In mid-January 2022 we learned that IHG Rewards will be making some changes to its loyalty program, and at the time a sneak peek of the changes was published. Initially this full refresh was planned for March 2022, though we recently learned that these changes would be delayed for some amount of time. We now have a better sense of when to expect these changes.
New IHG Rewards status tiers will go live the week of April 11, 2022, and at some point in April we should learn more details about the program’s new perks. This is separate from the IHG Rewards credit card changes, which went live as of March 24, 2022. Let’s recap what we know so far about the new program.
Upcoming IHG Rewards program changes
There aren’t many details yet, but it’s being promised that the redesigned IHG Rewards program will be a “best-in-class” program “that’s centered around YOU.” So far we’ve only learned details about the new elite program, which I’ll cover below.
Otherwise we’re just told to be patient:
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.
It’s interesting that there’s a reference to being able to choose perks, so it sounds like maybe members will be able to select the benefits that matter most to them.
IHG Rewards introducing new elite tiers
IHG Rewards elite tiers will be changed as of the week of April 11, 2022:
We’ve redesigned our tiers and earning structure so that you can earn more points and have more ways to use them than ever before. New tiers = more rewards.
With the new program, IHG will have four elite tiers:
- Silver Elite will require 10 qualifying nights, and will offer a 20% points bonus
- Gold Elite will require 20 qualifying nights or 40,000 qualifying points, and will offer a 40% points bonus
- Platinum Elite will require 40 qualifying nights or 60,000 qualifying points, and will offer a 60% points bonus
- Diamond Elite will require 70 qualifying nights or 120,000 qualifying points, and will offer a 100% points bonus
What’s changing here?
- IHG Rewards is going from having three elite tiers to having four elite tiers
- Spire Elite is being rebranded as Diamond Elite status
- Essentially Silver Elite will have similar requirements to the former Gold Elite, and a new middle elite tier is being added
- On the plus side, the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review) offers Platinum Elite status, and that will continue to be the case, so the points bonus will be increasing from 50% to 60%
While we know the changes to elite qualification and bonus points, we don’t yet know what to expect in terms of changes to elite benefits.
My take on IHG Rewards program changes
We don’t know a whole lot yet about what changes are coming to the IHG Rewards program, other than the names and requirements for new elite tiers, plus a promise that the new program will be “best-in-class.” If that’s actually going to be the case, IHG has a lot of work to do:
- IHG Rewards perks are woefully uncompetitive, given the lack of a concrete upgrade benefit, complimentary breakfast, late check-out, etc.
- IHG Rewards is also rather complicated, given that there’s the separate Ambassador guest recognition program for some premium brands, including InterContinental, Kimpton, Six Senses, etc.
- I am generally hopeful about these changes, based on the improvements we know are coming to IHG Rewards credit cards
If IHG Rewards wants to materially improve the program, it needs to be significantly more rewarding, and also simpler. I have my serious doubts about things changing for the better.
IHG Rewards is making loyalty program changes soon. We can expect new elite tiers to go live as of the week of April 11, 2022, and we should learn about all the program changes as of some point in April.
While details are limited, we do know that IHG will have four elite tiers, with new requirements and some rebranding. It’s otherwise too early to know what to expect, though the program has a long way to go if it wants to be competitive with Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt.
What are you predicting for these IHG Rewards program changes?