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The only thing better than a European getaway is one you don’t have to pay for using your hard-earned cash. If you can use your points to book your stay in Europe, you’ll have more money available to take in the sights. However, the points requirements for a free night can be very high in some European hotels — yet, there can be some extraordinary values for your points as well. Here we categorize the best redemptions for IHG hotels, whether you’re interested in luxury travel, budget travel, or the best hotels in your favorite city.
Boost points with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
An easy way to accumulate IHG points is by applying for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Note that there is an $0 for the First Year, then $89 annual fee, but $0 foreign exchange fees, making it perfect for making purchases abroad. Cardholders can enjoy a free night after each year of having the card, plus a free fourth night when you redeem points for a stay for four or more nights.
How we determined point values
In order to determine approximate point values, we checked dates in August and November of 2019 and February and July of 2020 at all IHG properties that fell into our categories in Western Europe. By checking such an expansive list of dates, we were able to include low season dates in November and March, when there are fewer tourists, as well as some high season nights during the mid-June through August peak travel season to try to get a good value range for each hotel. The rates we checked were for a standard room with one bed. Depending on when you are traveling, you may find values outside of the range we have listed here so it is always worth checking the value you are getting for your points before you book!
We value IHG® points at about 0.5 cents each. If you are getting at least that much value from your points, it is definitely worth considering making a redemption. Any value that is close to or above one cent per point is very good. To determine what value you’re getting for your points, you need to know the monetary cost of the room, as well as the number of points you’d need to book the room. Then, divide the monetary cost by the number of points to determine how much your points are worth.
If you’re not getting at least 0.5 cents per point of value for your redemption, you should consider booking with cash, staying at a different hotel, or even looking into alternatives like Airbnb and hostels. If values vary significantly from night to night, you do have the option of booking individual nights with cash or with points. When you arrive at the hotel, they can string your reservations together so you don’t need to change rooms.
Here are our picks for the best value IHG properties in Europe:
Best for luxury
Only InterContinental hotels were included in the luxury hotel category.
InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel – 55,000 points
Good value luxury hotels can be very tough to come by in Europe, but the InterContinental Bordeaux would have been worth redeeming points at during every night we checked with points values ranging between 0.50 and 0.78 cents per point. The hotel, located in the historic city center, is set in an 18th-century building with a neoclassical-inspired facade — you might find it as grand as its name.
InterContinental Vienna – 35,000 points
The InterContinental Vienna is set in a great location, less than a 15-minute walk from both the Vienna State Opera House and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Centrally located, it’s also situated right across from the sizeable Stadtpark (translating to “city park”) — which could be an ideal location if you want to explore Vienna on foot. The InterContinental Vienna always has really solid points values ranging from 0.52 cents per point to 0.75 cents per point on the dates we checked.
InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam – 60,000 points
The InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam is a riverside hotel that gives you a base from which you explore the many canals of the historic Dutch capital. A 25-minute walk can lead you to the Van Gogh Museum, where you can enjoy the artist’s masterpieces, or spend your time strolling leisurely through the city’s boutiques, bars and cafés. Points were well worth using on the days we checked, with values ranging from 0.68 cents to 1 cent per point.
Best for budget
Hotels that cost 20,000 points per night or less were considered to be in the budget category.
Holiday Inn Porto – Gaia – 15,000 points
A 4-star hotel for only 15,000 points per night may well be impressive, especially in Europe. The Holiday Inn Porto-Gaia is outside of the main center of Portugal’s second-largest city, but it’s still accessible to transportation, so getting around Porto and to other parts of Portugal and Europe shouldn’t be a challenge. Point values for this hotel were pretty reasonable — between 0.63 and .81 cents per point on the nights we checked.
Budapest Budaors Holiday Inn – 10,000 points
Budapest is often less expensive to stay in than many of the larger cities in Western Europe; this Holiday Inn only costs 10,000 points per night, so you might find this one to be an even better value. On the dates we checked, values ranged between 0.76 and 0.98 cents per point which is very solid across the entire range. You’ll have to travel a little bit more to get to the sights from this suburban hotel, but the hotel is located only an 8-minute walk from the train station, so that may not be too much work.
The Hague Parliament Holiday Inn Express – 20,000 points
This hotel rings in at a greater number of points per night compared with the two other budget category hotels we have listed, but at 20,000 points per night it still isn’t too expensive. When you take into consideration that this hotel’s great location within The Hague, and that point values ranged from 0.49 to 0.70 cents per point, you might find it’s still a good deal. Since it is a Holiday Inn Express, complimentary breakfast is also provided for all guests.
Best for city stays
Holiday Inn Helsinki West Ruoholahti – 15,000 points
Europe is generally already on the expensive side, but if you want to see hotel costs skyrocket, just head to Scandinavia. Luckily, there are some great value hotel redemptions, like the Holiday Inn Helsinki West Ruoholahti. This hotel is only a few minutes walk from the metro; from there you can easily get to all the sights of the Finnish capital. Points values at this hotel ranged between 0.66 cents and 1 cent per point on the dates we checked.
Crowne Plaza Milan-Linate – 25,000 points
If you want to stay near the Milan Linate Airport, the Crowne Plaza Milan-Linate might be the way to go. Though the hotel is on the edge of town (about 15 minutes’ drive from the airport), it’s also a free shuttle away from a train and subway station, so coming and going could be simple. Points values weren’t always great at this hotel, but on the upper end of the range it would definitely make sense to use points. Values were as high as 0.67 cents per point, but did drop as low as 0.29 cents per point.
Rome St. Peter’s Crowne Plaza – 30,000 points
Rome is an especially tough place to stay on a budget, but it is also a very popular place to visit, so points rates tend to be on the higher side. Rome St. Peter’s Crowne Plaza is located 4 km from St. Peter’s Basilica and 8 km from the Colosseum; it is unfortunately not very close to the Metro, though the hotel says that it has shuttle service available. Seasonally, there is an outdoor pool available which is nice after spending the day walking around during those hot Rome summers. Points values weren’t always great, but ranged from 0.32 to 0.51 cents per point — at the higher end of the range it is worth considering redeeming points.
These hotels are just a start — it’s always worth spending time to research off the beaten path hotels and specifics for your travel dates. For more information, read our guide to getting the most out of your IHG points.
Also, if you’ll be traveling to Asia, check out our guide to the best hotels to use your IHG Rewards points in Southeast Asia.