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IHG cuts its bonus for ex-credit card holders from 4x points to 0.4x points!

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The two IHG One Rewards / Creation credit cards were finally closed on Tuesday. If you still have one in your purse or wallet, it is no longer earning you points.

This means that (with IHG also withdrawing from HSBC’s credit card programme) the only way of earning IHG One Rewards points from a credit card is by getting a Virgin Atlantic card and transferring the points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio.

Ex cardholders were offered compensation for the enforced closure.

IHG cut its bonus for ex-credit cardholders

IHG sent out an email in April offering two carrots for holders of the Creation cards:

  • you would receive Platinum status in IHG One Rewards in 2024
  • you would receive 2x points (if you had the free card) or 4x points (if you had the paid card, as most of our readers did) on your stays from 28th June to 31st December 2023

There was absolutely no ambiguity about the second part of this deal. This is what IHG sent out to holders of the paid card like my wife:

IHG cut its bonus for ex-credit cardholders

It turns out that this was untrue. Untrue by 90%.

Here is what the same people received yesterday:

IHG cut its bonus for ex-credit cardholders

Spot the difference?

The standard earning rate at most IHG One Rewards brands is 10 points per $1.

If my wife was going to receive 4x bonus points for the rest of the year, she would be receiving 40 points per $1.

Instead, she is receiving just 4 bonus points per $1, on top of the usual 10 points.

The bonus for ex-Premium cardholders is not 4x, it is 0.4x.

The small print makes it clear that it really is 0.4x. What’s even weirder is that the T&C still call it ‘2x and 4x’:

What is the UK IHG One Rewards Credit Card – 2X & 4X Bonus Points Promotion?

Once a previous UK IHG One Rewards Credit Cardholder or a previous UK IHG One Rewards Premium Credit Cardholder has registered for the Offer, the member will earn 2 or 4 points per $1 spent on Qualifying Spend for all stays completed during the period from 28 June 2023 through 31 December 2023 when paying a Qualified Rate. These points are in addition to the base points and other points the member will receive from their qualifying stay.

…. which makes no sense! I mean …. what are you getting 2x or 4x of?

The problem is that people will have made bookings for this summer on the basis that they were going to receive a bonus of 4x base points and not 0.4x.

After all, 40 base points per $1 would – on our valuation of 0.4p per point – be worth a 20% rebate on your pre-tax spending. This is before you factor in base points, any elite status bonus (and you would have elite status if you had the credit card, as it was a benefit) and the standard summer bonus promotion.

I admit that 4x sounded like a very generous offer. However, IHG chose to make it and sent out this offer TWO MONTHS AGO. At no point in the intervening weeks has it emailed people to say ‘erm, sorry, about that email, we weren’t really planning to give you 4x points’.

I suspect that a lot of people won’t even realise what has happened. Only a handful of people picked up on it yesterday when the emails landed.

You also need to opt in to receive your 0.4x points bonus. This seems like another attempt to keep down costs – why make a fixed group of people opt in to an offer you have already promised them?

And, when you register, you receive an email saying “Thank you for registering for UK IHG One Rewards Credit Card 4X Bonus Points Offer” …..

IHG One Rewards update – September 2023:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global promotion.

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..

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 (117)

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  • Bob Smith says:

    I wrote to Creation the day after they halted their relationship with ihg with an exact calculation of how much the pro rata refund should be. I requested it to be paid onto my debit card or taken from my balance with immediate effect. Unsurprisingly, no answer yet.
    I had a paid night c £95 last Thursday in Cardiff, and the 4X points offer was posted at 648 points, and these have appeared as elite points. That’s something at least

  • JPJOULE says:

    Do you have to use the “old IHG creation card” to get the points or can you use a different credit card (but you get points as the IHG hotel system has you recorded as a creation card holder?). Elite points something better than we were expecting.

  • AJames says:

    Just to confirm. As requested my IHG premium card is now confirmed by Creation as closed. The annual fee has been refunded pro rata, and IHG have confirmed rewards status until December 2024.

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

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