points and miles, you have to consider if you can use points to pay for the room, or if paying to stay there will earn enough points for another hotel stay.
With all of the major brands to choose from, which one have I found best fits our travel needs? Hyatt? Marriott? Hilton? Nope.
It’s Holiday Inn.
IHG Hotels and Resorts owns 18 hotel brands, including the iconic Holiday Inn. Their hotel portfolio includes Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, Kimpton and Intercontinental Hotels.
The IHG One Rewards loyalty program allows you to redeem points for free nights or combine cash and points to make your points go further. I’ve found it’s rather easy to find a room with availability on points if you plan in advance.
There are several reasons why I find IHG points useful. First, they have hotels everywhere. At last count, IHG has 6,000 properties in over 100 countries around the world. So if you’re traveling, it’s more than likely you will find one of their hotels wherever you visit. I can’t think of any other hotel chain, at all different price levels; I’ve used more for different hotel stays than IHG.
IHG also offers a credit card through Chase. The current bonus is pretty good; it gives you 140,000 points for signing up and spending $3,000 in 90 days. That’s enough points for 2 nights at the Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville, NC. The annual fee for this card is $99. You can read my review of this card at THIS LINK.
The card also gives you automatic Platinum status with IHG. When checking in, this can give you a better room and an amenity gift (or at least not the room over the dumpster). Of course, there’s a chance a hotel will welcome IHG Platinum guests, like our experience at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.
I’m also partial to IHG because I’ve gotten my best redemption ever by using their points. In 2016 I found a room during Desert Trip in Palm Desert, CA to see Paul McCartney, The Who, The Rolling Stones and some other classic rock and roll acts. I still can’t believe the deal I got considering most people value IHG points to be from 0.5¢ to 0.7¢ each (those decimals are intentional – less than a penny each) and this redemption was worth almost 3x that.
IHG hotels may not be the most aspirational point redemptions out there. They can be amazingly functional and of great value, particularly if you have an IHG credit card.
In addition, IHG occasionally sells points for as little as 1/2 cent each. If you’d want to stay in Key West, you can pay 60,000 points per night (which you can buy for $300) or pay the $600 discounted AAA rate.
I’ve read how bloggers stay at a specific Hyatt or Hilton property because they can get a suite using upgrade certificates. For us, I like either booking a Holiday Inn Express or splurging on a Kimpton, depending on which fits the needs for our stay the best. And that’s why I think IHG One Rewards points are the most valuable for us.
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