Back in November 2021, IHG announced it would extend some free night award certificates, issued with the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review). However, all free night award certificates that were initially issued at some point in 2020 expire on December 31, 2021. Fortunately there’s a way to get something for these expiring certificates.
IHG offering 25K points for expiring free night awards
There’s no way to have these extended, though some members are reporting that they’re having luck being issued some bonus points in exchange for these:
- To see if this might be possible for your account, call 888.211.9874, and tell the automated system you have an IHG Rewards account inquiry
- Many people are being offered 25,000 IHG Rewards points, which is reasonable (the certificates have a maximum value of 40,000 points, but outright having points gives you more flexibility); some are also reporting being offered 40,000 points, but that seems to be the exception rather than the norm
- Other members aren’t being offered points and are being told nothing can be done, so it doesn’t seem that this is being offered consistently
- The points are posting as a “goodwill gesture,” and in many cases the free night awards aren’t even being taken from accounts (as they’re only valid for a couple more days)
- This only works for certificates expiring at the end of 2021, and certificates that were initially issued in 2020
- There’s a lot of inconsistency here — some have success after calling a few times, and it does seem that there might almost be an element of negotiating here
It could be worth picking up the phone and giving this a try.
My experience calling IHG about my expiring award
My biggest takeaway from this entire exercise is that getting through to an agent at IHG who can help is an adventure:
- I tried to call in yesterday, and the recording said there would be an eight minute hold, so I agreed to use the callback feature; I got a call back after about 10 minutes, then I was on hold for 10 more minutes, and then the line was disconnected (and it wasn’t on my end)
- I called back a short while later and was told I’d get a call 16 minutes later, but the call never ended up coming
- I then tried again very early this morning, and got through to someone without waiting; after being on the phone with the representative for eight minutes, he told me he was having system issues and that I should hang up and call again
- I called back and got through to someone immediately; she proactively offered 25K points, the points posted instantly, and the entire phone call took three minutes
If you get through to the right person, it seems like this process can be very quick. It’s just a function of getting through to someone…
IHG Rewards seems to be offering members bonus points as a gesture of goodwill for expiring free night certificates, with 25K points being the most common offer. It could be worth picking up the phone to see if you can pick up some points, though don’t be surprised if you have to wait on hold for a while.
I was able to get through to IHG immediately this morning, and had luck getting points for my expiring certificate — woot!
If you try calling in to IHG about this, please report back with your experience!
(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)