IHG announced its IHG Rewards refresh earlier this year, and then in April, the new name of IHG One Rewards and that the benefits would go live in “early” June.
Nobody knew when this early June would be (15th or earlier, obviously), and IHG still hasn’t communicated about this. However, they have enabled the selection of Milestone Rewards that start at 20 nights.
You can access the IHG One Rewards page for choosing Milestone Rewards here.
READ MORE: IHG One Rewards Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Previous IHG One Rewards Coverage:
IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards:
There is a note on the account page that I could choose a Milestone Reward.
I have already reached 31 nights, but the most recent stay of four nights hasn’t yet been posted. The most logical option for 20 nights is a Suite Upgrade that is valid for a stay of up to five nights.
I have indicated all my preferred options for milestone rewards at each step. You should choose the Annual Lounge Membership at 40 nights, although you can choose it at 70 too (not twice).
There is not much difference between the option of 10,000 points or $100 worth of F&B certificates (5 $20 certificates). I would assume, knowing IHG, that applying these certificates on your folio could be a hassle and easier to just deal with points deposited to your account.
Suite Upgrades & Annual Lounge Membership
There is plenty of small print associated with these Milestone Rewards, and it makes sense to have a deeper dive into the T&Cs of these.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade: Confirmable Suite Upgrades will be applicable for one room upgrade to an entry-level suite or premium room where a suite is not available.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade is valid for 12 months from milestone selection
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade may only be selected once at 40 and 70- night milestone choice
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade can only be applied to stays that are on an eligible rate, e.g., Best Flexible, Member Discount, Government, and select Corporate and package rates
- Not valid on bookings that require advance payment
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade must be redeemed by contacting IHG Customer Care
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade can be made starting 14 days before arrival up to 24hrs before Check-In
- Valid for stays up to a maximum of 5 nights
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade can only be applied to the Member’s room and is non-transferable
- Suite Upgrade is not exchangeable for cash or other type of credit
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade cannot be applied if staying as part of a group, package tour or convention where charges are being paid by a third party
- Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite 72-hour guarantee availability is not applicable
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade will be reinstated to Member’s Rewards Wallet if cancelled in advance of hotel’s cancellation policy timeframe, and original validity dates will apply
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade availability exceptions may apply during special events that result in extraordinary demand, as determined by the hotel
- If a Member uses a Confirmable Suite Upgrade and ‘no-shows’ for their reservation, the Confirmable Suite Upgrade will be forfeited
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade cannot be applied in addition to guaranteed upgrades for Royal Ambassador, Ambassador, and Inner Circle Members
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade is available at all IHG brands, except avid hotels, Atwell Suites, IHG Army Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, InterContinental Alliance Resorts (Las Vegas and Macau) and Six Senses Hotels Resort Spas
- Suite inventory is limited at some properties; where suite inventory is limited, premium rooms will be offered if available.
Call IHG Customer Care to upgrade your room between 14 days and 24 hours prior to check-in, subject to availability and rate eligibility.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade expires 365 days from date of issuance.
How it works
- Confirmable Suite Upgrades can only be applied to entry level suites.
- Pick your intended destination and stay dates (up to 5 nights).
- Make a reservation with our Best Flex Rate.
- If you’d like to use a different rate, review our Terms & Conditions or call IHG Customer Care to make sure the rate is eligible for upgrade.
- 14 days before your stay, locate your Confirmable Suite Upgrade in your Rewards Wallet.
- Click “Redeem” to get the IHG Customer Care number for your region and call.
- IHG Customer Care will help you apply your upgrade, subject to suite availability.
- Once your upgrade is confirmed, that’s it! Enjoy your stay.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrades are only valid for one room and stays up to a maximum of 5 nights.
- Upgrades must be confirmed by calling IHG Customer Care. You can make a reservation online or via the IHG One Rewards app, and then call IHG Customer Care within the upgrade window to confirm your upgrade. Or IHG Customer Care can help you book and upgrade at the same time to ensure that your rate is eligible to be upgraded.
- You can call IHG Customer Care 14 days before your stay to confirm the upgrade. The sooner you call, the more likely we’ll have a suite available.
- Call no less than 24 hours before the participating hotel’s check-in time. Any later, and we cannot process your upgrade in time for the hotel to receive it.
- If you cancel in advance of the hotel’s cancellation policy timeframe, your upgrade will be returned to your Rewards Wallet within 5 business days.
- If you call more than 14 days before your intended stay, IHG Customer Care will go ahead and help you book a standard room on an eligible rate, but you’ll still have to call within the allotted window to confirm your upgrade.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrades only apply to certain room types and booking rates.
- The upgrade may only be applied to the Member’s guest room and may not be used for multiple rooms, multiple reservations, or shared rooms.
- An upgrade is for Member use only and cannot be gifted or transferred.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrades cannot be applied within 24 hours prior to the participating hotel’s check-in time.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrade Rewards are not guaranteed even with a Confirmable Suite Upgrade rate booking, and are not guaranteed until confirmed with IHG Customer Care.
- Confirmable Suite Upgrades can only be redeemed at participating IHG® Hotels & Resorts. Please see the IHG One Rewards Membership Terms & Conditions for full benefit details.
Each Suite Upgrade award is valid for up to five nights and cannot be applied to a prepaid stay (must be flexible rate). Also, you cannot use it more than 14 days before the stay, and you must apply it a minimum of a day before. You can only process the upgrade by contacting IHG One Rewards customer care.
Hotels can obviously game the system by assigning a tiny number of suites to their “entry” level category (all others premium). Also, what are these “premium” rooms? Often there is nothing premium in them beyond “premium” in the name.
You can use them for stays at Six Senses hotels.
Annual Lounge Membership
- Annual Lounge Membership: Lounge Membership provides access to the hotel’s Club Lounge and offered amenities within the physical space (e.g., library, meeting room, and business station) for the registered Member plus one additional guest (the additional guest does not need to be staying at the hotel) for the duration of their stay or until time of Check-Out.
- Once Annual Lounge Membership is chosen it will be valid to the end of the year plus an additional 12 months (E.g., Annual Lounge Membership Milestone choice selected June 2022 will be valid until December 31, 2023)
- Annual Lounge Membership rewards do not accumulate. Member only needs to select Annual Lounge Membership once (at either the 40-night or 70-night Milestone) to maximize value for the Member and enjoy it through the end of year plus 12 months.
- Lounge Food & Beverage offerings and additional amenities vary by region and by hotel
- Annual Lounge Membership is available at IHG properties with a Club Lounge unless restricted due to renovations, closures, or other facility limitations
- Annual Lounge Membership does not include Club REGENT or Club InterContinental amenities or services beyond the physical lounge, e.g., free pressing, farewell amenity, airport transportation, etc.
- Annual Lounge Membership available on Qualified Stays only
Annual Lounge Membership
You and one guest will enjoy exclusive Club Lounge access during your stays at participating hotels.
- For you and 1 guest
- Once selected, Lounge Membership reward is valid for the rest of this calendar year, plus an additional 12 months thereafter
How it works
- Your Annual Lounge Membership reward will be in your Rewards Wallet, accessible via the IHG One Rewards app or website.
- At check-in, show the front desk your Annual Lounge Membership reward.
- Club Lounge access will be added to your room key or you will be provided with other access instructions.
- Download the IHG One Rewards app to easily show your Annual Lounge Membership reward at the front desk.
- Your Club Lounge access only applies to you and one guest for the duration of your stay or until time of check-out.
- Club Lounge access is not available at all properties.
- Prior to expiration, there is no limit to the number of times you can use your Annual Lounge Membership reward.
- Club Lounge access is only provided to hotel guests and expires at check-out.
- Club Lounge access can be restricted due to renovations, closures, or other facility limitations.
- Club Lounge food & beverage offering and additional amenities vary by region and hotel.
- Club Lounge access does not include Club REGENT or Club InterContinental amenities or services beyond the physical lounge.
- Lounge Membership reward can only be used at participating IHG® Hotels & Resorts. Please see the IHG One Rewards Membership Terms & Conditions for full benefit details.
So, these hotels don’t actually know that you are eligible for lounge access, but you need to show that you have redeemed the award and that it is active in your account? Doesn’t make much sense.
Remember that these Milestone Rewards are separate from status benefits:
Suite Upgrades and Annual Lounge Memberships can be very valuable IF you stay at luxury IHG affiliated hotels (think of InterContinental and higher), and if those properties don’t play games with suite availability and lounge access.
You cannot get a confirmable suite (they also state premium rooms) or even a club lounge access if a property deems that they are, i.e., at or over lounge capacity.
Overall, I believe that these changes are very favorable for us, but we just need to identify and avoid properties that inevitably try to exclude themselves from these.