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

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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 and Staybridge Suites.

When do IHG Rewards Club points expire?

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

This is what clause 24 of the IHG Rewards Club terms and conditions says:

Point Expiration. CLUB LEVEL MEMBERSHIP POINTS (SEE MEMBER BENEFITS, INCLUDING LEVELS OF MEMBERSHIP, HERE) WILL EXPIRE IF YOUR MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT BECOMES INACTIVE FOR ANY PERIOD OF TWELVE (12) MONTHS OR LONGER, WHICH MEANS YOUR POINTS WILL BE REMOVED FROM YOUR ACCOUNT AND WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE FOR REDEMPTION. 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. Use of the one night per year provided to IHG Rewards Club credit card holders does not constitute an “earn” or “redeem” activity to prevent Point expiration. If you redeem Points for a Stay and subsequently cancel that Stay, the redemption activity does not prevent Point expiration. Points do not expire for current Elite Members, although Points may expire twelve (12) months after an Elite Member’s account moves to Club level if there is no “earn” or “redeem” activity during those twelve (12) months.

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 – current supported airlines are Hainan, Aeroplan, Icelandair, JetBlue, Frontier, China Rewards and Hawaiian

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 IHG status

Transfer Finnair Plus miles into IHG – these transfer do not count towards status

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:

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.

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.

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: £1300 US Club World deals for Winter, targeted 30% bonus on Virgin miles via Miles Booster
Bits: BA GGL Heathrow Express First upgrades extended, Etihad scraps chauffeur cars on redemptions
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Comments

  1. Froggitt says:

    “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.”

    Are you sure? The IHG clause 24 says……

    “If you redeem Points for a Stay and subsequently cancel that Stay, the redemption activity does not prevent Point expiration.”

    • You are trusting their IT to be more efficient than it is although I agree you shouldn’t necessarily rely on this. I have edited the article.

    • Also there are a limited number of point breaks available so you are potentially preventing someone else from getting that booking, which is a bit selfish IMO.

      • A good point! We should remain ethical and considerate even in our greed for points. For the same reason, I’m strongly against “mattress runs” promoted by some here

  2. Signing up for opinion Check-in and complete the occasional survey also seems to reset the date.

    • Or even not completing it, as that still gets you 5 points. This is probably the easiest way.

  3. SydneySwan says:

    e-Rewards transfer

  4. So just having the free IHG card would stop any points from expiring due to the free gold status?

  5. I redeemed for an emagazine for the grand sum of 6 points in Jan to save mine from expiring. If anyone is interested it’s called “Architectural Digest India“

  6. I’m using Award Wallet for the first time on a MacBook, most of my accounts won’t update unless I install the browser extension, is this normal?

  7. Wish I’d known this before ……..had loads of points expire about 18 months ago as just couldn’t get around to using them.

  8. bought an ebook last time for 3 points to stop mine expiring

  9. I recently contacted them on this vey topic as all my bookings are either non-earning because they are F&F or points redemptions…. and I think this might help. I asked several specifics and received the following reply:

    “I hope you are doing well. I’m glad to clear things up for you.

    Please know that there must be points movement on the account within 12 months so that they will not expire.

    This means that 15,000 points deposited from Ambassador renewal will extend the validity of your points balance.

    Also, we will follow the date that you redeem or earn points. For example, your points will expire on XXXXX and you redeem your points today, 14 Feb 2018 for a stay on 15 Mar 2018, your points expiration date will extend to 14 Feb 2019. (They didn’t answer my specific question about cancelling ….)

    Further, if your stay was booked under Reward Nights and there are qualifying charges billed to your room (food, beverage, laundry,Pay-per-View movies), the points that you will receive from incidentals will also extend your points expiration.

    In addition, points purchase and credit card purchases will extend the validity of your points balance.

    For the expiration of your points, you will receive an email 90, 60, and 30 days before your points expire. But for elite members, your points will not expire but just make sure that you will not be downgraded to Club

    Thank you for choosing IHG Rewards Club. I hope this clarifies your concern. If you need anything else, feel free to email us and we’d be happy to follow up.

    Speak to you soon,”

    Hope it helps others.

  10. Hi, one other point to consider ….

    …….. in addition some have asked the question whether cancelling a points stay cancels the nudging forward of the expiry date for points. They didn’t asnwer my specific question whewn asked specifically. A work around for this which may be a way of hedging the bets if you are completely unable to put some points through your account is to book a cheap 5000 break the longest you can do. This could offer protection for a large balance. You then ensure that other points find their way to your account before the break. If it doesn’t you will lose your 5k points for the break but have given the remainder of your balance “insurance” for up to a year to give you time to spend them.

  11. Jackie Lee says:

    I have just logged in to my IHG Rewards Account and was shocked to see that I had 0 points. I have been completely unaware that the policy has been changed, and have been saving the points (204,000+) for a special trip. I have not received any emails or correspondence.

    After spending 35 minutes on the phone trying to get them reinstated, speaking to 3 people, the person on the other end of the phone put it down – very professional – not!

    I want to write to a Director to express my displeasure, having been a member of the scheme for 19 years, but they would not give me any details.

    Does anyone have the name and contact details of an appropriate person to contact please?

    Thank you.

    Regards

    Jackie Lee

    • Similar experience with my 28000 points gone from my account. Received email reminding me that points were about to expire. ‘And remember, every time you stay, earn or redeem, you keep all your points active for another year’ the email told me, with a link to make a booking. Booked a stay for mid April using cash for a holiday in Beijing in April. But I didn’t realise that wouldn’t be enough to stop the points disappearing. I should have used points, not cash, I now realise. But IHG just won’t budge at all on the issue and my mistake, even though I found the email a bit vague. All I get from them is the usual, ‘we appreciate your concern’ and ‘understand your difficulty blah blah blah’ but a refusal to reinstate points or help. Just faceless1984 corporate type speak and a hiding behind their terms and conditions. Anyway, left feeling really disappointed and angry at their refusal to help. Maybe if I’d been a big corporate booker giving them a load of money, they would have made more effort. Anyway, yesterday I cancelled the booking and closed my account in frustration. Don’t want to be staying with one of their hotels again!!

  12. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    Minimum showing on their (UK) Global Catalogue is now a charity donation for 2500 points. The £5 gift certificates are 4500.

    The US store has 800 point redemptions for magazines

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