Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Creation offers to settle with HfP readers over forced IHG One Rewards credit card closures

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

IHG One Rewards used to market two excellent UK credit cards. They were arguably the best Visa or Mastercard options on the market. Whilst closed to new applicants some time ago, some readers still hold them today.

IHG had put together a smart range of benefits which both encouraged people to get the card and to use it.

We’ll get to why it all went pear-shaped in a minute, but to recap:

Creation settles with HfP readers over forced IHG One Rewards credit card closures
  • the free IHG One Rewards card was decent. You earned 1 IHG One Rewards points per £1 spent (2 points per £1 for FX spend and at IHG hotels) and you received Gold status in what was at that time IHG Rewards Club. The points counted towards elite status too.
  • the £99 per year Premium card was excellent. As well as earning 2 IHG One Rewards points per £1 (4 points per £1 for FX spend and at IHG hotels) – which also counted towards elite status – you received Platinum status in IHG Rewards Club. When you spent £10,000 per year on the card, you received a voucher for a free night redemption.

Whilst this was not officially part of the benefits package, the cards had two other quirks:

  • you could pay off your monthly bill with another credit card, so you earned points twice
  • the free night vouchers, at least towards the end, were not coded properly and could be redeemed for pretty much anything in the Mr & Mrs Smith collection – some HfP readers stayed in £1,000+ top suites at the Cliveden country house hotel in Berkshire, for example

Then, in late 2021, Creation Financial Services – issuer of the card – shut down a large percentage of accounts with minimal notice. One call centre agent said that 1,800 accounts were closed.

Why did Creation close down card accounts?

It was never made explicitly clear, and of course Creation has the right to withdraw credit from anyone it wants at any time without giving a reason.

It seemed that the common factor was that cardholders had been linking their IHG credit cards to a Curve Card.

Curve Card is a debit card which recharges your transactions to a linked Visa or Mastercard credit card. This meant that you could make transactions which were only possible with a debit card – such as paying HMRC, buying Premium Bonds, putting money into Hargreaves Lansdown etc – and they would be recharged to your IHG credit card.

Importantly, these transactions would earn points and count towards your free night voucher.

Another popular use of Curve was for card spending abroad. Curve did not charge FX fees, so you could make a transaction with Curve in a foreign currency which was recharged to your IHG credit card whilst avoiding the fee.

A third use of Curve was to gain access to Apple Wallet. Creation cards did not work with Apple Wallet but Curve cards did.

(The Curve Card website is here if you want to learn more. I strongly recommend reading the Curve threads in the ‘Other payment cards’ part of our forum first.)

Creation settles with HfP readers over forced IHG One Rewards credit card closures

What happened when accounts were closed?

This is where Creation made a mistake, arguably.

When cards were closed, very little notice was given. Cardholders were not even awarded points for their most recent spending.

More importantly, holders of the Premium credit card did not receive their free night voucher for the year. It was a feature of the IHG credit card that, irrespective of how quickly the cardholder spent £10,000, the voucher did not appear until the end of their membership year.

What happened next?

Many HfP readers raised complaints with the Financial Ombudsman Service, using our forum to share their knowledge. I know that some readers also launched legal action against Creation, with many successful in getting the value of a free night in a five star hotel.

The Financial Ombudsman Service eventually decided to pursue a single settlement with Creation.

This is the email that was received yesterday by people who had lodged a complaint:

Thank you for your patience while we’ve been progressing your complaint. As you’re aware we’ve been having regular discussions with Creation Financial Services Limited (Creation) to ensure an outcome that is fair and reasonable in the circumstances

Throughout these conversations, Creation have provided additional information and it’s been important to take this into account for the individual circumstances of each case. As a result of our conversations with Creation, we’re pleased to let you know that Creation have made an offer to resolve your complaint.

The offer Creation have made will depend on the type of account you held with them. I’ve explained more details below.

The closure of credit card accounts with Creation affected two of their credit card products which provided associated benefits.

  • IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card – customers were able to earn IHG Rewards Club points, and Anniversary Night Vouchers for an annual account fee
  • IHG Rewards Club Credit Card – customers were able to earn IHG Rewards Club points

For any customers who held an IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card, Creation have offered to

  • refund the unused proportion of the account fee on a pro-rata basis,
  • transfer the outstanding IHG Rewards Club points to their IHG account, and
  • grant Anniversary Night Vouchers for eligible customers.

For any customer who held an IHG Rewards Club Credit Card, Creation have offered to

  • transfer the outstanding IHG Rewards Club points to their IHG account.

I would be grateful if you could let us know whether you accept the offer from Creation in full and final settlement of your complaint by 31 March 2023.

If we don’t hear from you by then, we will assume your acceptance of this offer, and ask Creation to action the settlement and close your complaint.

If you would like to accept Creation Financial Services Limited’s offer, please let me know by 31 March 2023 and I’ll arrange for Creation Financial Services Limited to get in touch with you.

If you are not happy with the offer, please let me know why by 31 March 2023 and we’ll continue to investigate.

Creation settles with HfP readers over forced IHG One Rewards credit card closures

There are two obvious questions here ….

The first is over the annual free night voucher.

It isn’t clear if anyone who had not hit £10,000 of annual spend, but would have done so if their account was not closed, will receive their voucher. If Creation was refunding the entire annual fee for these people it could arguably get away with not awarding a voucher. Since it is only refunding the annual fee pro-rata, I think that anyone who was on course (pro-rata) to earn the free night voucher should receive one.

The second is what happens if you were not part of the FOS action.

The email is vague. It implies that this offer is being made to all cardholders, but I suspect that FOS means that it is being made available to all cardholders who made a complaint.

What should you do if your IHG credit card was closed down and you did not make a complaint to FOS?

You may want to wait to see if Creation gets in touch with you to offer you the same settlement that FOS has agreed for those who raised a complaint.

Your other option is to raise a complaint now with the Financial Ombudsman Service and say that you wish to be opted in to the settlement agreed between Creation and FOS. This was not a ‘group action’ to the extent that there was any sort of cut-off date.

Unless there is a limit to how long you can wait before making a complaint to FOS, I don’t see why any new complaint made now would not have the same outcome.


This has been a rather pitiful process. Whilst Creation has the right to give out credit to whoever it chooses, and to withdraw that credit if it wishes, the refusal to:

  • transfer over outstanding points
  • refund the unused portion of the annual card fee
  • award free night vouchers to people who had already hit the £10,000 spend target

…. was simply illogical and bound to end as it has now ended. A lot of time and effort has been wasted – Creation even sent legal representation to every court case I know about to defend itself, instead of settling.

The sums of money involved are peanuts at the end of the day, especially for a business (BNP Paribas) that has seen its market value drop by €17 billion in the last month.

Whilst readers will now get what they were due, there is nothing in these proposals which adds anything for the 18 months of inconvenience and delay.

Comments (242)

  • Aston100 says:

    In case anyone missed it from the other thread:

    “it’s the most ludicrously generous offer and those suggesting negotiating for all sorts of additional stuff need to book an appointment with a neurologist asap. Of course the robbers, so praised here, have been rewarded and those that had their cards cancelled hace suffered but that’s life.”
    – JDB on 17th March 2023 at 17:59

    There you go, the guy who campaigned for months to delay people from progressing claims (which could only benefit Creation BTW and not you) is now seething and suggesting we go see a neurologist.

    If it wasn’t obvious before, this pretty much confirms JDB is the financial services shill that many of us always suspected he was.
    Not sure his relation with Creation but the only question really is whether he gets paid for this or he defends them because he sees himself as a self-appointed vigilante fighting on behalf of the financial services industry against consumers.

    • David says:

      * gets the popcorn and waits 🍿

    • David says:

      I think you’re wrong here, but it is clear from his posts he has a values-based view on this. Some of is right in my opinion, some of it not and seemingly borne out of inherent snobbery and an over inflated sense of self, alongside not wanting what he sees as the hoi polli/griffters in the same hotels, lounges, cabins etc as him.

    • Lady London says:

      The neurologist bit was a dig at me and I’m fine with it.

      JDB and I agree on almost everything and I have so much respect for his views which are about behaving with class and decency. He also knows the legal specifics on many things and helps where he can.

      HfP would be a less colourful place without the pair of us.

      • JDB says:

        @Lady London – it wasn’t intended to be a dig at you. I do think that sometimes one needs to know when to reach a deal and move on. I think there is a sub zero prospect of getting all the things you say people should ask for and it would make it all drag on for months without any meaningful uplift. Assuming there is no trick in the ‘eligible’ many will get a better settlement than they might realistically have expected, so it’s a pragmatic offer that should benefit all the parties.

    • Harrier25 says:

      Someone got out the wrong side of bed this morning! 😀

    • JDB says:

      @Aston100 – from the alleged Creation shill to the anti Barclays campaigners. The reason that this is a good offer is that it should resolve matters much quicker than waiting for an initial decision and then final Ombudsman decision and any inconvenience payment will, in line with dozens of decisions you can read, be quite nominal. Most importantly however, previous (non binding) decisions make clear that you don’t get the voucher if you don’t reach the anniversary for any reason, irrespective of whether you reached the spend threshold. If, of course, they define eligible too narrowly, then of course all bets are off.

      The irony of all this is that people could have had this settlement in Oct/Nov 2021 as long as they agreed to immediate account closure.

      It’s clear you are a supporter of those people who precipitated these closures – yes, Creation may have behaved badly and made a pig’s ear of resolving the problem but a very small number of people caused many others to lose their cards, plus points and vouchers going forwards. One can see on various threads that they are doing it all over again. Fortunately 95% + of IHG cardholders still have their cards.

      • Points Hound says:

        Says the man who promotes hiding from the postman for sh*ts and giggles!

        Nobody can take anything you say since you stood by this a few years back.

        I see you as someone in their early teens that’s on a huge learning curve.

        • David says:

          Given the threading structure here, who is this directed at?

        • Lady London says:

          Everyone’s young(-ish) at some time Pointshound, with time and more exposures opinions might change but should be respected meanwhile and fed back on politely if necessary. Yes it was a bit borderline but making allowances for a regular normally polite poster surely?

          • Points Hound says:

            Agree wholeheartedly @LL, perhaps, therefore, you should direct this at @aston100! Another spurious unfounded claim about @JDB’s motives and background, it’s not the first time, nor respectful as you are championing.

            Borderline as a description is being rather forgiving given his regular attendance and commenting here, I’m sure you’d agree.

            I don’t believe the OP is young by the way, you’ve missed my intended point / jibe that he should know better 😉

      • Char Char says:

        “The irony of all this is that people could have had this settlement in Oct/Nov 2021 as long as they agreed to immediate account closure.”

        Thats simply not true and has no basis apart from 1 or 2 people getting an outcome, many offered and got no response from them.

        “Fortunately 95% + of IHG cardholders still have their cards.”

        This is about as likely as you admitting you have some sort bias against people making claims against Creation.

      • Alan says:

        That’s incorrect, JDB – Creation never made such an offer previously, certainly to the vast majority.

    • Alan says:

      Why would you go and see a neurologist? Think you’ve got the wrong specialty, JDB!

  • dougzz99 says:

    @Aston100 It confirms nothing beyond @JDB’s different perspective to the crowd. You make several accusations in there based on no actual evidence, other than his opinion differs to yours.

  • Peggerz says:

    Just found the Creation/IHG screenshots to evidence my claim. I rarely did this previously but now a lesson I’ve learned on HfP. Onwards and upwards….

  • NFH says:

    I was one of the first to submit a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service in November 2021.

    My complaint was not only about the account closure (non-transferred points, refund of annual fee and lack of anniversary night voucher), but also several unrelated customer service failures by Creation.

    The FOS and Creation decided at an early stage to split my complaint into two complaints, despite this incurring two separate £750 case fees for Creation.

    One first separated complaint was about Creation’s blocking of Curve, in particular Creation’s failure to notify customers by a durable medium (only an SMS with a 7-day expiry if undelivered) and that there is nothing in Curve T&Cs allowing it to block a specific merchant such as Curve. I recently received a perverse decision by an ombudsman, in which he had misunderstood the meaning of “Third Party Provider” in Curve’s T&Cs. In summary, he misinterpreted Curve to be a provider of open banking services instead of as a merchant.

    The second separated complaint was about the account closure as well as several unrelated customer service failures by Creation. I likewise received the settlement offer yesterday, but I immediately rejected it because it did not address unrelated the customer service failures.

    I believe that the FOS and Creation had intended to leave only the account closure in the second separated complaint. If this had been done, then I would have been able to accept yesterday’s offer. The initial FOS investigator had made several errors in her handling of my complaint, and I believe she probably split my original complaint incorrectly. The FOS handling of my complaint was so bad that the FOS paid me £75 compensation for its own failings.

    • Mik says:

      I had the same situation. They allocated my case to someone who left, and forgot to pass it on. I was awarded £100.

  • Benilyn says:

    This is shameful from a BNP Paribas subsidiary

    • NFH says:

      I’ve worked at lots of investment banks in London, and BNP Paribas was the only one that I really disliked working at. There were so many things that made it undesirable, particularly the culture and inconvenient location. Others have made similar comments to me.

      • Rob says:

        The location was surely apparent when you took the job 🙂 Ironically Crossrail makes it mega-attractive now if you live in Henley / Marlow etc.

        • NFH says:

          No, the location wasn’t apparent when I took the job, because BNP Paribas was not my employer, but one of my employer’s multiple clients. People who work in banking in London tend to live somewhere that’s convenient for the City or Canary Wharf, so an additional hour per day of travelling to BNP Paribas compared to the City or Canary Wharf was hardly welcome. I understand that it was one of the last banks to allow working from home; it reluctantly caved in to this because of the pandemic.

          • Nick says:

            “There were so many things that made it undesirable, particularly the culture and inconvenient location”

            So, let me get this straight.. the location of one of your employer’s clients is an issue with you, vis a vis Creation?! Really?!

          • Alex Sm says:

            Aren’t they next to Marylebone Station?

          • Rob says:


          • Lady London says:

            More importantly, BNP Paribas is practically opposite the Sea Shell, one of the best chippys in London.

          • NFH says:

            Nick, the culture was the biggest problem at BNP Paribas, which is why I mentioned it in connection with Creation. The culture was unpleasant in many ways compared to all the other investment banks I’ve worked at in London. The location makes it more difficult for them to recruit good quality people, most of whom live somewhere convenient for the City or Canary Wharf.

          • Rob says:

            Creation is based in Solihull of course!

          • NFH says:

            Indeed. A far worse location than Marylebone for recruiting quality people. The appalling way in which Creation has handled its blocking of Curve and subsequent closing of accounts shows that Creation lacks quality people.

          • RussellH says:

            Solihull and Marylebone are two of the easiest places to get to from here.
            But then I have been drawing pensions for 15 years and banking is probably the last type of job I would have considered.

  • Nick says:

    I am a bit confused.. I complained at the time, got the standard refusal to honour from Creation and took it no further at that time.. Some people are saying that if we did not escalate to the FOS within six months of the Creation response, we are no longer eligible but surely not the case if they have been found to have been wrong in their treatment of customers at the time? Between my own and my wife’s cards we are owed a very significant amount..

    • NFH says:

      You need to complain to the FOS within 6 months of the final reponse (which usually includes an invitation to complain to the FOS), not just a general response. I received no final response from Creation, so I complained to the FOS after 8 weeks had elapsed. If you received no final response, then you are still at liberty to complain to the FOS.

    • Harrier25 says:

      Now a decision has been made which goes against Creation original rejection, starting a new complaint process I feel would be very much valid.

  • Lula says:

    Gosh there are some pretty personal and imo unfair comments in this thread now. Keep it classy folks.

  • Boi says:

    Ok, we had 4 cards closed and never complained…..with almost 200K points owed and 2 free nights vouchers….. I understand we have to start with creation first… there a generic letter out there?

    • Flyer123 says:

      I just complained online this morning, see earlier comment from me for link on page 2 or 3.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.