From elite status to award night certificates: All IHG Rewards loyalty updates for 2021
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. Further, it’s been running some enticing promotions, including the opportunity to fast-track elite status.
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 statuses 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 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
IHG extending reward night certificates
In addition to extending status, IHG has extended the validity of anniversary award night certificates earned with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Existing certificates set to expire March 1, 2020, or later were originally extended through Dec. 31, 2020. However, they have since been extended further and are now valid through at least Aug. 31, 2021. The new expiration dates should show in your account now.
Points never expire for elites. However, IHG is pausing the expiration of points for all other members through at least June 30, 2021 (points normally expire after 12 months of inactivity).
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%.
Additionally, it’s in the process of rolling over qualifying nights earned by elite members in 2020. IHG says that these rollover nights will automatically appear in member accounts by the end of March.
If you are concerned about meeting these requirements, do note that having the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card conveys IHG Platinum elite status without any stay requirements. IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Cardholders can earn IHG Gold Elite status by spending $10,000 or more each calendar year.
Status fast track opportunity
Through Aug. 31, members 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.
While we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, 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 adjusting the validity of elite status, upgrade certificates and other expiring perks. Only time will tell whether any further extensions will be announced.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Katherine Fan.
Featured photo of the Mr & Mrs Smith Anahita Golf & Spa Resort courtesy of IHG.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.