While I do enjoy writing comprehensive “Best Use” posts where I dig in and look for deals, I also love data… This post is more of the second.
My “Data-Driven” posts are posts from unique data we’ve gathered.
Recently, I got curious what a database would look like with every IHG hotel’s lowest rate and points price. Then I could divide the cash price by the points price and get the highest ROI hotels. I did that, and this post is about my findings.
I’ll give the hotels with the highest rewards values overall, per category, show a map with hotel values, what the most expensive IHG hotels in the world are, and conclusions based on the data.
Also, make sure to check out the section on profitable points hotels.
Note that I already did a Cheapest IHG Hotels In The World post for earning IHG points, but those are by definition the worst redemptions. This post is the highest value redemptions, according to the data we collected.
Best Overall IHG Hotel Values:
If you’re like me, this list is a little surprising.
It’s… just… Candlewood and Holiday Inn heavy.
Typically when I do my “best use of” posts on these programs, I’m looking for the best place I’d want to stay for a while. It’s an “x” factor. This, on the other hand, is a data-driven post.
Would I want to stay a week at the Candlewood in Odessa, Texas? No way. 0% tempted. But sometimes those are the highest value hotels in terms of savings with points.
Still, I think this process and research does prove to find some gems…
Best Peak Season Hotel Values
Trust me, doing this by the lowest bookable rate is the right way of doing this post. However, there are a few hotels that are consistently expensive in peak season and cheap in off-season (usually winter).
Thus, I decided to look for hotels that are regularly expensive and do those. So this is filtering out hotels that have one or two peak dates (conferences?) but frequently charge higher rates.
This revealed a few hotels that are the more typical “Best Use”.
|Hotel name||Lowest cash price||Redemption Value||Points||Highest Value||At Best Redemption Value|
|InterContinental – ANA Beppu Resort & Spa||$530.78||$0.0088||60,000||$992.32||$0.0165|
|InterContinental – ANA Ishigaki Resort||$200.00||$0.0033||60,000||$617.96||$0.0103|
|InterContinental – ANA Manza Beach Resort||$314.54||$0.0045||70,000||$794.88||$0.0114|
|InterContinental Hotels Carlton Cannes||$225.24||$0.0038||60,000||$962.37||$0.0160|
|InterContinental Hotels Kyiv||$269.41||$0.0090||30,000||$310.34||$0.0103|
|InterContinental Hotels Osaka||$413.85||$0.0069||60,000||$976.94||$0.0163|
As you can see, this a Japan heavy list. Mostly resorts – two in Okinawa and one in Beppu, Japan, which is a natural hot springs resort town (which I believe the hotel itself builds into).
Sounds like an amazing redemption that I would’ve never noticed before doing this. Japan in peak season is a great use of IHG points in general.
Most Expensive IHG Hotels
I still think there is something to “aspirational” redemptions. After all, some are still on the best values list, and many people still have free nights from the IHG credit card (which will be transitioning to free nights at hotels up 40k points, whereas, it’s currently bookable at all hotels).
Note: The InterContinental Maldives is not yet bookable by points. It just opened for cash and I’ve no idea when it will be bookable by points.
Best use with new IHG Free Night Cert
I decided to sort the chart above by points first and then cash rate. This way you can view the top hotels under 40,000 points just by scrolling down a little bit.
The first hotel is a Holiday Inn in Nashville, which shows how far the free night has fallen.
But let me highlight the top results…
However, you’ll see
- The InterContinental Fiji, which we stayed at for 8 nights, and it’s quite pleasant. I’d also want to go visit some of the small islands around the area.
- The Holiday Inn in Zion National Park is on there. We visited Zion National Park recently, and the hotel is actually really in the park, so you can just hop on the park shuttle and go hiking.
- A Holiday Inn in Hollywood, Vancouver, and Paris.
- A Hotel Indigo in Atlanta.
- A Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island! Which I had no idea existed til just now!
- The InterContinental Kiev keeps coming up, because it is a great hotel (we also stayed 17 nights there once, as I recently mentioned). Kiev is a fantastic city when it’s warm.
- Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach
Profitable Points Buying Hotels
It’s very common to be able to buy IHG points for .5 cents per point. IHG often sells points with a 100% bonus, you can cancel a cash & points booking and get back 100% cash, IHG promos are great, and even Daily Getaways was selling IHG points for .5 cents each.
Thus, I made a chart of hotels where you would be better off buying points than booking the lowest cash rate. Which is crazy, because sometimes these hotels are way more expensive.
Assuming .5 cents per point (which is often what you can buy IHG Points at), you would save money buying points:
The “Cost to Value” column shows a different metric. It’s currently sorted by savings, but this is an increase in value. For example…
The “Candlewood Suites Carlsbad South” was not found by us for under $344 before taxes. Yet, you can buy the points for $100. $344 is 3.44 times more than $100.
Or, a better example is the Holiday Inn Suva, Fiji. It only costs $75 to buy the points, but the hotel consistently costs $150, which is double value.
Map of the Best 200 IHG Hotel Points Values
Best IHG Points Redemption By Hotel Category
I cap the category 1 & 2 hotels at values over 1 cent per point, then start moving downward… As there are way fewer valuable hotels (by the metric of dollars to points ratio) as you move to higher categories.
Best IHG Category 1 hotels:
|Holiday Inn Bulawayo||Bulawayo||Zimbabwe||$135.95||10,000||$0.0136|
|Candlewood Suites DFW South||Fort Worth||United States||$134.82||10,000||$0.0135|
|Candlewood Suites Lake Charles-Sulphur||Sulphur||United States||$132.05||10,000||$0.0132|
|The Cleveland Hotel||Cleveland||United States||$129.01||10,000||$0.0129|
|Candlewood Suites Sierra Vista||Sierra Vista||United States||$128.25||10,000||$0.0128|
|Holiday Inn Express Wilmington||Wilmington||United States||$123.49||10,000||$0.0123|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brooksville-I-75||Brooksville||United States||$122.55||10,000||$0.0123|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Logan||Logan||United States||$122.22||10,000||$0.0122|
|Candlewood Suites Craig-Northwest||Craig||United States||$119.80||10,000||$0.0120|
|Candlewood Suites Port Arthur/Nederland||Nederland||United States||$119.70||10,000||$0.0120|
|Holiday Inn Matamoros||Matamoros||Mexico||$117.98||10,000||$0.0118|
|Candlewood Suites Jefferson City||Jefferson City||United States||$117.80||10,000||$0.0118|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Rio Grande City||Rio Grande City||United States||$117.79||10,000||$0.0118|
|Candlewood Suites Sheridan||Sheridan||United States||$114.57||10,000||$0.0115|
|Candlewood Suites Milwaukee Brown Deer||Brown Deer||United States||$113.49||10,000||$0.0113|
|Candlewood Suites Ft Lee – Petersburg – Hopewell||Hopewell||United States||$112.75||10,000||$0.0113|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Goshen||Goshen||United States||$111.54||10,000||$0.0112|
|Holiday Inn Express Flint-Campus Area||Flint||United States||$111.15||10,000||$0.0111|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Greenwood||Greenwood||United States||$110.30||10,000||$0.0110|
|Candlewood Suites Indianapolis Northwest||Indianapolis||United States||$108.64||10,000||$0.0109|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Wallace-Hwy 41||Wallace||United States||$106.70||10,000||$0.0107|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Greenville||Greenville||United States||$103.89||10,000||$0.0104|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites El Dorado||El Dorado||United States||$102.82||10,000||$0.0103|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Selma||Selma||United States||$100.88||10,000||$0.0101|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sparta||Sparta||United States||$100.88||10,000||$0.0101|
|Candlewood Suites Jacksonville East Merril Road||Jacksonville||United States||$99.75||10,000||$0.0100|
|Candlewood Suites San Antonio NW near SeaWorld||San Antonio||United States||$99.74||10,000||$0.0100|
Best IHG Category 2 Hotels:
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Palm Coast – Flagler Bch Area||Palm Coast||United States||$181.45||15,000||$0.0121|
|Candlewood Suites Yuma||Yuma||United States||$175.57||15,000||$0.0117|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Panama City-Tyndall||Panama City||United States||$171.10||15,000||$0.0114|
|Holiday Inn Express Kenedy||Kenedy||United States||$164.90||15,000||$0.0110|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Waterville – North||Waterville||United States||$157.14||15,000||$0.0105|
|Holiday Inn Suva||Suva||Fiji Islands||$154.30||15,000||$0.0103|
|Staybridge Suites Palmdale||Palmdale||United States||$153.90||15,000||$0.0103|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston East – Baytown||Baytown||United States||$152.29||15,000||$0.0102|
|Candlewood Suites Monahans||Monahans||United States||$150.10||15,000||$0.0100|
Best IHG Category 3 (above .9 cents per point value):
|Candlewood Suites Carlsbad South||Carlsbad||United States||$344.85||20,000||$0.0172|
|Candlewood Suites Baytown||Baytown||United States||$255.55||20,000||$0.0128|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites Richland||Richland||United States||$213.75||20,000||$0.0107|
|Crowne Plaza Eilat||Eilat||Israel||$190.16||20,000||$0.0095|
|Holiday Inn Express Tallahassee – I-10 E||Tallahassee||United States||$187.99||20,000||$0.0094|
|Holiday Inn Express Sheboygan-Kohler (I-43)||Sheboygan||United States||$179.55||20,000||$0.0090|
Best Category 4 hotels (above .8 cents per point value)
|Crowne Plaza Providence-Warwick (Airport)||Warwick||United States||$256.50||25,000||$0.0103|
|Holiday Inn Express & Suites La Jolla – Beach Area||La Jolla||United States||$226.10||25,000||$0.0090|
|Crowne Plaza Dead Sea||Dead Sea||Israel||$204.84||25,000||$0.0082|
|Staybridge Suites Pecos||Pecos||United States||$202.16||25,000||$0.0081|
Best Category 5 hotels (above .8 cents per point value):
|Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island||Avalon||United States||$342.00||30,000||$0.0114|
|InterContinental Hotels Johannesburg O.R.Tambo Airport||Johannesburg||South Africa||$288.52||30,000||$0.0096|
|InterContinental Hotels Madinah-Dar Al Iman||Madinah||Saudi Arabia||$282.20||30,000||$0.0094|
|InterContinental Hotels Phoenicia Beirut||Beirut||Lebanon||$269.80||30,000||$0.0090|
|InterContinental Hotels Kyiv||Kyiv||Ukraine||$269.41||30,000||$0.0090|
|Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach||Tel Aviv||Israel||$247.82||30,000||$0.0083|
|Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon||Stratford Upon Avon||United Kingdom||$239.36||30,000||$0.0080|
Best IHG Category 6 hotels (above .8 cents per point value):
|Holiday Inn Paris – Auteuil||Paris||France||$378.98||35,000||$0.0108|
No IHG Category 7’s above .8 cents value.
No IHG Category 8’s above .8 cents value.
Best IHG Category 9 hotels (above .8 cents per point value):
|Holiday Inn & Suites Ocean City||Ocean City||United States||$420.84||50,000||$0.0084|
No Category 10’s above .8 cents value.
Best IHG Category 11 hotels (above .8 cents per point value):
|InterContinental – ANA Beppu Resort & Spa||Beppu||Japan||$530.78||60,000||$0.0088|
No Category 12’s above .4 cents value!
Best IHG Category 13 hotels:
|InterContinental Hotels Maldives Maamunagau Resort||Raa Atoll||Maldives||$956.70||70,000||$0.0137|
|InterContinental Hotels Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa||Bora Bora||French Polynesia/Tahiti||$850.60||70,000||$0.0122|
|InterContinental Hotels Le Moana Bora Bora||Bora Bora||French Polynesia/Tahiti||$502.41||70,000||$0.0072|
|InterContinental Hotels The Clement Monterey||Monterey||United States||$458.33||70,000||$0.0065|
|InterContinental Hotels Shanghai Wonderland||Shanghai||Mainland China||$442.80||70,000||$0.0063|
|Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa||Grand Cayman||Cayman Islands||$426.55||70,000||$0.0061|
|InterContinental Hotels Paris – Le Grand||Paris||France||$415.96||70,000||$0.0059|
Conclusion, Highest Value IHG Brands, and What It All Means
Average Brand Redemption Value
I decided to average out all the IHG Brands redemption values:
|Holiday Inn Express||0.0050|
|Holiday Inn & Suites||0.0048|
|Holiday Inn Resort||0.0036|
I would say that this is a little skewed based on locations, and that’s slightly true. I looked and Crowne Plaza hotels have a slightly higher value in the US than internationally. However, if you’ve stayed in a Crowne Plaza in the US and Asia (like Bangkok or Beijing)… you know the ones in the US are junk compared to Asia.
But it’s not just Candlewood that is mostly in the US, Kimpton is as well, and they have some of the worst average redemption values.
What It All Means
First, don’t undervalue road-trip hotels. Being able to only spend 10,000 points to get a $150 hotel is a great value. All the time in the greater Austin area hotels are $150 a night, and I’m sure it’s like that many places.
Second, don’t undervalue airport hotels. One great value is a 10k Candlewood near the Dallas airport.
Third, there’s value at the top.
I used free night certs for our 2 Weeks of Free Hotels in Bora Bora & Moorea, however, the experience was great enough, I would work hard to get enough IHG points, especially with the right promotion.
If you want to earn lots of IHG points, check out two recent posts:
Earning 70,000 points at .3 cents is still $210, but I argue that with the cheapest IHG hotels list, you could do much better. Either way, $200 for a night in Bora Bora (or hopefully soon the Maldives) is a great deal. Or maybe it’s time for me to get back to Japan.
Why I Won’t Switch Strategies Of Redeeming Points In Expensive Places
If it were solely based on this IHG redemption data, you could argue that I should be redeeming points at low category hotels and paying cash when I’m in expensive places like Europe or Hong Kong. Right?
Because the value for redemption in Hong Kong or Vienna is so bad.
Sure, the hotels are $200+ a night, but they are 50,000+ points!
The $100 hotel is normally only 10,000 to 20,000 points, which is objectively a way better value.
So why would I keep paying for the low category hotel?
Because I earn the majority of my IHG points from completing promotions where I have to complete lots of stays.
I also think it’s easy to see when hotels at low category hotels make sense. If I’m looking for an airport hotel, I just search and if I see the hotel is $200 a night or 10,000 points, it’s a no brainer redemption.
But some of these hotels are worth planning around. A vacation to a beach resort where I spend a week at a nice hotel takes planning.
I might choose IHG because I see that there’s a great value on this list, and then I plan around earning IHG points.
That’s why I don’t feel the need to normally highlight airport hotels and roadside hotels of good values. Because you shouldn’t be planning a trip to that hotel.
That being said, hopefully some people find low category hotels they can use, or places that would make a great vacation. They aren’t all in Odessa.
Also, I think this does highlight a number of high category hotels that would be great redemptions.
Anyone discover a new IHG hotel redemption here? Any preference on what hotel program I do next?