Seems that IHG Rewards Club has become more aggressive closing accounts that it believes are in violation of its program Terms and conditions (access them there). I wrote about this very same issue back in February (read here).
Until now, I have believed that merely registering for promotions that the member has not been targeted for would not cause account terminations but I have now changed my mind.
In the past, those that got caught playing with multiple IHG Rewards Club accounts, sharing the accounts with other people or reselling/trading PointBreaks were the main target and would only need to be concerned.
During the past couple of weeks, I have had readers contacting me and it happened to two friends of mine as well.
IHG Rewards Club merely displays the message that the IHG Rewards Club system is unavailable when you try to log in to an account that is closed.
The easiest way to find out if your account is closed or there is an issue with the IHG’s back-end is to use the Forgot PIN function that requires the membership number and the email address. The next screen shows the status of your account.
Here’s what the terms and conditions say about the membership cancellation:
Membership Cancellation. SCH reserves the right to cancel any IHG® Rewards Club membership and revoke any and all unredeemed IHG® Rewards Club points collected by any member for reasons that include, but are not limited to: 1) violation of these Terms and Conditions; 2) misrepresentation of any information or any misuse of this Program; 3) violation of any national, state or local law or regulation in connection with the use of membership privileges; 4) failure to pay for hotel charges; 5) a check to a participating hotel brand that is returned for insufficient funds or is invalid for any reason; 6) commission of fraud or abuse involving any portion of this Program; 7) more than one active account per member; or 8) physical, verbal, or written abuse of hotel or IHG personnel; or 9) action, in any other way, to the detriment of the Program or any of its alliances; all as may be determined by SCH in its sole discretion.
Signing up for promotion that you were not originally targeted for doesn’t appear here at all. SCH (Six Continents Hotels) has the catch all clause number 9:
action, in any other way, to the detriment of the Program or any of its alliances; all as may be determined by SCH in its sole discretion.
that they can use to terminate any account they wish.
I like the Royal Ambassador status and generally like staying at InterContinental hotels. Considering all the competition in the hospitality field, I have really hard time justifying my stays at other IHG brands if it wouldn’t be for the points that they are throwing at me.
If IHG Rewards Club (or Six Continent Hotels) truly feels that the problem is members signing up for promotions that they are not targeted for, they could easily make them account specific as they have done with number of promotions recently such as the getting points back for making Points + Cash reservation (read more here).
In this day and age (internet anyone?), there are no such things as targeted promotions if the sign up is open for all.
Of course most of the membership will not be aware of promotions that are out there (not just for IHG but for other brands as well) but typing a few words into Google (or just visiting LoyaltyLobby.com) will reveal them all.
It would be interesting to know if IHG Care in the Philippines now has a dedicated work force just going through member accounts to find out those that have signed up for a few promos here and there. If they do, most of our accounts will be closed.
The account terminations are not final though. You can contact IHG Rewards Club and they may re-open yours as a one-time courtesy. Maybe the lesson here is to make sure that your IHG Rewards Club account balance doesn’t get too high?