As discussed previously, the IHG Rewards Club is one of my favourite hotel chain. The brands in the chain include: Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental and Staybridge Suites.
Three of the best perks offer by IHG Rewards are: (1) reward nights count toward elite status; (2) points never expire, and; (3) no blackout dates for reward nights.
- To qualify: Stay between 1-14 nights per year
- Extended Check-Out
- Complimentary Weekday Newspaper
- Exclusive Toll-Free Service Line
- All the benefits of Club
- To qualify: Stay between 15-49 nights per year or earn 20,000 points
- To fast track: Stay at 3 different brands + 10 nights
- Free Internet
- Priority Check-In
- Bonus 10% earnings on top of base points
- All the benefits of Club and Gold
- To qualify: Stay between 50+ nights per year or earn 60,000 points
- To fast track: Stay at 4 different brands + 40 nights
- Bonus 50% earnings on top of base points
- Elite Rollover Nights
- Complimentary Room Upgrades
- Guaranteed Room Availability
They may not have the most earth shattering perks, but there is some value. The best value for your points is to use them on hotel reward nights, rather than exchanging them for gift cards. They do have the ability to transfer points to frequent flyer program, though the ratios are not very good. If you an take advantage of the Points Break Promotions, Last Minute Rewards or 24-Hour Flash Sale, then you can really maximize the return on your points.
There are two credit cards Platinum and World Capital One MasterCards that will help you add up your points more quickly.
Going forward, IHG rewards has made it more difficult to achieve Gold and Platinum status because not all points will count towards elite status. In the past, bonus points earned from a hotel stay will count, but now they focus more on points that you actually earned through spending. I think it may be best that they made it more difficult for customers to achieve elite status, but to compromise, I would hope that IHG will increase the perks for its elite members, to give more incentive to achieve elite status.
Making it too easy to achieve elite status really waters down the status. But the more difficult it is to achieve, the more perks there should be waiting for us. I will be watching IHG very closely in the near future because this has been one of my favourite programs and continues to be.