IHG Rewards becomes IHG One Rewards; Adds perks for members

IHG has been talking about refreshing their loyalty programme for a while. The new programme was supposed to go live in March 2022, but IHG Hotels took another month to iron out the kinks. IHG has traditionally not been very competitive in terms of offering perks, as compared to Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt and Hilton Honors, for instance. With the new rollout, some of that has changed. Here are the details.

IHG Rewards becomes IHG One Rewards

IHG’s loyalty programme has been rebranded from IHG Rewards (it was also known as IHG Rewards Club earlier) to IHG One Rewards with immediate effect. IHG will also launch a new mobile app to coincide with the launch of the new programme, which should be rolled out in the coming weeks.

IHG One Rewards has five membership tiers

The change at IHG Rewards is not cosmetic, but a lot of earn scenarios change. The new loyalty programme has 5 membership tiers, described as follows:

  • IHG One Rewards, Club Tier: Entry-level membership tier, no qualification requirements
  • IHG One Rewards, Silver Elite Tier: Requires 10 elite nights per year and offers a 20% points bonus on all earned points.
  • IHG One Rewards, Gold Elite Tier: Requires 20 elite nights/40,000 qualifying points per year and offers a 40% points bonus on all earned points.
  • IHG One Rewards, Platinum Elite Tier: Requires 40 elite nights/60,000 qualifying points per year and offers a 60% points bonus on all earned points.
  • IHG One Rewards, Diamond Elite Tier: Requires 70 elite nights/120,000 qualifying points per year and offers a 100% points bonus on all earned points.

Here is a summary of the earning qualifications from the IHG One Rewards website.

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

While the tiers will be updated soon, the benefits will only be available from June 2022 onwards.

IHG Diamond members will be able to get free breakfast

IHG is finally rolling into the 21st century, adding breakfast as an option for their top tier elites. Diamond members only, though. IHG One Rewards will be able to get daily free hot breakfast for two as one of the amenity options from IHG at full-service brands such as Six Senses, REGENT, InterContinental, Hualuxe, Hotel Indigo, voco, Crowne Plaza, Even, Holiday Inn, and select Kimpton properties. Alcoholic beverages and certain speciality drinks are excluded.

IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards programme

Just like Hyatt and Marriott, the IHG One Rewards programme is introducing Milestone Rewards as a part of the programme, effective June 2022 though. Members will receive elite perks for every 10 nights in a calendar year, starting from 20 to 100. Here are the choices:

  • At 20 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose from the following:
    • 5,000 bonus IHG points
    • Two food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each
    • A confirmable suite upgrade
  • At 30 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose from the following:
    • 5,000 bonus IHG points
    • Two food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each
  • At 40 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose two from the following:
    • 10,000 bonus IHG points
    • Five food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each
    • 1 confirmable suite upgrade (limited to one selection only)
    • 1 annual lounge membership (limited to one selection only)
  • At 50 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose one from the following:
    • 10,000 bonus IHG points
    • Five food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each
  • At 60 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose one from the following:
    • 10,000 bonus IHG points
    • Five food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each
  • At 70 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose two from the following:
    • 10,000 bonus IHG points
    • Five food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each
    • Two confirmable suite upgrades (limited to one selection only)
    • An annual lounge membership (limited to one selection only)
  • At 80, 90, and 100 elite nights, IHG One Rewards members can choose one from the following:
    • 10,000 bonus IHG points
    • Five food & beverage rewards worth USD 20 each

Here is a snapshot of all the choices available, and how many can you pick at each pitstop.

Here is how some of the new perks work:

  • Food & Beverage Reward: IHG One Rewards Members can redeem a Food & Beverage Reward for credit against applicable food and beverage charges during a hotel stay, up to a maximum of USD 20 per voucher at participating IHG Hotels & Resorts. Each Food & Beverage Reward can only be used once, even if the Member’s applicable charges total less than USD20 (e.g., redeeming a Food & Beverage Reward for USD15 of applicable charges will provide a credit of USD15 only).
    • The Food & Beverage Reward is valid for 12 months from milestone selection
    • Applicable charges vary by property but generally include food, beverage and gratuities
    • The Food & Beverage Reward will be issued to the member in 6 local currencies (20USD, 15GBP, 15EUR, 125CNY, 2000JPY and 70SAR) based on the member country of origin; all others will receive the Reward as $20USD. The Reward amount and credit value will be converted to the hotel’s local currency at the time of redemption
    • There is no limit to the number of Food & Beverage Rewards a Member can use per stay
    • The Member is responsible for any outstanding balance after the credit is applied
    • The Food & Beverage Reward cannot be applied if staying as part of a group, package tour or convention where charges are being paid by a third party
    • The benefit is available at all IHG brands except Holiday Inn Club Vacations. The benefit also is not available at Mr & Mrs Smith properties or InterContinental Alliance Resorts (Las Vegas and Macau)
    • The benefit is not available at vending machines, third party outside food deliveries (i.e. Uber Eats), restaurants that do not allow charges to a guest room bill, gift shops, and taxes associated with minibar charges
    • Benefits cannot be used in the marketplaces
  • Annual Lounge Membership: Lounge Membership provides access to the hotel’s Club Lounge and offered amenities within the physical space (e.g., library, meeting room, and business station) for the registered Member plus one additional guest (the additional guest does not need to be staying at the hotel) for the duration of their stay or until time of Check-Out.
    • Once Annual Lounge Membership is chosen it will be valid until the end of the year plus an additional 12 months (E.g., Annual Lounge Membership Milestone choice selected June 2022 will be valid until December 31, 2023)
    • Annual Lounge Membership rewards do not accumulate. Member only needs to select Annual Lounge Membership once (at either the 40-night or 70-night Milestone) to maximize value for the Member and enjoy it through the end of the year plus 12 months.
    • Annual Lounge Membership is available at IHG properties with a Club Lounge unless restricted due to renovations, closures, or other facility limitations
    • Annual Lounge Membership does not include Club REGENT or Club InterContinental amenities or services beyond the physical lounge, e.g., free pressing, farewell amenity, airport transportation, etc.
    • Annual Lounge Membership available on Qualified Stays only
  • Confirmable Suite Upgrade: Confirmable Suite Upgrades will be applicable for one room upgrade to an entry-level suite or premium room where a suite is not available.
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade is valid for 12 months from milestone selection
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade may only be selected once at 40 and 70- night milestone choice
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade can only be applied to stays that are on an eligible rate, e.g., Best Flexible, Member Discount, Government, and select Corporate and package rates
    • Not valid on bookings that require advance payment
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade must be redeemed by contacting IHG Customer Care
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade can be made starting 14 days before arrival up to 24hrs before Check-In
    • Valid for stays up to a maximum of 5 nights
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade can only be applied to the Member’s room and is non-transferable
    • Confirmable Suite Upgrade is available at all IHG brands, except avid hotels, Atwell Suites, IHG Army Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, InterContinental Alliance Resorts (Las Vegas and Macau) and Six Senses Hotels Resort Spas

Some of the other things to note are:

  • Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members will get Suite Updates up to Standard Suites depending upon Availability Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members will get access to Reward Night Discount Promotions
  • IHG Milestone Rewards are linked to the number of elite nights you earn in a calendar year. So, if you get status comped in any manner, you are not eligible to receive the milestone benefits.

Claire Bennett, Global Chief Customer Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said:

This is one of the largest and most comprehensive investments that IHG Hotels & Resorts has made in recent years. It’s also the biggest development we’ve made in the loyalty space since introducing the industry’s first loyalty program. We’re truly transforming guest experiences by giving our loyal members more of what they want, more value and exciting benefits individually delivered via new technology with our new mobile app.

Built on feedback from our guests, hotel teams and owners, IHG One Rewards has a fresh look and feel and puts guests in control of their journey. It recognizes that no two members are the same and celebrates it – allowing guests to travel, and mark milestones, their own way.  Every day, we welcome more guests to our hotels, and while a love of travel is universal, the reasons and ways people travel differ. With IHG One Rewards, our members can create the rewards that are right for them.

My Take

Finally, IHG’s loyalty programme is entering the current generation where other programmes offer perks for loyalty, which is not the case with IHG Rewards. Breakfast will be added to benefits shortly, and you will be able to earn confirmable suite upgrades every year. apart from complimentary suite upgrades on check-in as well. Of course, this is a step in the right direction. However, not enough to make me send my business in their direction to 70 nights level, because they are still stingy compared to benefits offered by Marriott and Hyatt, for instance on an ongoing basis (by making most rewards linked to milestones).

Bottom line

IHG’s new loyalty programme is announced, and it adds free breakfast for top-tier members, apart from suite upgrades for Platinum and Diamond tier elites. The Milestone Rewards programme also is impressive, offering lounge access and confirmable suite upgrades amongst other options. Finally, IHG Loyalty has reinvented itself.

What do you think of IHG’s new loyalty programme?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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