Check your account: IHG announces yet another reward night certificate extension

May 28, 2021

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Editor’s note: This news story has been updated with additional information.

Here’s some great news if you’ve been sitting on expiring IHG reward night certificates: IHG has announced yet another extension. In particular, reward nights set to expire Aug. 31, 2021 will now be valid through Dec. 31, 2021. Here’s everything you need to know.

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IHG’s statements on free night extensions

InterContinental Fiji Resort
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

Last year, IHG Rewards extended reward nights expiring between March and December 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. But, as the December expiration date approached, IHG announced another extension.

On Dec. 16, 2020, an IHG spokesperson provided the following statement to me:

We’ve continually monitored the impact of the global pandemic and have responded with program changes and increased flexibility to better serve our IHG Rewards members. We understand that, right now, some members may need more time to use their certificates to travel when they feel ready.

This week, we’re announcing to cardmembers that they will have until August 31, 2021 to use Anniversary Night certificates originally set to expire in 2020. Cardmembers will begin to see a new Anniversary Night certificate with a redemption period through August 31, 2021 in their accounts. These certificates will be deposited on a rolling basis, through the end of the week.

As a reminder, earlier this year we announced that all Anniversary Night certificates deposited in 2020 had an 18-month redemption period to give members more time to travel.

And in December 2020, IHG sent out the following email to IHG Rewards cardholders with anniversary night certificates set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020:

IHG Anniversary Night extension email
(Screenshot courtesy of IHG Rewards)

Now today, IHG sent out a new email to members. This email notified members that IHG extended the Aug. 31, 2021 expiration date to Dec. 31, 2021.

IHG free night award extension dec 2021
(Screenshot courtesy of IHG Rewards)

I’m thrilled that IHG Rewards is offering new anniversary night certificates for cardmembers who have not yet redeemed their certificates set to expire in August. But you may have more questions. So, in the next section, I explain in more detail how this extension works in practice.

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

How does this extension work in practice?

Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman
Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman (Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

My husband and I had three certificates set to expire on Aug. 31, 2021, but all three certificates now show an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2021. IHG confirmed that expiring IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card certificates, as well as Select and Select Uncapped certificates, will all be treated the same way.

I also asked IHG about members who may have an expiring certificate in their account that is currently tied to an upcoming stay. IHG confirmed that if a cardmember cancels a reservation made with a certificate that was set to expire on Aug. 31, 2021, they will have until Dec. 31, 2021 to rebook once the certificate is redeposited.

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

Bottom line

I’m thrilled that IHG Rewards has decided to extend the expiring reward night certificates by extending expiration dates to Dec. 31, 2021. This latest round of extensions gives IHG loyalists more time to plan out travel during the ongoing global pandemic. But, although this announcement is excellent for those of us who held on to our expiring certificates, it doesn’t help members who already stayed on sub-optimal redemptions.

As with many hotel credit cards with annual reward nights, I’m generally happy to pay the annual fee on the IHG Premier due to the card’s anniversary night. But, using hotel reward night certificates during the pandemic has been challenging. So I’m thrilled to have through the end of 2021 to use all of the IHG anniversary nights I’ve accumulated during the pandemic.

Featured image of the  Kimpton Palm Springs courtesy of Kimpton/IHG.

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