News: IHG extends points expiry and card vouchers, new Amex cashback offers
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News in brief:
IHG Rewards extends points expiry and credit card free night vouchers
IHG Rewards has announced a further covid-related extension to points and free night expirations.
You will receive an email next week to confirm the details if you are impacted, but the changes will be:
- points expiry for ‘no status’ members has been suspended further until 31st December 2021 – elite members have nothing to worry about, since points never expire for members who have IHG Rewards status
- free night vouchers earned with the (now closed to new applicants) IHG Rewards Premium Mastercard which were due to expire on 31st August 2021 have been extended to 31st December 2021
American Express launches new cashback offers
We were expecting a flood of American Express hotel cashback offers to launch this week, but it has been slower than expected.
IHG has now jumped in.
£100 IHG cashback with American Express
IHG is offering £100 cashback on spend of £350+ at selected hotels by 31st August.
The deal is heavily restricted unfortunately. It only applies to InterContinental, Regent and Kimpton hotels in Europe. This isn’t many properties.
The offer is presumably cumulative but this is not certain.
As usual, you need to opt-in to this offer. To see if you are targetted, look at the ‘Offers’ tab on the statement page of every Amex card you hold, either in the app or on the website.
The good news is that it will double-up with the current Ambassador sign-up or renewal promotion.
As we covered here, you receive a free night voucher (up to 40,000 IHG Rewards points) if you pay $200 to join or renew IHG’s Ambassador loyalty scheme and do one cash stay at an InterContinental or Kimpton hotel by 31st August. This happens to be the same expiry date as the cashback deal. Details of how to get the Ambassador deal are in this article.
The real sweet spot here would be:
- join Ambassador for $200 and get your ‘buy one night get one free’ certificate (which is actually valid 7 days at Kimpton hotels, but only Fri-Sun at InterContinental)
- book an InterContinental or Kimpton cash stay with your ‘buy one night get one free’ voucher (ensure the hotel is on the participating list for the Amex cashback offer)
- enjoy your guaranteed Ambassador benefits, including a $20 hotel credit, guaranteed 4pm check-out and guaranteed upgrade at InterContinental properies (varies at Kimpton and Regent)
- spend over £350 during the stay and trigger your £100 cashback from American Express
- receive a voucher for a free night worth up to 40,000 IHG Rewards points via the Ambassador sign-up promotion – the voucher must be redeemed by the end of November
Many hotels allow you to book a suite with your ‘buy one get one free voucher’ so you could splurge to get to the £350 required to trigger the cashback.
Get £45 cashback with a £179+ subscription to The Economist
An interesting subscription deal for The Economist has also appeared on many cards.
You will receive £45 back on a subscription of £179 or more if targetted.
The sweet spot here would be if Avios launched another generous deal with The Economist before the cashback offer expires on 30th June. As you can see here, the current Avios offer is only 3,400 Avios with a £179 digital subscription, which is weak. During a promotional period, it can jump up to 15,000 Avios.
Even if Avios doesn’t jump by 30th June, it is possible that a good offer will appear with another partner such as Accor. I will keep an eye out. The current Accor deal is 2,000 points, worth €40 off a hotel stay, which isn’t as good as it has been.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.
Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card
1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review