IHG’s website allows you to speak to an agent online, but it can be a convoluted process. Their virtual assistant works as a gatekeeper, making you answer several questions before putting you through to a human being, if it even offers that as an option.
There is a better way. Similar to how pressing ‘0’ or saying ‘Speak to an agent’ when calling a helpline sometimes puts you through to an agent, IHG’s virtual assistant has a similar feature. This can save you a ton of time as it’s far more convenient.
Here’s how to chat to an IHG online agent quickly and easily.
Step 1 – Log Into Your Account
First, it’s best to log into your IHG Rewards Club account as that’ll prepopulate your information later on.
Step 2 – Click ‘Need Help’
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Need Help’. Don’t select ‘IHG Agent’ as that’s for travel consultants rather than being an option to actually speak to an IHG agent.
Step 3 – Type ‘Speak To An Agent’
Clicking ‘Need Help’ pops up a box welcoming you to the IHG Virtual Assistant. It asks you to type in your question so that it can hopefully find you an answer from its online database.
I’d tried using this feature last week and it ended up sending me in circles and wouldn’t put me through to an actual person who could help. That’s when I tried typing ‘Speak to an agent’ in the chat box and this was the result:
Step 4 – Click ‘Reservations’ or ‘IHG Rewards Club’
The option you need to select at this point obviously depends on your question. In my case, we wanted to chat to an agent about my wife’s anniversary night certificate which had expired after being unable to use it for a previously booked reservation due to COVID-19. The certificate expired and disappeared from the account, but IHG subsequently announced that any certificates that expired in March 2020 would be extended to December 31, 2020.
We therefore selected IHG Rewards Club as it related to their loyalty program rather than a specific reservation.
Step 5 – Click The Link
After making your selection, it’ll direct you to click a link to speak to a live chat agent.
Step 6 – Chat Away!
Clicking the link will open up a new chat box that’ll connect you to an agent once you click ‘Start’. Before doing that, select the correct subject. It defaults to ‘Other’, but there might be a more appropriate subject to select.
When trying to do this last week, I was 6th in line and it ending up timing out each time. Today though, I was next in line and so it was a matter of seconds before an agent became available. The online chat only took a few minutes and my wife was soon the recipient of a replacement anniversary night certificate.
Even better, the agent replaced it like-for-like. The certificate which had expired was one of the old anniversary night certificates which could be used at any IHG property worldwide. Certificates issued more recently are only valid for properties charging up to 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night. I assumed my wife’s replacement certificate would be one of the 40,000 point ones, but that wasn’t the case – she received one that’s valid at any IHG property worldwide. With an expiry date of December 31, 2020, we might have to find somewhere nice and expensive to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year to make the best use of it. Update: Following Dan’s comment below, I tried using the certificate and it’s sadly capped at 40,000 points despite those terms not being listed on the certificate.