IHG extends elite status and certificates

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In a move that surprises nobody at all, IHG has extended elite status until January 2022 and is extending free night certificates and other program benefits. This was to be expected. While it took longer for IHG to announce the elite status extension than their competitors, the end result is positive for loyalty program aficionados.

Kimpton Seafire Grand Cayman

Elite status extended

If you hold any elite status with IHG that was scheduled to expire in January 2021, it will now be extended to January 2022.

Many readers likely have an IHG credit card that offers Platinum status, whether the old IHG Rewards Club Select card (no longer available) or the newer IHG Rewards Club Premier card. If you were planning to keep the card, this extension won’t mean much to you. On the other hand, if you were looking to cancel or downgrade to the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card (which ordinarily comes with Gold status), you now have freedom to do so and keep your Platinum status for a while.

Of course, IHG elite status doesn’t mean a lot unless you have a lot of paid IHG stays. If you do, they are ideally paid for by your employer as I wouldn’t generally recommend investing too highly in IHG given the fact that the program offers very little in terms of on-property elite benefits (nobody is guaranteed free breakfast / club lounge access and room upgrades are usually scant if available at all). The main benefit of IHG elite status is earning more points on paid stays.

That said, with a huge footprint, IHG can certainly be convenient. If it works for you and you have status, you’re keeping it for a while.

IHG previously announced reduced qualification requirements this year, so if you do not yet have status or are looking to earn your way to a higher tier this year, you’ll need fewer nights to do so. See this post for more.

Free night certificates extended

IHG had previously announced that free night certificates would be extended. Those certificates expiring in 2020 from March 1st onward will now expire December 31, 2020. New certificates issued during 2020 will be valid for 18 months. That’s not new news, but it’s worth a reminder.

International Ambassador certificates are being extended by three months (to March 15, 2020) and points expiration has been paused until December 31st, 2020 (meaning that if you have points set to expire soon you’ll have a few more months to use them).

Bottom line

It’s not surprising to see IHG make this move. Truth be told, I was surprised when they announced reduced qualification requirements for 2020 without any mention of elite status extension. This is an example of why I think it would have made more sense for programs to wait on making announcements rather than releasing changes piece by piece and/or having to change/update as time went on. IHG really had no choice but to extend given that all of their competitors have done so, but I guess it’s good to finally have that confirmation for folks who were curious where they’d stand.

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KenDr. McFrugalhuey judyNick ReyesJ . Recent comment authors

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shaun
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shaun

Where on the website does it show your expiration date?

Thanks,

J .
Guest
J .

Click the “1 Free Nights(s)” hyperlink after you login, (on left side of page), then it will show “Book 1 [or however many you have] between [x date] and 12/31/2020”, which affirms this extension.

Bon voyage!

Ken
Guest
Ken

My FNA that expired March 18th has not been reissued yet despite IHG chat reps insisting that it will get reissued.

Dr. McFrugal
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Dr. McFrugal

Ken. Same here. They said that they are busy and to give them a few weeks for it to show up. We will see. I saved all of our conversations and did screen shots.

Ken
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Ken

Just checked and for both my wife and I the March expiration FNA was reissued with an 8 month expiration, but the FNA issued a few weeks ago still has a 10 month expiration which is supposed to be 18 months.

So check your account(s) now.

Dr. McFrugal
Guest
Dr. McFrugal

Thanks for the reminder. Yeah. I just checked and I now have 2 free nights. One that is uncapped (the one that expierd 4/11) that is no extended to 12/31/2020 and another that I earned for this year that is now capped up to 40,000 points and good till 10/18/2021. So awesome. Now to figure out when and where to use it 🙂

Ken
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Ken

That’s great! Just checked both accounts again. The expired, uncapped nights that were reissued are now expiring 12/31/2020 and the newly issued ones from my CC are now 40k and expiring 9/25/2021. Good deal, we now have 4 FNAs between the two of us.

huey judy
Guest
huey judy

Well, this is all nice and we appreciate it. But my free night ends 8/27 and I cannot book a Boston hotel in September, even tho I’m assured that the free night has been extended. They say it will be a while. How on earth could it take so much time to implement this perk?