Besides IHG PointBreaks, there are a ton of ways to cheaply spend your IHG Rewards points. And surprisingly, there are a ton of awesome cities with cheap redemptions in category 1 and category 2 hotels.
In terms of earning and spending hotel points, I’ll say it again, IHG is hands down the best rewards program. Earning is easy with great promotions, and when redeeming their hotels run from 10,000 to 50,000 points. And while a lot of hotel chains (like Hyatt) mostly have mid to high category redemptions, IHG is more evenly spread out. (Although I do recognize Hyatt hotels are much nicer).
Right now this is the only thing keeping IHG a worth while rewards program – fair redemptions. So I figured I’d point out some awesome redemptions just in category 1 hotels, which are 10,000 points a night, and category 2 hotels, which are 15,000 points a night.
Best IHG Rewards Category 1 hotels
Holiday Inn : Kiev
Maybe an untimely way to start this post given the political climate. But this is a great deal. Like a heck of a deal. Kiev is an expensive city in terms of hotels (and in no other way) and this looks like a very nice hotel.
- Price: $165/night or 10,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 94%
- Location: Great – Downtown, plus taxis and transport is cheap.
Personal notes: To me, Kiev is a really interesting place just to see the aftermath of the soviet union. When we were there though, we stayed at the InterContinental (which is pretty awesome). The IC tends to join the PointBreaks list sometime in the winter. So like us, you could potentially do nicer for 5,000 points a night. But winter is quite a drab time to visit.
But regardless, this is a nice hotel in an odd city for 10,000 points.
Holiday Inn Lyon-Vaise
- Price: $160/night or 10,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 77%
- Location: 4 miles away from downtown. But on bus route and near tram station.
Personal notes: We’ve never been to Lyon. We spent all our France time in Paris because of another PointBreaks deal. However, this looks like a sweet deal, in a cool city. This is one of the best redemption values, both because of what it would go for and the alternative options being expensive.
Holiday Inn Express : Glasgow – City Ctr Riverside
- Price: $100/night or 10,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 73%
- Location: Downtown near river. 15 minute walk to the center.
Personal notes: We stayed here in the fall and while the hotel isn’t particularly stunning or anything, it’s a great value. Anytime you’re saving money in the UK, it’s a good thing. Plus it includes breakfast.
The downtown historic area is super cool, and thus being near the river isn’t the draw, it’s the proximity to the center. And it’s just having such a good redemption in such a cool city. Still, I prefer Edinburgh to Glasgow.
Honorable Category 1 Mentions:
- Shanghai – $60 – TA rating: 70% – Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai
- Beijing – $60 – TA rating: 86% – 1.) Holiday Inn Express : Beijing Temple of Heaven
- Porto Gaia – $85 – TA rating: 90%
- Krabi – $75 – TA rating: 76% -Holiday Inn Resort : Krabi Ao Nang Beach
- Istanbul – $75 – TA rating: 66% – Holiday Inn Istanbul City
- Ft Myers – $65 – TA rating: 87% – Candlewood Suites : Fort Myers-Sanibel Gateway
- Jacksonville – $100 – TA rating: 92% – Staybridge Suites : Jacksonville
- Ann Arbor – $100 – TA rating: 60% – Candlewood Suites – Detroit/Ann Arbor
- Raleigh – $100 – TA rating: 73% – Holiday Inn : Raleigh North – Capital Blvd
- Belem, Brazil – $75 – TA rating: 95% – Holiday Inn Express : Belém Ananindeua
- Mexico City – $115 – TA rating: 68% -Holiday Inn : Ciudad De Mexico-Trade Center
- Monterrey – $100 – TA rating: 74% – Holiday Inn Express : Monterrey Galerias-Sn Jeronimo
Best IHG Rewards Category 2 hotels
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach
Crazy good deal in a big beautiful empty beach. As Platinum members we were given rooms on the first floor which have direct access to the pool, which was awesome.
- Price:$80/night or 15,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 88%
- Location: Right on the Mai Khao beach.
Personal notes: This hotel surprised me in a good way. It’s the same beach as the JW Marriott and Renaissance, but a fair bit south. The beach is again, quiet. But that’s also the downside, you’re stuck with like 3 restaurants in the area.
Holiday Inn Express : Cape Town City Centre
This hotel is impressive not for it’s $100/point value but in its actual value: saving you from paying for another hotel in such a location, and actually having a great location.
- Price: $100/night or 15,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 84%
- Location: Seriously downtown
Personal notes: In our visit to South Africa, we didn’t get over to Cape Town. Next time. Instead we went to the crappy city of Johannesburg, because we wanted to do a self-drive safari in Pilanesburg National Park. Cape Town is not for safaris but just a beautiful city on the coast.
Holiday Inn Krakow City Center
Krakow’s situation is similar to Kiev in terms of over-pricing. Its lack of competitors makes it unreasonably expensive, or something. Either way it’s a steal on points.
- Price: $150/night or 15,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 85%
- Location: The Best
Personal notes: Every time we mentioned to anyone last fall that we were heading to Warsaw, everyone would say, “why not just go to Krakow.” Well this fall we’ll be finding out in person why this is great. And also, we loved Warsaw’s Old Town! Would love to see how Krakow could be even better.
Holiday Inn : Villach
It’s in Austria, which must mean it’s awesome.
- Price: $130/night or 15,000 IHG Rewards points
- TripAdvisor rating: 90%
- Location: The center.
Personal notes: I know absolutely nothing about Villach, but I’m in love with Austria. So can anyone verify that this would be cool? Although not in the alps…
Honorable Category 2 Mentions:
- Bangkok – $70 – TA rating: 81% – Holiday Inn Bangkok Silom
(or Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam)
- HI Dubai – $100 – TA rating: 53% – Holiday Inn Dubai – Downtown Dubai
- HI Berlin – $105 – TA rating: 57% – Holiday Inn Berlin Mitte
- HI Prague – $105 – TA rating: 70% – Holiday Inn : Prague Congress Centre
- Amman – $140 – TA rating: 54% – Holiday Inn : Amman
- San Juan – $100 – TA rating: 66% – Holiday Inn Express : San Juan Condado
- Moscow – $125 – TA rating: 64% – Holiday Inn : Moscow – Vinogradovo
- Seoul – $115 – TA rating: 86% – Holiday Inn : Seongbuk Seoul
Considering there are hotels for 50,000 points that aren’t worth much more than many of these… these are great deals. In fact, most domestic InterContinental hotels that are 50,000 or close to it, are on average close to $150.