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Last night IHG Rewards announced a host of upcoming changes to their loyalty program. You can view all the changes for yourself here, but to save you time, here are the five main things to know about the IHG Rewards Club changes.
1. The award category structure that ranges from 5,000 – 50,000 points per night is not changing.
2. 300 hotels will be going up in points price between 5,000 – 10,000 points on May 1, 2015. On that same date 150 hotels will be decreasing in points price by 5,000 points. They do not plan to release a list of the hotels changing category before that date, so make any advance award reservations you can before that date just in case.
3. IHG points will begin expiring after 12 months of no activity. Any account activity that changes the account balance will count to extend the points another 12 months. This means that any earning, purchasing, transferring, or redeeming of IHG points will reset the clock another 12 months. If you aren’t already, you need to be a member of Award Wallet so you will get a warning if your miles or points are getting close to expiring.
The first point expirations will happen in May 2016, but those who have elite status or are Holiday Inn Club Vacation owners are exempt from the expiration policy.
4. A new highest IHG elite tier will be introduced in July 2015. This new membership level can be reached by earning 75,000 qualifying points or by staying at IHG hotels for 75 qualifying nights in a calendar year. This new tier does not have a formal name yet, but those who attain it will receive 100% bonus points on qualifying stays and be able to choose a gift of either 25,000 bonus points or upgrading a friend or family member to Platinum status.
5. Gold and Platinum levels are becoming easier to attain. Gold status will require 10,000 qualifying points or 10 qualifying nights in a year (down from 15 nights or 20,000 points) and Platinum status will require 40,000 points or 40 stays in a calendar year (down from 50 nights or 60,000 points). Of course, the easiest path to Platinum is simply having the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card . It is also worth mentioning that the “fast track to elite status” offers are ending effective June 30, 2015.
What do you think of the announced IHG changes?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.