How to Use the IHG Calendar Search to Find the Best Award, Cash Rates

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If you find yourself with the itch to plan a trip and flexibility is on your side, using a feature like the IHG award calendar can help save you a chunk of points or cash. It can also save you time. Rather than having to search night after night to find the cheapest pricing, you can view availability and costs for an entire month at a time.

Several programs have begun implementing award night calendars, such as Hyatt and Hilton. Come to find out, IHG has one as well. Whether or not it's new, that's a great question. What matters is that we have figured out how to access this hidden feature, and it can make life so much easier—especially with IHG's all-over-the-place dynamic pricing.

IHG Award Calendar

The IHG award calendar isn't easy or intuitive to find. You actually have to jump through a few hoops to access it. Fortunately, if you know how to look for it, it takes just a few seconds to find.

To access the calendar, first log in to your IHG One Rewards account. You can stay on the main page and begin your search there. Start by filling in the destination and all pertinent information.

Here's where the trick to pulling up the calendar comes in: you will want to search for dates that doesn't have availability. Try searching for dates near holidays or other popular times at the destination.

Once you decide on your dates, use the drop-down menu and select the “Reward Nights” option. Then hit the “Search” button.

Screenshot of hotel search from IHG main page with "reward nights" option selected

You'll be taken to a new screen which will show hotel options that fit your search criteria. If you didn't find award availability, you can move onto the next step below. If, however, the hotel does show availability, you'll want to try again for a different date. You can also search an entire month at a time if you are struggling to find an unavailable date and hope that at least one day during that period is sold out.

For this search, I went with a general search in Paris, France and… bingo! Both the Holiday Inn Paris–St. Germain des Près and Crowne Plaza Paris–Neuilly have no availability for the night I searched. There were a handful of other properties, as well, but we'll focus on the Holiday Inn Paris–St. Germain de Près for this example. 

Screenshot of no availability for two IHG hotels in Paris

Now, all you need to do is select the “View Available Dates” tab. Then, you can see IHG award calendar for a month at a time. This will show available dates and their respective points cost for each night. This particular property doesn't fluctuate much, but other properties can vary by thousands of IHG One Rewards.

Using the IHG award calendar to search for best points pricing, a screenshot example for a hotel in Paris shows how it works.
Holiday Inn Paris–St. Germain des Près award availability for February 2023.

To learn more (or get a refresher), check out our guide to the IHG One Rewards Club loyalty program.

Issues Using the Calendar for Cash Stays

If you repeat the steps above when searching for IHG hotels on a cash reservation, you can also view a calendar. Remember that you need to find a night with no availability to get access to this calendar.

Search results from IHG with no availability, screenshot shows option to view calendar

However, the cash bookings calendar has some issues. For some hotels, it showed the nightly prices. This was a minority of hotels I checked, though. Many hotels just showed me a calendar like this, where white squares mean there is availability, but the price isn't showing up.

IHG calendar feature has some issues and shows open dates but not the rates

You'll need to select the dates and go forward in the process to actually find out the price when this happens.

Best Credits Cards for Earning IHG One Rewards Points

One of the fastest ways to load up on IHG One Rewards points is through new credit card welcome offers. There are currently three credit cards that earn IHG One Rewards points. Each card is issued by Chase bank, so make sure to check your 5/24 status to ensure that you are eligible, plus check other application rules.

Need some inspiration for an IHG stay? Here are the best IHG redemptions for luxury stays.

Final Thoughts

For those who have travel plans that are set in stone, this may not be particularly helpful. But when your travel dates are flexible, having access to an award calendar like this from IHG can help you quickly find the cheapest redemptions.

Do you find award calendars like this useful when searching for free nights?

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  • Super helpful. So much easier to view a month at a time!

  • Interesting that they would have it show up this way. I have seen this before but never really thought of it this way. It’s nice to have another side of this pointed out to me. every once in a while we just have an itch to just get away somewhere.