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Easy to Earn IHG Status: Here’s What You’ll Get

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Easy to Earn IHG Status:  Here’s What You’ll Get

Jason StaufferEasy to Earn IHG Status:  Here’s What You’ll GetMillion Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: Occasionally, IHG will have status match opportunities allowing you to earn top-tier status instantly.

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) includes hotels like Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Kimpton, and InterContinental hotels. The IHG loyalty program has 3 elite status levels.

It’s fairly easy to get mid-tier Platinum status because it comes free with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Now is an excellent time to consider opening the card because it has an all-time-high sign-up bonus of 125,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Let’s take a look at how to earn IHG elite status and the perks that you get with each level.

IHG includes lots of beautiful hotels, like the Intercontinental Moorea, but IHG elite status is short on useful benefits. (Photo by @fmethorst/Twenty20)

IHG Status Review

Personally, I’ve had IHG Platinum elite status for years because I get it free with my IHG credit card. IHG elite status is nice to have, but I’ve found that it’s not as valuable as comparable status levels with other hotel chains. For example, even the top-tier IHG Spire elite status doesn’t include a free breakfast benefit.

But IHG is a good sized hotel chain with 5,000+ locations worldwide. And it wasn’t long ago that they added Kimpton to their rewards program, which added dozens of fun hotels to the chain.

These are all the brands included under the IHG umbrella:

Here is how to earn IHG elite status and what you’ll get with each level.

How to Earn IHG Status

IHG Rewards members can earn Gold, Platinum, or Spire elite status after meeting the following requirements:

  • Gold status – 10 elite night credits or 10,000 elite qualifying points
  • Platinum status – 40 elite night credits or 40,000 elite qualifying points
  • Spire status – 75 elite night credits or 75,000 elite qualifying points

If you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or the old Chase IHG credit card (no longer available to new applicants) you’ll get automatic Platinum elite status.

Some hotel chains allow you to earn lifetime elite status, but IHG doesn’t offer that.  So you’ll have to re-qualify every year.

IHG Status Perks

You’ll earn 10X IHG points per $1 spent with IHG hotels (5X IHG points for Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites locations).  Just remember that you’ll only earn hotel points and elite status credit when you book directly with the hotel.  So booking through 3rd-party sites, like Expedia or Orbitz, won’t earn you points or elite status credit.

All IHG members (including those without elite status) get complimentary internet access.

IHG Gold Status

IHG Gold status comes with these perks:

  • 10% bonus on base IHG points
  • Priority check-in
  • Welcome amenity
  • Late check-out (when available)
  • IHG Points don’t expire
  • 1 Kindle eBook per quarter (also available to IHG members without elite status)

There’s not much going on at this level. The welcome amenity varies by hotel, but in my experience, it’s usually points or a bottle of water and a choice of a snack.  Access to the priority check-in line is essentially meaningless. I’ve stayed at dozens of IHG properties and on the few occasions when there was a priority check-in line I never needed it.

I have used the Kindle eBook benefit, but it’s important to note that you can only choose from a very limited list. It’s not credit for just any eBook you want and you’ll need the IHG app to take advantage of the Kindle eBook perk, so it’s a bit of a pain to deal with.

IHG Platinum Status

IHG Platinum status gets you:

  • 50% bonus on base IHG points
  • Room upgrade (when available)
  • Priority check-in
  • Welcome amenity
  • Late check-out (when available)
  • IHG Points don’t expire
  • Elite nights roll over
  • 2 Kindle eBooks per quarter
  • Guaranteed availability when booking 72 hours before arrival

The Platinum room upgrade benefit won’t apply to award stays. How upgrades are handled is up to the individual hotel and they aren’t required to upgrade you to a suite. I’ve found that generally, an upgraded room is for something minor, like a better view.

IHG Spire Elite Status

IHG Spire Elite status comes with these benefits:

  • 100% bonus on base IHG points
  • Room upgrade (when available)
  • Hertz Five Star Status
  • Priority check-in
  • Welcome amenity
  • Late check-out (when available)
  • IHG Points don’t expire
  • Guaranteed availability when booking 72 hours before arrival
  • Elite nights roll over
  • 3 Kindle eBooks per quarter
  • Choose 1 of the following benefits:
    • 25,000 IHG points
    • Gift IHG Platinum status to a friend or family member

Other than Hertz Five Star elite status and the choice benefit, you don’t get much extra for being a Spire elite. Hertz Five-Star elite status does get you a one-class upgrade on rentals and additional bonus points. So if you like renting from Hertz that’s useful.

For your choice benefit, the 25,000 IHG points make the most sense because Platinum status is easy to qualify for with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. The 25,000 bonus IHG points are enough for a free night at a category 4 IHG hotel. Or you could book a few IHG PointBreaks hotels, which are specially discounted hotels that cost 5,000 to 15,000 IHG points a night.

InterContinental Ambassador Program

IHG also has a program (that’s similar to elite status) called InterContinental Ambassador.  You have to pay $200 a year to join and you’ll only get perks specifically at InterContinental hotels & resorts.

The perks you get include:

  • Guaranteed one category room upgrade
  •  4:00 pm late check-out
  • Complimentary weekend night
  • Dedicated check-in area
  • IHG Platinum elite status
  • Restaurants & bar credit of up to $20 per stay
  • Complimentary mineral water
  • Complimentary internet

The free weekend night is only valid as the second night of a paid stay. So don’t think of it as a free night certificate, but something closer to a 50% discount (assuming both nights are the same price). You’ll also get a few extra benefits for stays in mainland China, including free breakfast for 1 person each night of your stay and a 15% discount at restaurants and bars.

If you stay at InterContinental hotels a lot, this program is worth looking into. Otherwise, the benefits aren’t worth the cost in most cases.

If you want to learn more about IHG check out these guides:

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IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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