How to use IHG Rewards Club points this summer

This post brought to you by IHG Rewards Club. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Pit Stops for Kids.

IHG-points

Summer is the busiest travel season of the year for families. But if you travel year-round, as we do, it’s also the season to build up hotel reward points!

Think you don’t travel ‘year-round’? Do you travel with your children for sports tournaments or dance competitions? Do you visit grandparents or other family members for the holidays? Do you take spring break getaways or weekend escapes? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you are indeed year-round travelers. And year-round travelers need to take advantage of hotel reward point programs like shareforever.ihg.comIHG Rewards Club.

the-springs-two-room-suite

How IHG Rewards Club works:

First, you need to sign up. It’s free and easy. After signing up, you’ll earn reward points for every stay. Why should you focus on earning reward points this summer? Because of IHG’s Share Forever Rewards program:

  • Earn 500 Points for your next IHG hotel stay from May 1, 2015 – September 2, 2015
  • Earn another 500 points for that same hotel stay to share with another member! (Or keep the points for yourself!)
  • Earn from 68,500 to 115,500 “Share Forever” bonus points plus a maximum 58,500 bonus points to share, or keep.

After a summer of building up points before the September deadline, you’ll have a nice stockpile to use for fall and winter travel plans.

How to redeem IHG points:

Sometimes, the hardest part of using any rewards club is redeeming your points. When looking for a hotel through the IHG website, login with your IHG Rewards information before shopping for a reservation. When you search for a specific city and dates, the available hotels will now list both the cash room rate and the number of points as two options for booking.

hotel pool fun

Here’s how IHG Rewards Club has worked for us:

Often during our travels, our hotel stay is a major part of our vacation. We choose our resort with care, and it’s important to us that it reflect the atmosphere and culture of our destination, whether that be a beach stay or a ski vacation. These stays cost us more than if we’d simply chosen the cheapest hotel available, but we earn points during the trip.

Later, we use these points to take care of the many ‘pit stop’ hotel stays we need during travel the rest of the year. For instance, when our son’s soccer team traveled for a major soccer tournament, hotel rooms in Las Vegas went through the roof (due to demand). Instead of paying a high price for the room we needed, we used IHG points. The stay felt free to us, even though we’d earned it through our hotel stays earlier in the year.

Because IHG hotels include properties in the Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites hotel families, along with higher tier brands such as Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza, we’ve never had trouble finding a hotel that took our points, no matter where we’ve traveled.

What to do with leftover points:

Here’s my #1 pet peeve about hotel loyalty points: I always have an odd amount leftover after redeeming for a stay. For instance, just last week, I used 20,000 for an overnight at a Holiday Inn Express, leaving me with 5,000 points in my account. In most cases, this is not enough for a stay. Next time I want to use my points, I won’t be able to…right? Not with IHG. Leftover points can easily be applied to a stay you’re paying for in a number of ways, including upgrades to better views and promoted room packages. Or, if you have just a few points, you can hang onto them and buy a few more during your next purchased reservation. For instance, when I booked the Holiday Inn Express, I noticed that for just $40 more on the room rate, I could have gotten 5,000 extra IHG points for my stay.

Ready to try? Register Now.

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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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