Rollover nights, bonus points and extensions: Here’s what IHG Rewards Club is doing for its members in 2021

Jan 13, 2021

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I’m not sure when I’ll get back on the road. Even so, I’m excited about several announcements today from IHG Rewards Club.

If you have hotel stays planned for the next few months, IHG has launched a promotion that can boost your earnings and help you qualify for elite status quicker. But, even if you don’t have plans to travel in the next few months, some of IHG’s announcements may still apply to you.

So, let’s take a closer look at what IHG Rewards Club is doing for its members in 2021.

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In This Post

Elite qualification in 2021

IHG made two important announcements today regarding elite qualification in 2021. First off, IHG will extend the reduced elite-qualification requirements implemented in 2020 through 2021.

(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club)

However, IHG also announced today that all qualifying nights earned by elite members in 2020 would be rolled over to 2021. In particular, these nights will count toward earning status in 2021. Although my rollover nights have not yet posted, IHG said that 2020 rollover nights will automatically appear in member accounts by the end of March.

Finally, if you don’t want to worry about qualifying for elite status each year, the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card provides Platinum Elite status as a cardholder benefit. Plus, the card offers several other perks useful to IHG Rewards Club loyalists, such as a fourth-night reward benefit on award stays.

Related: Why I often choose IHG and Choice hotels, despite limited elite perks

Bonus points promotion

On top of reduced elite qualification requirements and rollover nights for elites, IHG Rewards Club is making it even easier to earn points and status in 2021. Specifically, IHG Rewards Club has unveiled a promotion that allows members to earn 2,000 bonus points for every two nights stayed between Jan. 20 and Mar. 31, 2021. Best of all, these bonus points are elite-qualifying.

However, you must register for this promotion before your first stay. Once you register, you can earn bonus points based on the number of nights stayed between Jan. 20 and Mar. 31, 2021, at IHG brand hotels. If you begin your stay before Jan. 20, 2021, or end your stay after Mar. 31, 2021, you’ll only earn bonus points for the dates within the promotional period.

IHG Rewards Club promo 2k per two stays
(Image courtesy of IHG Rewards Club)

Note that you’ll earn 2,000 bonus points for every two nights stayed. So, you’ll earn 2,000 bonus points after a two-night stay or two one-night stays. Likewise, if you have a three-night stay and then a one-night stay, you’ll earn 4,000 bonus points.

There are several fine-print terms to consider. For example:

  • You must book a qualifying rate with a total spend of $30 per night or more
  • You can only participate in one IHG Rewards Club promotion at a time unless allowed explicitly by IHG
  • The maximum number of bonus points you can earn through this promotion is 70,000 points
  • Only one room per member per night may earn bonus points
  • It may take four to six weeks after checkout for bonus points to be credited to your account

Even if you don’t plan to use this promotion, it’s worth registering. Although I’ve seen some excellent award night redemption rates recently, this promotion may be enough to convince you to book a paid rate instead of redeeming IHG Rewards Club points.

Related: Booking direct: How much value does IHG status provide?

Credit card anniversary nights

InterContinental Phu Quoc
InterContinental Phu Quoc (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The anniversary night that comes with the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card is one of the primary reasons I’m happy to pay the IHG Premier Card‘s annual fee. In Mar. 2020, IHG extended anniversary night certificates set to expire Mar. 1, 2020 or later to Dec. 31, 2020. And IHG announced that all new certificates issued in 2020 would be valid for 18 months (six months longer than the usual 12 months of validity).

But, as 2020 came to a close, many IHG Rewards Club members still had unused anniversary night certificates set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. IHG Rewards Club decided to issue new anniversary night certificates to effectively extend unused certificates set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. And these new anniversary night certificates carry an Aug. 31, 2021 expiration date.

Now, IHG announced that anniversary night certificates with an original 2021 expiration date would be valid through Dec. 31, 2021. Importantly, this new extension won’t apply to previously extended certificates. As such, this extension primarily applies to certificates issued in the first six months of 2020.

Related: Top hotels for redeeming the IHG Premier Card’s anniversary reward night

Points expiration

IHG Rewards Club points usually expire after 12 months of inactivity. But, points don’t expire for current IHG Rewards Club elites. And IHG has paused points expiration through June 30, 2021 for non-elite Club members.

So, even if you don’t hold elite status with IHG Rewards Club, you don’t currently need to worry about earning or redeeming points to keep your rewards balance alive. However, set a reminder for mid-June to earn or redeem IHG Rewards Club points.

Related: How to keep your points and miles from expiring

Bottom line

All of these announcements from IHG Rewards Club are exciting. The program is working to keep members engaged and provide flexibility for members to travel when they’re ready.

Even if you already have Platinum Elite status through the IHG Premier Card, rollover nights, promotions and decreased elite-qualification requirements may encourage you to push for Spire Elite status in 2021.

Featured image of the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa by JT Genter/The Points Guy.

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