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Earlier today we brought you the new global IHG Rewards bonus points offer and in that post mentioned the hotel chain has more news that was released today. That news is about changes coming to the IHG Rewards program in March and today they only revealed the first of the program’s updates and that is to the elite status portion program. The changes in elite status include renaming the Spire tier to Diamond, adding an additional tier, changing the qualification requirements and adjusting the bonus points earned by elite members.

The first change is a simple one, that’s the renaming of IHG Rewards top tier level Spire to Diamond Elite which is followed by old Gold Elite status requirements level becoming Silver and a new Gold level Elite being added between Silver and Platinum. Here are the new levels, qualification requirements and bonus points:

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To compare here are the old program requirements and at the start of this year IHG had stated the lower requirements due to COVID would continue for this year however IHG confirmed to TPG this will only be in place until March when these new levels are implemented. That means if you don’t reach your elite status by then you will need to meet the new requirements.

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If we take the reduced requirements here is how the levels line up now:

  • Silver (compared to old gold): This level retains the same 10 night qualification requirement however in the new program you can no longer qualify on points
  • Gold: This is considered a new level so we won’t compare it any others.
  • Platinum: This level retains the same 40 night qualification requirement but sees a very big jump on qualifying by points from 40,000 to 60,000 points.
  • Diamond (nee Spire): This level actually sees a decrease qualification requirements by night from 75 to 70 nights but then also sees a huge jump on qualifying by points from 75,000 to 120,000 points.

In terms elite bonus points awarded when you have status the Silver tier (Old Gold) will now see 20% bonus points instead of 10%, the new Gold tiers sees 40% bonus points, Platinum gets bumped up to 60% from 50% and Diamond stays the same at 100%.

You do have to remember that the elite bonus points you earn on stays do not count towards qualification. Only your base points and points from bonus points packages will count towards your Qualifying Points total.

So there is both good news and bad news in the new elite status levels. Good news is if you typically qualify on nights not much changes and in fact you can get Diamond with less nights (not taking into the COVID-19 reduced levels) and most elite levels will see better bonus points earning. Bad news comes to those who qualify on spend – you can no longer get the first elite tier on spend and the top two tiers will take a lot more spend to earn the required qualifying points.

Those members in the U.S. who have the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or plan on getting will continue to receive automatic Platinum status.

TIP: IHG is currently offering a Fast Track to Platinum Status where you can earn that elite level with only 5 nights. You must register for it by March 12 which leads us to believe these new levels will be introduced on or after March 13. Click here to learn more about the Platinum Fast Track

Wrapping it up

IHG Rewards is going through some changes this year and today we see the first of those changes in their elite status program. Without knowing what the rest of the changes will be to the program we can’t put much weight into today’s news. It really only covers earning elite status and details the one benefit of bonus points but we don’t know if there will be any changes to the rest of the benefits afforded to elite members. Currently IHG Rewards elite status benefits are some of the weakest in the industry so ultimately we will have to wait until IHG reveals more details on the new program to pass judgement on the program getting better or worse. And if we’re right those further changes should be revealed on or after March 13.

Click here to learn more about the new IHG Rewards program 

Image via IHG

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