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IHG Rewards further extends elite status, free night certificates

Nov. 03, 2021
4 min read
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IHG Rewards further extends elite status, free night certificates
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information.

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.

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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:

  • 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.

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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees