In the world of hotel loyalty programs, understanding the terms and conditions attached to your earned points is crucial. One such program is the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Rewards Club, which offers IHG points to its members. A common question among members is, “Do IHG points expire?” This article aims to provide a comprehensive answer to this question, detailing the expiry policy of IHG points, and offering tips on how to keep them active.
Table of Contents
- Understanding IHG Rewards Club Points
- Expiration Policy of IHG Points
- Factors that Can Lead to IHG Points Expiration
- How to Prevent Your IHG Points from Expiring
- Effective Strategies to Maximize Your IHG Points
- Redeeming IHG Points: Best Practices and Recommendations
- To Conclude
Understanding IHG Rewards Club Points
The IHG Rewards Club is a loyalty program offered by the InterContinental Hotels Group, allowing members to earn points for stays at any of their properties worldwide. These points can then be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including free hotel stays, airline miles, and merchandise. The program is tiered, with four levels of membership: Club, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, and Spire Elite. Each level offers its own set of benefits, with higher tiers offering more perks such as bonus points and room upgrades.
Members earn points in several ways. Primarily, you accumulate points by staying at IHG hotels. The number of points earned per stay varies depending on the hotel brand and the member’s tier level. Other ways to earn points include:
- Dining at IHG restaurants: Members can earn points by dining at participating IHG hotel restaurants, even if they are not staying at the hotel.
- Using IHG credit cards: IHG offers co-branded credit cards that allow members to earn points on everyday purchases.
- Participating in promotions: IHG often runs promotions that offer bonus points for certain activities, such as booking a certain number of nights or staying at specific properties.
Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for rewards. The most popular redemption option is free hotel stays, but members can also use points for airline miles, gift cards, and merchandise from the IHG Rewards Club catalogue.
Expiration Policy of IHG Points
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) rewards points are a valuable asset for frequent travelers. However, it’s important to note that these points do have an expiration policy. Under normal circumstances, IHG points expire after 12 months of inactivity. This means if you do not earn or redeem any points for 12 consecutive months, your points will be forfeited. This policy applies to all members except for Spire Elite members, who enjoy the benefit of their points never expiring.
There are several ways to keep your account active and prevent your points from expiring. Some of these include:
- Earning points: This can be done by staying at IHG hotels, using IHG services, or making purchases with an IHG Rewards Club credit card.
- Redeeming points: You can redeem your points for hotel stays, dining, shopping, and more. Even redeeming a small number of points can keep your account active.
- Purchasing points: If you’re close to the expiration date and don’t have any upcoming travel plans, you can also purchase points to keep your account active.
Remember, the key is to have some sort of activity in your account at least once every 12 months to keep your points from expiring.
Factors that Can Lead to IHG Points Expiration
While the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Rewards Club offers a plethora of benefits to its members, it’s essential to understand the circumstances under which your accumulated points might expire. This knowledge can help you plan your stays and rewards usage more effectively, ensuring that you get the most out of your membership.
Inactivity is the primary factor that can lead to the expiration of your IHG points. If your account remains dormant for 12 consecutive months, i.e., you do not earn or redeem any points during this period, your points are likely to expire. This includes earning points through hotel stays, IHG partners, or promotional offers, as well as redeeming points for Reward Nights or other rewards.
Another factor is Account Closure. If for any reason, your IHG Rewards Club account is closed, all your accumulated points will be forfeited immediately. This could occur due to a violation of the terms and conditions of the IHG Rewards Club, or if you choose to close your account voluntarily.
Lastly, Points Expiration due to Program Changes can also occur. IHG reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the Rewards Club, which may include modifications to the points expiration policy. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay updated with any changes in the program to prevent unexpected points loss.
How to Prevent Your IHG Points from Expiring
Keeping your IHG points from expiring is a straightforward process. The key is to ensure that there is some activity in your account at least once every 12 months. This activity can be as simple as earning or redeeming points. If you don’t have any plans to stay at an IHG hotel in the near future, don’t worry. There are several other ways to keep your account active.
Earning points: You can earn IHG points by using their branded credit card for everyday purchases. Another option is to shop through the IHG online store, where you can earn points for every dollar spent. You can also earn points by dining at participating restaurants or by renting a car from partner companies.
Redeeming points: If you don’t want to earn points, you can also redeem them to keep your account active. You can use your points to book reward nights at IHG hotels, or you can redeem them for merchandise, gift cards, or digital rewards like eBooks, music, and games. Another option is to donate your points to charity. This not only keeps your account active but also helps a good cause.
Effective Strategies to Maximize Your IHG Points
One of the most rewarding ways to accumulate IHG points is by taking advantage of bonus points packages. When booking your stay, look for hotels offering these packages. You might pay a slightly higher rate, but the extra points you earn can be well worth it. Also, consider the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. This card offers a significant sign-up bonus, as well as ongoing opportunities to earn points on everyday purchases. Plus, you’ll get a free night each year on your card anniversary.
Another strategy is to book your stays during IHG promotions. IHG frequently runs promotions that offer bonus points for stays during a certain period or at specific hotels. Keep an eye on your email and the IHG website for these deals. You can also buy IHG points during promotional periods when they’re offered at a discount or with a bonus. While this isn’t the most cost-effective way to earn points, it can be a good option if you’re close to a reward and need a few more points to get there. Lastly, don’t forget to register for the IHG Rewards Club Dining program. You can earn points for dining at participating restaurants, even when you’re not traveling.
Redeeming IHG Points: Best Practices and Recommendations
Maximizing the value of your IHG points requires a strategic approach. First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that the value of these points can vary significantly depending on how they’re redeemed. Generally, you’ll get the most bang for your buck when you use points for hotel stays, particularly at high-end properties. However, it’s also possible to redeem points for flights, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses.
When planning to use your points, consider the following recommendations:
- Book early: Reward nights are subject to availability, so it’s best to book as early as possible to secure your desired dates and location.
- Avoid peak periods: During peak travel times, the cost in points for a reward night can skyrocket. If your travel dates are flexible, consider booking during off-peak times to get more value from your points.
- Consider PointBreaks: IHG periodically offers PointBreaks, where select hotels are available for fewer points. This can be a great way to stretch your points further.
Another key point to remember is that IHG points expire after 12 months of inactivity. To keep your points active, you’ll need to earn or redeem points at least once a year. This can be as simple as making a small purchase through an IHG partner or booking a reward night.
Also, consider these tips:
- Pool your points: If you’re short on points for a reward night, consider pooling points with a family member or friend who is also an IHG Rewards Club member.
- Buy points: If you’re close to having enough points for a reward night but not quite there, it may be worth buying the extra points you need. However, this should be a last resort as it’s usually not the most cost-effective option.
Q: What are IHG points?
A: IHG points are reward points that you earn through the InterContinental Hotels Group’s loyalty program, IHG Rewards Club. These points can be redeemed for various rewards such as free hotel stays, airline miles, and more.
Q: Do IHG points expire?
A: Yes, IHG points do expire if there is no account activity for a period of 12 months. However, for IHG Rewards Club Elite members, points do not expire.
Q: What constitutes account activity for IHG Rewards Club?
A: Account activity includes earning or redeeming points. This can be achieved by staying at IHG hotels, using an IHG Rewards Club credit card, purchasing points, or participating in promotional offers.
Q: How can I check the expiration date of my IHG points?
A: You can check the expiration date of your IHG points by logging into your IHG Rewards Club account online. The expiration date will be listed in your account details.
Q: Can I extend the expiration date of my IHG points?
A: Yes, you can extend the expiration date of your IHG points by earning or redeeming points. Any activity in your account will reset the 12-month expiration period.
Q: What happens if my IHG points expire?
A: If your IHG points expire, they will be removed from your account and you will not be able to use them for any rewards.
Q: Are there any exceptions to the expiration rule for IHG points?
A: Yes, IHG Rewards Club Elite members’ points do not expire. Additionally, points do not expire for residents of certain regions such as the Asia Pacific, except for Greater China, and some other regions due to local laws and regulations.
Q: How can I become an IHG Rewards Club Elite member?
A: You can become an IHG Rewards Club Elite member by staying a certain number of nights at IHG hotels or earning a certain number of points in a calendar year. There are different levels of Elite status, each with its own set of benefits and requirements.
To Wrap It Up
In conclusion, understanding the IHG Rewards Club program’s expiration policy is crucial for maximizing your points’ value. Remember, IHG points do expire if there’s no earning or redeeming activity in your account for 12 consecutive months. However, with a variety of ways to earn and redeem points, keeping your account active should be relatively straightforward. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or an occasional guest, managing your IHG points effectively can lead to significant savings and enhanced travel experiences. Stay informed and make the most of your IHG Rewards Club membership.