How We Use Our IHG Points


IHG often has great signup bonuses on their cards, but they fall “under the radar” compared to the other hotel brands. They have long been my second favorite brand (after Hyatt, of course). We have many readers asking us about how we use our IHG points, so here goes!

First of all, there are several IHG brands. From family hotels to luxury hotels, there is something for everyone. Staybridge Suites, Atwell Suites, and Candlewood Suites are especially nice for families as they give you more room, offer free breakfast, and sometimes have a kitchen.


screenshot IHG brands


Intercontinental Hotels

This is the highest brand of IHG that Alex and I have stayed at. I really enjoy them, and they are luxurious. Think chandeliers and marble, and you have an Intercontinental hotel. Maybe not the best for a family, but great for a couples’ getaway or girls’ trip!

Here are a few great ones we’ve tried:

Intercontinental Monterey

Alex stayed at the Intercontinental Monterey with her sister, Kasey. She raved on and on about the views. I found rooms ranging from 52K – 101K—talk about a range!


hotel with IHG sign

The Intercontinental Monterey has unparalleled views.


Intercontinental Abu Dhabi

Recently, I stayed one day at the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi on a long layover to the Maldives. It was literally just for a quick nap and a home base to get out and explore Abu Dhabi! The lobby was spectacular; the rooms were a little dated. I was able to use a free night certificate for this room, so that made it more than worthwhile, as the annual fee is only $95 on the IHG card that gave me the certificate.


Luxury hotel lobby with chandeliers

Lobby of the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi


Intercontinental Dubai

My first stay at an Intercontinental Hotel was in Dubai. The Intercontinental Dubai in Festival City was a gorgeous hotel in a really fun location. I used a free night certificate for that stay, which is still possible as I found many nights for 30K/night.


IHG Dubai

Typical Intercontinental Hotel decor – luxury at it’s finest!


There are many Intercontinental hotels in the United States. I haven’t stayed at any yet, but the following intrigue me:


Kimpton Hotels

If you asked me how we use our IHG points, you’d get one answer—Kimpton Hotels. They are my favorite IHG brand because they are very individual and boutiquey. I could go on and on about them. If I’m not staying at a Hyatt, I want to stay at a Kimpton. Here are some of my favorites…so far 😉

Kimpton Charlotte Square Edinburgh

I used a free night certificate for this room that screamed quirky! It was convenient to walk in Edinburgh, had an amazing breakfast, and is a great stay if you go to Scotland. My only complaint is that we booked it for just one night—it was seriously one of my favorite stays!


Hotel Bedroom with red phone

I can’t tell you just how quirky and cute this hotel room was—pictures don’t do it justice!


Kimpton Margot Sydney

The Kimpton Margot Sydney has its own quirky feel—a 50’s vibe. For as little as 33K points, you can stay here in the magnificent city of Sydney, Australia. If you stay there, be sure and eat at their restaurant, Luke’s Kitchen. It is really good!


Hotel room with blue rug

The room at the Kimpton Margot Sydney was very spacious.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver

Want a Kimpton in the US? The Kimpton Hotel Monaco or the Kimpton Hotel Born are great choices, and with flexibility, I can stay at one for under 40K/night. Both are in downtown Denver and make a great stay after a ski trip in the mountains before you fly out from Denver Airport.


Hotel room

Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Denver – you can’t see the unique ceiling this picture.


Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC

Alex and I stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco when we visited Washington, DC. We had a really nice suite, but the green lobby was my favorite part of the hotel. The location near the National Mall was superb at just a few minutes walk, so it is an ideal location for visiting the nation’s capital. Rooms run about 50k/night here.


Green hotel lobby

You would love or hate this wild lobby—I LOVED it!


Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa, Grand Cayman Islands

Alex and I have raved about our stay at the Kimpton Seafire Resort to everyone—it runs at 70k/night but is worth every point. Located on Seven Mile Beach, it is stunning. We enjoyed it so much that we didn’t even explore Grand Cayman; we just enjoyed the Kimpton Seafire. Jess recently opened an IHG card and booked a stay here with her welcome offer because we had so many good things to say about it!

Kimpton Seafire Grand Cayman pool view

View from our room at the Kimpton Seafire in Grand Cayman.


I can’t wait to continue this love affair with Kimpton. Here are some others that I’d like to stay at:


Crowne Plaza Hotels

Before I started using credit card points and miles,  these were a brand of hotels I stayed at quite frequently. I can’t remember any standing out to me, though. However, Jess had a recent stay in Brugge, Belgium, that included a stay at the Crowne Plaza Brugge, which she really liked. It was the perfect location for the Christmas markets! Crowne Plaza seems to be more economical too!

Screenshot of Crown Plaza Brugge room


The US News has a list of the top Crowne Plaza hotels for 2023 that will give further inspiration. Again, they might make some great family stays.


Hotel Indigo

The Hotel Indigo brand has long been on my radar. It is interesting that none of us has stayed at one yet. It appears to be similar to Kimpton and is advertised as boutique hotels around the world. These are some I am interested in staying at.

Hotel Indigo Adelaide, Australia

This hotel has a cute, funky vibe from the pictures. I found rooms for 29K points/night making it an affordable stay.


Hotel lobby in pink colors

Picture from IHG site


Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

This hotel is located on a beach in Bali and is very affordable at 29K points/night. A standard IHG card signup bonus could get you 4 nights free—pretty remarkable.


Pool area at Bali hotel

I really like the Balinese feel at this hotel and would love to return to Bali.


voco Hotels

Until my recent Scotland trip, I had never heard of nor stayed at this brand. The voco Edinburgh sold me on this mid-range hotel. I enjoyed the modern, boutiquey feel of it.


Hotel room with white bed

The voco hotel in Edinburgh had a spacious bedroom.


Bottom Line

These are some of the ways we use our IHG points. There are countless IHG hotels all over the world. The experience that we’ve had with IHG hotels has been very favorable, so we feel confident that you, too, will find many great stays with your IHG points. Let us know what fabulous IHG hotel you stay at and we will add them to this list.

Pool area of hotel

Share this post

  1. Miranda says:

    I received the recent increased sign up offer for the IHG premier so this post is so timely! Thanks ❤️

  2. Pam says:

    Yay! So glad it was helpful for you!

  3. Jessica Ayala says:

    The Intercontinental in Caiscais, Portugal, is amazing!

  4. Judy says:

    I will earn 176K points and my husband 175K when our statement closes after opening the IHG mid-June (expensive month for us). What do I do for the Kimpton Grand Cayman if they need 210K – dang me – I wish I had known that it looks like they charge you to combine points – I’d have bought some when they had that recent points purchase offer. Any thoughts?

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