Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
There are so many ways to capitalize on rewards when it comes to dining now. Many credit cards are now offering best ever bonus rates for dining that ranges from 4X to 5X on dining purchases. These earnings are fantastic but there are ways to increase your bonus earnings even more by utilizing a dining rewards program.
In this article, I’m going to go over at the IHG Dining Rewards Club and discuss all of the key features and different ways to find restaurants and get targeted for bonuses.
What is the IHG Dining Rewards Club?
The IHG Dining Rewards is a special program that allows you to earn extra IHG points whenever you dine out at certain establishments. It is part of the Rewards Network Dining Program that many other loyalty programs participate in, such as AAdvantage, Hilton, etc.
FYI: The IHG Dining Rewards program was discontinued at one point but it’s currently available. Hopefully it stays this way.
How many IHG points can you earn?
The amount of points that you can earn depends on your membership level. And your membership level depends on how frequently you eat out at these dining establishments.
- Basic Members earn one point per dollar spent
- Select Members earn five points per dollar spent
- VIP Members earned eight points per dollar spent
Note that some restaurants have monthly limitations on the amount of points you can earn based on spend.
Tip: To increase your IHG earnings, look into the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card! It offers 2X at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants — check out the full review here!
How membership levels work
If you are wondering how to earn a higher membership level this is how.
To get the Basic level all you have to do is sign up for the program.
To get to the Select level you will need to elect to receive emails from IHG Rewards Club Dining and provide IHG Rewards Club Dining with a valid, deliverable email address.
As a Select level member you also might be able to receive additional offers and benefits.
To get to the VIP level you will need to elect to receive emails from IHG Rewards Club Dining and provide IHG Rewards Club Dining with a valid, deliverable email address AND complete 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year. You will start earning at the Elite level on you 12th qualified transaction.
Also, as a VIP member you will have access to special elite only offers and direct access to the elite Member Services line at 866-510-3463.
You might be wondering how long your membership levels will last. Elite membership applies for the rest of that year, plus the entire following year.
For example, if you completed your 11th transaction on August 10, 2017, your elite membership runs from August 11, 2017 through December 31, 2018.
IHG Dining Bonuses
While I am a huge fan of dining portals I often encourage people to wait to sign up for a dining portal until they are able to take advantage of a bonus offer. Luckily there are almost always bonus offers for new members.
For example, you might be able to earn something like 1,000 points after you spend $30 at any restaurant in the program within 30 days. And we’ve even seen offers allowing you to earn up to 5,000 IHG points for new members!
But note that after you have a dining experience you will often be required to supply a review of that experience in order to capitalize on your earnings.
IHG actually states that there are several different scenarios where you might be able to trigger a bonus and these are worth noting:
- Opting in to receive email notifications from IHG® Rewards Club Dining
- Completing a survey
- Frequenting more restaurants
- Spending a specific amount per visit
- Adding a new card
These offers will likely be found in your inbox so keep an eye out for those.
How do you sign-up for the IHG Dining program?
- You can sign up for the IHG Dining program here.
You’ll need to put in some basic information like your name and email address.
Whenever you sign-up you will also see a little area to click on that allows you to instantly start earning five points per dollar spent. Even though I don’t like to sign up for email notifications, I highly recommend that you sign up for that.
Then you will be taken to another page where you can create your username and password. You will also need to provide your IHG Rewards Club Number.
After this you will be required to link up a credit/debit card to your profile. You can use any type of credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. Once you link up a credit card you will be finished with the enrollment process.
Note: expiration date and security code are not required to register a card. If your card expiration date is coming up, but the card number is not changing, there is no need to update your account.
On the next screen you will be given the chance to enroll up to five credit cards so if you have a handful of cards that you want to earn points on this is your chance to add those.
How to use the IHG Dining program
It is very simple to use the IHG Dining program.
All you have to do is visit the main page and you can enter in your location or a specific restaurant that you are looking for. For this example, I input the city of Houston to pull up some search results.
The results pulled up over 130 different establishments. The list view will show you the distance to each location and also some other important details like what neighborhood they are located in, the review rating, the number of reviews, the average entrée price, and then it will show you the days that you can earn rewards.
The little icons located beneath the address and phone number will allow you direct access to things like the menu and map view of the restaurant.
You can also choose to hide the locations that are not offering rewards.
If you click on an establishment you can review a lot more details about that business. You can review a description of the business to get a sense of their vibe and you can also find their menu. The features that can be helpful because they can show you what prices to expect for lunch and dinner or any other meals.
The left side of the page will tell you all of the important information you need to know about earning rewards is such as the current learning rates, maximum spending limits per month, hours of operation, and what type of credit cards that they take.
The right side of the page has all of the reviews so you can go through those and get a sense of how people feel about the place.
The default view is set to the list view but I actually prefer the map view because it just makes it easier for me to locate properties.
There is also in advanced search feature that you can utilize. This has some pretty cool features like allowing you to search within a specific distance. It also will allow you to search based on locations of specific addresses, intersections, landmarks, and neighborhoods.
So for example if you were attending a special event or something you could enter in that address into the search field and pull up nearby restaurants that will allow you to earn extra points.
You can also refine your search based on the type of establishment. So for example you could sort by restaurants, bars, fast food, casual, upscale, etc.
Next, you can also sort by cuisine type. There or over 100 different types of cuisines that you can search for so you should be able to find something that you are interested in. Whether it is something common like Mexican food or Italian food or something harder defined my Ethiopian food you should have all of your bases covered.
There is also a feature filter, which allows you to sort for special features of an establishment like if it is a comedy place, open 24 hours, has dancing, etc.
Next you can sort by establishments that are open for certain meals such as breakfast for lunch.
And finally you can sort by price and also filter out establishments based on whether or not they are new or if they have special savings.
Fazenda Coffee Roasters
So it is a little bit random but there is a partnership between IHG dining rewards and Fazenda Coffee Roasters. This basically asked just like a shopping portal so you can order their coffee and tea and receive bonus IHG points.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does it cost to join this program?
No, this program is free.
Does my membership expire?
Yes, but only after 36 consecutive months of no dining activity with your registered credit or debit cards.
When do the points get added to my account?
As soon as possible it is registered the points should show up in your rewards dining account. This can often be within five days. However, it could take 6 to 8 weeks for those points to show up in your actual IHG rewards account.
What if I am missing points?
If you realize that you are missing points the first thing to do is to make sure that you complied with all of the requirements to earn points.
IHG Dining provides a very helpful checklist to go through if you feel like you are missing points.
- Points can take up to a week to appear in your IHG Rewards Club Dining account and 6-8 weeks to appear in your IHG Rewards Club account.
- You did not use a credit or debit card registered to IHG Rewards Club Dining when you completed your transaction.
- If you’re using your debit card, you didn’t swipe it like a credit card to earn points. If you used your PIN #, the transaction goes directly to your bank and not the credit card companies that we’re linked with (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express).
- You registered your credit or debit card and immediately tried to use it for IHG® Rewards Club Dining. Once you register your credit card, it usually takes about 24 hours to register in our system.
- You dined on a blackout day,
- You dined at a restaurant that left IHG Rewards Club Dining
- The restaurant you visited changed their credit card process
- If the restaurant visited is one of our national brands or franchises, the business may not have added that specific location to IHG Rewards Club Dining.
After you have gone through that checklist, and you are confident that you are entitled to point thing you can simply log into your account center and you will find a link where you can claim missing points.
Just be sure that you have the necessary information to claim you’re missing points, such as the date that you attended the restaurant, the amount of the bill, and the last four digits of your credit card.
Do points earned keep my points from expiring?
Yes, one of the great benefits of the IHG dining program is that whenever you earn points through the program it automatically resets the clock on the expiration date of your IHG points.
Should I leave a review after a dining experience?
Reviews are obviously very helpful for other customers and for restaurants so I would advise that you do leave a review. If you are worried about privacy or don’t want others to view your review you can opt for the option to only allow the restaurant to see your review.
The IHG program is definitely a great way to supplement your point earnings. If you are consistently eating out at these establishments then earning eight points per dollar spent is definitely a substantial amount of earnings and it’s great that you can earn those on top of your credit card points.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.