Hotel indigo New Orleans
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Why I Am Second Guessing Going For Diamond Elite Status With IHG One Rewards

Hint: unannounced devaluations.

IHG One Rewards boldly offered Platinum elite status for free instantly and automatically for 120 days to anyone who is simply a member of at least one of eight competing major frequent guest loyalty programs and completes the registration process between Wednesday, May 18, 2022 and yesterday, Sunday, July 31, 2022 — and the stay period of 120 days of Platinum elite status began immediately after registration had been completed, within which the registrant must stay at least five qualifying nights to keep Platinum elite status through Sunday, December 31, 2023…

Why I Am Second Guessing Going For Diamond Elite Status With IHG One Rewards

Staybridge Suites
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

…and to further sweeten this offer, a registrant can achieve the new top tier of elite status in the IHG One Rewards frequent guest loyalty program: Diamond elite status through Sunday, December 31, 2023 if he or she stays an additional ten qualifying nights — for a total of 15 qualifying nights — during those 120 days.

I registered for this promotion, thinking that the offer was intriguing — and was given Platinum elite status instantly. “I may even attempt to qualify for Diamond elite status” is what I wrote at the end of this article back on Thursday, May 19, 2022…

…but I am second guessing doing this, as sometime between the day when the offer became available and now, some new language was added to the terms and conditions which can give some pause to completing the quest for Diamond elite status, as both complimentary upgrades and confirmable suite upgrades “to Club rooms, Club REGENT or Club InterContinental rooms / floors do not include Club level amenities or services, e.g. Club Lounge access, free pressing, airport transportation, etc.”

Conversely, the frequent guest loyalty programs of other lodging companies have allowed for members to enjoy the benefits of an executive lounge — even if they are not assigned to a room on the executive level.

I am not sure I understand this change in policy. What good is being upgraded to a room on those levels if the benefits cannot be enjoyed? Are those rooms basically rooms you would find on any other floor anyway?

That this stealth change was never announced only worsens the perceived devaluation of both Platinum elite status and Diamond elite status — despite the fact that this change only affects stays at hotel properties under the Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, REGENT, and Crowne Plaza brands…

…so I took a second look at what Diamond elite status offers that Platinum elite status does not offer:

  • Earning 100 percent more bonus points every time you stay instead of earning 60 percent more bonus points every time you stay
  • Free breakfast as one of the Welcome Amenity choices for up to two people for each night of every stay at hotel and resort properties of the following brands:
    • REGENT
    • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
    • Hualuxe
    • Hotel Indigo
    • voco
    • Crowne Plaza
    • Even
    • Holiday Inn
    • Kimpton
  • Dedicated Diamond Support 24 hours per day, seven days per week
  • Exclusive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star Upgrade upon receiving status

Assuming that each night of ten additional qualifying nights to achieve Diamond elite status costs $100.00, I have to ask if any of the aforementioned benefits for 15 months is worth spending an extra one thousand dollars…

Final Boarding Call

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

…and to me, the free breakfast for two — which includes one main menu item with unlimited non-alcoholic beverages or full buffet with unlimited non-alcoholic beverages per person — may very well be worth the pursuit, with earning 40 percent more IHG One Rewards points as an added incentive. As I currently hold President’s Circle elite status with Hertz, Five Star elite status is not an incentive for me; and the dedicated support for Diamond elite members is too new to have proven itself yet.

Besides, how do I know that the benefits of elite status will not be further diluted — and without any notice or advance warning?

What do you think? Should I go for the gold…

…er…I mean Diamond?

All photographs ©2020 and ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

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