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IHG One Rewards points do expire if non-elite members have 12 months of inactivity on their account. However, IHG points do not expire for elite members. Per the IHG FAQs page:
“IHG One Rewards points never expire for Elite Members. For Club members, points will expire after 12 months if there's no account activity.”
What Counts as Activity for IHG Point Expiration?
IHG Hotels & Resorts defines activity in its terms and conditions as follows:
“To maintain your account points balance and avoid points expiration, you must have at least one “earn” or “redeem” transaction posted to your account every twelve (12) months.”
Keep in mind that if you hold the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card or IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card that come with an annual free night certificate — redeeming this for a stay does not count as a “redeem” activity. Per the IHG terms and conditions:
“Use of the one night per year provided to IHG One Rewards credit card holders does not constitute an “earn” or “redeem” activity to prevent Point expiration.”
However, cardholders of the IHG One Rewards Premier Card and IHG One Rewards Business Card receive complimentary IHG Platinum Elite status — which defacto means your points do not expire due to your elite status.
Earning IHG One Rewards Points to Avoid Expiration
The most obvious points-earning option is through stays at IHG properties. However, if you are unable to book a stay during a 12-month period, IHG One Rewards members have several other ways to earn IHG points and keep their points active. These include:
- Earn points by spending on the IHG One Rewards Premier Card, IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, or the discontinued IHG® Rewards Select Credit Card.
- Buy IHG points through Points.com — which can be a particularly good option when IHG runs a buy points promotion.
- Rent a car with Avis, Budget, Thrifty, or Dollar to earn 125 points per day on qualifying rentals.
- Earn 1,500 points plus an additional 500 points per day when you rent a car with Hertz.
- Earn IHG One Rewards points when you dine out with Open Table, the Dine & Earn program, or when you dine in with GrubHub.
Transferring Points to IHG One Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to IHG at a ratio of 1:1. This isn't a preferred method, as Ultimate Rewards points are worth much more than IHG One Rewards points. But it'll keep your balance alive.
- Bilt Rewards points also transfer to IHG at a ratio of 1:1. Bilt has plenty of more valuable transfer partners. But again, it can help generate activity.
- American Express Membership Rewards do not transfer directly to IHG. However, a workaround is to transfer your Amex points to Virgin Atlantic and then to IHG. This option represents a poor value. But, in a pinch, it will save your points from expiring.
Redeeming IHG One Rewards Points to Avoid Expiration
The options for redeeming your IHG points are diverse. You can redeem your points as follows:
- Reward rights: redeem your points for nights at one of IHG’s 6,200 properties worldwide. If you need some inspiration, here are the best IHG luxury redemptions and ways to redeem IHG points for maximum value.
- Points and Cash: use a mix of points and cash to book a stay at an IHG property
- Airlines: transfer your points to multiple airline partners (generally at a rate of 10,000 IHG points to 2,000 miles)
- Transfer: you can transfer your points to another IHG member ($5 fee per 1,000 points transferred)
- Shopping: take your pick from jewelry to electronics
- Gift cards: you can convert your points into various gift cards
- Digital rewards: convert your points to eBooks, software, games, and many more digital products
- Donate your points to the IHG Foundation
The 12-month clock resets when you redeem points from your account. In the past, members could generate activity by making a points redemption and then cancel it later. However, IHG has closed this workaround. The terms and conditions now read:
“If you redeem Points for a Stay and subsequently cancel that Stay, the redemption activity does not prevent Point expiration.”
The 12-month clock should still reset if you make a points redemption. Just beware if you need to make a change or cancellation to that reservation. If you don't have any other qualifying activity in the past 12 months, your points may be subject to expiration.
Get Alerted Before Your IHG Points Expire
The best way to keep track of your IHG One Rewards points expiration is through AwardWallet. Just sign up for free AwardWallet account and add your IHG account. You'll be able to see your IHG One Rewards points expiration date on your AwardWallet dashboard. In addition to tracking your IHG point balance, you can also track expiration dates for free night certificates and Milestone Rewards. Plus, you'll see the current value of your IHG points based on recent AwardWallet user redemptions:
Plus, you'll get email notifications months in advance of any expiration date — leaving you time to take action to save your points or use expiring IHG free night certificates.
A 12-month expiration is on the short end of the scale of points validities. However, it should not be a concern to many IHG members with the diverse ways to keep points alive without setting foot in an IHG property. There is no reason for your points to expire since you can always take some action to keep your points balance alive.
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