IHG Rewards: Changes coming in March 2022

IHG Rewards is the hotel loyalty programme of the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts group, which has brands such as InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza under its belt. The loyalty programme has made cosmetic changes during the pandemic, such as dropping the Club at the end of the name to make it IHG Rewards, but a more extensive makeover is coming now. The hotel chain published a Sneak Peek, which gives us some insight into what’s new at IHG Rewards.

There is some insight into the new elite qualification programme, but not much on the official record to go by for now. IHG Rewards hints that there will be more opportunities to customise the programme in the manner you’d like, though.

New Elite Tiers coming to IHG Rewards

IHG Rewards will introduce new elite tiers in March 2022. Here are the four tiers that will now be referenced.

Gold Elite was the first tier, so it is becoming Silver Elite, and a new Gold Elite Tier is being introduced in its place. On top of that, the Spire Elite tier is being rebranded to Diamond Elite.

  • Silver Elite will require ten qualifying nights and will offer a 20% points bonus (Earlier Gold Elite offered a 10% bonus)
  • Gold Elite will require 20 qualifying nights or 40,000 qualifying points and will offer a 40% points bonus
  • Platinum Elite will need 40 qualifying nights or 60,000 qualifying points and will offer a 60% points bonus (Earlier Platinum Elite offered a 10% bonus)
  • Diamond Elite will require 70 qualifying nights or 120,000 qualifying points and offer a 100% points bonus.

What Changes?

In simple terms, qualification against qualifying points is going up substantially. So while those in the core market of the US will have to spend more on their credit cards to earn status, others in markets such as ours will have to shell out more money to achieve status. However, the nights required for top-tier Diamond status reduced by 5 compared to the earlier threshold for Spire status.

When does it change?

The transition to the new programme will happen in March 2022. Members will retain their existing status throughout 2022, with Spire members seeing a name change to Diamond. You will need to hit the new status requirements to keep your status for 2023.

However, that will also mean that the reduced requirements for qualification will go away when the new programme comes in.

Since this is not the full suite of changes being rolled out, I am sure there is more to come…

Bottomline

Changes are coming to the IHG Rewards loyalty programme in the coming weeks. We only know about the part where they promise new names and tiers. However, every programme thinks they are the best in class. And IHG is living in a bubble there. Unlike Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, there are no assured benefits such as upgrades, breakfast, etc. So, there is a long way to go before they start to pat their own back on making a great programme.

What are your thoughts on these IHG Rewards program changes?


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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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Comments

  1. I’ve been very loyal to IHG for many years. I see no reason for this change other than to devalue. I enjoy Spire status and in some years Ambassador status because it is fairly easy to earn. Sure the benefits aren’t great but I like having the status with the bonus earnings and a few upgrades. If they make me work too hard at it I’m out. I predict this will move IHG in the wrong direction. I already see many of their properties sliding toward Choice or Wyndham level quality. As a side note, I’m seeing a lot of hotels, cruise lines, and airlines trying to re-invent their loyalty programs. They couldn’t pick a worse time to throw more uncertainty towards their customer base. Most of their customers have had very limited travel in the past two years and 2022 is also uncertain so the demand is there but most of us are free agents. So why give us a reason we will be tempted by other programs.

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