IHG Rewards recently landed # 1 in TBEN’s ranking for Best Hotel Awards Program for 2021. Today, IHG is rolling out even more traveler-friendly policies, both for those returning to the road and those staying at home during the pandemic.
IHG makes it easier to achieve elite status in 2021 with reduced requirements, elite nights postponed from 2020, and a new promotion for stays through March 2021. There is also good news for those who don’t. not yet traveling: IHG further extends the validity of free night certificates and extension of the break on expiration of points.
Here’s what you need to know about these changes.
Reduction of elite qualifications for 2021
IHG reduces requirements to win IHG Rewards Elite Status in 2021 by 25% or more. This aligns with the lowered elite status requirements that IHG put in place for 2020 due to COVID-19.
In 2021, IHG Rewards members will need to meet one of the following thresholds to achieve elite status:
In addition to reducing requirements, IHG helps members meet these thresholds in two ways: elite nights postponed from 2020 and elite bonus points for stays in early 2021.
Rollover Elite Nights from 2020
In 2020, several hotel loyalty programs announced that elite hotel nights earned in 2020 would be carried over to 2021. IHG Rewards was not part of these programs. However, in today’s announcement, IHG surprised elite members by announcing that their 2020 elite parties will also count towards 2021 elite status. IHG has stated that these rolling nights will be automatically applied.
It should be noted that IHG usually offers a different form of rolling nights for elite members. In a normal year, only excess Elite Night Credits carry over to the following year. This means that if a member stayed 55 nights in a typical year, they would earn Platinum Elite status (normally 40 nights) and carry over the excess 15 nights. But for 2021, that member would start the year with 55 elite nights – and automatically qualify for Spire Elite status under the reduced elite status conditions.
Promotion of elite bonus qualifying points
For nights spent between January 20 and March 31, 2021, IHG Rewards members will earn 2,000 bonus elite points for every two nights spent.
To qualify, IHG Rewards members need to register here before ending a stay. Enter promotional code 42050 if requested during registration.
These 2,000 bonus points are in addition to the elite elite nights that members otherwise earn through a stay. In most brands, you will earn 10 elite points for every dollar you pay before taxes. So, if the room rate is $ 200 before taxes for a two-night stay, you will earn 2,000 elite points in most stores. This promotion would increase 2,000 bonus elite points for the two-night stay, thus doubling the speed at which you earn elite status.
Nerd tip: It is important to point out that these bonus points are both elite bonus points and regular IHG Rewards Club points which can be used for reward nights.
Extension of free night certificates
IHG is also extending the validity of Free Night Certificates with an original expiration date of 2021 to December 31, 2021. However, it is essential to note that this policy change does not extend the expiration of all Free Night Certificates. active.
Certificates were originally scheduled to expire in 2020
In early 2020, IHG suspended the expiration of free night certificates. All certificates that were due to expire in 2020 after March 1 were initially extended to December 31, 2020. Then in December, IHG further extended all free night certificates that were to expire on December 31 to be valid until August 31, 2021. This means that all certificates that were originally due to expire after March 1, 2020 have at least been extended until August 31, 2021.
Certificates originally issued in 2020
Additionally, all certificates issued in 2020 were valid for 18 months, so all certificates issued in 2020 are valid for at least 18 months and will not expire until December 31, 2021.
IHG Rewards points expiration pause
IHG Rewards previously announced – and reiterated today – that the expiration of IHG Rewards points is suspended until June 30, 2021. For members who haven’t traveled, this gives you more than five months to find a way generate an activity to extend the validity of your points.
IHG points never expire for elite status members. So if you wear the IHG® Rewards Club Premier credit card, you won’t have to worry about your IHG Rewards points expiring. Indeed, cardholders benefit from Platinum Elite status only to have the card.
The bottom line
With these changes, IHG is helping both travelers who are back on the road and those who are staying put during the pandemic. Members who won Elite Nights in 2020 are rewarded with Elite Rollover Nights and those who hit the road in the next few months will receive bonus Elite Qualifying Points towards elite status. In addition, IHG has lowered the re-gain threshold.
If you wait until you receive the vaccine before you travel again, the good news is that free night certificates should be valid at least until August 31, 2021. Additionally, IHG Rewards points are suspended until June 30, 2021.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our choices for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those that are best suited: