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.
Here is the full list of articles in this series:
- When do your Accor Live Limitless points expire?
- When do your Hilton Honors points expire?
- When do your Marriott Bonvoy points expire?
- When do your Radisson Rewards points expire?
- When do your World of Hyatt points expire?
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.
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.
- Buy IHG One Rewards points starting at $13.50 for 1,000 points
- Receive a transfer of points from another member ($5 fee per 1,000)
- Transfer Virgin Points into IHG One Rewards points (minimum 10,000, 1:1 rate)
- Transfer Finnair Plus miles into IHG One Rewards points (minimum 20,000, 2:1 rate)
- Book a restaurant on Open Table using the special IHG link here – in my experience these points post very quickly (1-2 days) after dining
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.
- Transfer points to another member – this only requires a minimum of 1,000 points and costs $5
- Transfer points into an airline scheme – this requires a minimum 10,000 point transfer, which gets you 2,000 airline miles
- Redeem for gift cards or merchandise. IHG has a catalogue of items you can buy, starting at 4,000 points for a £5 shopping voucher. This is a very poor deal given our standard valuation of 0.4p per IHG One Rewards points. The IHG Digital Rewards catalogue has items from 400 points which is a better option is all you want to do is reset the expiry date.
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 – December 2023:
Get bonus points: Our article on IHG’s current bonus promotion is here. You will receive 2,000 bonus points for every two cash nights you stay until 31st December. Nights do not need to be consecutive. Click here to register.
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.
IHG is offering a 100% bonus (some members may be offered less) when you buy points by 30th December 2023. Click here to buy.
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.