Heads-Up for Kimpton and IHG Members – Big Changes Happening in 2018!

Heads-Up for Kimpton and IHG Members – Big Changes Happening in 2018!

Million Mile SecretsHeads-Up for Kimpton and IHG Members – Big Changes Happening in 2018!Million Mile Secrets Team

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IHG bought Kimpton Hotels, a boutique hotel chain, in 2014.  Until now, their loyalty programs have remained separate.

But starting in early 2018, they’ll merge Kimpton Karma Rewards into the IHG program.  So you’ll be able to earn and use IHG points at Kimpton Hotels worldwide!

Folks who are loyal to Kimpton might be concerned that they’ll lose the personal touches and amenities from Kimpton’s loyalty program.

Heads Up For Kimpton And IHG Members Big Changes Happening In 2018
The Kimpton Palladian Hotel in Downtown Seattle Is a Mix of Elegance and Edginess! Is That Chuck Norris on That Pillow?

But some of your favorite perks are sticking around.  I’ve got the details!

Kimpton Will Become Part of IHG Rewards Loyalty Program

Starting in early 2018, you’ll be able to earn and use IHG points at Kimpton Hotels.  And folks enrolled in Kimpton’s loyalty program, Kimpton Karma Rewards, will automatically be enrolled in IHG Rewards Club.

Kimpton is known for its personalized service and great perks, especially for folks with elite status.  But IHG’s loyalty program isn’t exactly known for these sorts of things.  😉

For example, folks with Kimpton’s basic membership (Tier 1) get perks like in-room spa credits and free minibar items.  Even with IHG’s top-tier status, Spire Elite, you don’t get goodies like this!

Heads Up For Kimpton And IHG Members Big Changes Happening In 2018
All Kimpton Karma Rewards Members Currently Get a $30 In-Room Spa Credit

While it’s exciting that IHG members will now have new ways to earn and redeem IHG points, Kimpton Karma members might wonder what will happen to their much-loved Kimpton perks!

What Will Happen When Kimpton Becomes Part of IHG Rewards?

Million Mile Secrets contributor Lyn got the inside scoop from Susanna Freer Epstein, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty Marketing at IHG on what folks should expect when Kimpton Karma Rewards joins IHG Rewards.

Kimpton and IHG take the personalization of the Kimpton Karma program seriously.  So they’re keeping the best parts of the Kimpton program for IHG Rewards members to enjoy on Kimpton stays!

1.   Will Sweet Perks Like Raid the Bar and Spa Credits Remain?

If you have IHG Gold, Platinum, or Spire Elite status, you’ll still get a $30 in-room spa credit and minibar credits at Kimpton Hotels.

Heads Up For Kimpton And IHG Members Big Changes Happening In 2018
IHG Elite Members Will Still Get to Raid the Bar at Kimpton Hotels!

2.   What Will Kimpton Karma Rewards Credits Be Worth?

Until now, Kimpton Karma members earned credits based on stays, not points.  Once the programs are merged, Kimpton members will have their credits converted to IHG points as follows:

  • Tier 1 (Club) – 1,000 IHG points per night accrued as of December 31, 2017
  • Tier 2 (Gold Elite), 3 (Platinum Elite), and Inner Circle (Spire Elite) – 2,000 IHG points per night accrued as of December 31, 2017

3.   What About Kimpton Free Night Rewards?

If you have Kimpton Free Night Rewards in your account, they’ll be converted to IHG Rewards Club Reward nights with the same expiration date.

Heads Up For Kimpton And IHG Members Big Changes Happening In 2018
Your Kimpton Free Night Awards Will Stick Around, Except They’ll Now Be IHG Rewards Club Reward Nights

4.   How Many IHG Points Will You Earn for Kimpton Stays?

You’ll earn 10 IHG points per $1 spent for qualifying stays at Kimpton Hotels.  If you have elite status, you’ll earn bonus points like you usually do.

5.   What Will IHG Award Nights Cost at Kimpton Hotels?

Expect to pay 40,000 to 70,000 IHG points at Kimpton Hotels after the programs are merged.  That’s high compared to most other IHG locations, but Kimpton Hotels are usually competitive with top-tier hotels from other chains.

Million Mile Secrets team member Jasmin stayed at the Kimpton Marlowe in Boston a few years ago.  She recalls the boutique feel, with dim lighting, funky decor, and wine tastings in the lobby.  And also remembers the excellent service!

Want More IHG Points?

Link:   Chase IHG Rewards Select Club Credit Card

To earn more IHG points, you can:

Bottom Line

Beginning in early 2018, Kimpton’s Karma Rewards loyalty program will be merged into IHG Rewards.  You’ll be able to earn and use IHG points at Kimpton Hotels.  And if you’re registered with Kimpton’s loyalty program, you will automatically be enrolled in IHG’s loyalty program.

Kimpton’s keeping cool perks, like in-room spa and minibar credits, for IHG elite members.  If you already have Kimpton stay credits or reward nights in your account, they’ll convert to IHG points and reward nights.

I’d love to hear from Kimpton fans about what you think of the news.  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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As an Inner Circle member I am not happy. I plan to book my 4 free night soon and likely not be staying at many Kimptons next year. The new points system is not comparable and I dont stay at ither IHG hotels. This is sad because being a Kimpton member was so refreshing for those of us who are road warriors and enjoy a nice boutique hotel with great food. It is so nice to get an upgrade and have a bottle of wine and a cheese tray waiting for you when you check in after a long travel day. I expect that perk will disappear. I will give it a chance but I am not optimistic. Sounds like IHG does not care about keeping the loyal Kimpton guests.

I've been a Kimpton Inner Circle member for several years but looks like this will be the last. The number of nights needed to qualify has almost doubled. Worst of all, the program is now really complicated, with points based on dollars spent, bonuses by tier, etc. Before the program was simple; a certain number of stays or nights to qualify for status, now difficult to figure out. Kinda like the airline frequent flyer programs, which is not something to aspire to!

This Is bad news for Karma members. I will no longer earn as many free nights since the Kimpton journey is gone and the 7 stays earn a free night is gone as well. It will be more difficult to get to Inner Circle. Plus you now need 75 nights or 75,000 points to get to Spire Elite/Inner Circle. This year I will have earned 4 free nights. I may only earn 1 night next year and will probably not make it to Inner Circle in 2019. So it will take spending $2,000 a year with IC double bonus points to earn a free night. I am not excited about the change.

I think this is effing terrible for inner Circle members. This was significantly weaken the ability to retain inner circle status, and it will flood the ranks with hoi polloi IHG members who don't "get it" about the Kimpton lifestyle.

Are IHG free rewards nights good at Klimpton hotels?

I would also like to know the answer...: Will Chase Free nights in the IHG program (the one we get per year for having the IHG credit card) be honored as free nights at Kimpton properties?...and if so, do we get the mini bar & spa credits as well on a free night since having the card gives us platinum IHG status?