IHG Offering Limited Time Status Challenge

Filed Under: IHG Rewards
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While some hotel programs are aggressive about offering status challenges (like Hilton Honors), IHG Rewards Cub is generally pretty stingy in this regard. That’s surprising, since the program isn’t that rewarding, and also because they make it easy to earn status with their co-branded credit card, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

In mid-June I wrote about how for a limited time, IHG Rewards Club is offering a status challenge all the way up to their Spire Elite tier. This is their first publicly available status challenge opportunity in a long time.

At the time the challenge was only supposed to be valid through June 30, 2019, though the expiration has now been extended through July 26, 2019. So if you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to take advantage of the challenge.

This promotion is only open to IHG Rewards Club members with accounts registered in the United States and United Kingdom who register by July 26, 2019.

You’ll need to provide your name, email address, IHG Rewards Club status, and proof of status with a competing hotel group (which includes AccorHotels, Best Western, Caesars Entertainment, Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, NH Hotel Group, Radisson, and Wyndham).

You’ll be awarded status once your status challenge is approved, and that will be valid for 90 days. Then you’ll have 90 days to complete the qualifying stays needed to maintain Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, or Spire Elite status, through December 31, 2020. Specifically, you’ll need to stay:

  • Two nights to maintain Gold Elite status
  • Five nights to maintain Platinum Elite status
  • Ten nights to maintain Spire Elite status

While there’s no maximum number of people who can take advantage of the Gold Elite or Platinum Elite challenge, the Spire Elite challenge is limited to 2,500 people.

There are aspects of this promotion that don’t make total sense to me:

  • It doesn’t specify who is eligible for a Spire Elite challenge, who is eligible for a Platinum Elite challenge, etc.; I’d assume that they’ll give top tier elites a Spire challenge, mid-tier elites a Platinum challenge, and entry level elites a Gold challenge, but I could be wrong
  • The terms are a bit ambiguous, but it seems you could do a Spire challenge, and then if you complete just five nights during the promotion period you’d get Platinum status through December 2020

All things considered IHG Rewards Club has very weak benefits, as they don’t offer complimentary breakfast, and don’t really offer any other guaranteed benefits aside from bonus points.

Personally I’m very happy with the IHG Rewards Club Platinum status that I receive just for having the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Though I realize not everyone has access to the credit card, and also that some people might get value from Spire Elite.

Bottom line

While IHG Rewards Club is far from my favorite hotel loyalty program, it’s still noteworthy that they’re offering a readily available status challenge for those in the US and UK, since they usually don’t.

This could be an easy way to earn Spire Elite status, compared to their usual 75 night per year requirement, which is ridiculous given how lackluster the program is.

As of now this challenge seems to be limited time, though given that they’re already extended it, it’s possible that they intend to make this an ongoing offer.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this IHG status challenge promotion?

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  1. While I agree that IHG elite benefits are not that exciting, I did get a room upgrade and 2 free draft beers at the IC Madrid last month just for being platinum. It was on a free night for having the $49 annual free credit card.
    Not bad.

  2. You don’t *really* need 75 nights to get to Spire. If your stays are anywhere in the developed world, you’ll hit 75,000 base points way before you get to 75 nights.

    As a Spire elite I can say that while some things are frustrating, especially the lack of free breakfast, the reality on the ground is a bit better than the T&Cs would suggest.

  3. I was Spire elite. Most hotels told me that they treated Spires and Platinums the same. Not impressed at all.

  4. Ben I have a confusion. I transferred 40K points to my *NEW* IHG account I had created minutes before transferring, to book at stay at Crowne Plaza Changi. Second points come though, boom. Platinum Elite status. Bear in mind I created my IHG account 10 minute prior. I thought it was a bug but here I am a month later and I still have IHG platinum. Is this how this works with IHG? I’ve never seen this before

  5. No. To answer your question

    I’ve got both cards so Platinum plus IC Ambassador using points to renew

    Status not worth much especially with no recognition on award stays – why I use points for my Ambassador with upgrades and weekend BOGO

    Still looking forward to LA B-Day Get Away at new LA DT Intercontinental

  6. The new Downtown Los Angeles IC charges $50/nt for parking and $20/nt resort fee, so even if you think you have a free night, it’ll still be $70+tax.

  7. I have no interest in this promo. I keep IHG Ambassador including Platinum because of one hotel: The Intercontinental Resort in Pattaya, Thailand which I learned to love when it was a Sheraton property. Otherwise, I’m covered with Lifetime Titanium and Hilton Diamond.

  8. “All things considered IHG Rewards Club has very weak benefits, as they don’t offer complimentary breakfast, and don’t really offer any other guaranteed benefits aside from bonus points.”

    I’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn in Waikīkī. I just checked my reservation and it states” includes complimentary full breakfast daily “.

  9. I randomly ended up with spire elite for awhile. No. I don’t make a ton of paid stays. I do seem to get a welcome treat/food gift and free drinks at the bar with my platinum from the cc plus upgrades. It’s not breakfast, but definitely not nothing.

  10. IHG is good for a cheap night in a Hol Inn Express or similar near an airport, or sometimes smaller towns in the US near national parks, etc. where there may not be other chain hotels. Not 5 star, but at least usually clean and consistent and better than some lower-end chains.

  11. I spent $6,000 recently at an IHG hotel and they credited my account zero nights credit towards my status. Once I use all my points, I’ll be deleting my account with them.

  12. I’m a Plat. Spire status, even with only 10 nights required for the match, isn’t enough for me to bite. Throw in free breakfast and lounge, and we’re talking. Tons of Holiday Inns provide breakfast. You would think IHG would give Spires breakfast everywhere.

  13. I’ve decided to give it a whirl (as a match from Hilton Gold). I already have two Kimpton nights booked in July, so we’ll see if IHG Platinum — which is what I’m assuming I’ll be matched to — makes any difference at those properties re: late checkout or upgrade. If not, I probably won’t pursue further bookings at the expense of my Hilton or Hyatt spending.

  14. I will pass. In Europe they treat Plat elites better, you can usually weasel lounge access or free breakfast along with drinks. In the US it sucks you just get points and no upgrade.

  15. As an IHG Spire Elite Ambassador, I have found absolutely NO benefit or notice of any different treatment at any Intercontinental hotel I have stayed at apart from the “thank you for your loyalty” words uttered blandly at check in. Some don’t even participate in the Ambassador free night program. As I have said previously on this forum, staff at HI’s and Cp’s etc on the other hand are always so charming, offer an upgrade if they can and marvel at the number of points I have which I am sure IHG wish I would ‘spend”. It is also weird that they have so many people with status through CC’s and other means that I have often found in IHG hotels that it is quicker to check in and out through the regular front desk rather than wait in line at the so called designated Ambassador desks. The whole experience is rarely efficient let alone welcoming. @Vasco is also correct in that it is much easier to achieve the points than the nights so if you have an interest, give it a crack!

  16. IHG Platinum (from their credit card) consistently gets me lounge access and upgrades at Crowne Plaza hotels. It’s not worthless by any means.

  17. I received no benefits at the IC Prague while I was a Platinum 3 months ago, except for a voucher for two free drinks at the bar. I applied for the status challenge about 3 weeks ago, and just today was upgraded to Spire. To be honest, IC hotels were not of interest to me as a Platinum due to no benefits like breakfast or lounge access. Now, I’ll give them another look as a third choice after Marriott and Hilton.

  18. Got spire after your first post. Just did a five night stay for work at the HI Riverwalk San Antonio. Free welcome drink (top shelf) and snack (protein bar) upon arrival. Booked lowest category room and got top floor king exec suite. Front desk treated me like a king. Not a suite at a Hyatt but pretty frickin decent for a midrange hotel.

  19. I agree that Spire/Platinum/Gold offer little in the way of guaranteed benefits but I do find that as a Spire member, IHG is very consistent at giving decent upgrades. It is definitely a useful status to have.

  20. Although Spire Elite is not offering much extras during a stay, my status has been helpful when I had to change a non-refundable booking twice – without any extra costs or hassle. Reservation desks referred both times it was uncommon to change or update my booking but they made an exception as I am Spire Elite member.

  21. One complicating factor with this program is that Spire status and its benefits derives from Kimptons program pre IHG merge, and some amenities apply only to Kimpton stays; likewise IHG Ambassador benefits apply only to IC Hotels, but not to other hotel brands. So one cant expect that Kimpton is going to offer you all the perks as an IC ambassador when checking into a Kimpton.
    within Spire status, is the holy Grail of the “inner Circle,” membership, a prestigious and individually selected group of valued Kimpton Hotels frequent guests. Benefits can include free stays at newly opened Kimpton hotels so that they can provide feedback about their stay.This is the only time I’ve ever heard of a hotel company compensating “influencers.” Or trusted Guests for their valuable feedback. Another program that Kimpton offers are local music events at their hotels that one can be score free passes to. I was recently invited to a concert at their hotel in Santa Barbara, and when I went on an affiliated website to register, I added my name to be invited to another concert at their hotel in West Hollywood and was immediately notified that I’d be getting two tickets free. It seems like my participation may increase the chances I will be invited into their Inner circle LOL Talk about a velvet rope!
    But I agree that the fact that NO Status level, NO Ambassador add on gives you access to their club lunches or even just breakfast is pathetic. It was one thing I explicitly provided them feedback on. Since then, I believe the ambassador program now gives their members is small credit towards food and beverage but it is not going to cover more than one breakfast during your stay.

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