The wait is over! IHG has replaced its IHG Rewards, previously Priority Club & IHG Rewards Club, with IHG One Rewards that the member can choose and tailor the program to fit themselves.
Diamond members are eligible for a daily hot breakfast for two. In addition, members can choose their preferred rewards option through Milestone Rewards, including annual lounge access and confirmable suite upgrades. Properties have been given “enhanced” guidelines to ensure that Platinum and Diamond members are upgraded to suites, if available, and premium rooms, if not.
READ MORE: IHG Rewards Rate & Bonus Points Offers
The new tier and bonus points earning structure will go live on April 13 and will be rolled out to all member accounts by April 17. The other unique benefits are available starting in early June.
Diamond members can choose a complimentary hot breakfast for two as a Welcome amenity choice starting in June. The hotel can exclude certain items such as alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees.
Complimentary breakfast is available at all properties other than select service and limited-service brands that already offer breakfast, and at Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, select Kimpton properties, InterContinental Alliance Resorts (Las Vegas and Macau), and Mr. and Mrs. Smith properties.
Diamond members dedicated support team
Beginning in early June, Diamond Elite members will have access to a dedicated support line to connect with agents who can assist with their travel needs. Diamond Elite members can access the support line through their IHG One Rewards account in either the IHG app or website.
Platinum and Diamond members eligible for exclusive reward night discounts
Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members can stretch their points further with exclusive access to discount promotions on Reward Nights, or nights they book with IHG One Rewards points, subject to eligibility.
Platinum members eligible for early check-in, in addition to Diamonds
Beginning in early June, if Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members request to check in early, hotels will do their best to have the rooms ready, subject to availability. And all members will be able to request a late check-out up to 2:00 PM, also subject to availability.
Elite Rollover Nights to Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members
Elite Rollover Nights are a way for our Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members to earn Elite status faster. Platinum Elite, Diamond Elite and, beginning in early June, Gold Elite members can earn status faster by rolling extra Qualifying Nights over to the next year.
Platinum and Diamond members should see more complimentary suite upgrades in the future, as IHG intends to more clearly communicate this benefit to members in the future and track how well properties are following up;
“Hotel teams should make every effort to upgrade these members to suites if available, before their arrival.“
IHG is retiring Gold member welcome amenity choice in June and Spire Choice Benefit (25,000 bonus points) on April 13.
IHG One Rewards App
IHG is launching a new and updated app in the coming weeks.
IHG One Rewards introduces World of Hyatt style Milestone Rewards, allowing program members to choose their preferred rewards type every 10 consumed nights starting at 20 and ending at 100.
Rollover nights won’t count towards the Milestone Rewards, and you must choose one of the options within 90 days it becomes available, or you forfeit it.
Food & Beverage Rewards
Each Food & Beverage Reward is worth $20 and must use used during a stay. You can use more than one at a time, and the expense is removed from your folio. However, you cannot use them at Holiday Inn Club Vacation, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and InterContinental Alliance resorts.
Confirmable Suite Upgrade
Members can use the suite upgrade to upgrade a stay of up to five nights, and the upgrade must be applied by contacting the IHG One Rewards from 14 days to 1 day before the stay. The upgrade is to a standard type suite, but a premium room can also be confirmed in case of a suite is not available.
IHG intends to offer a digital option rather than calling customer service in the future.
Annual Lounge Membership
Members can choose Annual Lounge Membership at 40 or 70 nights, and it is valid for the rest of the year and the following year, i.e., you choose it in June 2022; it is valid until December 31, 2023.
Bonus Choices at 40 & & 70 Nights
IHG One Rewards members can choose TWO options at 40 and 70 nights. Members can choose the F&B or bonus points options twice, but the suite upgrades and lounge option only once at each milestone.
Here are my preferred Milestone Rewards Options:
I would choose the confirmable suite for 20, 40, and 70 nights (two at 70). Each is valid for up to 5 nights, so 20 total.
The most valuable of all the options is the Annual Lounge Membership; you can choose at 40 or 70 nights.
Whether you prefer bonus points or Food & Beverage credits is a personal choice.
Suite Upgrades and Annual Lounge Membership options don’t have value for those that only stay at IHG’s select-service brands. These are most valuable at Kimpton, InterContinental, Regent, and Six Senses hotels.
It is unclear how the Milestone Rewards choice is structured. The lounge access is valid for the year when it was chosen + the following, and you have 90 days after you have reached it to make a choice.
You can theoretically make the 40 or 70-night choice, if earned in October or later, on January 1, and then it is valid for 24 months. This cannot be something that IHG intended.
InterContinental Ambassador, Royal Ambassador & Kimpton Inner Circle Programs
The paid Ambassador program and complimentary Kimpton Inner Circle programs are not changing.
However, you have to question why anyone would sign up and pay for the Ambassador program if they stay enough with IHG to reach Platinum or Diamond status and reach a minimum of 40 nights and get an annual lounge option?
You can choose suite upgrades and lounge access as your Milestone Reward options.
UPDATE: IHG Has Now Issued The Following Statement:
IHG Hotels & Resorts Introduces IHG One Rewards
The industry’s first loyalty program reinvents itself – empowering members with more choice, value, and richer rewards than ever before
The travel industry is roaring back to life.
From epic summer vacations to much-needed family reunions, people are making up for lost time and memories. IHG Hotels & Resorts is here for it – debuting a new global loyalty program: IHG One Rewards, as it welcomes guests to the next chapter of travel.
With nearly 6,000 hotels in over 100 countries, IHG Hotels & Resorts has been hard at work while the world was on hold – building its portfolio, repositioning itself in the industry with exciting new brands and partnerships, investing significantly, and taking loyalty to new heights. Today, as travelers pack their bags, dreaming of their vacations or the satisfaction of successful business trips, IHG is launching a best-in-class loyalty program, IHG One Rewards, which is centered around its guests – giving them richer benefits, more ways to earn, and newly enhanced credit cards, all powered by leading technology on its new mobile app.
The reimagined program connects IHG One Rewards members to IHG Hotels & Resorts’ growing portfolio of 17 brands, including one of the largest Luxury & Lifestyle collections in the world.
The launch of IHG One Rewards follows the announcement in January 2022 of the program’s new tier and bonus point earning structure – designed to help members earn more points faster and have more ways to use them.
IHG One Rewards will offer industry-leading value and relevant benefits for members to enhance their stays. Highlights of the program include:
- Faster Earn: A new tier and bonus point earning structure will allow members to earn more points faster and gain rewards sooner. The new tier and bonus point earning structure starts on April 13, 2022 and will be reflected in all member accounts on or before April 17, 2022.
- Richer Benefits: Further enhancements and member benefits include:
- Free Breakfast for Diamond Elite members as a Welcome Amenity choice
- Exclusive access to Reward Night Discount Promotions for Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members
- More opportunities for Elite members to receive early check-in, late check-out (if available) and room upgrades (to suites, if available, or another premium room type for Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members)
- Exceptional Choice: Recognizing that not all members want to use their points in the same way, IHG One Rewards marks the introduction of Milestone Rewards – a new, technology-enabled platform that will allow members to choose the rewards that matter most to them. Starting at just 20 nights stayed, members will be offered a choice from a selection of rewards every 10 nights, through 100 nights stayed. These Milestone Rewards choices include points, $20 F&B Rewards, Confirmable Suite Upgrades and Annual Lounge Membership.
In addition, on March 24, 2022, Chase and IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of IHG® Rewards Premier Business Mastercard®, designed to help small business owners turn everyday expenses into meaningful travel rewards, and activated new and enhanced benefits across the IHG® Rewards Traveler and Premier Consumer Mastercard® products. All three cards feature benefits allowing cardmembers to earn points faster than ever before, simplified pathways to IHG One Reward’s new Elite tiers and optimized ways to use points. This includes the new industry-leading ability for Premier and Premier Business cardmembers to add unlimited points to Anniversary Free Night certificates, increasing the flexibility of where the Anniversary Free Night certificates can be used across IHG Hotels & Resorts’ growing global brand portfolio.
In the coming weeks, IHG Hotels & Resorts will also roll out the new IHG One Rewards mobile app, which will power IHG One Rewards and put the loyalty experience in the palm of guests’ hands. The app is a key element to IHG One Rewards and sets a foundation for future growth. The new, modern experience is more personalized, offers streamlined booking and allows members to stay informed, check-in faster, stay connected to the hotel and travel with flexibility. IHG One Rewards members will be prompted to update their app on their device either through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
At its core, IHG One Rewards is about real people taking care of real people, championing individuality and rewarding guests in a way that works for them. The new brand includes a redesigned logo featuring a singular “One” icon. The “One” in IHG One Rewards is a nod to the long-term values of our new program – “One You” – a celebration of individuality and “One Future” – our commitment to make a positive impact for our people, our communities and our planet.
Claire Bennett, Global Chief Customer Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “
This is one of the largest and most comprehensive investments that IHG Hotels & Resorts has made in recent years. It’s also the biggest development we’ve made in the loyalty space since introducing the industry’s first loyalty program. We’re truly transforming guest experiences by giving our loyalty members more of what they want, more value and exciting benefits individually delivered via new technology with our new mobile app.
Built on feedback from our guests, hotel teams and owners, IHG One Rewards has a fresh look and feel and puts guests in control of their journey. It recognizes that no two members are the same and celebrates it – allowing guests to travel, and mark milestones, their own way. Every day, we welcome more guests to our hotels, and while a love of travel is universal, the reasons and ways people travel differ. With IHG One Rewards, our members can create the rewards that are right for them.”
Existing member stays from January 1, 2022 will count toward their new-and-improved status. The new tier and bonus point earning structure starts on April 13, 2022 and will be reflected in all member accounts by April 17, 2022. All member benefits – including the launch of Milestone Rewards – will become available for members in early June 2022.
I have, for a long time, said that IHG Rewards is not competitive with Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, or even Accor Live Limitless with its lack of elite member benefits for top tier members, such as suite upgrades, lounge access, and breakfast.
It has been good as an earning and burning program for members that stay at limited or select-service properties.
This has now been fixed.
IHG has been quite clever that you must have at least 40 qualifying nights before you are eligible for lounge access, even if you reach the Diamond status in spend.
This structure rewards both consumed nights and spending cash.
If you choose the Confirmable Suite Upgrades at every possible step (70 nights gives you two), you can confirm an upgrade to a suite for up to 20 nights. This is a very valuable benefit at InterContinental hotels when you combine it with the lounge access option at 40 nights.
IHG also stresses to properties that they ought to upgrade Platinum and Diamond members to suites, and compliance is enforced. To what extent, is unclear.
But, as I pointed out above, what is the purpose of the paid Ambassador program after these changes?
It can still make sense for an infrequent guest that cannot reach the Platinum tier with its upgrades to suites and premium rooms that is way more than one category from the booked room type that this paid program offers.
These changes make the program again competitive for me, and I will stay at IHG affiliated hotels more in 2022 (at least enough to requalify for a Diamond).
Where IHG still lacks Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt, is the lifetime top tier status that rewards long-term loyalty.
You must question the motive behind these frequent loyalty program name changes: Priority Club, IHG Rewards Club, IHG Rewards, and now IHG One Rewards. You should choose one and stick with it rather than tinker every couple of years.
What do you think of these benefits changes? Please leave a comment below.
IHG FAQ of these changes: