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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.
My old IHG Rewards free night certificate expired last week and disappeared from my account (presumably it will reappear with a 31 December 2020 expiration date at some point in the near future) and, over the weekend, my new free night certificate appeared online.
Ordinarily, my free night certificate is valid from April to April but, as you can see from the image above, this new certificate is now valid through to October 2021 – an 18 month validity period just as IHG promised.
Expiring IHG Rewards Certificates Will Keep Original Properties
I’m one of a number of IHG Rewards free night certificate holders who, for one final year, have certificates that are valid at all IHG properties worldwide and are not limited to properties where award nights cost 40,000 points or less (this is thanks to the legacy IHG Rewards credit card which is no longer open to new applicants).
As I was concerned that any extensions applied to the expiration dates of these certificates would see them lose their ability to book any property in the IHG portfolio, I emailed the service team to ask:
Please would you confirm if the IHG free night certificates which were still valid at all IHG properties worldwide for one final year (this year) will keep this benefit or if the expiration date extension means that they’ll only be valid at properties charging 40,000 points (or less) per night?
A reply came through very promptly:
The terms and conditions for the use of the free night will remain unless there is a new directive sent out. You can always check our website for announcements.
While that’s not a reply that’s 100% clear, I’m taking it to mean that any expiring free night certificates that could still book any IHG property worldwide will still be able to do this once their expiration dates are extended.
As my old certificate has now expired and as its replacement hasn’t yet appeared in my account this is not something I can check right now, but I’ll report back as and when I have more information.
How To Earn An IHG Rewards Free Night Certificate
IHG Rewards free night certificates are issued by two Chase-issued credit cards:
- IHG Rewards Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants)
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (more info)
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card comes with an $89 annual fee (waived in year 1) and is currently offering a welcome bonus of 140,000 points for new cardholders who spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening their account…and it offers some pretty decent other benefits too:
- IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status (for as long as the card is open and in good standing)
- A total of 25 points/dollar for spending at IHG properties worldwide (when you include the points earned for being an IHG Rewards Club member and Platinum Elite status holder)
- A free night certificate issued on the card anniversary every year (valid at properties charging up to 40,000 points/night for award night bookings).
- A 4th night free on all award bookings
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit – up to $100 every 4 years
- Cellphone protection courtesy of the card’s “World Elite Mastercard” benefits.
Note: This product is not available to current holders of this credit card or previous holders of this credit card who have received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. However, this product is available to holders of the no-annual-fee IHG Rewards Club Traveler credit card.
New IHG free night certificates issued in 2020 are now starting to show an expiration date that is 18 months from the date of issue – if you’ve been waiting for your 2020 free night certificate expiration date to be extended it’s worth checking your account.
Also, IHG appears to have confirmed that any free night certificates that could still book any IHG property worldwide will still be able to do so even after their expiration date has extended.