Guide To IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite Status

Guide To IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite Status

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We recently saw IHG revamp its loyalty program, with the introduction of IHG One Rewards. I’d argue that the new program represents a significant improvement over the old program, thanks to the new benefits that have been introduced.

In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at the benefits of IHG One Rewards Platinum status, which is the program’s upper mid-tier status (I separately wrote a guide for IHG One Rewards Diamond status). How do you earn the status, what are the benefits of being a member, and is it worth it?

How to earn IHG One Rewards Platinum status

There are several ways to earn IHG One Rewards Platinum status — you can earn it based on the number of nights you stay, you can earn it based on how much qualifying spending you have at IHG properties, or you can earn it by having a co-branded credit card.

Earning IHG Platinum status with hotel stays

IHG One Rewards Platinum status can be earned either based on the number of nights you stay or the number of qualifying points you earn, as follows:

  • Stay 40 qualifying nights in a calendar year; even award nights count toward that total
  • Earn 60,000 qualifying points in a calendar year; you ordinarily earn 10x base points per dollar spent, so you’d earn that after spending $6,000 at most IHG brands
IHG One Rewards elite requirements

Through July 31, 2022, IHG One Rewards is offering a status match challenge. You can receive Platinum status just for enrolling, and then you can maintain status all the way through December 2023 based on how many nights you stay within 120 days — Platinum status requires five nights, while Diamond status requires 15 nights.

Earning IHG Platinum status with credit cards

IHG has three co-branded credit cards, and two of them offer Platinum status just for being a cardmember. This includes the following two cards:

There’s no spending requirement, but rather this benefit applies for as long as you keep one of these cards open. Given all the awesome perks these cards offer, plus their low annual fees of under $100, this could be an excellent reason to pick up an IHG card.

Get IHG Platinum status just for having a credit card

IHG One Rewards Platinum status benefits

With the requirements to earn status out of the way, what are the benefits of IHG One Rewards Platinum status? Below are the benefits and perks, roughly in the order in which I value them (I’m putting Milestone Rewards at the end, because the value is so dependent on how much you stay and how you earn your status).

60% IHG bonus points

IHG Platinum status offers a 60% points bonus on all eligible stays. Since you ordinarily earn 10x IHG points per dollar spent at most IHG brands, you’d earn an extra 6x points per dollar spent, which will make your points add up quickly. This is in addition to any points earned through IHG promotions.

Room upgrades (subject to availability)

IHG Platinum members are entitled to room upgrades, subject to availability at check-in:

  • Upgrades are offered up to standard suites, though this is at the hotel’s discretion; that’s to say that a hotel doesn’t have to make a suite available for an upgrade, even if it’s empty
  • In the past many IHG properties weren’t great about proactive upgrades, though since the relaunch of the program, properties have been retrained with offering proactive upgrades, including some hotels even upgrading up to 48 hours before arrival

Personally I wouldn’t count on a suite upgrade as a Platinum member, though hopefully you receive some sort of an upgrade if there’s availability. No matter what, it can’t hurt to ask at check-in.

Welcome amenity at check-in

IHG Platinum members are entitled to a welcome amenity at check-in. This could include bonus points or a drink or snack, though the exact details will vary by brand, region, etc. Don’t get too excited, this will probably be worth $10 at most.

Reward night discounts

With the relaunch of the program, it’s being promised that IHG Platinum members will get access to award night discount promotions several times per year. There’s no specific timeline with which this happens, but we’re told to expect it multiple times per year.

Early check-in & late check-out (subject to availability)

IHG Platinum members receive early check-in (no exact cutoff specified) and late check-out (as late as 2PM). The catch is that this is subject to availability, so it isn’t guaranteed as it is with some other hotel groups. Don’t count on this being granted, though it’s something you can definitely ask for.

Guaranteed room availability

IHG Platinum members get guaranteed room night availability when booking at least 72 hours in advance. This could come in handy if you’re trying to book at a sold out hotel, but expect that you’ll pay a very high rate for this privilege.

The main issue is that this benefit doesn’t apply “during special events that result in extraordinary room demand, as determined solely by the hotel.” That would typically be the time when something like this would be most valuable.

Access to Milestone Rewards program

Arguably the most exciting aspect of the new IHG One Rewards program is Milestone Rewards, which is only somewhat tied to elite status. With Milestone Rewards, members can be rewarded for every 10 elite nights they earn in a calendar year, starting at 20 elite nights and all the way up to 100 elite nights. Potential rewards include confirmed suite upgrades, club lounge passes, food & beverage vouchers, and more.

At 20 elite nights, IHG members can choose one of the following:

  • 5,000 bonus IHG points
  • Two food & beverage rewards worth $20 each
  • A confirmable suite upgrade

At 30 elite nights, IHG members can choose one of the following:

  • 5,000 bonus IHG points
  • Two food & beverage rewards worth $20 each

At 40 elite nights, IHG members can choose two of the following:

  • 10,000 bonus IHG points
  • Five food & beverage rewards worth $20 each
  • A confirmable suite upgrade (limit one)
  • An annual lounge membership (limit one)

At both 50 and 60 elite nights, IHG members can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 bonus IHG points
  • Five food & beverage rewards worth $20 each

At 60 elite nights, IHG members can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 bonus IHG points
  • Five food & beverage rewards worth $20 each

At 70 elite nights, IHG members can choose two of the following:

  • 10,000 bonus IHG points
  • Five food & beverage rewards worth $20 each
  • A confirmable suite upgrade (limit one)
  • An annual lounge membership (limit one)

At 80, 90, and 100 elite nights, IHG members can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 bonus IHG points
  • Five food & beverage rewards worth $20 each

These are almost without a doubt the most valuable elite perks offered by IHG One Rewards. Confirmed suite upgrades can each be used for a stay of up to five nights, while an annual lounge membership gets you club lounge access for an entire year.

Get club lounge access at 40 elite nights

Is IHG One Rewards Platinum status worth it?

As far as mid and upper tier hotel status goes, I think that IHG Platinum status is still among the weakest out there, at least if you take out Milestone Rewards. There’s no guaranteed late check-out, no free breakfast, and hotels have a lot of discretion with upgrades.

The value of the program really starts to increase if you earn Milestone Rewards, since you can already earn a confirmed suite upgrade after just 20 elite nights in a year. For example, if you earn 40 elite nights in a year, you’d receive club lounge access for the entire year, plus two confirmed suite upgrade. That’s huge value right there.

If you stay at IHG properties with any frequencies, then earning IHG Platinum status with the IHG Premier Card or IHG Premier Business Card makes perfect sense, as these cards are well worth it for the anniversary free night certificates alone.

But I think there are some other compelling options out there — if you’re actually pursuing status through nights, I might consider Marriott Bonvoy Platinum or World of Hyatt Globalist. Top tier Hilton Honors Diamond is also worth considering, since you can get that status simply for having the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express (review).

IHG Platinum members may receive room upgrades

Bottom line

IHG has just revamped its loyalty program with the IHG One Rewards program. Platinum status is probably the most popular status with the program, as it’s offered as a perk of the IHG Premier Card and IHG Premier Business Card, and there’s also a status match challenge available right now.

IHG Platinum status is better than nothing, and offers 60% bonus points, room upgrades, and a welcome amenity. Unfortunately it lacks some of the guaranteed perks that you get with some other programs, but the new Milestone Rewards program is a great improvement in that regard.

If you’re an IHG One Rewards Platinum member, what has your experience been like since the program refresh?

Conversations (9)
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  1. Jen Guest

    It was a poor program and still is.

  2. HereComesTheSun Guest

    If I book 2 rooms for the same night and have Platinum status, would I potentially get both rooms upgraded or just one?

    1. polarbear Member

      If it is in the US, then likely none.
      Had the card for 3 years and never been upgraded in the US. Europe and Asia are different story though...

      And welcome amenity has always been 600 points for me ($3 by Lucky's valuation), anywhere in the world.

  3. Jaded platinum Guest

    What is the point of earning it this year if everybody who signs up and stays 5 nights gets it?

  4. DCS Diamond

    Thanks Ce la vie Still Pairs well with Hilton Diamond and ability to pick and use the best option.

    There is nothing presented in this post that suggests tha any IHG status "Still Pairs well with Hilton Diamond" status that one gets through the incredible AMEX HH Aspire card...

  5. Bill n DC Gold

    So IHG means two things to me
    2 Free nights through 2 cc for ~$150 a year
    40,000 points a year (I have >160,000) for Ambassador BOGO Weekend stay.
    I know I’m Platinum somehow. You just made it clear how little the ‘rewards’ program is. I appreciate seeing it laid out. Thanks
    Ce la vie
    Still Pairs well with Hilton Diamond and ability to pick and use the best option. Just like my 30 hours at the Marina Bay Sands last week

    1. John Guest

      Anyone knows whether at least $30 in total per night, refers to the room rate only and excluding taxes and fees, or does the $30 refer to the total price after including taxes and fees? Thank you!

  6. Justin Guest

    What does the old IHG card get?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

[email protected] Guest

Also the purchase of Intercontinental Ambassador status gives IHG Platinum status as well

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Jen Guest

It was a poor program and still is.

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John Guest

Anyone knows whether at least $30 in total per night, refers to the room rate only and excluding taxes and fees, or does the $30 refer to the total price after including taxes and fees? Thank you!

0
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