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 updated 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 avid, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, EVEN, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, HUALUXE, InterContinental, Kimpton, Regent, Staybridge Suites and voco.

When do IHG Rewards Club points expire?

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, 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 no longer count towards status

Transfer Finnair Plus miles into IHG – these transfer have never counted towards status

Book a restaurant on Open Table using the special IHG link here

You cannot transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into IHG Rewards Club, unless you do it via Virgin Flying Club or Finnair Plus.

You 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.

How to be notified of upcoming miles and points expiry dates

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 ($30 per year) it also tracks your all expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.  On the free plan, you can track the expiry date for three loyalty schemes of your choice.

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Comments

  1. Stephen C says:

    Is there a list somewhere online of IHG redemptions where 5 people can share one room? Now that we’ve three young kids it’s become pretty difficult to make good use of IHG points, two rooms is possible of course but not very practical until they’re a bit older.

    • Sandra says:

      Never affected us as we have 2 children but, other than maybe in North America where room sizes can be bigger with more suite style rooms, I don’t think there’s many take 5 in one room. If you contact a hotel direct they may add an extra fold up bed if room big enough but they might be subject to fire regulation limits. Friends have sneaked a 3rd child in (sometimes a 4th!) when they were small and could still sleep all them by topping and tailing in a double bed and I don’t think any of them got caught out – adult checked in alone and rest of them lingered elsewhere waiting to go up to room.

      • Freddy says:

        Since having 3 kids this has become a bit of an issue travelling anywhere in hotels. Any other tips would be great

        • Shoestring says:

          +1 sneaking the 3rd kid in when they’re small & easy to fit into beds

  2. Digital book downloads have been as low as 50 points in some cases, usually for things like study notes or obscure reports. IORC it is possible to sort titles by price so the cheapest is easily found.

  3. The last activity on my account is ‘#HomeWithIHG Bonus Points’ in Dec 2018, should I consider my points safe until December?

  4. Andrew says:

    Anyone else outstanding the bonus points for “Multibrand 2019”? I’ve successfully completed 5 out of 5 (4 out of 5 required) on a final stay which ended on 30th April. I’ve had all of the individual bonuses applied, but not the overall bonus.

    (The Achievement bonus is showing as 25% complete.)

    Not sure if it’s just too early to chase.

  5. Peter says:

    Doing the occasional Opinion survey is an easy way to protect your IHG points

    • chris1922 says:

      Beat me too it. Even if you don’t qualify for the actual survey, you get 5 points for trying !

  6. Paul Hockaday says:

    Does the purchase of Ambassador membership prevent points from expiring? As a reminder this does create a redemption rebate of 10% providing extra points

    • You don’t get the rebate in year 1. When you renew, there is an option to pay a higher fee and get the 10% rebate for year 2+.

      As Ambassador makes you Platinum Elite too, expiry is suspended due to your elite status.

    • David says:

      Don’t you automatically get elite IHG status when you buy Ambassador? In which case, you’ll be saved from points expiry by that.

  7. Do you get IHG points for booking a meeting room, without a stay?

  8. So, is it a rolling 12 months, or is there a fixed date?

  9. pommy ray says:

    what about using points for a booking or even points for a booking that unfortunately gets cancelled later?

    • Peter K says:

      Copied and pasted from the above article:

      “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.”

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