5 IHG Hotels Where Families Will Want to Spend Their Points
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I have a real love and hate relationship with IHG Rewards Club points: I love to collect them but hate to let them go. Between the large credit card sign-up bonuses, easy to use promotions and the frequent ability to buy points cheaply, it’s really easy to end up with a large stash of IHG points.
However, every time I go to spend them, I find that spending IHG points is not a good value for my family’s travel patterns. For example, last year I took my daughter to Disneyland. I signed my husband and I up for two IHG credit cards expecting to use the points to cover the trip.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is offering an increased bonus of up to 120,000 IHG points— 80,000 after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, and another 40,000 after spending a total of $5,000 in the first 6 months.
However, when I went to book, I found an IHG Rewards Club Accelerate offer that was too good to pass up. I’d earn 53,000 bonus points with just a four-night stay at two different properties, as long as one of them was a Holiday Inn. Disneyland area IHG hotels are plentiful. On the week we stayed, rates were consistently under $100. For a five-night stay, spending $450 including taxes, I earned 61,000 points. By TPG valuations, that is $305 in IHG points, not bad!
What Are the Best IHG Redemptions for Families?
With that in mind, I set out to find IHG properties where spending points instead of cash actually makes sense. My travel criteria included the following:
- Rooms that are usually priced at over the TPG points valuation (currently 0.5 cents/point)
- Rooms that sleep four or more
- Decent award availability over the next few months
- Locations that are an easy getaway for most families
I included the last one because it’s really easy to find great values in places like Southeast Asia. While I love the region, it’s not feasible for many families’ routine vacation schedules. I’ve confined my search to flights within five hours of most of the USA to keep it accessible.
I’m also leaving off items like “New Year’s Eve in New York City” because those redemptions aren’t specific to IHG. Here ‘s a deeper discussion about real-world ways to use hotel points.
I knew going into the research that that finding hotels that hit all of my marks would be a challenge. However, it proved even more difficult than I thought. For every hotel listed, I found at least 10 where I would like to stay, but found the affordable cash prices plus promotions made points redemption moot.
The Hotel Indigo San Diego-Del Mar is in a quaint beach community that would make for a relaxing family getaway. The hotel prides itself on being dog- and kid-friendly. The rooms feature two queen beds and some offer an ocean view. The hotel reviews mention a friendly staff and super-convenient location. The hotel rings in at 30,000 points a night, which is a steal vs. $300 paid rates that are relatively common at this location.
There was recently an award chart change in our favor as this luxury hotel went down from 50,000 to 45,000 IHG points a night. Cash rates are often in the $250 to $300 range, and can jump even higher than that.
Charlotte is tailor-made for a family weekend. Tryon Park combines Kimpton’s quirkiness with Charlotte’s old Southern charm. This hotel brand is best known for its wine happy hours — much appreciated after a day exploring Freedom Park with little ones. Kimpton Tryon Park takes it up a notch with craft beers and cocktail sweet teas as well.
Montreal is a terrific long weekend destination, and IHG points properties offer solid values throughout the city. I found three hotels that both slept four and gave over 0.5 cents/point. Unfortunately, the recent IHG points devaluation is taking its toll on the city. Of the three, only the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Montreal Centre-ville Ouest stayed at an affordable 30,000 points a night versus cash rates of over $200 most of the year.
At just 25,000 points a night, the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman is a total steal. You can get over 1 cent per point in value many times of the year by redeeming at this tropical resort. If you had the IHG Premier Card, then 120k bonus points could go pretty far at 25k points per night — especially factoring that the fourth award night is free for card holders.
It’s decidedly not the fanciest option on the island and awards aren’t available every single night, but it will get you sun, sand and pool time in a two queen room that sleeps four. Even better, ocean-view rooms show up as an option you can book on points. Add in that Grand Cayman is a Southwest Airlines destination, and you’ve got a Caribbean getaway on the cheap if you have a Companion Pass or Rapid Rewards points burning a hole in your pocket. If you make the trip, here are some of our favorite things for families to do in Grand Cayman.
If you’re looking for a no-stress getaway, check out the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay. The all-inclusive 50,000 per night points rate includes two adults and two kids under 12. At rates easily topping $350 per night, the resort is a solid value. While “Holiday Inn” and “luxury vacation” may not be in the same sentence very often, the resort’s private island location gets great reviews from guests. Montego is also a Southwest destination, if that helps bring the trip closer to reality.
IHG Rewards Club points are among the easiest to collect, but among the more challenging to spend if you want an above-average return for your points.
One final way to redeem IHG points for a usually better than average return is via PointBreaks where hotels drop to just 5k – 15k points per night. But since it isn’t consistent, it’s hard to plan a trip in advance with PointBreaks in mind. That said, here are some current family-friendly options from 10k IHG points per night thanks to PointBreaks.
With research and creativity, you can maximize the value of IHG points to make memories with your family. I’d love to hear about IHG hotels that provided you great value for your points spent. Please share in the comments.
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