Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) acquired Kimpton back in 2014 (read more here) and Kimpton emailed to Karma members late 2015 (read more here) indicating loyalty program integration in 2017. This hasn’t happened.
IHG Rewards Club members can book Kimpton hotels via IHG’s booking channels but there are zero status recognition or nights/points earned for the stays. There is only one exception to this rule that is the Kimpton Amsterdam (read more here) that used to be Crowne Plaza in previous life.
You can access IHG Rewards Club here.
Skift published an interview with the Kimpton CEO (access the piece here) and you can find the excerpt of the loyalty part below:
For now, Kimpton and IHG operate two separate loyalty programs, but plans are for the two to be combined by next year.
“What we hope to do and what we’re planning on doing is maintaining the ethos of that loyalty program, that Kimpton Karma program and marrying it with the currency of IHG’s reward program, so our goal is to have the best of both worlds and be able to provide that individual treatment and sort of specialization, which I think people expect in boutique hotels, perhaps a lot more than they do from the big brands,” DeFrino said. “So, together with Kimpton Karma and IHG currency, we’ll have a tremendous reach. IHG has something like 100 million people in their loyalty program.”
IHG’s global scale will help Kimpton grow even more, said DeFrino, especially after the two loyalty programs become one.
I requested clarification from IHG spokesperson and received the following statement:
We have two great, but distinctive, loyalty programs that we are very proud of in IHG Rewards Club and Kimpton Karma. We continue to make good progress in developing an integrated program and will share those details in due course.
It is still unclear to me exactly what their plans are. It is soon three years since IHG purchased Kimpton. Bookings have been lost from IHG Reward Club members due to lack of points and status recognition at Kimpton properties.
Kimpton Karma is Intercontinental Ambassador type status recognition program that doesn’t award points for stays. Members can earn free night awards based on number of stays/nights consumed, however.
Moving to IHG Rewards Club’s points based system would not be that drastic or difficult. Karma elite members, however, receive much better recognition for their Kimpton stays compared to comparable IHG ones. Not sure how this can be “integrated” without angering Karma’s elites.