IHG has decided to refresh its IHG Rewards guest loyalty program and has today unveiled the first changes rolled out in 2022.
IHG renames Spire Elite as Diamond and introduces a new entry-level Silver tier. New tiers are going live from March 2022.
You can access IHG’s page for program refresh here.
READ MORE: IHG Rewards Rate & Bonus Points Offers
IHG Rewards New Elite Tier Requriements:
The new Silver has the same requirements as the old Gold, but without being able to reach it on spend. The new Gold requires 20 nights or 40K points. Platinum tier’s night requirement stays at 40 but earning it on points increases by 50% (40K to 60K). The Diamond, previously Spire Elite, requires five fewer nights 70 compared to 75, but a considerably higher spend of 120K versus 75K
IHG’s Current Tier Requirements With Benefits:
*Applicable at Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hotels
**Not applicable at Six Senses
***Applicable at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
1. Member Exclusive rates (Member Rate) are not available in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) or at IHG Army Hotels
2. Internet accessibility, speed and connectivity varies by hotel
3. Points do not expire for Elite members. Club member points will expire after 12 months of inactivity.
4. Complimentary room upgrades are offered as determined by hotel. At Kimpton Hotels, one category room upgrade is guaranteed to Kimpton Inner Circle members. At Six Senses, one category room upgrade is subject to availability for Platinum and Spire Elite, Kimpton Inner Circle, Ambassador and Royal Ambassador members. At InterContinental, Ambassador members are guaranteed one category room upgrade and Royal Ambassador are guaranteed two category room upgrade.
5. Guaranteed room availability is not applicable on Reward Nights. At InterContinental, Royal Ambassador members receive 24 hour room availability guarantee.I
Information that IHG has released:
IHG Hotels & Resorts Unveils a New Vision for Loyalty
JAN. 19, 2022 (ATLANTA): When the world hit pause on travel, IHG Hotels & Resorts saw an opportunity to reconnect and learn from its guests and owners. The company made big, bold investments, transforming its portfolio with exciting brands and creating richer experiences – all under a fresh IHG Hotels & Resorts masterbrand.
As guests embark on a new era of travel and the industry continues to recover, the company turns to its pioneering loyalty program and is making one of its most significant investments to date.
Over the last few years, IHG Rewards has continued to evolve to meet the needs of current and future members. World-class partnerships, such as exclusive stays with Mr & Mrs Smith, a growing brand portfolio, and dynamic Reward Night pricing have given guests greater value and flexibility.
Today, IHG Rewards, the industry’s first and one of world’s largest hotel loyalty programs, is sharing the first of many changes that will be introduced in the coming months. The new tier and bonus point earning structure – which will go live during March – is designed to help members earn more points faster and have more ways to use them than ever before. These changes, the first in a series of enhancements, include:
- Introducing a new Gold Elite tier starting at 20 nights, with an industry-leading 40% bonus point structure
- Renaming of the ‘Spire Elite’ tier to ‘Diamond Elite’ to simplify member recognition and understanding of our highest tier, which will retain our best-in-class 100% bonus point structure
- Improving bonus point earn levels across all other Elite tiers
Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said:
“If there’s anything that has united the world in the last two years, it’s the realization that no virtual platform can replicate the value of travel and making memories with those we love. Travel is its own biggest reward, and that’s really at the heart of what we’re doing with our loyalty program. Each time our members choose to stay at our hotels, we are increasing their opportunity to travel more, experience more, and reap benefits they won’t get anywhere else. Our distinct portfolio of brands recognizes no two travelers are the same, helping guests and members make the right decision for all their travel needs.
We’ve made a lot of developments in the loyalty space over the years, but travel and hospitality have evolved considerably, and our guests’ needs are changing. These changes are just the start as we prepare to fully relaunch a truly transformed program later this year. We’ll continue elevating and enhancing our loyalty offerings with iconic brand partnerships and extensions, tailored experiences for our customers, enhanced benefits and so much more.”
IHG Rewards members’ stays beginning January 1, 2022 will count toward the new-and improved status when the program launches. To learn more, please visit ihg.com/newrewards.
I will be eagerly awaiting what these “enhanced” benefits introduced later this year are that will meet my “evolved” needs.
IHG really should just study what competitors are doing and offer a similar level of benefits for IHG Rewards members and have ONE combined program instead of three (IHG Rewards, Ambassador & Inner Circle).
Suite upgrades, confirmed late check-out, breakfast, and club lounge access are benefits that Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott all offer (Hilton has modified some) to their top-tier members. IHG does none of these, even for its current Spire Elite members (some of these are Royal Ambassador benefits).
The spending requirement (you can also qualify on nights) is very close to what Royal Ambassador requires, but you must spend that cash only at qualifying brands (Intercontinental, Regent, Six Senses & Kimpton). Why not make the Diamond tier require both NIGHTS and the CASH? Then give it the Royal Ambassador level benefits.
I would also argue that Dynamic Rewards Night Pricing has not given travelers greater value and flexibility than what IHG offered in the past. Some of us still remember Point Breaks, 50% off Latin America Awards, and a couple of other similar programs that IHG run in the 2010s.
Frequently asked questions by IHG:
Current IHG Rewards Tiers
1. What is happening to my status in 2022?
All current Elite statuses (Gold, Platinum and Spire Elite) were extended through February 2023.
2. What is the current tier qualification structure?
From January 1, 2022 until the new program launches during March, the current reduced program earn structure will remain in place:
-You can qualify for Gold Elite by earning 7,000 Qualified Points or staying 7 Qualified Nights.
-You can qualify for Platinum Elite by earning 30,000 Qualified Points or staying 30 Qualified Nights.
-You can qualify for Spire Elite by earning 55,000 Qualified Points or staying 55 Qualified Nights.
New Elite Tiers
1. When will these new Elite tiers appear in my IHG Rewards account?
Your new tier structure will appear in your IHG Rewards account during March.
2. What tier will I be in after these changes take effect?
All members’ statuses have been extended through February 2023. This means that Gold Elite and Platinum Elite members’ tier names will not change during 2022. Spire Elite members will see their tier name change from Spire Elite to Diamond Elite when the new program launches.
Once the new tier structure goes live during March, using the new criteria as shown in the table below, we will start to move members who have qualified for an upgrade into a higher tier.
3. Will I be downgraded if I haven’t achieved the new nights threshold?
All Elite statuses have been extended through February 2023. However, once the new program has launched, if you did not reach the qualified nights or points threshold between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, your status will be downgraded in early 2023.
4. My status was gifted – what will happen to my status in 2022?
All Elite statuses, including those gifted, have been extended through February 2023.
5. What constitutes an Elite qualifying “night”?
This includes Nights stayed on loyalty Qualifying Rates, Reward Nights and Free Nights. A Qualifying Room Rate is a rate that is eligible to earn IHG Rewards points or airline miles. Qualifying Rates include most business and leisure rates; please see the program terms and conditions for details.
6. Will roll-over nights still exist?
In 2022, Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members’ qualified paid nights and Reward Nights that were completed in 2021 and were over and above the threshold to reach that Elite tier in 2021 will rollover into 2022 and count towards status.
In 2023, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members’ qualified paid nights and Reward Nights that are completed in 2022 and are over and above the threshold to reach that Elite tier, will rollover into 2023 and count towards status.
Bonus Earning Structure & Benefits
1. When will the new bonus earning structure take effect?
The new bonus earning structure will take effect during March.
2. Will my points expire if I don’t use them?
As a key benefit of our program, points never expire for Elite members (now Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite). Points expire for Club members after 12 months of inactivity.
3. Are there new benefits associated with the new tiers and will I still receive all the current benefits associated with my tier?
We can’t reveal all the details just yet, but stay tuned for the official launch of the new IHG Rewards program later this year. You’ll hear more about our new benefits and all the updated ways to earn and redeem.
Ambassador & Royal Ambassador
1. Are the Ambassador or Royal Ambassador loyalty programs changing as part of the new IHG Rewards loyalty program?
No, we are not making changes to the Ambassador or Royal Ambassador programs at this time.
2. Is my Ambassador status being extended?
No, Ambassador status must be renewed each year.
3. Is my Royal Ambassador status being extended?
Yes, Royal Ambassador status has been extended through December 2022.
4. I’m a Royal Ambassador – will I receive a new Royal Ambassador Free Night?
Yes, all current Royal Ambassador Free Nights will expire and be reissued annually for eligible members.
5. I’m a Royal Ambassador – will I receive a new Complimentary Weekend Night certificate?
Yes, all current Complimentary Weekend Night certificates will expire and be reissued annually for eligible members.
6. I’m an Ambassador member – will I receive a new Complimentary Weekend Night certificate upon renewal?
Yes, Complimentary Weekend Night certificates expire with the Ambassador membership and new ones are issued upon renewal.
Kimpton Inner Circle
1. Is the Kimpton Inner Circle loyalty program changing as part of the new IHG Rewards loyalty program?
No, we are not making changes to the Kimpton Inner Circle program at this time.
2. Is my Inner Circle Status being extended?
Yes, Inner Circle status has been extended through December 2022.
3. Will Inner Circle members receive a new New Hotel Free Night?
Yes, New Hotel Free Nights are reissued annually in January to eligible members.