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Yes. For non-elite members, your IHG Rewards points expire if you have 12 months of inactivity. Points don't expire for elite members.
Per the IHG FAQs, you need to either earn or redeem points during a 12-month period to keep your points from expiring. As long as you have some activity on your account, then your points will never expire.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IHG suspended the expiration of all IHG Rewards points to June 30, 2021. You can check out our comprehensive list of airline and hotel programs that have suspended points expiration.
What Counts As Activity?
IHG Hotels & Resorts Defines activity in its terms and conditions as follows:
To maintain the Points in your membership account, 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® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which comes with a 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 Rewards Club credit cardholders does not constitute an “earn” or “redeem” activity to prevent Point expiration.
Earning IHG 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, there are several other ways you can still earn points with IHG and keep your points active. These include:
- Earn points for everyday spending with the IHG Rewards Premier Card, IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, or the discontinued IHG® Rewards Club 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 Rewards points when you dine out with Open Table, the Dine & Earn program, or when you dine in with GrubHub
- Earn points when you shop with Apple
Transferring Points to IHG Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards 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 Rewards points. But, it'll keep your balance alive.
- 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, will save your points from expiring.
Redeeming IHG 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 5,200 properties worldwide
- 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
- Travel: you can book flights with over 200 airlines, almost any hotel, and various car rental companies
- 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 canceling 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.
IHG Brand Revamp
IHG has recently announced a revamp to its brand. While these amounted to several cosmetic and name changes to the brand, like dropping the term “club” from IHG Rewards Club, not much more has been said. Over the next few months, some more changes could be announced, although we will have to wait and see.
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