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IHG Hotels: New and improved member benefits

To the point IHG Hotels & Resorts is enhancing its loyalty program for members. Here are the highlights of these changes.

New name - IHG One Rewards

The IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group) portfolio comprises 6,000 hotels and 17 brands worldwide including:

  • InterContinental
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express
  • Kimpton
  • Staybridge Suites and Candlewood

Formerly called IHG Rewards, the loyalty program will now be IHG One Rewards beginning in early June 2022. The exact date is to be confirmed.

One rewards IHG

New membership levels

The names of the five different levels of membership will be changed. They will now be :

  • Club
  • Silver Elite
  • Gold Elite
  • Platinum Elite
  • Diamond Elite

You can reach them with a number of nights OR by earning points.

For example, to be Gold Elite, you must have stayed 20 nights or earned 40,000 qualifying points per calendar year.

Eligible points include points received for hotel stays, but do not include points earned through promotions or bonuses earned through Elite status.

IHG Eligibility status

Members earn ten (10) points per U.S. dollar at most IHG hotels and five (5) points per U.S. dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. This will not change.

What will change from now on is that, depending on their status, they can have from 20% to 100% bonus points. Previously, it was between 10% and 100%.

IHG table new levels

Summary of the changes

The changes affect Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members in particular.

The Platinum Elite will have:

  • Reward Night discounts (20% points discount on reservations made with points at certain times of the year)
  • Welcome Amenity at Check-In (extra points or a drink/snack upon arrival)

Diamond Elites will have:

  • Reward Night discounts (20% points discount on reservations made with points at certain times of the year)
  • Welcome Amenity at Check-In (extra points or a drink/snack or free breakfast upon arrival)
  • Dedicated Diamond Support (high level of customer service specifically for Diamond Elite)

Then, subject to availability, all members will have access to a late check-out at 2:00 pm.

Holiday Inn Belfast

Milestone Rewards

Another form of reward will be given to members to celebrate each milestone and encourage them to stay at IHG hotels again and again. For example, with 20 or more nights in a calendar year, members will be able to choose one reward for every ten nights.

They may decide to receive:

  • Additional points
  • Food & Beverage Rewards ($20 USD credit = $25 CAD)
  • Upgrade (valid for a stay of up to 5 nights)
  • Annual Lounge Memberships (access to the Club lounge of a hotel that has one, valid until the end of the year + the following calendar year)

According to our evaluation, 5,000 IHG points are equivalent to $35.

Number of nights Choice to be made between :
20 nights
  • 5,000 points
  • Two Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 1 suite upgrade
30 nights
  • 5,000 points
  • Two Food & Beverage Rewards
40 nights

2 choices to be made among the following:

  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 1 upgrade
  • Annual Lounge Membership
50 nights
  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards
60 nights
  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards
70 nights

2 choices to be made among the following:

  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards
  • Two Suite Upgrades
  • Annual Lounge Membership
80 nights
  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards
90 nights
  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards
100 nights
  • 10,000 points
  • Five Food & Beverage Rewards

Interestingly, access to the IHG Hotel Club lounge starts at 40 nights if you choose this option.

In addition, IHG introduced the concept of complimentary breakfast for its highest level, which it did not previously offer.

As for upgrades, it can be a hassle to call customer service to use them, but having it confirmed immediately over the phone is a great compromise.

Mainly because you can use a single upgrade for a stay of up to 5 nights!

IHG Breakfast

Conclusion

Looking at all of these changes made by IHG, they are improvements, not hidden devaluations.

Unfortunately, there is no IHG credit card in Canada to earn points or achieve Elite status faster.

IHG sometimes runs promotions to buy points.

For now, the best way to lower an IHG hotel bill would be to use points from specific travel credit cards.

Like the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard®, the American Express Cobalt® Card or the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® .

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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