Not much gets blogged about IHG Rewards Club’s Hotels Anywhere, but like the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal it can be a great way to save points and cash on hotel stays/redeem points for discounted hotel stays. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hotels Anywhere, it’s a travel portal where IHG members can redeem their IHG points for (lack of a better word) hotels anywhere – regardless of whether they are IHG-affiliated or even available on points. Redemption rates vary, but there are several instances where redeeming points through Hotels Anywhere can save you points and cash:
1. No Standard Award Availability at IHG Hotels. The great thing about Hotels Anywhere is that members can still book IHG hotels with points when standard awards are not available. In some cases, this actually works out cheaper. IHG’s award chart is pretty inflated, with free nights ranging from 10,000 – 60,000 points per night. With Hotels Anywhere, you can sometimes pay less for an IHG award night, depending on the paid rate of the hotel.
For example, I randomly searched for rates at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas for March 27 – 28. Paid rates were $209 while IHG award rates were 60,000 points per night. Points + Cash rates were 40,000 + $125. Meanwhile, Hotels Anywhere had rooms available for 47,000 points. It’s still steep, but significantly less than the IHG rates.
2. IHG Award Rates are Too High. One of the problems with IHG Rewards Club is that outside of a top-tier award, it can be difficult to get value out of your points. When rates at a Holiday Inn in Anaheim are $100 or 30,000 points per night, most people will opt to save their points. The point rates on Hotels Anywhere depend on the paid rate, so there are instances where you’ll find more reasonable award redemption rates this way. Take, for example, the Palazzo
3. Booking Non-Standard Hotels Rooms. The problem with reward nights is that they only get you a standard room. That’s not so bad when you’re redeeming IHG points for a hotel like the Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora, but there are hotels where shelling out 30,000+ points per night seems like a bit of a rip-off. With Hotels Anywhere, points can be redeemed for standard rooms, suites, and even apartments. A great example of this is in Kuala Lumpur, where a standard room at the Intercontinental is 30,000 points per night. A family of four would have to redeem 60,000 points per night for two rooms at this hotel. A better alternative may be to book a 2-bedroom apartment at E&O Residence for 44,000 points through Hotels Anywhere.
Another example is the Chatrium Residence Bangkok Sathorn, where 2-bedroom suites (including breakfast) can be booked for 53,000 points per night through Hotels Anywhere. Meanwhile, the Intercontinental Bangkok requires 35,000 points per night for a standard room, excluding breakfast. For a group of four people traveling together, the Chatrium Residence is a much better alternative to the Intercontinental – not to mention cheaper.
4. Book Kimpton Hotels. IHG announced the acquisition of Kimpton over two years ago, vowing to keep the boutique chain just that. This has meant keeping Kimpton Karma Rewards separate from IHG Rewards Club, which has made Kimpton loyalists happy while irking IHG members. As a result, it’s still not possible to redeem IHG points for Kimpton hotels…unless you book through Hotels Anywhere. Redemption rates depend on paid rates and can either be a great or ridiculously high. But if you’re looking to redeem points for Kimpton hotels, it’s definitely worth checking out Hotels Anywhere.
5. Booking Non-IHG Hotels. If you want to book hotels outside of the IHG portfolio but don’t have enough points with that particular program (i.e. Hilton HHonors), Hotels Anywhere might be a good alternative. You may not always get the same quality hotel, but in major cities you’ll likely get something similar in terms of location and rating. Instead of redeeming 60,000 points per night at the Intercontinental New York Times Square, consider booking the DoubleTree New York Times Square West for 40,000 points through Hotels Anywhere instead. It’s cheaper and just a couple of blocks from the Intercontinental.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to redeem free nights with IHG Hotels or another chain, Hotels Anywhere can save you a ton of points. It’s always good to explore your options and make booking decisions based on how you value your points. Hotels Anywhere helps you do just that.
Have you ever booked a hotel through IHG Hotels Anywhere?
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