Skip to content

IHG extends loyalty benefits again, continues pause on point expiration

May 19, 2021
5 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information


Like most hotel programs, IHG Rewards extended any status held in 2020 to 2021. The program also extended anniversary award night certificates and lowered elite qualification requirements for this year. It's been running some enticing promotions, too, including the opportunity to fast-track elite status. And finally, it issued yet another round of extensions this week for certain loyalty perks, which members should begin noticing in their accounts now.

There are many changes to keep track of, so here's a complete guide with everything you need to know. We'll update this page as more changes are announced so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for new information.

For more TPG news, deals and points and miles tips delivered each morning to your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Elite status extension

Last year, IHG announced that it would automatically extend all elite status levels through January 2022 — regardless of how many nights you completed in 2020. This was similar to Hilton and Hyatt's previously announced moves and is slightly more generous than Marriott's announcement. It even includes extensions for members who earned status via a status match.

This means elite members have a full additional year to enjoy benefits like complimentary room upgrades and late checkout. For Spire Elite members, this includes the choice benefit of 25,000 bonus points or gifting of Platinum Elite status to someone each year. InterContinental Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members will maintain their memberships in the invite-only programs.

Related: Best hotel credit cards

A room at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

IHG extending reward night certificates, points expiration

In addition to extending status, IHG has now once again extended the validity of anniversary award night certificates earned with the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Existing certificates set to expire March 1, 2020, or later were originally extended through Dec. 31, 2020, and then again to at least Aug. 31, 2021. Now, they've been extended once again, and any certificate issued in 2020 will expire on Dec. 31, 2021. Members should begin noticing new expiration dates in their accounts in the coming days.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Related: IHG emailed cardholders regarding expiring reward night certificates

Points never expire for elites — which includes holders of the IHG Premier card thanks to the automatic Platinum status it confers. However, IHG paused points expiration (points normally expire after 12 months of inactivity) for all other members — first through at least June 30, 2021, and now once more through Dec. 31, 2021.

Reduced 2021 IHG elite requirements

IHG also offers a helping hand for general members chasing status or current elites hoping to move up a tier. Like last year, it has reduced the requirements for earning elite status by roughly 25%.

These are the revised requirements for reaching 2021 elite status tiers with IHG. (Photo courtesy of IHG)

Additionally, all qualifying nights earned by elite members in 2020 have been rolled over into 2021 — so you should see those reflected in your IHG Rewards account.

If you are concerned about meeting these requirements, do note that having the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card conveys IHG Platinum elite status without any stay requirements. Holders of the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card can earn IHG Gold Elite status by spending $10,000 or more each calendar year.

Related: All of the elite qualification changes you need to know about for 2021

Status fast track opportunity

Through Aug. 31, 2021, any traveler can register for a fast-track promotion that allows members to earn Platinum status after just five nights. Or, you can get Gold status with just two nights.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Stay 5 nights within 90 days of registration to earn Platinum Elite status until December 2022
  • Stay 2 nights within 90 days of registration to earn Gold Elite status until December 2022

If you're interested in taking advantage of this promotion, you must register before checking into your first eligible stay. The promotion is valid for stays between March 8, 2021 and Nov. 29, 2021 and the nightly rate needs to be at least $30. Best of all, the offer can be combined with other IHG promotions currently available.

Related: Fast track now open for IHG elite status

Bottom line

Despite the travel industry having begun its recovery in earnest, earning elite status the normal way this year could still be a challenge for most people. So, it's great to see that IHG is yet again adjusting the validity of elite status, upgrade certificates and other expiring perks. Time will tell whether any other competing programs will follow IHG's lead in issuing a further round of loyalty benefit extensions.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Katherine Fan.

Featured image by The Mr & Mrs Smith Anahita Golf & Spa Resort. (Photo courtesy of IHG)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023