Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has joined many of its industry peers by announcing plans to extend membership statuses within its loyalty program. IHG Rewards Club is automatically extending all member statuses through January of 2022. That means that members have extra time to enjoy all benefits tied to the statuses they earned in 2019.

IHG's Spire Elite members can now look forward to choosing an annual benefit of 25,000 bonus points or the ability to gift Platinum Elite status to someone for a year as part of the extension. Additionally, IHG has loosened its criteria for earning Elite status through the end of 2020. Requirements for both nights and points have been reduced by at least 25 percent across the board. The change was made in response to the sharp decline in travel and booking across all markets. IHG's intention is to allow more members to qualify for a higher tier this year even though bookings may be slower. Here's a rundown of the other updates:

  • Points expiry has been paused until Dec. 31 of 2020 for club members.
  • Complimentary three-month membership extensions to members of the InterContinental Ambassador program that became effective on March 15.
  • Three-month extensions on outstanding Weekend Night Certificates for members of the InterContinental Ambassador program.
  • Extension of expiration dates for anniversary certificates for members in the United States and United Kingdom that are set to expire in 2020. All certificates expiring from March 1 can be used through Dec. 31 of 2020.
  • All certificates issued in 2020 will have 18-month redemption periods.

The new updates come in addition to the fact that points for members with Elite Gold, Platinum and Spire statuses never expire. IHG will be updating member accounts to reflect the new changes in the days to come. Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott have all already announced extensions for elite statuses within their loyalty programs.

Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at GET.com and has been to (almost) every country in North, Central and South America with nothing more than a backpack, a laptop and the desire to explore. He speaks Spanish fluently and has logged enough time in planes, trains, rideshares, buses, taxis and rickshaws to know how to rack up rewards and points to get anywhere his heart desires for pennies on the dollar. Email: scott.dylan@get.com.