It’s fun collecting IHG points whenever you stay in an IHG group hotel, but it’s more fun spending your points on a reward free night!
Surprisingly, so many U.S. residents stay and travel across the U.S., stay in hotels often, but have never signed up to the IHG program and so are missing out on the reward nights.
It costs nothing to join the IHG Reward program.
Every time you make a booking you collect points every time you stay. The number of points depends on the hotel you stay, its tier and the cash price.
But, how many IHG points are needed for a free night?
46,905 IHG Points are needed on average for a free night stay in an IHG hotel. InterContinental hotels are the most expensive with an average of 61,000 IHG Points needed, and the Holiday Inn Express hotels are the cheapest with an average of 33,000 IHG Points needed for a free night.
It is possible to find a reward free night from just 10,000 IHG Points, but these are harder to come by.
Points for a Free Night across the U.S. States
The best way to look at how many IHG points are needed for free nights is by examples.
We have spent considerable time looking across different states, and different IHG brand hotels, to give you some actual real data.
Each night below is based on a one-night stay on 17th September:
|IHG Brand||State||City||IHG Points Needed for a Free Night|
|Holiday Inn||NY||New York||68,000|
|Crowne Plaza||NY||New York||59,000|
|Holiday Inn Express||NY||New York||32,000|
|Holiday Inn||IL||Chicago||Sold Out|
|Holiday Inn Express||IL||Chicago||54,000|
|Holiday Inn||TN||Nashville||Sold Out|
|Crowne Plaza||TN||Nashville||Not Available|
|Holiday Inn Express||TN||Nashville||29,000|
|Holiday Inn Express||CO||Denver||23,000|
|Holiday Inn||CA||San Francisco||27,000|
|Kimpton||CA||San Francisco||Sold Out|
|Crowne Plaza||CA||San Francisco||21,000|
|Holiday Inn Express||CA||San Francisco||27,000|
In all cases the closest brand hotel to the center was selected. In all cases the hotel was within 10 miles of the town center.
The InterContinental brand hotel from IHG is almost always the most expensive hotel in the chain, whereas the Holiday Inn Express chain is often the cheapest.
This though is often based on how close to the town center the hotel is. The closer the more expensive, the further out you should find less IHG points are needed.
The Fewest Number of IHG Points Needed
Free nights with IHG can be redeemed from 10,000 IHG Points.
There are not many free night rooms available for as low a rate, but in most cities and many nights IHG reward nights can be had from 20,000 IHG Points.
These are often in the Holiday Inn Express chain of hotels, and the 10,000 IHG reward night rate is mostly found on a Sunday night during the off-peak season.
How Many Holiday Inn Express Points for a Free Night?
On average 33,000 IHG Points are required for a Holiday Inn Express free night. This is dependent on the city, the day of the week stayed, the popularity of the hotel on that night and how close the Holiday Inn Express hotel is to the town center.
It is possible to find Holiday Inn Express reward nights from less than 20,000 IHG Points. These low reward price free nights tend to be on Sunday nights and booked a number of weeks in advance.
How to Exchange IHG Points for a Reward Free Night
The easiest way to exchange your IHG Points for a free night is using the IHG website or app. Log in to your IHG Rewards account and search for a hotel using the Reward Night option. This will replace a cash price with a point price. Choose the hotel and make the booking.
Your points will be automatically deducted from your IHG Rewards account.
Not all rooms are available with point bookings.
Only a limited number of all rooms can be booked using IHG points – and the number of reward night rooms available as you upgrade up through the room types, also reduces.
That said it isn’t often to find all reward nights taken for a hotel on a night, so you should find at least a standard room available for you to use your IHG points for a free night.
How Many Nights for 50,000 IHG Points?
It is possible to stay in an IHG hotel for up to 5 nights for 50,000 IHG Points. The fewest number of points required is 10,000, but these are not always easy to find. On average across all IHG brand hotels, 50,000 IHG Points can be redeemed for a one-night stay.
This is based on the 46,905 average we have already shown.
Savvy IHG Point spenders could easily redeem 50,000 IHG Points for 3 free nights staying in IHG hotels slightly out of the town center and staying in the Holiday Inn Express chain of hotel.
We managed to find a 3-night stay in the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Wheat Ridge in Denver for 42,999 IHG Points between 22nd October to 25th of October.
You may need to extend your search further out of the city, but they can be found!
Free Night with IHG Points – In Conclusion
Free night rewards are a great way to escape things for a while and go and take a mini vacation across your State or neighboring states.
It doesn’t take too long to collect enough points for a free night.
On average a 3 to 4-night stay at a cash rate can give you enough points towards your first free night. Even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire night, IHG have a Points + Cash option to part pay for your hotel night with cash and part pay with points.