PLEASE COMMENT: Your Thoughts On IHG Rewards Club Spire Elite Status?

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IHG Rewards Club launched its much awaited Spire Elite status on Friday last week (read more here) after delaying the launch by couple of weeks (read more here).

Your Thoughts About Spire Elite Level

Many people have left comments about their thoughts of this new tier and what it might be lacking. I thought that it could be a good idea to have one piece where we all can share out thoughts.

You can access IHG Rewards Club web page for Gold, Platinum and Spire here.

Positive:

– 100% bonus points for all stays instead of 50% compared to Platinum. Royal Ambassador members won’t earn anything more for their InterContinental stays, however.

– 25,000 bonus points or gifting Platinum status for one

IHG Rewards Club has hinted that there could be some other enhancements coming in early 2016. What hotel program should offer at this level:

– Space available upgrades to suites (some properties do offer this including two most recent Holiday Inns that I stayed at)

– Club Lounge access. Many Crowne Plazas and Holiday Inns do have lounges, but these are not included in the guaranteed benefits. Some hotels do upgrade Platinum members to clubs.

– Breakfast. This absolutely should be guaranteed at the Spire level but it is not. All the other chains do offer breakfast for their top tier members.

– Guaranteed late check out. I hate when benefits are “based on availability”. It usually means that when you actually need it you won’t get it. 4PM check out should be standard at this status level.

Conclusion

You have to remember that most of the hotels are not owned by the IHG but rather by the franchisees. You have to get the franchisees on-board for the benefits upgrade.

Breakfast is usually extremely profitable for the hotels because business travelers can expense it and it requires very little effort from the hotel’s part. You just throw a meager buffet and see the money flowing in from it.

The same applies partially for the Club lounge access as well. They do have to keep in mind that all the competing chains including Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood gives this benefit for their top tier members.

The 75 nights or 75,000 base points requirement in my opinion is too high. You could easily have Hilton HHonors Gold, SPG Platinum and Hyatt Diamond for the same number of nights (you can do them on stays). There are several ways to get Marriott Gold or Platinum status easily.

IHG Rewards Club needs seriously spice up the Spire benefits to make the new tier worthwhile. I will probably reach it as long as the Royal Ambassador program stays alive, as I tend to like InterContinental hotels and their treatment of RA’s.

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