IHG Rewards Extends Elite Status and Free Night Certificates IHG Rewards Extends Elite Status and Free Night Certificates

IHG Rewards Extends Elite Status and Free Night Certificates

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IHG Rewards Club isn't the most-rewarding hotel rewards program but it does have a passionate fan base. Those fans should be pleased with the news that IHG is keeping pace with other major hotel brands—like Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton—and extending elite status for elite members through January 2022.

Current Membership Status

All IHG Rewards Club members who earned elite status in 2019 will maintain their benefits through January 2022. Sprite Elite members will also get another Choice benefit of receiving 25,000 bonus points or gifting Platinum Elite status to another member.

There shouldn't be any need for current IHG Rewards Club Elite members to lift a finger on this one. According to IHG, these updates will be automatically reflected in members' accounts in the coming weeks.

With continued uncertainty around how long our normal travel lives will be on hold, IHG elite members can rest easy. The extension through January 2022 is right in line with other major hotel brands.

Earning or Elevating Membership Status

IHG is also extending a hand to those travelers who were hoping to secure and/or elevate elite status in 2020. With travel being so limited right now, IHG is reducing the number of nights/points needed to secure elite status this year by 25% or more. If you started 2020 with a bang, you may still have a shot at reaching your goals for elite status this year.

Screenshot showing a chart of the IHG Rewards 2019 and 2020 elite status criteria

Intercontinental Ambassadors

For those members who have Intercontinental Ambassador status, IHG is providing a three-month membership extension. To receive the extension, you must have been an active member of the program as of March 15, 2020.

These members will also receive a three-month extension on unredeemed Ambassador Weekend Night Certificates. New expiration dates will be listed on members' accounts in the coming weeks.

For those who are enrolled in this program, a three-month extension may/may not be enough time to take advantage of these benefits. Keep an eye on your accounts and look for possible future updates from IHG.

Points Expiration

For everyone with elite status in the IHG Rewards Club, points never expire. So Gold, Platinum, and Spire members can skip this section!

For IHG Rewards Club members who did not secure elite status in 2019 and who are concerned about holding on to their existing points, IHG is offering some help. IHG points normally expire after 12 months without any qualifying account activity. However, IHG is now offering all members a pause on the expiration of points until December 31, 2020. That should be plenty of breathing room for most people.

Members looking to extend that deadline even further can look at the IHG partnership with Grubhub—a restaurant delivery service. Get a tasty meal, support local restaurants, earn points, and further extend your points expiration date into 2021 by ordering in just once!

This could also be a great time to sign up for an IHG Rewards credit card. The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card offers Platinum Elite status and an anniversary reward night each year. Plus, it's currently offering 140,000 bonus points + 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Anniversary Night Certificates

Speaking of anniversary reward night certificates, US and UK members who carry an IHG Rewards Club credit card—like the IHG Rewards Premier Card—will have more time to use any anniversary night certificates set to expire in 2020. Any certificate set to expire after March 1, 2020 can now be used through December 31, 2020. Also, all certificates issued in 2020 will be valid for 18 months.

Our Take

As COVID-19 continues to limit our travel options, it is great to see IHG step up and offer assistance to its Rewards Club members. Anyone holding IHG elite status—or those who just have an IHG points balance—should feel some relief that their loyalty to IHG isn't being taken for granted during this very difficult time. We sure hope that travel options start to open up soon. Until then, we'll keep watching to see how our favorite travel brands manage loyalty programs moving forward.

H/T: Frequent Miler

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  • Joyce Ball says:

    Trying to check if I have any reward points form 2019 stays. Membership # [redacted]

  • with covid lasting longer than expected, will IHG extend the reward night expiration to Aug 2021 like marriott has? I hope so.

    • Unfortunately no. Many certificates still expire on 12/31/2020. However, we have our fingers crossed that IHG extends these certificates – and we will certainly publish any update that we hear.

  • An Elite member staying with you on a Reward Night comes to Reception and asks to extend his/her stay with points for an additional night. What would you do?

  • Another extension should be considered though the virus is not as deadly now.

  • Victor Tejeda says:

    These are really good news, that’s why I prefer IHG over other hotel brands

  • Kudos to IHG for their initiative and good will gesture. However, as noted by several other posters, I do not anticipate traveling anytime soon. Hard to imagine all the COVID-19 restrictions being fully lifted for quite some time. Hope I am wrong (still have reservations for flights to Barcelona, a one week hotel stay ending with a two week cruise back to the US). I fully expect this trip to be cancelled.

    Fingers crossed.

    • I am totally feeling for you. My full summer in Europe that took an entire year to plan has been cancelled.

  • It’s a nice gesture, but I can’t forsee being able to use my nights by Dec 31 of this year. I don’t believe I’ll be traveling at al by then.

  • IHG anniversary certificates extension is appreciated

  • I appreciate the extension and will respond more favorably to those companies that treat us fairly and well. However, I am not optimistic that I will be traveling much by 12/2020 which will make it difficult to keep all my air and hotel accounts current.

    • In this uncertain environment, I really only expect businesses to be able to look forward 3-6 months. So, I have no problem with 3 month extensions, as long as they are then revisited down the road. Here, my expectation would be that IHG revisit this extension for any further extension sometime down the road, so certainly don’t write accounts off yet.

  • Great news especially during this hard time

  • Is this going to be implemented to those who had a reward night already expired on March or April?

  • I do like IHG. It’s good to know they are helping out their customers too. At least I won’t have to worry about my points til the end of the year.
    Though really they make it easy to earn points so it wouldn’t have been a burden to find a way to extend the life of my points. To stay competitive though they had to do something.

  • It is great to see IHG joining their competitors and providing these extensions as well.

  • Jennifer says:

    This is a good thing for both IHG and its members. I think that this will make people travel with them once everything normalizes.

  • I’m really glad IHG and others are extending their expiration deadlines. It’s impossible to utilize reward points during this current environement.

  • daniel lovito says:

    I consider that with the current pandemic that the world is suffering this is great new.

  • The extension of the validity of reward night certificates earned in 2020 from 12 months to 18 months is really helpful. The reduced thresholds for status this year might encourage me to see if I can push enough expenditure through the card to reach Spire.

  • bulstrode says:

    A pause on the expiration of points until December 31, 2020 looks a little optimistic for me, I cant see myself travelling again in 2020. But no worry – a lot of of things I can buy from IHG for 200-300 points to extend my points expiry before the year ends

  • It has taken IHG a long time to come up with the arrangements.

  • “Sprite Elite members will also get another Choice benefit of receiving 25,000 bonus points or gifting Platinum Elite status to another member.” That’s a nice bonus. Kudos to them.

  • Travelfreek says:

    That’s great news!! The way it should work with all hotels! WooHoo!

    • @Travelfreek – That’s the way it shuld work? The other major chains are all doing more. IHG’s policies are the least forgiving.