New IHG One Rewards Program: Breakfast, Suites, & Club Access!

New IHG One Rewards Program: Breakfast, Suites, & Club Access!

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IHG has today revealed the full details of its revamped loyalty program, which we’ve been expecting for quite some time. This is in addition to the credit card portfolio recently being refreshed.

Historically IHG Rewards hasn’t been very competitive with Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt. That’s finally changing, and I’m really impressed. IHG has greatly improved elite perks, including free breakfast for top tier elite members, plus the introduction of Milestone Rewards, offering confirmed suite upgrades and club lounge passes. Let’s go over all the details.

IHG Rewards becomes IHG One Rewards

To start, IHG’s loyalty program is being rebranded as IHG One Rewards. This is part of a bigger focus by IHG to promote unity, and to emphasize that we all share one world.

The new IHG One Rewards logo

To coincide with the launch of the new program, IHG is launching a new mobile app, which members should start to see in the coming weeks. IHG is promising a much improved experience through the app, so hopefully that’s the case.

Six Senses Fiji

IHG One Rewards has five membership tiers

IHG One Rewards has five membership tiers, as follows::

IHG One Rewards membership tiers

Below is a chart comparing the membership benefits by elite tier.

IHG One Rewards membership benefits

While most of the new perks come in the form of Milestone Rewards, and while breakfast is a huge new perk (I’ll cover both below), let me just note a few things about the other perks:

  • Early check-in and late check-out isn’t anything to get too excited about, as it’s not guaranteed for any elite tier, but rather is subject to availability
  • IHG Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members will get access to award night discounts several times per year, similar to the offer we recently saw; there are no specific promises about how often we’ll see these, though
  • IHG Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members will get suite upgrades up to standard suites; however, I’m told there’s not actually a policy change here compared to the old rules, but rather hotels will just be better coached and encouraged to try to upgrade guests, including up to 48 hours before arrival
  • IHG Diamond Elite members will get access to a dedicated phone number, which should offer better customer service

While members should see their tier names updated in the coming days, the new elite perks are valid as of June 2022, so they don’t kick in instantly.

Kimpton Paris

IHG Diamond members get free breakfast

One of the most exciting features of the new IHG One Rewards program is that select elite members will finally receive complimentary breakfast. Specifically, Diamond Elite members will be able to select breakfast as their welcome amenity:

  • This will include a hot breakfast for two people; hotels can exclude certain items (like alcoholic beverages or specialty coffees), but this does seem to be a “real” breakfast, and not a watered down continental breakfast
  • The only properties excluded from this are limited service properties that already offer breakfast to all guests, plus Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, InterContinental Alliance properties (in Las Vegas and Macau), and Mr. and Mrs. Smith properties

I’d consider it to be huge that IHG is finally offering free breakfast as an elite perk, and it’s a pretty legitimate offering at that.

InterContinental Los Angeles

IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards program

The most exciting aspect of the IHG One Rewards program is the introduction of Milestone Rewards, which is a way that members can get confirmed suite upgrades, club lounge passes, and much more. Specifically, members will receive perks for every 10 elite nights that they earn in a calendar year, from 20 to 100.

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

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

At 40 elite nights, IHG One Rewards 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 One Rewards members can choose one of the following:

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

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

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

At 70 elite nights, IHG One Rewards 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 One Rewards members can choose one of the following:

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

It’s important to note that IHG Milestone Rewards are specifically linked to how many elite nights you earn in a calendar year. So if you receive status through a credit card, you wouldn’t automatically be entitled to Milestone Rewards.

For context, I value IHG points at 0.5 cents points. Therefore the food & beverage rewards generally represent a better value than the points, if you’re trying to make a selection. Personally I’d pretty consistently select the confirmed suite upgrades or lounge passes when they’re options.

Hotel X Brisbane

How do IHG confirmed suite upgrades work?

It’s exciting to see IHG finally introducing confirmed suite upgrades:

  • These can be used to confirm a suite upgrade for a stay of up to five nights
  • These can only be applied on paid stays when booking eligible rates
  • These can be applied by calling IHG One Rewards customer support between 14 days and one day prior to arrival
  • There’s no waitlisting mechanism here, but rather if there’s a standard suite for sale, you can confirm it at that time
  • The upgrade can be up to a standard suite, though if that’s not available you can confirm an upgrade to another premium room that’s not a suite
  • In the future there are plans for this process to be possible online, and for members to be able to waitlist upgrades

How do IHG annual lounge memberships work?

IHG is also finally introducing club lounge upgrades as part of the Milestone Rewards program:

  • An annual lounge membership gets you access to lounges for the entire year in which it’s earned, plus the following 12 months (in other words, if earned in June 2022, it would be valid through December 31, 2023)
  • This can be used to get club lounge access for an unlimited number of stays, regardless of whether you’re paying cash or redeeming points
  • This can be used at virtually any IHG property with a club lounge, including InterContinentals

How do IHG food & beverage rewards work?

The food & beverage credits can be accrued over time, and will show up in your IHG account. That way you can choose whether you want to redeem them individually, or use multiple toward a single purchase. They’re valid for 12 months after they’re issued, and they don’t retain any residual value.

My take on the new IHG One Rewards program

The new IHG One Rewards program greatly exceeds my expectations. As mentioned above, previously I didn’t consider IHG to have competitive elite perks, but that has finally changed:

  • IHG is finally offering breakfast as an elite benefit, and it sounds like it’s a full, hot breakfast, rather than a continental one
  • Members can earn up to four confirmable suite upgrades per year, plus can get unlimited club lounge access if they earn at least 40 elite nights per year, which is exciting
  • The fact that you earn your first confirmable suite upgrade at 20 elite nights is pretty remarkable, as that’s the easiest to attain confirmable suite upgrade in the industry
  • It sounds like IHG is instructing hotels to be more proactive about suite upgrades for elite members, but there’s still not much there in the way of guarantees, aside from when a confirmed suite upgrade is used

So, am I ready to switch some loyalty to IHG?

  • My biggest issue is that I find IHG’s portfolio to be rather uninspiring; aside from limited service properties, I quite like Kimpton and Six Senses (even though Six Senses isn’t fully integrated into IHG yet), but I find most InterContinental properties to be rather drab
  • It’s unlikely I’d earn the 70 elite nights per year to earn Diamond Elite status, though I could spend $40,000 per year on a co-branded credit card to earn the status; while this would get me free breakfast, the issue is that it wouldn’t get any of the valuable Milestone Rewards
IHG’s portfolio of 17 brands

All things considered I’m really impressed by the program. This won’t make me switch my loyalty fully to IHG, simply because I don’t find the portfolio to be that interesting. But it will cause me to stay at IHG properties a bit more.

I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for the InterContinental Ambassador program. This is a separate paid membership program that offers perks at InterContinental properties. With IHG’s new loyalty program offering more robust perks at InterContinental properties, I imagine we’re going to see a significant refresh to this over time.

Staybridge Suites Savannah

Bottom line

Details of IHG’s new loyalty program have just been announced, and I’m impressed. The new program is called IHG One Rewards. With this, we’re seeing the introduction of free breakfast for top tier Diamond Elite members. Furthermore, we’re seeing the introduction of the Milestone Rewards program, offering everything from confirmable suite upgrades, to unlimited club lounge access.

IHG’s loyalty program has finally evolved to the point that it’s competitive, and that’s exciting.

What do you make of IHG’s new loyalty program?

Conversations (49)
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  1. alegria Guest

    i've been quite happy with IHG - the property I stay at in Abu Dhabi *always* upgrade me :)

  2. Jill Guest

    Where’s the lifetime status requirements

    Very disappointing

  3. John John Guest

    It's a scam. I was one night & 500 points away from the old Club going to Gold, so I booked a 6 night stay from 7 May. Now I'll barely make Silver. Why not downgrade your rewards system as you've done at the end of a year, not part way through.

  4. Jesper Guest

    Lounge access based on status is sure to kill the experience of Club Intercontinental stays. I guess it is time to enjoy them while possible, and then just watch as the lounges are being devalued to nothing special.

  5. Patrick Guest

    So I don't get it. I am a Platinum Elite member (paid) and get 4PM checkout which is nice. Does this continue?

  6. Stanley C Gold

    Would the annual lounge membership apply to the member and a guest staying with you? So, it is not just for you. It is for two.

    1. Jane Guest

      Wondering about that too. Between me and my husbands, we stay about 80+ nights a year at IHG properties for work. Two Gold or One Diamond? If lounge membership applies to a member only, I inclined to choose two gold status (40 night each). If it applies to a member and a guest staying with a member, I would go for one diamond (with hot breakfast). Any information?

    2. Stanley C Gold

      After checking the new IHG One benefit chart again, it seems that the lounge membership milestone should apply to two people. Just my guess on on it.

  7. Kyle Guest

    Do any of the elite benefits (breakfast, suite upgrades at check-in) apply for award stays? That's one of the big negatives for the current program. "Oh you want to use your points that were earned from previous stays to stay at somewhere for vacation? Sorry, you can't use any of your elite perks." Lame.

    1. Stanley C Gold

      Katie from TPG stated that an IHG rep confirmed that these benefits will apply to paid and award stays.

    2. Jane Guest

      Are point stays award stays? or not? I thought points stays are award stays. Correct me if I am wrong.

    3. Stanley C Gold

      Yes, I believe points stays are award stays.

  8. You Guest

    Holiday inn express has most value and already has breakfast. This is a nothing burger

  9. Jackson Guest

    I never upgraded my chase chard when they came out with the news ones. What status will I get ?

    1. Stanley C Gold

      I believe that since IHG Select Chase CC has offered Platinum, it should still be the same with this new program.

  10. Raksiam Guest

    I like IHG in general. I wish there were more Indigos though. I wonder what dort of qualifying rate is required for these suite upgrades

  11. Regis Guest

    Any perk enhancement is welcomed but let's not get too excited. What IHG has done here, by adding F&B/Lounge and milestones benefits, is what was already offered by the other three big hotel chains. IHG is basically trying to catch up to the competition, but even so fell short, due to enhanced benefits not being available at award stays and only triggered at the top tier status, unlike Hilton and Marriott. IHG is better now...

    Any perk enhancement is welcomed but let's not get too excited. What IHG has done here, by adding F&B/Lounge and milestones benefits, is what was already offered by the other three big hotel chains. IHG is basically trying to catch up to the competition, but even so fell short, due to enhanced benefits not being available at award stays and only triggered at the top tier status, unlike Hilton and Marriott. IHG is better now but still behind WOH, HHonors and Bonvoy.

  12. Jung Guest

    For elite tier , what considers as qualified points ? does my transfer from UR counts?

    1. Stanley C Gold

      It would be up to you if you are willing to try to transfer Chase UR points. According to their T and Cs, points transfer don’t count. Elite qualifying points would be spend on activities such as their co-branded credit cards, stays at their hotels, spending at their restaurants/bars, or BPP.

    2. Stanley C Gold

      Oh, spend on their co-branded cards will no longer count as elite qualifying with this new program, but I do wonder if it is effectively immediately or will it be in effect in June 2022.

  13. Steven S Guest

    Until they offer benefits on award stays, it’s not worth me switching.

    1. Stanley C Gold

      They should offer it on award stays as I was a little shocked that they did not.

  14. Linda Guest

    It really seems like the breakfast for 2 should be platinum level and above since Diamond seems kind of unreachable ($40K spend) or 60 nights, I think?

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      That was my first reaction as well. It seems a complementary breakfast is available for a very small segment of members

  15. Mike R Guest

    IHG has pretty consistently been my fallback program this year (one of the preferred brands at work) and I'm pleased with the consistency of their brands/offerings vs. other large chains. I don't know how, but I've been Platinum for several years now, and the earnings bonus is nice. The free weekend night as Ambassador is a good value, too. Ideally I finish out the requirements for Marriott LT Plat this year, then they become my...

    IHG has pretty consistently been my fallback program this year (one of the preferred brands at work) and I'm pleased with the consistency of their brands/offerings vs. other large chains. I don't know how, but I've been Platinum for several years now, and the earnings bonus is nice. The free weekend night as Ambassador is a good value, too. Ideally I finish out the requirements for Marriott LT Plat this year, then they become my fallback and perhaps I end up putting more focus on IHG. I don't have the momentum or 5/24 availability to pursue the Hyatt status right now.

    1. Stanley C Gold

      Are you an Ambassador member, so if that is the case, then that is the reason why you are also Platinum.

  16. Khatl Gold

    It's taken them way too long to bring about these changes. They should have done it at the time of the SPG/Marriott merger to get the SPG folks to jump. That said, a slap in the face for Hilton and Marriott and their constantly devaluing of benefits for their Elites, and some (though likely limited) competition for Hyatt.

  17. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    The fact that breakfast or lounge access has to be chosen as a benefit is stupid. The lounge access benefit is pretty worthless since pretty much only Intercontinental properties have a lounge.

  18. Frank Guest

    Do the changes mention about life style status ?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Frank -- Sorry, I'm not sure I know what you're talking about? Do you mean the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program available through select travel agents, or something else? There's no change to that program...

  19. Raylan Guest

    Perhaps I am missing it, but I do not see how IHG can promote this idea of unity and to emphasize that we all share one world, while continuing to be the lone major hotel awards program that charges you to transfer points to your own spouse. Free household transfers was a slam dunk change and they biff'd it.

  20. Brian Guest

    My first thoughts? IHG screwed Chase again.

    I believe the last time shortly after chase updated the design of the IHG Premier Credit Card (and maybe also the legacy Select card), IHG started this rebranding, changed their logo and renamed IHG Rewards Club to just IHG Rewards. Now just weeks after Chase finally changed their card designs, IHG revealed this new IHG One Rewards name, which apparently nobody knew. I wonder how long it will...

    My first thoughts? IHG screwed Chase again.

    I believe the last time shortly after chase updated the design of the IHG Premier Credit Card (and maybe also the legacy Select card), IHG started this rebranding, changed their logo and renamed IHG Rewards Club to just IHG Rewards. Now just weeks after Chase finally changed their card designs, IHG revealed this new IHG One Rewards name, which apparently nobody knew. I wonder how long it will take for Chase to add this 1 to their card lol. Lack of coordination all over.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Brian -- Hah, I imagine there was communication between Chase and IHG throughout this, though I agree, I find the way the rebranding is happening to be a bit odd. Over a short period we're going from IHG Rewards Club, to IHG Rewards, to IHG One Rewards.

    2. Chris T. Guest

      Half the time I still type "priorityclub.com" when I'm trying to get to my account. (It still works.)

  21. Jason Guest

    Rollover nights (at least over 55 nights) from 2021 hasn't happened (yet) for Spire Elite like Hilton did for Diamond (all 2021 nights). Any chance it's still coming?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jason -- Rollover nights should still be happening for this year for eligible members, as far as I know.

    2. Points MN Guest

      Right, I'm also over 55 nights but not over 70 and haven't seen it, fine print suggests you need to be over the 70 (or 75) for last year and not just over the reduced requirement of 55 they put in place during the pandemic. I'm a little disappointed, as the prior year EVERY night rolled over, not just those over the threshold. Maybe they got too many Spire Elites as a result and need...

      Right, I'm also over 55 nights but not over 70 and haven't seen it, fine print suggests you need to be over the 70 (or 75) for last year and not just over the reduced requirement of 55 they put in place during the pandemic. I'm a little disappointed, as the prior year EVERY night rolled over, not just those over the threshold. Maybe they got too many Spire Elites as a result and need to winnow it back. But I'd much rather be pleasantly surprised with something rolled over rather than mildly disappointed with no roll over nights credited at all which seems to be the case.

  22. Jules Guest

    Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised by the new benefits that will be offered to Platinum and Diamond members and I will likely choose to stay at IHG hotels more often going forward. However, one significant issue with the confirmed suite upgrades is that they cannot be used for award bookings and this is unfortunate. Also, a free night should have been included as one or more milestone awards.

  23. JoeSchmo Guest

    These changes are fantastic. Well done IHG. And look out Marriott. My ranking is now:

    Hyatt
    IHG
    Hilton
    Marriott (used to be my #2 prior to the recent devaluation)

    1. DCS Diamond

      These changes are fantastic. Well done IHG. And look out Marriott. My ranking is now:
      Hyatt
      IHG
      Hilton
      Marriott (used to be my #2 prior to the recent devaluation)

      LOL. IHG remakes itself in Hilton Honors' image by a wholesale imitation of the latter program (but still comes up short), and it suddenly leaps to the second place, behind WoH, itself a weak program that does not offer its...

      These changes are fantastic. Well done IHG. And look out Marriott. My ranking is now:
      Hyatt
      IHG
      Hilton
      Marriott (used to be my #2 prior to the recent devaluation)

      LOL. IHG remakes itself in Hilton Honors' image by a wholesale imitation of the latter program (but still comes up short), and it suddenly leaps to the second place, behind WoH, itself a weak program that does not offer its members the 4th or 5th award night free, which is unquestionably the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty? I would say that there's something 'fishy' with that ranking...

      Anyway, as they say, imitation is the most sincere (sincerest) form of flattery.

      G'day.

  24. JG Guest

    Wow. Color me impressed. Finally we have a major player scaling UP loyalty benefits! When was the last time that happened? This won’t steal me away from Hyatt (yet) but it’s a viable alternative if Hyatt (continues to) decline. Perhaps some insurance that Hyatt won’t further devalue?

    1. JoeSchmo Guest

      I also hope Hyatt sees this as a warning shot. If they continue to devalue, IHG could become my #1.

  25. Izz Guest

    When are these changes expected to be rolled out? I have a Kimpton stay in early May and wondering if there will be Breakfast as I am a current Spire member.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Izz -- Tiers will be upgraded in the coming days, but it's expected that the new perks will be introduced as of June 2022. So unfortunately you probably won't get these new perks.

    2. Izz Guest

      Thanks for the update, looking forward to these changes!

  26. Desmond Farrelly Guest

    I'd be even more impressed of more of the Club lounges were reopened. Seems like these are the last on the list to get up and running despite Intercontinental charging full price. I've used 40K points to get Ambassador status for the BOGO free weekend night and lounge access and there aren't many to choose from.

    1. Mike R Guest

      Ambassador status doesn't have lounge access as a benefit. Royal Ambassador does, but that's not the same as the $200/40K Ambassador program.

    2. Kiwi Guest

      And if you’re royal ambassador you’re also most likely Spire Inner Circle for your stays at kimpton, which is kimpton’s invite only level

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.

Stanley C Gold

Katie from TPG stated that an IHG rep confirmed that these benefits will apply to paid and award stays.

1
Kiwi Guest

And if you’re royal ambassador you’re also most likely Spire Inner Circle for your stays at kimpton, which is kimpton’s invite only level

1
Brian Guest

Yes, and their customer service email is still [email protected] LOL

1
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