IHG’s New Top Tier Status Will Be Called WHAT?!?!

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In April, IHG Rewards Club announced some changes they’d be making to the program.

IHG-Changes

These changes include the following:

  • The introduction of a new elite tier
  • Lowering qualification requirements for existing elite tiers
  • IHG Rewards Club points will expire after 12 months of inactivity

Ultimately these changes weren’t huge one way or another. Perhaps the bigger news was that some hotels changed category as of May 1, 2015, though that wasn’t a huge deal either — fewer than 10% of properties changed categories.

Anyway, possibly the most interesting development was the introduction of a new IHG elite tier. IHG Rewards Club is known for being sort of weak when it comes to elite benefits, though that’s not a huge surprise given that:

  • Many IHG properties are limited service, so there’s only so much you can offer in the way of upgrades/benefits
  • The tiers have historically been pretty easy to attain, so it’s tough to dish out too many benefits with those tiers
  • IHG has a huge global footprint, so the primary reason people will stay with them isn’t because of their loyalty program, but rather because they’re everywhere

IHG-Platinum

IHG’s new top tier elite status is supposed to be rolled out this month, though they’ve been tight-lipped about the details. Well, IHG has sent out training materials to hotels regarding the new program, so we finally know the details of the new top tier status.

IHG’s current elite tiers are Gold and Platinum, so I assumed their new tier would have some traditional name — Palladium, Diamond, Titanium, etc.

But instead IHG Rewards Club’s new top tier status will be called… Spire Elite!

It does seem like that’s a name with which it’ll be tough to throw a temper tantrum. “But I’m a Diamond member” has a ring to it…

“But I’m a Spire Elite?!” Not so much!

IHG Rewards Club did share the benefits of the new status back when they first announced it. In terms of on-property recognition it won’t really be different than Platinum status. And that’s probably a good thing, since many of us have Platinum status through the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which means we won’t really be negatively impacted by these changes.

Instead the main additional benefits of the new Spire status will be:

  • A 100% points bonus on top of your base points (as opposed to 50% for Platinum members)
  • The ability to receive 25,000 bonus points annually OR gift Platinum status to a friend or family member

IHG-Rewards-Club-Tiers

That’s certainly better than nothing, though having a 75 night status which doesn’t offer complimentary breakfast, guaranteed late check-out, etc., certainly isn’t very competitive.

I suspect IHG Rewards Club will “officially” be unveiling the new Spire Elite membership details in the coming days, given that they’re targeting a launch this month.

What do you make of the “Spire Elite” name? Anyone actually like it?

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Comments

  1. I like it – too many programs have basically the same name for all of their tiers. Spire Elite will eventually catch on, and when you say it, there isn’t any confusion which program you’re talking about.

  2. WTF? So, now I will be a Spire Royal Ambassador member?

    From dictionary.com, following is the fourth definition of spire:

    the highest point or summit of something:
    the spire of a hill; the spire of one’s profession.

    Is this definition from like 1850?

  3. I kind of like it. It makes me think of ‘inspired’. Maybe that is why the card is (inspi)RED ?

    But what happens when I lose status… Do I become ex-spired?

    😉

  4. Great name spire but its worthless when there are no hard benefits that every competing hotel chain can meet or by far beat
    I pity those that earn it and get little back in return.
    Hopefully IHG will find some dumb sheep to lure in that are clueless

  5. I like the name. Alludes to “aspire” to be a spire elite and perhaps “inspire” to encourage you to stay more. Having the Platinum status via the IHG credit card is more than enough for me. I’d be a Gold without it, so nowhere near close enough to aspire to spire.

  6. With the points expiring within 12 months do you just need to earn some points like through their dining program etc. or do you need to actually stay once every 12 months?

    Also if you have Plat because of the credit card your points never expire correct?

  7. I tried to google more about this Spire Elite and the best result I could find is this article

  8. @ mark — Any sort of points accrual would reset the expiration of your points. It doesn’t have to be a stay.

  9. I’ll love this. It means finally it will be close to the SPG’s 5 miles / dollar ratio. It means that you’ll earn 4 miles / dollar with IHG. I mean if you transfer your points to an airline.

  10. @W I was a platinum member and they updated me to a spire elite today. Late check out is always “based on availability” in their fine print, I have been turned down a lot of times for asking a late check out as a platinum member. Correct me if I am wrong…

  11. Any late check out or upgrade is based on availability. If the hotel is full or doesn’t have that type of room they can’t build another one. Even if you are not a member you can usually get another hour if you ask nicely (or 2 if you are a member). It’s more about the points, drinks vouchers, free newspaper and usually the receptionist make you feel more welcome than regular guests.

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