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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.
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.
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 Club Premier Credit Card offers Platinum Elite status and an anniversary reward night each year. Plus, it's currently offering 140,000 bonus points 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.
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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