Have you been stockpiling IHG points for a special redemption or has it been some time since you've stayed with IHG?
You should know that IHG points do expire (thanks to a change to the program in 2016).
Here's what you should know about the IHG points expiration policy and how to keep your IHG points from expiring.
When Do IHG Points Expire?
IHG has one of the most stringent point expiration policies in the industry.
Along with having a short period of inactivity before points expire, IHG is also incredibly strict about reinstating expired points.
In 2016, IHG implemented major changes to its IHG Rewards Club program.
Among these changes? IHG points now expire.
If you do not have any point redemption or earning activity for 12 months, your IHG points will expire and you will have no way to reinstate them.
According to IHG's terms and conditions, only point earning or redemption activities will count toward keeping your account active to prevent points from expiring.
There are two activities that are specifically excluded:
- Using the free night certificate earned from the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Redeeming points for a stay and canceling the stay
Hilton Honors is the only other major hotel loyalty program with a short 12-month inactivity period, while Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt give you 24 months of inactivity before points expire.
The good news is the expiration policy does not apply to current Elite members.
As long as you have at least IHG Gold status, your points won't expire, however, you still need to be aware of your account activity.
If for example, your account drops to Club level and you have not posted any earning or redemption activity in 12 months, your points will expire.
How to Keep IHG Points From Expiring
Of course, you don't want to lose your IHG points to inactivity!
The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep IHG points from expiring. You don't even need to stay at an IHG hotel to keep your account active.
Some of these options are easier and cheaper than others.
Keeping an active IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card gives you automatic Platinum elite status so your points won't expire.
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Earn 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.Learn more >>
Redeeming points for digital rewards is usually the cheapest way to keep your account active with rewards starting at around 200 points.
Maintain Elite Status
Once you reach Gold or higher elite status, your IHG points will not expire.
You do need to watch your status, however; if you drop down to Club status, your points will be subject to expiration. If it's been more than 12 months since you posted any activity and you lose elite status, your points can expire right away.
You can maintain elite status without much worry with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
Book an IHG Stay
Booking an IHG stay directly through IHG will keep your points active. You will need to complete your stay before the expiration date, though.
Booking any type of stay will work to keep IHG points from expiring including cash stays, reward nights, and Points & Cash stays. You can book stays at any brands in the IHG Rewards Club program.
Use the IHG Credit Card
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card keeps your points from expiring in two ways:
- It gives you automatic Platinum status which means you are exempt from the expiration policy
- It earns IHG points on every purchase to keep your account active
If those reasons are not enough to get the card, you'll also earn an annual free night every with the credit card. This makes paying the annual fee every year worth it in my opinion.
Here is a bit more info about the IHG co-branded credit cards:
Earning points with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Current Bonus: The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
- Benefits: This card earns a total of 25x points at IHG hotels and 10,000 bonus points when you spend $20,000 in a cardmember year and make one additional purchase. Also an annual free night certificate, a 4th night free benefit, and automatic Platinum Elite status makes getting this card a no brainer. Some other perks of this card include a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit and a 20% discount on purchased points.
- Annual Fee: $89
- Learn More →
Earning points with the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
- Current Bonus: The IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card offers 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
- Benefits: This card earns a total of 15x points at IHG properties and 2x points at restaurants, gas, and grocery. The card also gets you a fourth night free on award stays. If you stack the fourth night free benefit with an IHG PointBreaks hotel, you'll get huge savings. You’ll also get a 20% discount on purchased IHG points and automatic IHG Rewards Club Gold status.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Learn More →
Earn IHG Points Through Partners
Any type of earning activity will count to prevent IHG points from expiring. You can earn IHG points with an IHG stay or earn points through partners.
Here are your options to keep your account active:
- Book a Hertz rental car
- Sign up to ride with Uber for the first time
- Order GrubHub food delivery to an IHG hotel
- Book transport services through IHG
- Complete surveys through Opinion Check-In
- Shop for Apple products through this IHG link
Redeem IHG Points
You don't need to use IHG points for IHG stays to keep your points from expiring; you can also redeem IHG points in other ways.
You can redeem points for gift cards or merchandise or use points for digital rewards — the fastest and cheapest way to keep your account active. You can also use your IHG points for experiences through IHG Access Rewards.
These are not the top ways to maximize your IHG points, but if you are in a crunch to keep your points from expiring they can be a lifesaver.
Other Ways to Keep IHG Points from Expiring
In addition to the above options for using or earning IHG points, you can keep your IHG Rewards Club account active with these options:
- Transfer IHG points to partner airlines
- Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG
- Transfer points to friends and family
- Donate points to the IHG Foundation
- Buy IHG points
- Book an IHG meeting or event
How to Reinstate IHG Points
In the past, IHG points never expired, but IHG changed its policy in early 2015 and began purging expired points in 2016. While they initially approved some requests to reinstate points, that is no longer the case.
When your IHG points expire, you won't have any options for reinstating your points. IHG does not allow you to pay a fee to reinstate expired IHG points and there are virtually no reports in the last few years of people who have successfully gotten IHG to reverse this policy.
When Do IHG points expire?
IHG points expire after 12 months of account inactivity with no point earning or redemption activities.
How do I keep IHG points from expiring?
All of these options will keep your IHG points active and reset the expiration date.
- Book an IHG stay
- Have the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card
- Maintain elite status
- Earn points through partners like GrubHub or Hertz
- Redeem IHG points for a reward stay, merchandise, gift cards, or IHG Access Rewards
- Transfer points to a partner airline
- Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your IHG account
- Donate points or transfer to friends
- Book an IHG event or meeting
- Buy IHG points
How do I find out when my IHG points expire?
You can always check the expiration date of your IHG points by logging into your IHG Rewards Club account. Below your points balance will be a notice with a precise expiration date and a link to options you can use to keep the points from expiring.
Can I reinstate my IHG points if they expired?
Unfortunately, there is no way to reinstate expired IHG points. IHG does not appear to make exceptions to their rule.