The Benefits of IHG Rewards Elite Status [Gold, Platinum, and Spire]

Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa Grand Cayman

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IHG Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in England, is an established hotel brand dating back to the 1700s. The brand has nearly 6,000 hotels across over 100 countries, similar to the footprint you’ll find with the Hilton and Marriott brands.

The highlight of the IHG Rewards loyalty program is its global footprint. What the program lacks in elite benefits it makes up for by having properties across the world. IHG also has 16 brands, ensuring its members have the option to book stays at luxury brands like InterContinental Hotels & Resorts or mainstream brands like Holiday Inn.

In this article, we’ll cover all of the IHG Rewards elite tiers as well as the benefits offered at each tier. The goal is to have an understanding of all of the nuances of the IHG loyalty program. You’ll be armed with the information you need to decide if IHG elite status makes sense for you. 

IHG Rewards Elite Status Levels

Benefit Club MemberGold Elite Platinum EliteSpire Elite 
Extended Check-OutXXX
No Blackout Dates for Reward NightsXXXX
Reward Nights Count Towards Elite StatusXXXX
Free InternetXXXX
Elite Members’ Points Don’t ExpireXXX
Priority Check-InXXX
Welcome Amenity / “Raid the Bar” at Kimpton hotelsXXX
Bonus Earnings on Top of Base Points10%50%100%
Elite Rollover NightsXX
Room UpgradesXX
Guaranteed Room AvailabilityXX
Exclusive Choice Benefit Upon Receiving StatusX
Exclusive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star Upgrade Upon Receiving StatusX

2021 Update: All elite nights earned in 2020 have been rolled over to 2021 and elite requirements for 2021 have been reduced by 25%.

IHG Gold Elite

InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort
Redeem IHG Rewards points for a stay at the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort. Image Credit: IHG

Gold Elite status is the entry-level elite tier in the IHG Rewards program. This status is earned after staying 7 qualifying nights or earning 7,000 elite-qualifying points in a calendar year. For comparison, the lowest tier elite status in the Hilton Honors program is called Silver, in the Marriott Bonvoy program it’s called Silver Elite, and in the World of Hyatt program it’s called Discoverist.

Members can also qualify for Gold Elite status by holding the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card and spending $10,000 in a calendar year.

Late Checkout

Subject to availability and not available in all regions, late checkout is a benefit provided to Gold Elite members.

Hot Tip: The caveats for the late checkout benefit are reminiscent of the 48-hour guarantee for Hilton Honors Diamond members, a near-useless benefit due to the restrictions. 

10% Bonus Points

Gold Elite members earn 10% bonus points during their stay. Club (basic) members earn 10 points per dollar spent, resulting in Gold Elite members earning an additional 1 point per dollar spent. Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites stays earn an additional 0.5 points per dollar spent.

Hot Tip: IHG has a new partnership with Mr and Mrs Smith, a curated selection of some of the world’s best hotels, and select properties are now eligible for members to earn and redeem IHG Rewards points.

Points Expiration

Members who earn IHG elite status enjoy the benefit of their points not expiring. However, if the elite member drops down to Club status, the points expire after 12 months if there’s no activity in the account. There are a number of ways to prevent your points from expiring if your elite status drops to Club status, which is good news.

Priority Check-In

An elite check-in line is offered to members who hold Gold Elite status, but this may not be a valuable benefit to IHG elite members who do not access those lines.

Welcome Amenity

The terms and conditions do not define the amenity and only include “Raid the Bar at Kimpton hotels” in the description. Based on data points from other articles, the member will receive bonus points or some type of beverage/snack credit for their stay.

Bottom Line: IHG’s lowest tier elite status leaves much to be desired. While it is nice that points do not expire if you hold elite status, the main benefit of Gold Elite status is 10% bonus points. If you find yourself staying at Kimpton properties on a regular basis, the “Raid the Bar” amenity benefit can also be of value. 

IHG Platinum Elite

Attachments list UPLOADING 1 / 1 – InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort IHG.png ATTACHMENT DETAILS InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort IHG
Consider staying at the InterContinental Danang on your trip to Southeast Asia. Image Credit: IHG

Platinum Elite status is the middle tier elite status in the IHG Rewards program and will receive unique benefits in addition to those offered to Gold Elites.

Members can earn Platinum Elite status 2 ways:

  1. Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 30,000 elite qualifying points in a calendar year
  2. Hold the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants) as Platinum Elite status is an included benefit for cardmembers
CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommend (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $89 thereafter

Room Upgrades

Subject to availability and as determined by the hotel, Platinum Elite members will be offered a complimentary upgrade. Room upgrades include corner rooms, newly renovated rooms, rooms on higher floors, or rooms with preferred views.

Hot Tip: The upgrade only applies to the member’s room and not other rooms booked by the member. Suites and specialty rooms are excluded.  

50% Bonus Points

Platinum Elite members earn 50% bonus points on their stays. This equates to an additional 5 points per dollar spent than a Club member would earn. Stays at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites earn the equivalent of an additional 2.5 points per dollar spent.

Guaranteed Room Availability

Platinum Elite members are guaranteed 1 room on reservations made at least 72 hours in advance. Room availability is determined solely by the property and is not guaranteed during times of extraordinary demand. Reward nights are excluded from this benefit and the member must make a reservation through the IHG Rewards Service Center.

Bottom Line: Additional bonus points and room upgrades are 2 benefits that can be useful for Platinum Elites. As with most hotel loyalty programs, upgrades to suites are typically excluded until you reach the highest elite tier. That’s also the case here as upgrades to suites and specialty rooms are excluded from room upgrades. 

IHG Spire Elite

InterContinental Hong Kong IHG
The InterContinental Hong Kong would be a great place to stay during your trip to Hong Kong. Image Credit: IHG

55 qualifying nights or 55,000 elite qualifying points in a calendar year are the required thresholds for a member to earn top tier Spire Elite status. Unfortunately, IHG doesn’t offer Spire Elite status as a credit card benefit like Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers Hilton Honors Diamond status.

For comparison, the highest tier elite status in the Hilton Honors program is called Diamond, in the Marriott Bonvoy program it’s called Ambassador, and in the World of Hyatt program it’s called Globalist.

For more information on the best credit cards that come with hotel program elite status, we’ve covered the topic in-depth in our detailed article.

Spire Elite status members enjoy all of the benefits of the preceding elite tiers, plus these additional benefits.

Bonus Points

100% bonus points are what Spire Elite members earn during their stay. This bonus percentage equates to an additional 10 points per dollar spent than a Club member would earn. Stays at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites earn the equivalent of an additional 5 points per dollar spent.

Welcome Amenity

This is the same benefit covered in the Gold Elite section above. The main difference here is that the food and/or drink portion of the amenity is upgraded for Spire Elite members.

Choice Benefit

Spire Elite members can choose between receiving 25,000 bonus points or the ability to gift Platinum Elite status to a family member or friend.

Hot Tip: Elite members will likely want to select the bonus points as their Choice Benefit. The 25,000 bonus points that a member would earn on an annual basis would help to book an additional award night. 

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star Status

Spire Elite members earn Hertz bonus points and receive a 1-class vehicle upgrade when making a car rental with Hertz. This benefit has value if the Spire Elite member utilizes the Hertz loyalty program frequently.

Bottom Line: Choice Benefit bonus points and elite status with Hertz are the 2 notable benefits that come with Spire Elite status. 25,000 IHG Rewards points can go a long way in terms of booking lower-tier IHG award stays. For travelers who utilize Hertz, elite status can make your rental car experience more rewarding. 

Final Thoughts

In terms of footprint, the IHG Rewards program looks and feels similar to the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy programs. Each of these brands has a ton of properties across the world. The goal is to ensure its members will come to its brand first, knowing one of its hotels is likely located in the city they are traveling to.

After laying out what’s offered in each of the elite tiers and the lacking elite benefits, the IHG Rewards program just doesn’t compare to Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy, not to mention World of Hyatt. We recommend evaluating these competitors before investing your money and time into the IHG program.

For those of you who take on IHG elite status, we recommend holding the IHG Premier card which comes with Platinum Elite status. That puts you at least within striking distance of the nights or points required to earn top tier Spire Elite status.

To learn more about the best credit cards for IHG loyalists, you’ll want to read our informative article.


Frequently asked questions

Do IHG bonus points count towards elite status?

Bonus points and base points are the 2 types of points in the IHG Rewards program. Bonus points are primarily earned through things like promotions. Base points are earned for hotel stays, as well as several partner programs.

In addition to being used for award stays, base points count toward your elite status and qualify you for member-level upgrades. Bonus points do not count towards your elite status.

What does IHG Gold Elite get you?

The main benefit of Gold Elite status is the 10% bonus points. For travelers who stay at Kimpton on a regular basis, the “Raid the Bar” benefit can save you some cash during your stay.

What are the benefits of being an IHG member?

Benefits offered include no blackout dates for reward nights, reward nights counting towards elite status, and free internet.

How long does IHG elite status last?

Once you have earned IHG elite status in any calendar year, you will maintain that status through the end of the following calendar year. For example, if you earn elite status in 2021, you will hold that status through the end of 2022.

How many IHG points does it take for a free night?

During IHG PointBreaks, hotel stays can be booked for as few as 5,000 points per night. Sign up for IHG email alerts and you’ll have the opportunity to book hotels on the cheap in select markets around the world.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

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