IHG Rewards Announces Big Refresh + How to Fast Track Towards Platinum Status

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IHG Rewards New Elite Tier & Fast Track
Hotel Indigo Baltimore. Photo courtesy IHG.

This post is sponsored by IHG Hotels & Resorts

IHG Rewards New Elite Tier & Fast Track

IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced the first set of many changes to be introduced in the coming months to its IHG Rewards loyalty program. The company has made big investments in transforming itself for the future with new brands (they have 17!) and new experiences, and now they are turning to transforming their loyalty program with an all new IHG Rewards.

As part of the announced changes a new elite tier and bonus points earning structure are coming along with an opportunity to fast track towards Platinum elite status. Let’s take a look.

New IHG Rewards Tiers & Bonus Earning Structure

IHG has said the motivation for the new IHG Rewards is to evolve to meet the changing needs of their current and future members. Beginning in March, IHG Rewards will be making some changes to how elite status works within their program. Specifically here are the changes that have been announced:

  • Brand new Gold Elite tier – A new mid-tier elite status starting at 20 nights. Features an industry-leading 40% bonus point structure
  • ‘Spire Elite’ is changing to ‘Diamond Elite’ – This status retains its “best-in-class” 100% bonus point structure, but gets a new name that fits in better with the other tiers
  • Earn more bonus points –  Improvements to bonus points earning have been made across all tiers

Find the full details of the announced changes here

 

Source: IHG Rewards

IHG Rewards Transition – How It Will Work

While these changes will not go live until March, the company is making it easy to both earn for the new program while retaining status from the old one. Here is how things will work until the full launch in March.

  • Qualifying stays beginning January 1, 2022 will count towards the new status for when the program launches
  • IHG Rewards members will keep their current status through February, 2023
  • The reduction of current tier criteria has been extended through March, 2022

IHG Rewards – More Changes to Come

There is still a ton that we don’t know about the changes coming to IHG Rewards, but the focus seems to be on building a more robust loyalty program to go with their fast growing list of properties and brands. Even if we don’t know everything, IHG has hinted at what we might expect with the new program.

Stay tuned for the official launch of the new IHG Rewards program in a few months. You’ll hear more about our new benefits and all the updated ways to earn and redeem. And when it comes to picking perks, the choice is all yours. Get ready for a loyalty program that rewards you for being you.  

Lately we’ve seen loyalty programs work hard to differentiate themselves with unique perks and increased ways to earn & redeem points. Heather Balsley VP, Global Loyalty and Partnerships for IHG told me their goal with this refresh is to make elite status more compelling while also becoming more flexible in addressing the different market segments that frequent their properties. This is the main reason you see the addition of a new mid-tier status.

Over the past few years IHG has also refreshed their brand portfolio with the addition of several new brands along with the refresh of several others. This should help them cater to a wider range of customers while addressing the evolving needs of modern travelers in 2022 and beyond.

IHG Rewards New Elite Tier & Fast Track
Intercontinental Hong Kong (now Regent Hong Kong).

IHG Rewards Platinum Fast Track

For many years I held the IHG Rewards credit card and still enjoy the Platinum status I received as a benefit of having it. Platinum elite status is the second highest tier just below Spire (changing to Diamond Elite in March) and it provides benefits including potential room upgrades and extended checkout.

Over the years I have had some nice unexpected perks from being Platinum (like the $15 mini-bar credit I received at IC Times Square), but my biggest “win” was at Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi where the status got me a 6pm checkout and a suite several years ago. Most of the time the upgrades have been more modest, but I’ve found the status useful many times.

How to earn Platinum status with only 5 nights 

Alongside the announcement of the changes to IHG Rewards, the company also has a nice promotion that can allow you to earn status very quickly. Specifically you can earn Platinum status with only 5 nights stayed. Here is how it works:

  • Stay 5 nights within 90 days of registration to earn Platinum Elite status until December, 2023

In order to be eligible for this fast track you will need to register for the promotion, so don’t forget that important step. Once registered you simply need to spend 5 nights at an IHG property within 90 days to earn Platinum status through the end of 2023!

IHG Rewards Platinum Fast Track Registration & Full Terms

IHG Rewards Unlimited Double Points Promotion

In addition to the fast track and all of the other changes mentioned above, IHG Rewards has also released a new double points promotion. Beginning February 1, 2022 through the end of March, members will receive double points on every qualifying stay. Points earned will be Elite Qualifying and count towards earning status. Find the full details and register here.

Kimpton Inner Circle & InterContinental Ambassador  – What Will Happen?

IHG is unique in that they have several different loyalty programs under the company’s banner. While IHG Rewards members will continue to have access to all 17 of their brands, supplemental programs like InterContinental Ambassador, Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle will remain in place with no changes.

IHG Rewards New Elite Tier & Fast Track – Bottom Line

IHG Rewards is in the middle of a big refresh which promises to bring new ways to earn and redeem points along with enhanced elite status tiers and a lot more. As of now we don’t know all of the details, but it’s good to see them focusing on keeping the program relevant. If you don’t currently have IHG Rewards status the Platinum fast track is worth a look as well.

Shawn Coomerhttps://milestomemories.com/
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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