Should You Transfer Points to Earn IHG Elite Status?

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Update:   The card offer in this post is no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Update:   Frequent Miler reports the sign-up bonus from the Chase IHG card no longer counts toward IHG elite status.

Million Mile Secrets reader, Rishabh, commented:

I applied for the Chase IHG MasterCard in January.  The 80,000 IHG points sign-up bonus posted in March.  Got upgraded to Spire Elite and received 25,000 bonus points as Choice Benefit.  So, 105,000 IHG points just with the sign-up bonus. :)

Folks reported their sign-up bonus from the Chase IHG MasterCard counts toward IHG elite status.  Even all the way to the new top-tier status, Spire Elite!  

And with this status, you get 25,000 Bonus IHG Points.

Should You Transfer Points To Earn IHG Elite Status

Some Folks Have Found Shortcuts to Earn IHG Spire Elite Status!  But Should You Try Them?

And Million Mile Secrets reader, Issac Liu, asked if he should transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG to earn elite status.

I’ll help you decide what to do.  And give you the information we have right now!

What’s Happening?

Link:   IHG Spire Announcement

Link:   Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Card

In July 2015, IHG announced a new top-tier elite status level called Spire Elite.

Shortly after, folks realized that the sign-up bonus from the Chase IHG MasterCard posted as “Elite Qualifying Points” towards elite status with IHG.

Should You Transfer Points To Earn IHG Elite Status

It Might Be Possible to Earn IHG Spire Elite Status Without Ever Staying at an IHG Hotel

Some even reported getting Spire Elite status, which requires 75,000 IHG Elite Qualifying Points or 75 stays in a calendar year!

If you didn’t sign-up for the Chase IHG MasterCard, it may be possible to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Virgin Atlantic miles to IHG and earn elite status.

While this may work, I recommend that you start with small amounts before you transfer your hard-earned points.  I do NOT know how much longer this shortcut will last, so use caution!

Should You Transfer Points?

One of the perks of IHG Spire Elite status is the Choice Benefit reward.

IHG lets you choose between 25,000 bonus IHG points or the ability to gift IHG Platinum elite status to anyone you choose.

Should You Transfer Points To Earn IHG Elite Status

IHG Spire Elite Members Can Choose Between 25,000 Bonus IHG Points or Gift Platinum Elite Status to a Friend or Family Member

If you choose the option to receive 25,000 bonus IHG points, they’ll post instantly.

As soon as you reach IHG Spire Elite status, this option will appear in your IHG account.

Ways to Transfer Points to IHG

1.   Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards

IHG is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so you can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio.

Note:   You’re allowed to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partner airlines and hotels (such as IHG) when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or the no-longer-offered Chase Ink Bold card.

Should You Transfer Points To Earn IHG Elite Status

IHG Is a 1:1 Hotel Transfer Partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards

Some folks reported success with transferring their Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG to get Spire Elite status.

Because transfers are instant, I recommend 1st transferring a small amount (like 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) to see if they post into your IHG account as Elite Qualifying Points.  And then transfer more if they do!

Remember, once you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the process is NOT reversible.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are extremely valuable, but it may be worth it to get become IHG Spire Elite and earn 25,000 bonus IHG points.

2.   Transfer from Virgin Atlantic

Head for Points describes how it’s possible to earn IHG Spire Elite Status by transferring miles from Virgin Atlantic to IHG.

The miles transfer at a 1:1 ratio.  But they do NOT transfer instantly.

Virgin Atlantic says:

Your transfer will take up to 30 days and a booking cannot be made until the transfer is complete.

Folks report most transfers take ~5 days.

Should You Transfer Points To Earn IHG Elite Status

Virgin Atlantic Miles Transfer to IHG Points, but It Can Take Several Days. And You Must Transfer at Least 10,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles

You must also transfer at least 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles at a time.  And then in increments of 5,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.

This is risky because of the time it takes to transfer and the minimum amount of miles required.

I only recommend this if you are sure you won’t use your Virgin Atlantic miles.

3.   Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards Points to Virgin Atlantic, Then to IHG

This is the same as option #2, except the 1st step is to transfer your AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio.  Transfers are processed within 24 to 48 hours, so you will have the Virgin Atlantic miles quickly.

Then, follow the same steps to transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to IHG points.

There are many terrific uses of AMEX Membership Rewards points.  I only recommend this if you have extra points you want to use to see if they will count toward IHG Spire Elite Status.

Be Careful!

Only transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Virgin Atlantic miles to IHG points if you understand the risks.

After the transfer posts, the IHG points you’ll receive may NOT count toward elite status.

Should You Transfer Points To Earn IHG Elite Status

You’ll Risk Having Your Points NOT Count Toward IHG Elite Status…Proceed With Caution!

If possible, transfer a small amount 1st to see how they post to your account.  And then transfer more only if you feel comfortable!

The best scenario is for folks who recently received the 60,000 IHG points bonus on the Chase IHG MasterCard.

Check to see if the points count toward IHG elite status.  If they do, you will be very close to Spire Elite status, which requires 75,000 Elite Qualifying Points or 75 nights at IHG hotels.

Also, I would NOT recommend you open a new Chase IHG MasterCard thinking the sign-up bonus will help you earn Spire Elite status.  Because by the time you get your points, it might no longer work!

As always, do what is best for you!

Bottom Line

Some folks are reporting the sign-up bonus on the Chase IHG MasterCard counts toward IHG elite status.  Including the new top-tier IHG Spire Elite level!

Others found that transferring points to IHG from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Virgin Atlantic miles also count toward IHG elite status.

Before you transfer thousands of miles or points, start with a small amount to check how they post in your account.  And then be cautious about transferring more.

The best case is for those who recently got the Chase IHG MasterCard and found the 60,000 IHG points sign-up bonus counts toward IHG elite status!

Did your sign-up bonus or points transfer count toward IHG elite status?

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14 responses to “Should You Transfer Points to Earn IHG Elite Status?

  1. On March 1 I used 2000 UR points to top off for a reward. They show as counting for elite status.

    UR are worth at least a cent each because you can cash them out. Most people can get better value through transfer or using the travel portal. I wouldn’t transfer many points to get this even with the 25,000 point bonus since IHG points are worth far less. Maybe if IHG Spire had more tangible benefits I’d consider it. Priority in upgrades when the process is opaque to the consumer doesn’t seem worth it.

    I guess if I knew I were going to stay at IHG more at the beginning of a year than a prior year the extra 50% boost in points for the first 75,000 points might be worth it.

  2. My wife and I applied for the IHG card the same day and got our bonuses posted recently under the 80K offer. She got upgraded to Spire Elite and I am still Platinum, not sure if IHG is randomly awarding Spire Elite

  3. I got the IHG card in March when it offered 70k points. Then I won 5k in a promotion they had. I just got the 25k for Spire elite. That’s a lot of points for having 0 nights at their hotels

  4. I applied for the IHG card and got the 60k points as Elite Qualifying Points. I then bought 10k points for $70 to see what would happen with those points. They did not post as Elite Qualifying points. Beware! It looks to me as though the IT folks at IHG had not got this completely worked out at the very beginning but now it seems that the IHG card bonus points are not counted as Elite Qualifying points. Good luck to those who got them though.

  5. Chase xfers def counted towards spire as of yesterday, however it looks like they fixed the issue in June so the credit card bonus does not count toward spire status.

  6. I think the best strategy is just to apply for the IHG credit card and hope you get lucky. If you don’t, you still get Platinum and lots of points. Using UR is a poor choice if the transfers don’t count for status. But I appreciate and give you credit for alerting us and giving readers the chance to assess the risks and make their own decision. And if anyone should criticize you for killing the deal, then keep in mind that if the IHG IT team is worth more than 2 cents they would have caught their own mistake eventually anyway. And if CHASE really intended to give you 105,000 points and Spire status as a signup bonus, then why wouldn’t they promote it?!

  7. Bonus for sign-up to IHG card DID NOT post to Spirit Elite requirement. Got card in MAY and bonus posted in June.

  8. It worked for me. Transferred 2000 UR points yesterday and 24 hours later I am at Spire Elite status.

  9. My DH was advised he had made Elite status. He got it through stays and IHG MC bonus.

    What does he receive from Spire over Platinum again? Double points for stays?

  10. I transferred 1000 and got Spire Elite Status, but haven’t received the 25k bounus. How long does that take?

  11. Confirmed this worked today. I had 72,500 points and transferred 3,000 from Chase Ultimate Rewards last night. Today it shows my status as Spire Elite!

  12. Stayed at Holiday Inn Resort, Wrightsville Beach NC last weekend and discovered that we got Spire Elite status. Amazing 3 day weekend thanks to Milliin Mile Secrets letting us know about the IHG card offer!

  13. My husband got ihg card during this spring’s 70,000 bonus signup. His acct showed 73,112 points towards spire elite. and 2100 first nights stay that didn’t count towards status. Yesterday, I purchased 2000 points from ihg website that ended up not counting towards status,listing him having total of 77,312 points. Then, I transferred 2000 points from Chase Sapphire preferred, and he received spire elite status this am, and 79,312 points. We’re waiting for email confirming spire status and 25,000 bonus point option.
    I got my ihg card end of may, shows 71,000 points but only 2000 points towards spire status.
    Very happy husband was able to obtain the spire status.
    Thank you so much for your original post!

  14. worked for me too! thanks a bunch!!!!
    now can anyone recommend any good hotels in NYC near times square?