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Do IHG Points Expire? Yes, but It’s Easy to Keep Them Alive With These 13 Tips!

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Do IHG Points Expire?  Yes, but It’s Easy to Keep Them Alive With These 13 Tips!

Jasmin BaronDo IHG Points Expire?  Yes, but It’s Easy to Keep Them Alive With These 13 Tips!Million Mile Secrets Team

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IHG points are handy for free stays at over 5,600 hotels worldwide.  No matter where you travel, you’ll likely find an IHG brand hotel, including Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, and Staybridge Suites.

You can earn IHG points easily from cards like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is currently offering a huge limited-time welcome bonus until May 1, 2019.  You’ll earn up to 120,000 IHG points (the highest public offer ever) after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

But what if you don’t have immediate plans for travel?  Do IHG points expire?  Yes, they sure do – and it’s a short timeframe.  You’ll lose all your IHG points if your account is inactive (no earning or redeeming activity) for 12 months.

There’s no need to stress, though, because there are plenty of ways to keep your IHG points from expiring.

Don’t Let Your IHG Points Expire Before You Can Use Them for a Luxury Stay at InterContinental Hotels, or Family Friendly Brands Like Staybridge Suites

Here’s how to keep your IHG points alive!

Do IHG Points Expire?  Yes – Here Are 13 Ways to Stop It From Happening

IHG points expire 12 months after the last activity on your account.  IHG considers activity to be earning or redeeming points in any way.  Even if you don’t have plans to stay at an IHG hotel, there are many other ways to reset the expiration clock.

1.   Stay at IHG Hotels

Whether you earn points from a paid stay or redeem points for an award night, staying at an IHG hotel will count as activity and keep your points from expiring for another 12 months.

IHG brand hotels include:

  • avid Hotels
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Crowne Plaza
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Holiday Inn Resorts
  • Hotel Indigo
  • HUALUXE
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton
  • Regent
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Voco

Keep in mind, you won’t earn IHG points on a paid stay unless you book directly with IHG.  Reservations you make through 3rd-party sites like Orbitz or Expedia will NOT earn points and won’t count as activity to reset your expiration.

2.   Use an IHG Credit Card

Earning points from the welcome bonus and spending on IHG credit cards is a super easy way to keep your IHG account active.  You’ve got 2 options for cards that earn IHG points directly:

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is your best bet of the two.  It’s currently got a limited-time (until May 1, 2019) all time high welcome bonus of up to 120,000 IHG points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements:

  • 80,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • An additional 40,000 IHG points after spending another $3,000 on purchases ($5,000 in total) within the first 6 months of account opening

There’s an $89 annual fee, not waived the first year, but the Chase IHG Premier comes packed with benefits that make it worth keeping long term.  Here’s our review of the Chase IHG Premier.

You Could Redeem Points From the Chase IHG Card for a Stay at the Lovely InterContinental Dublin Like My Daughter and I Did – We Were Upgraded to a Junior Suite Because We Were Celebrating Her 13th Birthday

And here’s another cool perk of the Chase IHG Premier that makes keeping your points from expiring a completely hands-off endeavor.  With the Chase IHG Premier, you’ll get automatic IHG Platinum elite status.  And if you have any level of IHG elite status, your points will not expire.  So you don’t even have to worry about spending on the card at least once every 12 months to keep your points active.

The information for the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets.  The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

3.   Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to IHG

IHG is a Chase transfer partner, so you can move Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio, with a minimum transfer amount of 1,000 points.  Transfers are usually instant, so this is a super quick and easy way to get some activity in your account and keep your IHG points from expiring.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners if you have any of the following cards:

Need Quick Activity in Your Account to Avoid IHG Points Expiration? Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Instantly to Get the Job Done

If you have any of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards mentioned above, you can combine points from these no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards cards and move them to IHG as well:

I don’t otherwise recommend transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG unless you’re just a few points shy of an award stay.  You’ll almost always get more value by moving points to other airline and hotel partners like United Airlines or Hyatt.

4.   Buy IHG Points

If you’re stuck, you can buy IHG points to generate some activity in your account and keep your points from expiring.

The minimum purchase amount is 1,000 IHG points, which costs ~$14 including taxes.  Occasionally there are transfer bonuses, and you’re limited to purchasing a maximum of 100,000 IHG points per year.

You Can Buy IHG Points (Minimum 1,000) to Get Activity in Your Account and Prevent Points Expiration

If you’re a IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card holder, you’ll get a discount of 20% off purchased points.

5.   Earn IHG Points With IHG Rewards Club Dining

When you register any credit or debit card (it doesn’t have to be an IHG card) on the IHG Rewards Club Dining site and use that card to pay for a meal at a participating restaurant, you’ll earn IHG points.

It’s a great way to double dip, because you’ll still earn rewards from your card (for example, if you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 2X points on dining) on top of earning IHG points.  And it’s easy to search for nearby restaurants by city and state or zip code.

Register a Credit Card With the IHG Dining Program Then Use It at a Participating Restaurant to Earn IHG Points

If you’re new to IHG Rewards Club dining, you can currently earn 1,000 IHG points when you spend $30 or more at a participating restaurant within 30 days of enrolling.  And you’ll also earn:

  • 1 IHG point per $1 spent if you don’t opt in for email communications
  • 5 IHG points per $1 spent if you opt in for email and dine 10 or less times per year
  • 8 IHG points per $1 spent if you opt in for email and dine 11+ times per year

6.   Earn IHG Points by Renting a Car

When you make a Hertz rental car booking through IHG’s website, you’ll get discounts and earn 1,500 bonus IHG points for your rental, plus up to an additional 500 IHG points per day.

Dollar and Thrifty rentals are also included – you’ll earn 125 IHG points per day.  The terms don’t say how long it will take for your points to post to your IHG account, so I wouldn’t count on this method if you’re close to expiration.

Book Your Hertz Car Rental Through IHG to Get Discounts and Earn Bonus IHG Points

Before you book, it’s always best to compare rates with other car rental sites to ensure you’re getting a good price.

7.   Earn IHG Points With Groupon

I’m a big fan of Groupon for saving money on restaurants, entertainment, and services.  You can earn up to 10 IHG points per $1 spent at Groupon when you pay through IHG’s Groupon link.  New Groupon users can currently earn 2,000 IHG points when they sign-up and buy a local deal over $30.

Buy Through IHG’s Groupon Link to Earn IHG Points for Your Purchase

You’ll have to provide your IHG account number to earn the points.  And this isn’t a good choice if your points are soon to expire, because the terms say it can take 4 to 6 weeks for the points to appear in your IHG account.

8.   Earn IHG Points With Transport Services

You can book private airport transfers, shuttle buses, and more through IHG and earn bonus IHG points for your purchase.

Earn IHG Points on Your Airport Transfer and Reset the Clock on Your Points Expiration

Again, the terms say it can take 4 to 6 weeks for IHG points to credit to your account.  Be sure to shop around for pricing as well.

9.   Book a Tour or Activity and Earn IHG Points

IHG’s tours and activities website has dozens of options for fun stuff to do when you’re on vacation, like dinner cruises, private tours, helicopter rides, and foodie experiences.  You’ll earn 1,000 IHG points when you book!

Book Your Tour or Activity Through IHG to Extend the Life of Your Points

Pay attention to the fine print because many of these activities are non-refundable.  And bear in mind it will likely take some time for the points to appear in your IHG account.

10.   Earn IHG Points When You Buy Apple Products

In the market for a new computer or phone?  You can currently earn 4 IHG points per $1 when you shop at Apple through IHG’s link.

Shop for Apple Products Through IHG’s Link and Get Some Activity in Your Account to Keep Your Points Alive

Once you’ve enrolled with the email address associated with your IHG account, you’ll be redirected to the Apple Store.  When you purchase eligible products (there are some restrictions on type and quantity) and the return period has passed (typically 30 days), you’ll receive your bonus IHG points.

11.   Take Surveys and Earn IHG Points

IHG partners with the survey company Opinion Check-In, which offers IHG points for taking surveys.  If you’re a new user, you can earn 1,000 IHG points just for signing up and completing your first survey.

Once you’re enrolled, you can earn 1,000 IHG points per survey, and complete up to 5 surveys a day.  Even if you start a survey and find out you don’t qualify, you’ll earn 5 IHG points for your trouble.

Even If You Don’t Meet the Qualifications for a Survey, You Can Still Earn 5 IHG Points and Reset Your Points Expiration

This is a completely free way to keep your IHG points from expiring, but keep in mind completing surveys can be really time consuming, so this is probably not a good ongoing method to earn lots of IHG points.

12.   Transfer or Receive IHG Points

You’ve got a couple of methods for transferring IHG points to generate activity in your account to reset your points expiration:

  • Transfer IHG points to a friend or family member
  • Receive a transfer of IHG points from a friend or family member
  • Transfer IHG points to airline partners

When you transfer or receive IHG points, both parties will extend their point expiration date.  You can transfer a minimum of 1,000 IHG points (with no maximum limit), and each 1,000 points cost $5 for the transfer.

For $5, You Can Move 1,000 IHG Points to a Friend or Family Member’s Account and Reset Both of Your Points Expiration Dates

IHG says it can take up to 72 hours for a transfer to take effect, so keep that in mind if you’re really close to your points expiration date.

You can also transfer IHG points to airline partners like American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and United Airlines, but this is rarely a good deal.  With most airlines, you’ll earn 2,000 airline miles for every 10,000 IHG points you transfer, which is a crummy ratio.

Plus, you’ll have to call IHG to make the transfer, and it takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

13.   Shop With IHG Points

Another quick way to extend the life of your IHG points is by spending them on merchandise through the IHG Rewards Club Catalog or redeeming them for Digital Rewards.  While it’s almost never a good idea to cash in your points for merchandise because of the poor value you’ll get, if you can find a cheap item, this is an easy method to reset your IHG points expiration date.

Sacrifice 150 IHG Points on an eBook Download and Save Your Points Balance

For example, I’m seeing eBook downloads for just 150 IHG points.  That’s not much of an expense to keep your points balance alive.

Bottom Line

IHG points expire after 12 months of account inactivity (earning or redeeming points).  But there’s no reason to let this happen – there are lots of ways to generate activity in your account and keep your IHG points from expiring:

  • Stay at an IHG hotel by redeeming points or paying for a stay directly through IHG
  • Open and use the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
  • Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG when you have the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Buy IHG points at ~$14 for 1,000 points
  • Register for IHG Rewards Club Dining and earn IHG points when you use an enrolled card at participating restaurants
  • Earn IHG points for Groupon purchases
  • Rent a car with Hertz and earn bonus IHG points
  • Book transportation services through IHG like airport transfers and earn bonus IHG points
  • Book a tour or activity through IHG to earn IHG points
  • Buy something at the Apple Store through IHG’s link and earn 4 IHG points per $1
  • Take surveys with Opinion Check-in to earn IHG points
  • Transfer IHG points or receive a transfer from someone else, or transfer IHG points to airline partners
  • Shop with IHG points for merchandise or digital downloads like eBooks (as little as 150 IHG points for an eBook download – that’s nothing!)

It’s an ideal time to consider opening the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, because for a limited time it’s offering its highest public welcome bonus ever.  You’ll earn up to 120,000 IHG points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements:

  • 80,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • An additional 40,000 IHG points after spending another $3,000 on purchases ($5,000 in total) within the first 6 months of account opening

This offer ends May 1, 2019.  Here’s our Chase IHG Premier card review.

To learn more about IHG points, check out these posts:

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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