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IHG is fixing the free night problem on the IHG Rewards Premium credit card

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Here is an example of how commenting on HfP can (occasionally) get a problem solved.

A few days ago, multiple commented about problems with the free night voucher issued with the IHG Rewards Premium (‘black’) credit card.

This is an excellent credit card, possibly too good given that IHG and Creation, the issuer, pulled it from the market a couple of years ago.

For an annual fee of £99, you received:

  • 2 IHG Rewards points per £1 spent, which I’d value at 0.8p per £1 spent
  • Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards
  • a free night voucher each year when you spend £10,000

It was a package we liked so much that it won an ‘Editor’s Choice’ prize at the 2019 Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards. I can only imagine that the card economics didn’t stack up, leading to it being withdrawn soon after.

The problem which emerged earlier this month was with the free night voucher.

The voucher came with a one year expiry date. This was always a ‘book by’ and not a ‘stay by’ expiry, so in reality you had almost two years to use it as long as you could make your booking within 12 months.

This is a change from how IHG credit card vouchers are issued in the United States. Over there, the vouchers come with a ‘stay by’ and NOT a ‘book by’ expiry date.

I contacted IHG and, whilst it was news to them, they agreed to take a look. Late last week I got a note saying:

“We have investigated the anniversary night booking query and have identified that certificates issued from April 2020 when we extended certificates to 18 months were deposited with book and stay by expiry date rules.

We will update all impacted active anniversary night certificates to remove the stay date rule and ensure that all certificates awarded going forward will not have the book and stay date rule.”

If you had trouble booking your free night in recent days, it will be hopefully be resolved soon.


IHG Rewards update – October 2021:

Get bonus points: You can earn up to triple IHG Rewards base points with IHG’s new Autumn promotion. It runs from 1st October to 31st December. You can register here and our full article on the offer is here.

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

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

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 (73)

  • David A says:

    Rob: For clarity, the change to “book by” is for UK cards only? The Chase US MCs are still “book and stay”. Correct?

  • NFH says:

    This card is useless since Creation unjustifiably blocked Curve, not least preventing Apple Pay and requiring grubby chip & PIN during a pandemic. I am demanding a pro-rata refund of the annual fee, even though I’ve hit the £10k annual spend target multiple times this year.

    • Harrier25 says:

      Well, it certainly isn’t useless.

      • NFH says:

        Without Curve, it’s no good for POS purchases or paying off my Amex bill. So it’s next to useless – good only for online purchases and therefore not worth the annual fee.

        • Harrier25 says:

          It replaced Curve in my wallet for POS where Amex isn’t accepted.

          • Char Char says:

            Without Apple pay and the ability to pay HMRC it is for a lot of people a lot less useful

    • VerdantBacon says:

      Unjustifiably blocked Curve hahahaha, people driving £30k+ per month MS on their IHG card through Curve to earn 50k+ monthly points and then going on to spend those points for a free week at a £2000 per night suite in SSDV.

      Yeh definitely no justification for blocking Curve

      • Rob says:

        £30k is a bit low …

      • NFH says:

        Yes, it is indeed no justification for blocking Curve. Why not block Curve only for the MCCs that are causing a problem? Or why not impose the same limit for the problem MCCs as is already imposed on paying off other credit cards (£700 per week)? Why also block retail purchases via Curve on mainstream MCCs via Apple Pay as well? Blocking everything via Curve is an unreasonably and unnnecessily blunt instrument.

    • J says:

      Not sure how the ‘grubby chip & pin during a pandemic’ is relevant for an airborne virus…

      • NFH says:

        Because infected people cough into their hands and then use those same hands to touch PIN pads, which hundreds of other people also touch. For similar reasons, we see hand sanitiser everywhere. You’re right that the virus is spread primarily through breathing rather than by touching surfaces, but that’s not a reason to avoid precautions against the latter.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Noticed I’ve got 2 vouchers to use up by the end of this year. Let’s hope I can use them into next year with a book by date rather than stay by. I’ll give it a few days before trying.

  • Shep says:

    My Curve card was stopped by creation, now they have closed my IHG Black card from December 2nd
    What should I get next?

  • Archie says:

    We have two vouchers in our household that we issued in June 2020 & March 2021, with ‘book by’ dates of January 2022 & March 2022 respectively. Neither can be used for stays beyond the book by date – am hoping to use for stays in the US for summer 2022. I keep trying hoping that it’s been fixed as reported, but no joy!
    Have others had better luck?

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