5 IHG Hotels Where Families Will Want to Spend Their Points

Mar 2, 2019

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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!

Anaheim, CA USA - August 22, 2015: Disneyland 60th aniversary at Cars Land. This year Disneyland celebrates its 60th aniversary of been open. On this day the park celebrated with fireworks and over 150 thousand people. People walk around rides and games at the downtown Cars Land during the night time..
(Photo courtesy of Disneyland)

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.

Hotel Indigo San Diego-Del Mar

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.

Grab a bite at the casual yet elegant Ocean View Bar & Grill, the main restaurant of the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar.
Grab a bite at the casual yet elegant Ocean View Bar & Grill, the main restaurant at the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar.

Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Charlotte, North Carolina

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.

Image courtesy of Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel

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.

Charlotte Freedom Park
(Photo by JillLang / Getty Images)

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Montreal Centre-Ville Ouest

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.

Photo by Steven_Kriemadis/Getty Images
(Photo by Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images)

Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman

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.

Panorama of Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman island (Getty Images)
Panorama of Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman island (Getty Images)

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. 

Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive, Jamaica

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.

Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay. Photo Courtesy of Holiday Inn Hotels.
Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay (Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Hotels)

Bottom Line

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.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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