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Update: The IHG Rewards Club credit card offer in this post is no longer available, but check Hot Deals for the latest offers!
Find out how these changes will impact you!
IHG points will now expire after 12 months, the cost of award nights at ~450 IHG hotels is changing, and there are changes to how you earn elite status.
What’s the New Elite Status?
Link: IHG Announces Changes
IHG is adding a new top tier to their rewards program. The highest status you could earn used to be Platinum.
But beginning July 1, 2015, there will be a brand new top tier. For now they’re calling it the “New Membership Level.” IHG hasn’t released all the details, but here’s a look at what we know so far.
Folks who earn this new elite status will choose 25,000 bonus IHG points or to gift Platinum membership to another member. Once you earn the New Membership Level, you’ll have until the end of the following calendar year to make your choice.
To reach this new elite status level you’ll have to stay 75 nights or earn 75,000 IHG points. Unfortunately, points earn with the Chase IHG card do NOT count towards the 75,000 points you’ll need for this New Membership Level.
IHG will tell us more about this New Membership Level on July 1, 2015.
The 25,000 IHG points you earn each year are enough for 1 night at a hotel such as the Holiday Inn Grand Cayman. Currently this hotel costs ~$180 per night.
Or you could use the points for 5 nights at PointBreaks hotels. So the 25,000 point annual bonus and the 100% bonus on points earned is a nice addition for folks who already pay for a lot of nights at IHG hotels.
But for most folks, it would take a long time to earn 75,000 IHG points!
Instead, you can earn an easy 70,000 IHG points by signing-up for the Chase IHG Rewards card and meeting the minimum spending requirements. Plus, you’ll get 1 free night each year you keep the card.
What Changes Will There Be to Gold & Platinum Status?
However, for folks who don’t have the Chase IHG Rewards card, it will now become easier to earn Gold or Platinum status.
Award Night Changes
Starting May 1, 2015, there will be changes to how many points you’ll need to stay a certain IHG hotels.
- ~300 IHG hotels will increase 5,000 to 10,000 points per night
- ~150 IHG hotels will decrease 5,000 points per night
The cost to redeem for stays at IHG hotels will still be between 10,000 and 50,000 points. I wonder which hotels will cost fewer points! But IHG hasn’t announced that yet.
IHG Points Will Now Expire in 12 Months!
Your IHG points used to never expire. But starting immediately, you’ll have to earn or use points at least once every 12 months, or you’ll lose them!
Note: Current IHG Gold or Platinum members are exempt from this policy! So their points will NOT expire. However, if you don’t maintain your status, you’ll drop down to being a regular Club level member. And then, like all Club members, your IHG points WILL expire within 12 months if you don’t use them or earn more.
So you’ll have 12 months from today, April 14, 2015, to keep your points active!
You can also change your “Communication Preferences” in your account to receive regular emails from IHG and they will remind you when your points are about to expire.
Here are a few easy ways to keep your points active for another 12 months:
- Stay at an IHG hotel – Make sure you credit your stay to your account
- Book an IHG award stay – Any award stay will count
- Chase IHG Rewards card – Sign-up and get Platinum status, which means your points will never expire for as long as you have the card
- Rewards Network – Register and eat at a participating restaurant
- Redeem your points for a gift card – Get a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card for 5,000 IHG points. But this is NOT the best use of your points because, for instance, 5,000 IHG points is enough for a free night at a PointBreaks hotel.
- Donate your points to a good cause – 2,500 IHG points can buy a high density foam mattress for a someone who’s been affected by a disaster
IHG is making changes to its rewards program.
There will be a new top-tier elite status level starting July 1, 2015. And on May 1, 2015, some IHG hotels will cost more and some will cost fewer points (we don’t know which ones yet!).
Also beginning April 14, 2015, (today), IHG points will expire after 12 months.
However, your IHG points will NOT expire as long as you have elite status. And there are lots of other easy ways to keep your points active each year.
I’ll keep you updated about the changes coming to the IHG Rewards program!