IHG Hotels and Resorts launched a new loyalty program named IHG One Rewards in mid-2022. One appealing aspect of this program is Milestone Rewards, which you can start earning after just 20 nights at IHG properties in a calendar year.
You can choose food and beverage rewards at every Milestone Rewards tier if you wish. IHG initially only rolled out food and beverage rewards redemptions at select brands in the U.S. and Canada. But now, you can redeem food and beverage rewards at IHG hotels and resorts worldwide.
Here’s everything you need to know about IHG food and beverage rewards.
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What are food and beverage rewards?
IHG One Rewards food and beverage rewards are credits you can apply against food and beverage purchases charged to your room at participating IHG hotels and resorts. The types of charges eligible for food and beverage rewards vary by property. Still, restaurant purchases, in-room dining, minibar food and drink items, associated gratuity charges and some types of tax are typically eligible.
However, purchases at vending machines and gift shops, third-party outside food deliveries, restaurants that don’t allow charges to a guest room bill and taxes associated with minibar charges aren’t eligible for food and beverage rewards.
Purchases by Holiday Inn Express, avid Hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites guests at on-site markets, pantries and cupboards are also currently excluded. However, IHG plans to allow guests at these brands to redeem food and beverage rewards for select market, pantry and cupboard purchases soon.
Related: What is IHG One Rewards elite status worth?
How to earn food and beverage rewards
You can earn food and beverage rewards through the IHG One Rewards program’s Milestone Rewards. You earn Milestone Rewards every 10 elite qualifying nights each calendar year, beginning at 20 nights and continuing through 100 nights.
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The Milestone Rewards choices vary as follows:
- 20 nights: 5,000 bonus points, two $20 food and beverage rewards or one confirmable suite upgrade.
- 30 nights: 5,000 bonus points or two $20 food and beverage rewards.
- 40 nights (choose two): 10,000 bonus points, five $20 food and beverage rewards, one confirmable suite upgrade (limit one) or one annual lounge membership (limit one).
- 50 nights: 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and beverage rewards.
- 60 nights: 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and beverage rewards.
- 70 nights (choose two): 10,000 bonus points, five $20 food and beverage rewards, two confirmable suite upgrades (limit one) or one annual lounge membership (limit one).
- 80 nights: 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and beverage rewards.
- 90 nights:10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and beverage rewards.
- 100 nights: 10,000 bonus points or five $20 food and beverage rewards.
As you can see, you could choose food and beverage rewards at each milestone. Food and beverage rewards typically expire 12 months from when selected as a Milestone Reward, although IHG extended all food and beverage rewards selected in 2022 through the end of 2023.
IHG issues food and beverage rewards in six currencies based on your country of residence. United States residents get $20, but IHG also issues food and beverage rewards in euros, pounds sterling, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen and Saudi riyals. If your country doesn’t use one of these currencies, IHG will issue your food and beverage rewards in U.S. dollars.
TPG’s valuations peg the value of IHG points at 0.5 cents each. If you agree with this valuation, you should get more value from food and beverage rewards than bonus points at each milestone. However, you may want to select a confirmable suite upgrade or an annual lounge membership at select milestones if you believe these would provide more value.
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How to use food and beverage rewards
Now that you know how to earn food and beverage rewards, here’s how to use them.
You can now redeem food and beverage rewards when checked in to most IHG brands. The primary exclusions are Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Mr. & Mrs. Smith properties and InterContinental Alliance Resorts. But, you might not have the opportunity to use food and beverage rewards at most Holiday Inn Express, avid Hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites properties until IHG lets guests redeem food and beverage rewards to cover select purchases at on-site markets, pantries and cupboards.
Suppose you redeem food and beverage rewards at a property that uses a different currency than what IHG issued your rewards in. In that case, your reward amount will be converted to the hotel’s local currency when you redeem. And if you redeem a food and beverage reward for less than its face value — such as redeeming a $20 reward when you only have $15 of eligible food and beverage charges on your room bill — you’ll forfeit the remaining value.
My experience redeeming food and beverage rewards
Before redemptions officially launched, my husband and I got a preview of how to redeem food and beverage rewards from the IHG team during a stay at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia.
After watching a demo from IHG’s head of loyalty, Kristin Klebanov, the IHG team gifted us a food and beverage reward certificate (and enabled the feature for our stay) so we could try redeeming it on our own.
After getting a few drinks from the bar that night, we redeemed a food and beverage reward through the IHG One Rewards app the next morning during breakfast. It was a very straightforward experience, though it might differ slightly from what you’ll see now that redemptions are live for all members.
We started by opening the IHG app and tapping “Account” on the navigation bar at the bottom of the app. From here, we scrolled down to tap on “Rewards Wallet.”
Then, we could see the food and beverage rewards IHG gave us under the “Rewards to enhance your stay” section. We tapped “Redeem” on one of these food and beverage rewards to start the redemption process.
The next screen showed a warning message that IHG is “currently testing Food & Beverage Rewards so it’s not available for use at hotels quite yet.” But under this message is presumably the text you’ll see now.
Our stay at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia in Room 501 was on the list. We selected it and tapped “Continue to redeem.”
The next page allowed us to review our food and beverage reward credit, applicable charges and remaining charges after the credit. We tapped, “Yes, apply this credit to my bill.”
Next, we saw a page reminding us that we’d only be able to use each food and beverage reward once. The page also linked to the food and beverage rewards terms and conditions. We tapped “Yes, redeem this credit” to use our food and beverage reward.
On the next page, we saw confirmation that IHG had applied our food and beverage reward to our bill.
At checkout, we had just a $0.16 balance on our room since we’d redeemed IHG points for our stay and our food and beverage rewards covered most of our room charges. Just note that you’ll need to redeem food and beverage rewards before checking out if you want to use any for your stay.
Related: 7 ways to earn more IHG One Rewards points for your next redemption
It’s great that IHG One Rewards members can now redeem food and beverage rewards worldwide. Now, I’ll be more likely to select food and beverage rewards when I choose my Milestone Rewards since I’ll be confident I’ll use them before they expire.
I found the redemption process straightforward, although we had to confirm that we wanted to redeem food and beverage credits multiple times. However, I’d rather IHG have extra confirmation steps (especially while food and beverage rewards are new to guests) than have guests accidentally redeem their rewards.