Posted by Ric Garrido

IHG Rewards Club launched July 1, 2013 and there were several changes to the member elite qualification rules for the new program.

This is a good time to write a post about the changes to elite qualification in the new IHG Rewards Club program since I forgot that award nights now count as elite qualifying night for IHG when writing a post a couple days ago.

IHG Gold and Platinum elite can be earned qualifying by hotel nights or points.

Participating IHG brands include

  • InterContinental®,
  • Crowne Plaza®,
  • Hotel Indigo®,
  • Holiday Inn®,
  • Holiday Inn Express®,
  • Staybridge Suites®, 
  • Candlewood Suites®,
  • Even® and
  • Hualuxe®

Route 1 to Elite Status

Hotel Nights Qualification

  • Gold elite = 15 nights in a calendar year, Jan 1-Dec 31.
  • Platinum elite = 50 nights in a calendar year, Jan 1-Dec 31.
  • Starting July 1, 2013, IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights consumed by members will be counted as Qualifying Nights towards Elite membership qualifications. Reward nights also count for elite qualification in Starwood and Hilton.
  • Elite Rollover Nights – Qualifying nights in excess of 50 nights will be counted towards a member’s Elite status qualification for the following calendar year. Elite Rollover Nights are only valid for one calendar year.
  • Elite status is earned for the remainder of the calendar year and the following calendar year. Earn status in 2013 and that status is valid through December 31, 2014.

Route 2 Fast Track to Elite Status

Hotel Brands + Nights Qualification

  • Gold elite = Stay at 3 different IHG brands and 10 nights in a calendar year, Jan 1-Dec 31.
  • Platinum elite = Stay at 4 different IHG brands and 40 nights in a calendar year, Jan 1-Dec 31 for members in Americas and Europe.
  • Platinum elite = Stay at 3 different IHG brands and 40 nights in a calendar year, Jan 1-Dec 31 for members residing in Asia, Africa and Middle East.
  • Elite Rollover Nights and IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights will also be counted towards Fast Track to Elite Status.

  • Elite status is earned for the remainder of the calendar year and the following calendar year. Earn status in 2013 and that status is valid through December 31, 2014.

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Fast-track to IHG Rewards Club Elite

 

Route 3 Elite Status by Points

  • Gold elite = members who have earned at least 20,000 Elite Qualifying points during a calendar year.
  • Platinum elite = members who have earned at least 60,000 Elite Qualifying points during a calendar year.
  • Elite status is earned for the remainder of the calendar year and the following calendar year. Earn status in 2013 and that status is valid through December 31, 2014.

One of the major changes for IHG Rewards Club in 2013 is the creation of two different types of IHG points:

  • Elite Qualifying Points
  • Non-Elite Qualifying points.

Elite Qualifying Points

  • Base points earned from Qualifying Rates paid for hotel stays,
  • points collected from partner transactions,
  • IHG® Rewards Club Bonus Points Packages 
  • Meeting Rewards
  • A Qualifying Rate includes the following: non-discounted rate, standard corporate rate, worldwide sales negotiated rate, national/regional/local government rate and specified leisure rates as confirmed by the IHG HOLIDEX® Plus reservation system.

Non-Elite Qualifying Points

  • promotional points,
  • points vouchers,
  • points purchase,
  • points transfers, 
  • points deposits.

The basic deal here is getting the IHG Rewards Club Visa card earns elite qualifying points as a partner transaction with bonus points received for member enrollment, yet purchased points from IHG do not count as elite qualifying points.

 

Route 4: IHG Rewards Club Chase Visa card

  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum elite is a card benefit.
  • The credit card link above is not an affiliate link for Loyalty Traveler.

 

After doing a bit of research this morning I still do not see whether elite bonus points count as elite qualifying points.

My only elite qualifying points paid stay at an IHG brand hotel this year was when I had no elite status. IHG comped me Gold elite status on June 29, 2013.

How are elite bonus points being categorized in your account?

7 Responses

  1. A quick way for points that count is paying the $15 or so extra for the 5,000 bonus rate.

    If I look at my total qualifying points and subtract the credit card related points (60K bonus etc.) I would have 12,180 qualifying points for 2 one night stays.

    That would be the two 5,000 counts from the 5K rate, and the two 1,090 base rates.

    That would mean the Platinum bonus points I got on the 2nd stay did NOT count as qualifying.

    Of course the CC makes me Platinum anyway, but otherwise I could see hitting Platinum with 10 one nights stays with 5K bonus rate. This rate would about $150 total higher than regular rate for the 10 stays, but I’ll take IHG points at 3 centa a piece anyday.

  2. The CC is honestly a great value for $49/year – the annual free night certificate alone is worth $$$$ and more than pays for the 49 bones.

  3. I have the PC Visa card so it doesn’t matter, but I spent 2 separate nights at a Holiday Inn in NYC earlier this year on a 25,000 bonus point rate and with all the other bonuses and regular points, I earned enough points on those 2 stays alone to re-qualify for Platinum.

    Comment by KevininRI on August 15th, 2013 at 10:12 am
  4. Kevin

    I had about about 25K points for the two nights (stacked promotions), but only the 5K from the rate and the base points counted towards qualifying (12,180 total). Maybe they changed the way they’re doing it.

    If they had a 25K rate like the 5K rate I used, I get what you’re saying. I am unclear based on “other bonuses”. None counted for me including Platimum bonus.

  5. I know those that Priority Club fans won’t like my comments.
    However when compared to the other major hotel guest programs other than point earnings the Priority Club benefits and in house recognition are the absolute worst and stingiest of ANY Program I have ever been in over 20 years.
    They can give Platinum away like candy and it will never cost them or the hotels much of anything
    As their status is almost a joke
    Worse the hotels are within its right to not OFFER any benefit if on point night awards (obviously some do) which is criminal.

    I do give a nod and thumbs up to the Ambassador program but that’s only good for InterContinental Hotels
    Because it is partners with the PC program it falls back into the same dysfunction
    What a mess no matter how you earn their status

    Comment by D Wonderment on August 15th, 2013 at 12:30 pm
  6. Hmm I always assumed the Platinum bonus and other promo/offer bonuses counted toward qualifying points, which would make sense given the amount that I have now. But I can’t tell exactly what happened since the online history only goes back 180 days.

    Comment by KevininRI on August 15th, 2013 at 1:05 pm
  7. I was able to analyze easier since I only have two stays (both this month) and have only had the credit card a month. I have 74K qualifying points. I back out the one month’s 60K Visa bonus, base spend and spend bonus points). That left me with the remaining 12K qualifying points (even though the total points for the two stays was about 24K).

    If I had months of IHG experience I probably wouldn’t have tried to figure it out.

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