As a points enthusiast, I managed not only my personal rewards points account, but also my family member's account. From time to time, my family member's account tends to have inactivity and therefore points can get expired. IHG recently notified me about one of the accounts that I manage that the points are set to expire on September 8, 2018.

I have been looking for ways to keep IHG points from expiring. There are several of them that's suggested by IHG, but they are all either paid stays, paid dinning, or redeemed IHG points. In short, there's cost involved. I can also transfer Chase points to IHG at 1:1 ratio at 1,000 points increment, but I value Chase points more than just a way to extend IHG points.


IHG Points Expiration Policy
  • All points will expire after 12 months if there's no account activity.
The Trick

According to IHG: 

Any activity that doesn't change your point balance does not keep your point balance active. These activities include non-qualifying stays, logging into your account, or registering for promotions. Only activity that changes your point balance by either earning or redeeming points will count towards keeping your account balance active.

Simply said, as long as your account shows points activity, then you are able to extend the points balance for another year.


The trick is, if you have at least 5,000 IHG points in your account, you can redeem for hotels that participate in IHG PointBreaks Promotion that requires only 5,000 IHG points per stay. This will trigger the points activity in your IHG's account and thus keeps your points balance active for another year from the date that you make the redemption. Moreover, points stay comes with free cancellation and therefore you can cancel that reservation afterwards and receive your points back. When IHG refunds the points, that again triggers the points activity in your IHG's account and thus you are able to keep the points balance for another year from the date that the points refund occur.

I booked a PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points per night yesterday September 2, 2018. Although the account did not get updated immediately as it still showed the old expiration date, but I chat with an IHG representative and she confirmed that on IHG end, the points balance will expire on September 2, 2019. I gave it a day to let the account updated and today when I logged on, sure enough it shows the points balance is now set to expire on September 2, 2019.


Who doesn't like FREE way to keep points balance from expiring?