As mentioned in the title, IHG Rewards is implementing two new major changes. The more concerning one is the new expiry policy. I received an email from IHG stating:
- We also want to reward our guests who choose to stay with us, so we’re focusing more program benefits toward members who earn and redeem on a regular basis. Starting in May 2016, we will expire all points if there’s no account activity in the prior 12 months. But it’s easy to maintain your points balance. Simply earn or redeem once a year through any of our IHG hotels and partners or through the IHG Rewards Club Catalog.
Admittedly, that is an extremely annoying new policy to implement. This really changes things for me at least. I will definitely be moving on from IHG Rewards and moving SPG up to my primary hotel program. I really hope that they will reverse this decision.
That being said, IHG is introducing a making changes to it elite statuses and adding a new category. The same email that I received has this paragraph:
- You’re important to us, and we want to tell you about some changes we’re making to IHG Rewards Club. First, enjoying all the benefits you love just got easier. You’ll still receive our true hospitality and service when you stay in any IHG hotel, and the rewards you earn will be better than ever. Now you can earn Gold in as few as 10 nights. And beginning in July, we’ll introduce a brand-new membership level for our members who stay with us the most.
They have yet to name the new elite status. That being said, the elite statuses will have the following conditions in starting in July 2015:
- Requires 10 nights or 10,000 qualifying points (down from 15 nights/20,000 points)
- Earn 10% bonus points on top of base points earned
- Requires 40 nights or 40,000 qualifying points (down from 50 nights/60,000 points)
- Earn 50% bonus points on top of base points earned
New Membership Level
- Requires 75 nights or 75,000 points
- Earn 100% bonus points on top of base points earned
- Receive 25,000 annual points bonus or Gift Platinum to a friend or family member
There has always been talk about how watered down the IHG Rewards elite statuses are, so these changes increases he value of its elite program. I am actually a big fan of this addition.