Lately we’ve seen travel loyalty programs partner with an ever-increasing number of companies that comprise other parts of the travel experience, ranging from Airbnb to Uber.
IHG Rewards Club has just announced new partnerships with both OpenTable and Grubhub, which allow members to earn bonus points when using either service. I think IHG’s new partnership with OpenTable is the more interesting of the two, since you can earn rewards even when not dining in conjunction with an IHG stay.
Earn IHG points for OpenTable reservations
As of today, IHG Rewards Club members can book OpenTable reservations through the IHG channels (which includes the IHG app, IHG website, and IHG Connect). The functionality isn’t live as of the time of this post, but I’m told it should be later today. This new partnership is initially available within the US, and will be expanded to the UK and Australia by the end of 2017.
Members will earn:
- 500 IHG points for their first completed OpenTable reservation via IHG channels
- Each subsequent reservation will earn 300 IHG points when dining at a restaurant at an IHG hotel, or 150 points for any other restaurant
What’s cool about this partnership is that you can earn those points even when you’re not staying at an IHG hotel. So this is basically a way to earn 150 IHG Rewards Club points per OpenTable reservation. You just have to use the IHG app to book.
I value IHG Rewards Club points at ~0.5 cents each, so to me that’s like a return of 75 cents for every reservation. That’s not huge, but assuming that it’s not that much more difficult to make a booking through the IHG app than through the OpenTable app, you might as well use it. I certainly hate turning down free points.
The one slight catch is that I suspect the IHG Rewards Club points you earn will be in lieu of OpenTable rewards points. However, since they devalued their program a while back I haven’t even bothered.
Earn IHG points for Grubhub
In addition to IHG’s OpenTable partnership, you can now also earn bonus points for ordering food through Grubhub. Specifically members will earn:
- 500 IHG points for their first completed Grubhub order via IHG channels
- Each subsequent order will earn 250 IHG points
The catch is that the ability to earn points with Grubhub is only available in conjunction with an IHG stay. So this isn’t a way to earn more points for your orders through Grubhub when not traveling.
I always appreciate new partnerships that bring more benefits to members of loyalty programs, and this is quite a nice one. I especially like the ability to earn IHG points for OpenTable reservations, even when not staying at an IHG hotel. I look forward to checking out how OpenTable works through the IHG app once it’s updated later today.
Would you use the IHG app to earn 300 bonus points per OpenTable booking?
I still do not see this available in the app and the webpage loads but is not functioning,
ArtVandelay: You can see it here: http://ihg.com/trip-extras/us/en/restaurants/add
I don't think this is live yet. I can't seem to find it on the app or website. If you can find it, please let me know where. Thanks.
Booking one reservation every 6 months is a good way to keep IHG rewards points from expiring since the only requirement is to have some earn or burn activity every 12 months for non-elite members.
Can anyone see where in the IHG app and/or website it's possible to make an OpenTable reservation? I've looked all over both and can't find it.
Open Table rewards are worth significantly more, $1 per res vs 75cents.
But if one didn’t use open table a lot,the IHG points may be more useful.
I'd just book through OpenTable. It was one of the first loyalty programs I joined and I love racking up those points. You get $1 per meal basically. If you book the 1000 points restaraunts you can get some points quickly. One of my favorite loyalty programs. Simple and straightforward. Redemption is super easy too. Great to get free meals just by making dinner reservations.
OpenTable's "devaluation" was only if you wanted to use your points to obtain Amazon gift cards. Otherwise, a point is worth a penny like it has always been. If one focuses on reserving 1,000 point tables, it's like getting $10 off one's dinner. Cashing in OT points for gift certificates at participating restaurants is pretty easy; I just redeemed for a $100 gift card to one of the best restaurants I've ever visited and another...
OpenTable's "devaluation" was only if you wanted to use your points to obtain Amazon gift cards. Otherwise, a point is worth a penny like it has always been. If one focuses on reserving 1,000 point tables, it's like getting $10 off one's dinner. Cashing in OT points for gift certificates at participating restaurants is pretty easy; I just redeemed for a $100 gift card to one of the best restaurants I've ever visited and another $50 gift card to my favorite restaurant in Sonoma County, CA. Whether IHG points will be preferable will be, I suspect, a matter of personal taste.
OpenTable reservations are usually 100 points, which is worth $1 in OpenTable gift cards.