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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.
And with this status, you get 25,000 Bonus IHG Points.
I’ll help you decide what to do. And give you the information we have right now!
Link: IHG Spire Announcement
Shortly after, folks realized that the sign-up bonus from the Chase IHG MasterCard posted as “Elite Qualifying Points” towards elite status with IHG.
Some even reported getting Spire Elite status, which requires 75,000 IHG Elite Qualifying Points or 75 stays in a calendar year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?