A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a warning email for those that reach Milestone Rewards passing stay over the New Year, as it likely has unintended consequences.
You can access IHG’s page for program updates here.
READ MORE: IHG One Rewards rate & Bonus Points Offers
Warning From The Reader:
I just thought I would share my experience of 4 hours on the phone with Diamond Ambassador support team in relation to the posting of my 40 night bonus (where I wanted to select the annual lounge membership) and the problems with their system where my 39th and 40th night were on 30 and 31 December and my checkout date was 2 January. The system posted the 3 night stay against my 2023 Milestone rewards despite 2 of the nights being in 2022.
The first barrier was that they could not retrospectively count my total number of nights (and were consistently getting the count wrong) during that first hour was when Ambassador services placed me on hold then hung up on me.
After finding a support person who could count they agreed that I had stayed 40 nights in IHG properties but they could not allocate the 40 milestone reward option (the only reason I actually stayed for the last few nights) and offered me the equivalent and considerably lessor option of the 10,000 points rather than the lounge membership.
In summary Milestone rewards are not based on stays in a calendar year but on when those stays post due to their system limitations.
For those seeking to reach their 2023 milestones they will need to make sure that their stay is timed so that it will post in the 2023 calendar year (probably no later than 25 December based on IHG typical response times.
Once again IHG fail to deliver clear messages about their offerings.
It is unclear with many programs how stays that overlap two years post.
It would make the most sense that nights that are consumed up to and including December 31 post for that year and nights from January 1 to the following, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.
The night count is significant for the reader because the Milestone Rewards choices at 40 nights, of which one is the Annual Lounge Membership pass, would allow member + 1 access to all club/executive lounges at IHG-affiliated hotels.
Also, if the reader had made this choice in 2023, the pass would have not only been valid through the end of this year but until December 31, 2024 (read more here).
This reader’s case reminds me of IHG’s mess with its Cyber promotion, where IHG used “Zulu time” to determine the eligible booking period that was NOT disclosed anywhere.
IHG One Rewards Program Refresh & Milestone Rewards Coverage:
IHG should have clarified which year nights consumed on December 30th and 31st would have counted. For example, it is unclear to most that if your stay ends in 2023, all the nights count for the year of checkout.
I would not deal with Ambassador customer service over the phone (I have only used it to apply Suite Upgrade certs to eligible stays) but rather contact them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, which is less painful (you may have to go through a few email rounds before the issue resolved, however).