Candlewood Suites Grand Junction NW
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

A Look At The New IHG One Rewards Membership Program

It is suddenly become a seriously legitimate and worthy contender.

When details of the new IHG One Rewards frequent guest loyalty program were finally released in April of 2022, many frequent travelers turned to take a second — and, perhaps, even a third and fourth — look at what has suddenly become a seriously legitimate and worthy contender now that many of the benefits have been officially announced.

A Look At The New IHG One Rewards Membership Program

“sneak peek” of the new tiers of elite status for the IHG Rewards frequent guest loyalty program was released from InterContinental Hotels Group back in January of 2022 as part of what was being called The New IHG Rewards effective as of Saturday, January 1, 2022 — and among the changes is a new level called Silver Elite; and the name Spire was changed to Diamond so that the tier itself will be more straightforward to understand.

As shown in the chart below, among the new benefits is free hot breakfast for up to two people every day, which has been sorely missing from the top elite tier until now. Diamond elite members can choose either free points, a drink or a snack, or the free hot breakfast for two as a welcome amenity when checking in to the hotel or resort property — but exceptions include:

  • Limited-service brands which already offer breakfast
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • InterContinental Alliance Resorts in Las Vegas and Macau
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith properties

Also, late checkout is another benefit which the former IHG Rewards Club membership program was lacking — although it is only good until 2:00 in the afternoon and not later, which is unlike the guaranteed checkout of 4:00 in the afternoon with both the World of Hyatt membership program and the Marriott Bonvoy membership program.

Click on the chart for an enlarged view. Source: IHG One Rewards.

After you stay 20 qualifying nights and unlock the first round of benefits, you will also eventually be able to unlock additional benefits and rewards after every ten nights you stay at a qualifying rate, regardless of elite status — meaning that you could enjoy food and beverages even if you have not earned Diamond elite status — although no definitive date has been given as to when this new addition to the IHG One Rewards membership program will be in effect, which is expected to be sometime in early June of 2022.

Click on the chart for an enlarged view. Source: IHG One Rewards.

Once a milestone is reached, members have up to 90 days to select a Milestone Rewards choice — otherwise, the Milestone Rewards choice for that milestone expires and will no longer be available. All Milestone Rewards selections are final.

  • Confirmable Suite Upgrade are valid for up to one year from selection. Each upgrade can be used to upgrade up to five nights to a base level suite and available for one room per stay. Suite upgrades can be confirmed up to 14 days in advance of your stay — which means that if you book now for a stay ten months in the future, you will need to wait until the stay is two weeks away before you can call to confirm your upgrade. An upgrade to an entry-level suite — if available — can be confirmed from 14 days before the stay up to 24 hours before checking in to the hotel or resort property. If an entry-level suite is not available, you have the option to confirm a premium room as an alternative. Once you select the Confirmable Suite Upgrade as your Milestone choice, you have 12 months to redeem your reward. Confirmable Suite Upgrades are not available at the hotel and resort properties of the following brands:
    • avid hotels
    • Atwell Suites
    • IHG Army Hotels
    • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
    • Six Senses Resorts & Spas
    • InterContinental Alliance Resorts in Las Vegas and Macau
    • Mr & Mrs Smith properties
  • Annual Lounge Membership is valid for the rest of the calendar year in which it is selected — as well as the following year in its entirety. It is available as a Milestone Reward option at 40 and at 70 nights. Once you selects this reward, you will receive Club Lounge access where available, for you plus one additional guest. Annual Lounge Membership does not include:
    • Club REGENT amenities and additional services — even though access itself is included
    • Club InterContinental amenities and additional services — even though access itself is included
    • Services beyond the physical Club Lounge.
    • InterContinental Alliance Resorts in Las Vegas and Macau
    • Mr & Mrs Smith properties
    • Hotel and resort properties with a restricted Club Lounge due to renovations, closures, or other facility updates.
  • Food & Beverage Rewards are valid for up to one year from selection. Each reward is worth $20.00 in credit for food and beverages — meaning that the choice for two Food & Beverage Rewards is equivalent to a credit of $40.00 in total.

New IHG One Rewards Elite Tiers: A Side-By-Side Comparison

The elite status tiers and earning structure have supposedly been redesigned so that you can earn more IHG One Rewards points and have more ways to use and redeem them than ever before, as new tiers equals more rewards. No matter what is the elite status tier which you have earned, you will earn more bonus IHG One Rewards points — meaning that earning points towards Reward Nights and more will be even easier, according to InterContinental Hotels Group.

The current and new nights qualifications, current and new point qualifications, and current and new bonus points values for each elite status tier are as follows — side by side for easy comparison:

Elite Status Tier Current Nights Qualification New Nights Qualification Current
Points Qualification
New
Points Qualification
Current Bonus
Points
New
Bonus Points
Club 0 0 0 0 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Silver Not Applicable 10 Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable 20 percent
Gold 10 20 10,000 40,000 10 percent 40 percent
Platinum 40 40 40,000 60,000 50 percent 60 percent
Diamond 75 70 75,000 120,000 100 percent 100 percent

If you are not already a member of IHG One Rewards, you can join as a member now at no cost.

Other terms and conditions — including those of the IHG One Rewards frequent guest loyalty program — apply.

Final Boarding Call

Source: IHG One Rewards.

I am impressed with how significantly the IHG One Rewards membership program has improved…

…but as I said in this article back on Friday, January 21, 2022: “…no matter how well are the intentions of the people at IHG Rewards, the entire picture is never rosy, as we will eventually learn what some of the negative aspects are to the newly refreshed frequent guest loyalty program” — and as shown in the list below, some benefits are still lacking when compared to other frequent guest loyalty programs, while others are no longer part of the IHG One Rewards membership program:

  • Unlimited complimentary access to lounges for members who earned a higher tier of elite status, as offered by Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Waived mandatory resort fees, destination fees, facilities fees, and amenity fees on award stays — such as with Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, and Wyndham Rewards — and on paid stays, as World of Hyatt offers
  • Free parking on award stays, as offered by World of Hyatt to its top tier elite members
  • Gold elite members no longer receive a Welcome Amenity Choice when checking in to a hotel or resort property
  • Diamond elite members will not receive exclusive Choice Benefits which were previously only for those who earned Spire elite status — as one example, you could previously select 25,000 bonus points if you earned Spire elite status

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.


Please note that I receive compensation for affiliate links posted at The Gate effective as of Sunday, January 1, 2017. You are not required to use these affiliate links; but if you do use them, your support of The Gate is greatly appreciated — and using affiliate links will not cost you any extra time or money.

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