When your IHG Rewards Club points expire, and how to stop it

I receive occasional emails from readers asking ‘How can I stop my IHG Rewards Club points from expiring?’ or ‘When do my IHG Rewards Club points expire?’.  This new series looks at the major hotel loyalty programmes and shows you how to keep your valuable points intact.

If you need to refer to this article in the future, there is a link to it on our ‘Hotel Promos’ page in the IHG Rewards Club section.  This page also includes details of current IHG promotions.

About IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty scheme for Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, EVEN, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, HUALUXE, Indigo, InterContinental, Kimpton Hotels (at some point soon, when they fully integrate it) and Staybridge Suites.

When do IHG Rewards Club points expire?

Historically, they didn’t. However, this changed in May 2015.

This is what clause 13 of the IHG Rewards Club terms and conditions says:

  1. Expiration of points. Points do not expire unless your account becomes inactive for any period of twelve (12) months or longer. To maintain the points in your account, you must have at least one earn or redeem transaction posted to your account every twelve (12) months. If you do not keep your account active for any period of twelve (12) months or more, all of your points may expire which means your points will be removed from your account and are no longer able to be redeemed. Points in your account do not expire for all current Elite members, although all of your points may expire twelve (12) months after your account moves to Club level from an Elite level without earn or redeem activity.

What do they mean by ‘one earn or redeem transaction’?

The key point is that YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY AT A HOTEL TO KEEP YOUR POINTS ALIVE.  You simply need to have some activity go through your account.

Remember that elite status members do not need any activity at all – your points will not expire for as long as you have status.

InterContinental Paris Le Grand

There are various ways of achieving some activity on your account:

Earning points:

Buy IHG Rewards Club points

Use points.com to transfer points from an airline frequent flyer scheme (not Avios) into IHG

Receive a transfer of points from another member ($5 fee per 1,000)

Transfer points from Hertz Gold Plus Rewards into IHG

Link your mobile phone to Travelling Connect and earn points when abroad

Take out the IHG Rewards Club UK credit card

Transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into IHG (minimum 10,000, 1:1 rate) – these transfers will also count towards status

Transfer Finnair Plus miles into IHG

You cannot transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into IHG Rewards Club, unless you do it via Virgin Flying Club or Finnair Plus.  You also cannot earn points from dining at an IHG hotel if you are not a registered guest.

Spending points:

If you have at least 5,000 points, book and then cancel a Point Breaks redemption night.  This will count as qualifying activity and save your points.

There are various other options but they are only worth considering if you have fewer than 5,000 points and cannot book and cancel a reward night:

Transfer points to another member – this only requires a minimum of 1,000 points and costs $5

Transfer points into an airline scheme.  However, this requires a minimum 10,000 point transfer so is relatively pointless compared to cancelling a reward night unless you want to empty your account once and for all

Redeem for gift cards or merchandise.  IHG has a catalogue of items you can buy, starting at 4,000 points for a £5 shopping voucher.  This is a very poor deal however.  The IHG Digital Rewards catalogue has songs for under 500 points which is a better option is all you want to do is reset the expiry date.

As you can see, there is no excuse at all for letting IHG Rewards Club points expire – especially if you have over 5,000 of them and can simply book and cancel a reward night.

If you want to track the expiry dates of all of your miles and points, I recommend signing up to AwardWallet for free.  It keeps all of your points balances, including non-travel loyalty schemes, in one place and updates them automatically.  If you pay for the premium version it also tracks your expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: 50% off Avios redemptions from Birmingham, new Regus lounge in T2, Iberia / Groupon
Get 1,000 free Avios for joining Marriott Rewards - no stay needed!
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. SydneySwan says:

    What about a transfer from e-rewards? No longer counts for status but should still cont as activity.

    • SydneySwan says:

      count*

      • Good point. I aways find erewards complex to explain because of all the variants, eg the partner who signs you up permanently impacts your choice of redemption partners.

  2. Sign up to IHG version of Rewards for Thoughts. Not many points but should reset expiration date.

    • You mean “opinion check-in”? Yes this is actually the easiest way, you get 5 points for screening out and could just do it once a year or whenever you are waiting for a flight… (That’s e-rewards’s latest gimmick)

      • Peter K says:

        They’ve just changed their t&c’s to be able to sell your cookies to 3rd parties! I deleted my account straight away!

  3. Slight o/t does the 10% rebate on reward stays for renewing your ambassadors status count against all IHG hotels and not just intercontinental.

    Thanks

    • All brands.

      I’ve never actually worked out how it is calculated (you get a random dump of points every few months) but I’m pretty sure that I have also been given a rebate for nights which had already been cancelled or were later cancelled …..

  4. Scottydogg says:

    Ive just hit the £10,000 spend on the black IHG card to get the free nights stay . I read that this credits on the anniversary of taking out the card , I believe this is some time in August for me , how do I go about cancelling the card after the voucher credits my account ?

    Ive been unimpressed with the hotels on the pointsbreak deals

    • Genghis says:

      Don’t use card after anniversary. When you have received the voucher, call up to cancel.

      • …. although we don’t yet know how much trouble Creation will cause if you refuse to pay the £99 – on the basis you haven’t used the card – whilst waiting for your voucher. Data points welcome.

  5. Even better, the IHG Digital Rewards catalogue has odd books for 150 points upwards, and some of them even look readable!

  6. It’s also on avios.com shopping portal.

    Unfortunately I need to book all my status via app for accelerate

    • Can we get both avios/cash back and IHG point while booking via the shopping portal/topcashbaxk website?

    • pommy ray says:

      hi I thought for accelerate you can download app but they do not insist on you booking through it. furthermore you can do the MasterCard deal to get up to 30% off alongside accelerate. the only thing you can not get is cash back as you have to go through special link on this site. but please double check this as I have not done yet myself!

      • Genghis says:

        Some targets require bookings to be made on the app. Mine is only 2. Not “all”.

  7. Cormac says:

    OT slightly. Is it okay to use the same IHG loyalty account for 2 different rooms / separate bookings in parallel?

  8. Slightly OT, but I had an e-mail from IHG Rewards Club today about their “mystery bonus”, which turned out to be a 100% bonus on buying up to 60,000 IHG points. I’m guessing everyone probably gets the same bonus? Not of any interest to me, but might be of interest to some folk who need to top up their balance…