IHG Does More to Crack Down on Fraud in China: Be Careful Gifting Award Nights There!

Leaving aside the sale of stolen miles on the darkweb, a plurality of loyalty program fraud originates in China.

For IHG Rewards Club, with their substantial China presence, it may be an outright majority. That’s why they imposed limits on booking PointBreaks hotels. Members in China would script the booking of the best properties as soon as they were released, and sell the bookings.

Towards the same end IHG Rewards Club has updated updated its terms and conditions with a new requirement for gifting an award night stay at one of their hotels in China.

If a third party beneficiary (instead of the member himself/herself who made the relevant booking) intends to check in at any Greater China properties with a Reward Night, the member must call the IHG ® Rewards Club Service Centre no less than 7 days before the Reward Night stay date. Member must provide specific personal details of such third party beneficiary as requested by IHG for its registration and validation purposes. To change any provided information, the member must follow the same procedure mentioned above. If the member fails to provide and/or change the requested information on time or the information provided is not correct for any reasons, the third party beneficiary will not be able to check in at the front desk and the relevant booking will be cancelled. The above requirement for third party beneficiary check-in applies to all Reward Night and Free Night earned through stays, points, promotions or other ways.

Intercontinental Beijing Financial Street, credit: IHG

You’re going to have to call at least a week in advance to gift a reward night to someone at a participating hotel in China, and you’re going to have to provide specific personal details of the guest who will be staying on property.

This is how they’ll attempt to limit third party sales of redemption nights in China.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I wonder how this will be enforced since the general attitude in China is anything goes. For me, I’m using my dad’s points since he has Spire status. Same last name – I figure I’m safe just adding my own name to the reservation. Worst case – need to spend some time on a call…

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