I'm not exactly one of IHG biggest fans nor am I a fan of award pricing that's based on the cash price of a booking, so I've been more than a little surprised to find that I actually quite like IHG's new dynamic price awards. IHG's variable pricing may not work for everyone but, for me and for quite a few other people, it looks like it may actually improve the value we get out of IHG Rewards and, just as importantly, out of the free night certificates issued by IHG co-branded credit cards.
IHG Rewards has launched a new promotion in which it's offering between double and quadruple points on stays made by 8 September 2020. Sadly, if you're not an IHG Rewards member whose account is registered to an address in the United States, you cannot participate in this promotion.
The IHG free night certificate that I get through my legacy IHG Rewards Club credit card expired earlier this month and disappeared from my account. IHG had already confirmed that certificates with 2020 expiration dates from 1 March onwards would be extended through December 2020 but it's only now that my replacement certificate has appeared online. That's the good news.
IHG Rewards was the first of the major hotel chains to announce measures to help its members earn and retain status when it lowered its elite status thresholds back in the second week of March. Since then, the loyalty program has lagged its competitors with most of its efforts but it has now finally caught up with the rest of the pack by announcing status extensions across the board.
Last week, I reported that IHG Rewards had contacted me to let me know that my free night certificate that had been due to expire in the middle of this month would be seeing its expiration date extended through to the end of this year and that new certificates issued in 2020 will have an 18-month expiration period. Well, IHG is already keeping the second of those promises.
Lately, I've been giving IHG and IHG Rewards a deserved hard time by pointing out how they have been doing less than their competitors in a number of areas relating to customer care and by pointing out that they only have themselves to blame if customers are less than happy with them overall...but I've finally had some positive news drop into my inbox.
It was way back on 12 March that IHG Rewards was the first major loyalty program (from the hotel or airline industry) to take measures to make it easier for its members to earn/retain status this year but that appears to have been the end of the program's interest in looking after its members and guests.
If you're targeting IHG Rewards Club status this year and have been wondering how you're going hit the necessary targets with all the travel restrictions that are being put in place (I suspect more are on the way) there's good news for you - IHG has announced that it is reducing its elite status targets for 2020.
The first IHG Rewards promotion of 2020 will start from 15 February 2020 and the headline that IHG is pushing is one that suggests that members will be able to earn "up to 4x bonus points" for stays made through 15 May...but that really doesn't tell the whole story. It's more complicated than that.
Based on recent history IHG usually uses the beginning of a new year to put through some negative changes to its loyalty program (in 2018 top-tier redemptions became more expensive and in 2019 over 570 properties became more expensive) but so far 2020 has seen IHG Rewards remained unchanged...until now.