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Coronavirus: IHG Rewards Club scraps Advance Purchase prepaid rates

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IHG has been badly lacking in its response to coronavirus.

Hilton has been leading the pack by a long way, extending Hilton Honors status by a year and reversing status drops.  It also guaranteed that any bookings you make by 30th June can be cancelled – at any point – regardless of policy.

The best that IHG could offer was that any booking for arrival by 30th April could be cancelled.  Tough luck if you had something planned for 1st May.

The good news is that IHG has moved on – a bit.  Take a look here.

Coronavirus: IHG Rewards Club scraps Advance Purchase prepaid rates

Here are the changes:

Bookings made up to and including today, 6th April, for travel by 30th June, can be cancelled for a full cash refund, even if they were sold as non-refundable 

Going forward, Advance Purchase pre-paid rates will no longer be available, except in China

A new discounted rate ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ has been introduced

‘Book Now, Pay Later’ is basically ‘Advanced Purchase’ without any restrictions.  The rate is still cheaper than Best Flexible Rate and can be cancelled up to 24 hours before arrival.

The cancellation policy on ‘Best Flexible Rates’ has also been improved.  These can now be cancelled until 6pm on the day of arrival.  I doubt it is worth paying 5%-10% extra to get 6pm cancellation vs 24 hours advance cancellation however.

No deposit or pre-payment of any sort is required.

IMPORTANT:  if you try to cancel a non-refundable room online, the IHG website still says you are not getting a refund.  However, it also said this for bookings in April which have been cancellable for free for a while, and readers report money arriving back OK.

Coronavirus: IHG Rewards Club scraps Advance Purchase prepaid rates

How long will ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ be available?

IHG’s ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ will be bookable until at least 30th September for stays up to 31st December.

There is also clarity on IHG credit card free night vouchers

If you earned a free night voucher from your IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard, there is a new expiry policy:

All certificates expiring after 1st March 2020 have been extended to 31st December 2020

All certificates earned in 2020 will have an 18 month redemption period

You can confirm this at the bottom of this page of the IHG website.

There is still no official news on extensions to Ambassador free weekend night vouchers.

Is there any further news on status extensions?


IHG is still lagging the pack here.

The only concession so far is that you can renew your current status more easily.  Spire Elite, for example, will only require 55,000 base points in 2020 vs the usual 75,000.

There is NO concession at all for existing members who have been unable to get full benefit from their current status.

Given the moves by Hilton, I doubt that IHG and Marriott can afford to stick to their current positions, albeit that it seems that they need to be dragged kicking and screaming to that conclusion.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

You will receive an 80% bonus when you buy IHG One Rewards points by 10th June 2022.

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

Comments (74)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Paul Whelan says:

    This was updated on the IHG site this morning but now the relevant page seems to have reverted to the previous ‘up to April 30th’ policy.

    • Lloyd says:

      Yep, seeing the same. Wonder if this a change of mind following a back lash from the franchisees, or just a simple IT issue?

      • Arno McLean says:

        Feels to me like their IT was not setup to deal with this yet. The english page clearly stated their change of heart. The dutch page was still stating the previous policy. Also looking as everyone who tried to cancel their rooms got the same message saying only rooms till 30th of April were cancelable free of charge. It feels like their IT is playing catchup.

        (Well there is a lot of hoping there from me as well, but working in IT knowing how these things go, I can just imagine that their DB and Maintenance people are trying to do.)

  • James says:

    This is good news. Hilton have done great job. Glad IHG are taking some steps but I still won’t manage to maintain the Spire status I’ve had for the opast few years 🙁

    Any news on Qatar extending the expiration date of QMiles ? I have a lot to lose there 🙁

  • Paul says:

    So my Spire account now shows 55k for re-qualification and I have over 64k but the expiry date is still 31/12/20 and no option for 25k bonus.

    Any ideas?

  • J says:

    Oh well guess I lost £64.68…could be worse,,Im still alive..

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    As ever the best advice is to contact the hotel directly, worked fine for me today for a May booking

  • Rob says:

    Very weird. I will investigate. IHG don’t pay us for applications for this card so we’re not kept in the loop about what is happening.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Looking at creations website looks like they’ve scaled back their offering.

    Perhaps they’ve scaled back due to staffing issues. Entirely possible no one is working to process new applications / print new cards.

  • Lloyd says:

    Travel Advisory page reverted back to June again overnight.

    All a bit strange. The US and other Americas sites were all saying June whilst the English language pages across the rest of the world were saying April. Looks like it’s all sorted now and June it is.

    • Arno McLean says:

      Still when you try to cancel it says 30th of April. (checked 50 mins ago)

      • John M says:

        Yes still showing as April 30th for me when I try to cancel several Pre-paid bookings I have in Portugal in June. I’m reluctant to click on ‘cancel’ while this remains ambiguous…

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