Update: All members’ program status will be automatically extended through January 2022. Spire Elite members will be able to select a Choice benefit of 25,000 bonus points or gifting of Platinum status to someone.
While airline and hotel elite status is hardly the most important topic at this point, I have to give IHG Rewards Club status for what they just announced…
I believe loyalty programs will lower elite requirements
As I wrote about last week, I strongly believe that most major airline and hotel loyalty programs will lower elite requirements or offer some sort of concessions for 2020.
To me the question isn’t if they’ll offer something, but rather what they’ll offer and when they’ll offer it.
It’s the right thing to do for business, because travel is way down. I feel like some loyalty program executives are in denial about this, though in the end will come to their senses. As I view it, there are two best ways to go about it:
- Either loyalty programs should already announce some sort of reduced requirements now, noting that requirements may be further reduced depending on how things evolve
- Otherwise they should note that they plan on offering something, but are monitoring the situation to see how it evolves
The point is, programs should be sending the message to members that they realize times are tough and that people can’t travel as much as previously.
Personally I think the only wrong thing for loyalty program executives to be saying right now is that they’re not planning on changing anything this year when it comes to elite requirements. At that point they’re better off saying nothing.
IHG Rewards Club lowers elite requirements
IHG Rewards Club has today announced that they plan on lowering elite requirements for 2020.
As it’s described, “with more constrained travel plans and a shorter time period during which members can earn elite tier status,” IHG is reducing requirements for elite status by at least 25%.
Here’s a chart showing the modified 2020 elite requirements:
As the note goes on to explain:
We know that many of you are now thinking about how to manage your loyalty activity this year and we are committed to supporting you to do that. You are our most loyal guests and we want to give you more reasons to get away and stay with us – when the time is right for you.
This is a brilliant approach
I think IHG’s approach here is exactly the approach loyalty programs should be taking. I think it’s absolutely reasonable to expect elite requirements will be reduced by at least a quarter, and it’s nice to announce that now, to show members that loyalty is a two way street.
Then based on how things evolve, further reductions could be announced.
While I appreciate the concept behind this, the big catch here is that IHG Rewards Club status is the least valuable of any major hotel group…
Well done, IHG Rewards Club. I’d like to see other loyalty programs make similar announcements — I think this is a reasonable approach to take. Realistically loyalty programs will have to reduce requirements this year, and I think a reduction of requirements by at least a quarter should be a given.
Given that, I think it’s a nice, proactive gesture to say now “hey, we got your back, and we’re reducing requirements by at least a quarter, and will continue to monitor the situation.”