Skip to content

IHG Rewards further extends elite status, free night certificates

Nov. 03, 2021
4 min read
Mr Mrs Smith Kvosin Hotel
IHG Rewards further extends elite status, free night certificates
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 post has been updated with new information.

A number of rewards programs across the travel industry have extended elite status to its most loyal customers during the pandemic. With travel still in the process of getting back to normal, TPG has confirmed that IHG Rewards is extending elite status through February of 2023 and extending the expiration of 2021 anniversary night certificates through December 2022.

The company posted the updated information on its travel advisory page.

(screenshot courtesy of IHG.com)

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG's free daily newsletter.

Like many hotel and airline rewards programs, IHG also lowered its thresholds for qualifying status in 2022. Those lowered qualifying levels remain in place, meaning achieving Spire Elite status, which TPG values at $2,185 annually due to the room upgrades and bonus points, can be reached with just 55,000 qualifying points or 55 qualifying nights.

Of course, this status extension may not affect you. After all, many U.S.-based IHG Rewards loyalists rely on the IHG Platinum Elite status provided by the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card. But, IHG Rewards members with top-tier Spire Elite status and people without an IHG credit card can rest assured that their status is valid through 2022 at least.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort in Vietnam (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

TPG also received word from IHG that the expiration date for points for Club members has also been extended.

Club level points normally expire after 12 months of inactivity, but IHG has extended the expiration date until Dec. 31, 2022. As always, points never expire for IHG Gold, Platinum and Spire status holders.

As for free night certificates that were set to expire, IHG also posted the following updated details:

Sign up for our daily newsletter
  • All anniversary night certificates due to expire in 2021 (including those from IHG Premier and IHG Rewards Club Select cards) can be redeemed until the end of the year.
  • Any anniversary night certificates awarded in 2021 can now be redeemed through Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Free nights earned through the InterContinental Ambassador enrollment promotion this summer will expire on Nov. 30, 2021.

"With travel plans impacted for much of 2020 and 2021, we understand some of our IHG Rewards Club credit card holders have been unable to use their awarded anniversary night certificates," an IHG spokesperson told TPG. "At every turn, we look to further support our members with their future travel plans."

The accounts of IHG rewards members should be updated within the next few weeks to reflect these changes.

Because IHG Rewards has a global membership, I expected we may see more extensions on points expiration and free nights earned. But because U.S. residents have opportunities to travel and use expiring certificates, I didn't expect to see across-the-board extensions, including for free nights gained by using credit cards available to U.S. residents.

Because of this, my husband and I redeemed all of our IHG free and anniversary nights that expire before the end of 2021. Of course, we'll see whether IHG Rewards has any additional announcements before the end of the year.

Extending elite status for another year is the right move for IHG. After all, the value of retaining customers who were loyal to IHG prior to the pandemic provides more value than the additional cost the program bears to provide elite perks to these members on upcoming stays.

Additional reporting by Mike Avila

Featured image by ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY
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 for the well-traveled foodie
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
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees