IHG today announced that they are launching a loyalty partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith that allows earning and redeeming IHG Rewards Club points with some benefits at over 500 hotels (their entire portfolio 1,314 today).
Mr & Mrs Smith calls themselves a “travel club”. It is basically a collection or a soft brand mostly high-end independent hotels that use Mr & Mrs Smith as one of their distribution channels.
You can access IHG Rewards Club here.
Here’s the announcement from IHG:
IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, and Mr & Mrs Smith, the world-renowned travel club and boutique hotel specialists, are proud to announce their exclusive loyalty partnership.
From early next year, IHG® Rewards Club members will be able to earn and redeem points at over 500 handpicked Mr & Mrs Smith hotels in new and iconic locations, when booking through IHG’s direct channels (including IHG.com and IHG mobile app).
This exclusive partnership will more than double the number of luxury and boutique hotels which members can choose from; complementing IHG’s luxury and boutique portfolio of hotels and resorts across Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants and Hotel Indigo®.
IHG Rewards Club members will be able to earn and redeem points across hundreds of luxury and boutique hotels around the world, including some of Smith’s most seductive stays, such as Jasper Conran’s self-styled riad hideaway L’Hôtel Marrakech, 18th-century organic Tuscan estate Borgo Pignano, high-in-the-Himalayas retreat The Kumaon and the charming Old Rectory on South Africa’s famed Garden Route. IHG’s most loyal members can expect free room upgrades whenever available and a free gift, called a Smith Extra, on arrival at each Mr & Mrs Smith hotel.
Claire Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer, IHG, commented: “IHG’s exclusive partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith illustrates the truly transformative travel we bring to our IHG Rewards Club members. This loyalty partnership will allow our most loyal guests to discover even more of the world with the most incredible and inspiring luxury rewards.
“By bringing this spectacular collection of award-winning hotels to our direct booking channels, this partnership means members can earn and redeem points in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations – the perfect complement to IHG’s growing luxury and boutique hotel portfolio, which includes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.”
Founded in 2003, Mr & Mrs Smith is a “Travel Club for Hotel Lovers,” offering a carefully curated collection of over 1,200 boutique and luxury properties in over 80 countries. Mr & Mrs Smith’s high-tech, high-touch approach to business enables deep relationships with its boutique hotel partners and onward distribution of its inventory to more travel-savvy guests.
Tamara Lohan MBE, COO & co-founder, Mr & Mrs Smith, commented: “We conceived Mr & Mrs Smith for discerning travellers who want to discover truly extraordinary places with the people they love. We are hugely excited about the opportunity to bring our growing collection of carefully curated boutique and luxury hotels to millions of IHG Rewards Club loyalty members, so they may join our members in experiencing some of the world’s most seductive hotels.”
Demonstrating the promise to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for guests and loyalty members, IHG’s loyalty partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith builds on IHG’s expanding luxury portfolio with the recent acquisitions of Regent Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.
Key highlights of IHG’s loyalty partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith:
From early 2020, IHG Rewards Club members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points during qualified stays at over 500 luxury and boutique Mr & Mrs Smith properties.
IHG Rewards Club is one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, with more than 100 million enrolled members.
IHG Rewards Club points can be earned and redeemed at participating Mr & Mrs Smith hotels booked through IHG’s direct channels only.
The partnership gives IHG’s members more choice in where to go, with the addition of Mr & Mrs Smith properties in 14 countries where IHG doesn’t currently have open hotels.
IHG’s most loyal guests, including InterContinental Ambassadors and Kimpton Inner Circle members, will enjoy a free Smith Extra such as a bottle of champagne, picnic hamper or 30-minute massage on arrival at every Mr & Mrs Smith hotel, as well as automatic room upgrades whenever available.
Elite IHG Rewards Club members will receive their tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates (10% Gold Elite, 50% Platinum Elite, 100% Spire Elite).
I was looking at reserving one Mr & Mrs Smith affiliated hotel the other year but the pricing on the travel club’s website was not competitive compared booking directly with the hotel or via other channels.
For me it seems that this partnership is very similar to what Hyatt has with SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) and Marriott with Design Hotels. It remains to be seen what the pricing will look like if booked via IHG rather than via one of the OTAs.
Some of these Mr & Mrs Smith affiliated hotels are really really pricey. Completely outside of what IHG hotels tend to charge. It is interesting to see whether IHG uses dynamic award pricing for these valuing a point perhaps somewhere between 0.2 – 0.4 cents each.