IHG Extending Free Night Certificates

Filed Under: IHG Rewards
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Over the past few days we’ve seen hotel groups start to extend status by a year, as both Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt have announced such initiatives. So far IHG Rewards Club has only reduced status requirements, though I’d guess more is coming.

On the plus side, IHG has announced plans to extend free night certificates, offered with IHG’s co-branded credit cards. Let’s look at what you need to know, because with IHG this is something that I personally care more about than a status extension.

How IHG is extending free night certificates

IHG Rewards Club is extending the expiration of anniversary free night certificates, as follows:

  • Certificates expiring from March 1, 2020, onwards, can be used through at least December 31, 2020
  • Certificates issued in 2020 will have an 18 month redemption period

The best card for earning IHG free night certificates

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review) is one of my all around favorite hotel credit cards, as it offers an anniversary free night certificate on your account anniversary every year, valid at properties costing up to 40,000 points.

That’s only one of the many benefits of the card, as it also offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, IHG Rewards Club Platinum status, and a lot more.

Bottom line

I’m surprised IHG hasn’t extended elite status for this year, given that they have among the weakest elite benefits of any hotel group. Personally I don’t care that much about that, since I get Platinum status with the IHG Premier Card.

What I care most about is that free night certificates are extended, and that is indeed happening.

Will you benefit from IHG extending free night certificates?

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  1. Mine hasn’t been extended. It was issued March 27th and expires March 27th, 2021. Any idea what gives here?

  2. This also true for the old unlimited free nights or just the 40k free nights? I had an unlimited free night that expired in early March. So far no extension but I’m going to contact them.

  3. I just used the chat to have my cert expiring April 16 extended to Dec 31, 2020. That’s as far as they’re extending for now.

  4. Frank, reread the article. All certificates expiring March 1, 2020 onward will be extended at least through the end of the year.

  5. @Derek. Thank you . I did read it but misunderstood the expiration because I thought it meant issued . Thanks again .

  6. Do we have to call or contact them to get it extended ? I’d one expired on 3/27 but when I log in, I only see the new one that was issued in 2020, which expires 3/27/2021.

  7. This is welcome news. Hoping the next step will be to remove the 40k point “cap” since demand for rooms will likely remain weak for some time.

  8. Lucky, I had the old non-restricted free certificate that expired on 3/26/2020 and has been taken off of my account now. What can I do to get that reinstated?

  9. @Ethan, email corporate. I emailed the general customer service line and CC’d the director of customer experience. I did this about a week before my uncapped free night expired (expiration date was the same as yours). Couple days after, I got a reply saying the current free night was deleted and another reissued (uncapped portion also carried over). Good luck.

  10. @Henry, thanks a bunch for that info! I’m looking at IHG’s contact on their website & also googling the director of customer experience, but haven’t had luck with finding the emails yet. Do you mind sharing the email addresses here? Thanks!

  11. Here’s the reply I got from IHG customer service on facebook when I requested the 18 month expiration period:


    I understand your point. It is indeed a helpful and informative website, however, we are not directly associated with them. This is why I’d like to correct the statement shared by them. In the meantime, the extension offer isn’t available for those whose certificate deposit Anniversary Date occurs in 2020 and expires in 2021. The offer is currently extended to those whose certificate’s expiration date is in 2020.

    I hope this clarifies your concern.

  12. And what about the Platinum Ambassador Free weekend night certificates which end December 31st?

  13. @Ethan – I was in the same situation with an uncapped free night certificate for my husband and also one for me, both expiring today. After 3 weeks of badgering them, today they agreed to extend our uncapped free night certs by 6 months- so Oct. of 2020. I contacted so many people at IHG and by far, the most responsive were the “InterContinental Hotels & Resorts” on FB.

    I also did a live chat with IHG Rewards to ensure that the certs were uncapped as the T&C’s of the new ones don’t explicitly state that.

  14. @Suzanne, thanks for that info! Sounds like a lot of time and trouble in getting that extended! Bravo for you in doing that! Disappointing they only extend that for 6 months, but I guess it’s better than nothing. However, I’m not so sure if I would go to that extend to get it only for 6 months mainly because it’s unlikely I’ll be able to use it at any aspirational properties w/in the 6 month period.

  15. Someone define “at least.”

    I have a cert expiring 12/25. I get an extra week to use it?

  16. FcFlyer – if you have a certificate that expires in Q4 you should be OK and not sure why you are even asking. BTW most of their hotels are open so when travel restrictions end (likely by June) you can use them. Now you may not be able to use them where you want for international destinations but they can be used.

    Very fair offer by IHG IMHO.

  17. @Frank – expires 12/31/2020. It was issued in 2019 that’s why.
    @Fcflyer – Yes. Only through 12/31/2020. Again, it was issued in 2019.

  18. @Ryan @Ethan @Jim – Had an uncapped cert that expired March 12 that we wanted to use in NYC when the virus broke out in our area (we live in Westchester County). I called beginning of March asking to get it extended due to virus outbreak. Said sorry, can’t do that.

    Then I read today about the extension for certs expiring after March 1 and how to do an online chat with IHG (explained on Frequent Miler) but I got bounced out 3 times. Last time it directed me to call the IHG reservations line. Called and explained that I was asking to have an anniversary night extended due to the virus. Was transferred to a Rewards Club rep who reinstated the award with 12/30/20 date. Didn’t take long and he even gave me a case number for reference.

    My award issued in March 2020 still shows the March 2021 expiration.

    BTW, the reps are working from home. But both reps were gracious and helpful. Good luck.

  19. @Henry — thank you for the email addresses!

    I initially was refused on Saturday (April 4) when I requested an extension, and then yesterday, I was bounced out of the chat several times. So I am hoping that email is more successful.

  20. Does this extension apply to free reward nights for BOTH their current credit cards?
    – Premier IHG Rewards
    – Select IHG Rewards Club

    I only see their Premier card listed on other travel sites & have sent emails to IHG w/o a response yet.

  21. @RR I too was bounced around. At first they told me to just let it expire. Then I was transferred to a supervisor that conveniently never picked up the phone after two hours. Give corporate time to reply and hopefully they’ll help you!

  22. It is the only free night certificate that I’m not worried about if it expires as one would be able to redeem it 90% of the time on a crappy holiday inn by an interstate highway with their 40k cap.

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