Reminder: IHG Rewards Club Points Expire After 12 Months — Unless…

“T o enable IHG to reward our guests who stay with us most often, starting from May 2016, IHG will expire all points for IHG Rewards Club Members if they have not earned or redeemed any points at all in the previous 12 months. IHG Rewards Club members will continue to maintain their point balances simply by completing a qualifying stay at one of IHG’s 4,800 hotels or redeeming some of their existing points during a membership year.”

That was the news which was a part of this official announcement released from the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program of InterContinental Hotels Group.

Not wanting for this article to be buried with similar news released from other weblogs and media sources, I have posted this information pertaining to the new policy that IHG Rewards Club points expire after 12 months for the first time as a useful reminder rather than as news.

One issue with this new policy is for those people who actually paid to become members of what originally was the Priority Club frequent guest loyalty program. I believe that because they paid ten dollars to join — as opposed to those members who joined for free — should be exempt from the expiration policy…

…which to me answers the question asked at Elliott by Joseph Luther: would you pay to belong to a loyalty program? My answer is no — unless there is a fairly immediate return on my investment; and people who joined Priority Club back when it cost ten dollars simply to join did not receive that return on their investments, which is why I believe that it is unfair not to grandfather them as exempt from the forthcoming expiration policy.

Oh, well — at least the announcement was released approximately a year in advance.

Other ways in which the IHG Rewards Club is expected to initially evolve through 2016 — without changing the verbiage of the official announcement — include the following ways:

  • Introducing a new top membership level in July 2015. This new membership level can be reached by earning 75,000 qualifying points or staying at IHG hotels for 75 qualifying nights, over the course of a year.
  • An industry first: IHG Rewards Club will offer its most loyal members in this new membership level 100% extra bonus points on qualifying stays. Members of this newest level will also be able to choose between receiving 25,000 points or upgrading a friend or family member to Platinum.
  • The qualification requirements for all membership levels have been restructured to make it easier for members to be rewarded for their loyalty. Club members will need to earn just 10,000 qualifying points or stay for 10 qualifying nights to be eligible for Gold membership. Gold members will need to earn 40,000 qualifying points or stay for 40 qualifying nights to reach Platinum membership.
  • IHG is enhancing its ability to learn about members and then utilise this information through a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This system will enable hotels to respond to members’ preferences at every stage of the guest journey and offer services and experiences that are personally relevant to them. From recognising stay preferences such as room location or pillow type and tailoring their booking options, to relevant post stay offers.


News was also recently released of the new elite status level now known as Spire; and the benefits — most recently updated on Friday, August 7, 2015 — are explained here and posted verbatim from the official Internet web site of IHG Rewards Club:

Earn by staying at least 75 nights at qualifying rates or earn at least 75,000 Elite Qualifying points during a calendar year. Once you have earned the Spire Elite status in any calendar year, you will maintain this status until the end of the following calendar year.

Receive all Club and Elite benefits plus:

  • Exclusive Choice Benefit upon receiving status (choose between receiving 25,000 points, or upgrading a friend or family member to Platinum Elite)

  • 100% bonus on base points


Again, I did not want to post an article pertaining to this announcement and release it — only to have it buried amongst all of the similar news released from other weblogs and media sources; but I must say that this new Spire elite status level is understatedly underwhelming for which to aspire, in my opinion.

In other words, I am simply not inspired or feel it is dire to desire to light a fire and be a trier to perspire until I tire working to aspire higher to achieve Spire — and I am not being a liar or a cryer…

…so that is the latest updates from the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program — whether you already knew about them or not.

5 thoughts on “Reminder: IHG Rewards Club Points Expire After 12 Months — Unless…”

  1. Brian – it was my understanding that anyone who had any status in IHG would NOT have their points expire – is that not what you understood? (Or did I misread your article?)

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did not see that anywhere, Dan @ Points With a Crew; so I appreciate you bringing that to my attention…

      …but then again, it is not all that easy to attain elite level status without activity; so it could be a temporary buffer from expiring points for someone going through a temporary major life change where travel has been unexpectedly suspended — such as the one I experienced last year.

      Also — as far as I know — there is no lifetime elite level status in the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program as there is with the Marriott Rewards program, which also recently announced a points expiration policy after 24 months of inactivity; so there is no way which I see to defer that new policy indefinitely.

      Now, of course it is not that difficult to perform some sort of activity to preserve your points; but it is yet another thing about which members have to think…

  2. I think I had an email from IHG in the post I linked to earlier. I think IHG status is not that hard to get, since the Chase IHG card is one of the few cards many travel hackers have (due to it giving a free night as part of the annual fee), and it also gives Platinum status.

  3. zimbabwe says:

    VBrian, for those who will not be staying at ihg for a couple of years and whio are not eligible for an ihg credit card (foreigners) what is the easiest way in time and money to maintain the points? thank you

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      One way in which I had been adding to IHG Rewards Club points is by redeeming My Coke Rewards points, zimbabwe — but I am not certain that will extend the date of expiration; My Coke Rewards has not had a redemption opportunity recently; and it is probably only available in the United States, anyway.

      Officially, you can earn or redeem once a year through any of the IHG hotels or partners…

      …so if you are not a resident of the United States, the easiest way to keep your points from expiring seems to be to rent a car from Hertz, Avis or Budget to get bonus IHG Rewards Club points…

      …or you can purchase or donate points…

      I hope that this helps, zimbabwe.

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