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When do your IHG One Rewards points expire? How can you stop it?

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I receive occasional emails from readers asking ‘How can I stop my IHG One Rewards points from expiring?’ or ‘When do my IHG One Rewards points expire?’. This series, which we are updating this week, looks at the major hotel loyalty programmes and shows you how to keep your valuable points intact.

If you need to refer to this article in the future, there is a link to it on our ‘Hotel Offers’ page in the IHG One Rewards section.  This page also includes details of current IHG promotions.

When do IHG One Rewards points expire? How can you stop it?

Here is the full list of articles in this series:

About IHG One Rewards

IHG One Rewards is the hotel loyalty scheme for avid, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, EVEN, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, HUALUXE, InterContinental, Kimpton, Regent, Staybridge Suites and voco.

When do IHG One Rewards points expire?

This is what clause 39 of the IHG One Rewards terms and conditions says:

Club [no elite status] level membership Points will expire if your membership account point balance becomes inactive, meaning there was no “earn” or “redeem” transactions, for any period of twelve (12) months or longer, which means your Points will be removed from your account and will no longer be available for redemption. To maintain your account points balance and avoid points expiration, you must have at least one “earn” or “redeem” transaction posted to your account every twelve (12) months. Use of the one night per year provided to IHG One Rewards credit card holders does not constitute an “earn” or “redeem” activity to prevent Point expiration. Elite Members’ Points do not expire as long as Elite level membership is maintained.

What do they mean by ‘one earn or redeem transaction’?

The key point is that you do not need to stay at a hotel to keep your points alive. You simply need to have some activity go through your account.

Remember that elite status members do not need any activity at all – your points will not expire for as long as you have status.

IHG runs occasional status match or status challenge promotions (search HfP for any recent news stories, although at the time of writing none are being openly promoted). If you can match hotel status with another programme to IHG One Rewards status, your points will automatically be saved from expiry.

When do your IHG One Rewards points expire?

There are various ways of achieving some activity on your account as we explain below.

You could, of course, also book and then immediately cancel a hotel redemption. There is no indication that this would not work. This requires you to have a high enough points balance for a free night, of course.

Earning points

You cannot transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into IHG One Rewards, unless you do it via Virgin Flying Club or Finnair Plus.

You cannot earn points from dining at an IHG hotel if you are not a registered guest.

Spending points

As you can see, there is no excuse at all for letting IHG One Rewards points expire given how easy it is to keep them alive.

How to be notified of upcoming miles and points expiry dates

If you want to track the expiry dates of all of your miles and points, I recommend signing up to AwardWallet for free. It keeps all of your points balances, including non-travel loyalty schemes, in one place and updates them automatically.

If you pay for the premium version ($30 per year) it also tracks your all expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.  On the free plan, you can track the expiry date for three loyalty schemes of your choice.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2024:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering 2,000 bonus points for every two cash nights you stay (not necessarily consecutive) between 1st April and 31st May 2024. You can read our full article here and you can register here.

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 (8)

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

  • SydneySwan says:

    Rob you always forget a transfer from e-rewards.

    • RussellH says:

      Only if you have an e-Rewards a/c which allows transfer to IHG.
      I did have one – IHG + half a dozen airlines, but they forced me to close it years ago.
      I do still have two newer a/cs, one for Accor and one for Hilton – ironic as both those have dedicated schemes as well. Both allow transfers to a number of airline schemes, but these days I am much more interested in hotels than flying
      I do know that some people do have e-Rewards a/cs that allow transfer to a number of hotel schemes, and it may be that if one can sign up to a new a/c, that might offer that. But last time I looked, there was no option to sign up for a new a/c.

  • aseftel says:

    I’d explicitly add ‘Buy Amassador’ to the list. It’s not obvious if you aren’t familiar with the programme – and if you have expiring points and no elite status then that’s a fair assumption.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Whilst AMB gets you platinum it still costs $200 (or 40k point) and you only get it for a year so not something I’d consider doing especially when cheaper methods are available.

  • Super B says:

    Off topic – but IHG related. I managed to get IHG Diamond Elite via the ‘accidental’ link that circulated last year. I then became an Intercontinental Ambassador to protect the status until the end of 2023. As long as I renew my Ambassador for next year, will I keep the Diamond Elite? Thanks.

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    “You could, of course, also book and then immediately cancel a hotel redemption. There is no indication that this would not work.”

    There are reports on flyer talk that this tactic will not work and such a tactic is covered in the T&Cs (though I’ve not read that part)

    I really wouldn’t try that when there are less risky and cheaper methods available.

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

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