IHG Rewards was active last week… First, IHG released details of a promotion to run between February 1 and March 31, 2022. Click here for details.
Then, IHG were forced to bring forward an announcement of some changes to elite status qualification. Click here for details.
Both announcements gave me little reason to get excited about IHG again. However, Loyalty Lobby noticed a change in the T&Cs of the double point promotion. The double points that you earn from the promotion will also count for elite status purposes.
That looks interesting… but if you cross-reference to the new elite status qualification thresholds, you might notice that you will now require 120,000 Elite Qualifying Points in 2022 to reach Diamond status. (i.e. the old Spire)
A Potentially Interesting Travel Hack
However… you can find a little piece of interesting information buried in the FAQ section of the “new” IHG Rewards website.
From 1 January 2022 until the new programme launches during March, the current reduced programme earning structure will remain in place:
-You can qualify for Gold Elite by earning 7,000 Qualified Points or staying 7 Qualified Nights.
-You can qualify for Platinum Elite by earning 30,000 Qualified Points or staying 30 Qualified Nights.
–You can qualify for Spire Elite by earning 55,000 Qualified Points or staying 55 Qualified Nights.
As a reminder, you earn 10 Elite Qualifying Points per US dollar spent at an IHG hotel. You can also earn EQPs from credit card spend and from paying a bit more for Bonus Point Packages on your IHG stays.
So… if stays in February and March earn double Elite Qualifying Points – i.e. 20 EQPs per US dollar spent – you can reach Spire status by spending $2,750 (pre-tax) on IHG stays.
This is well within the realms of possibility, provided you have some expensive business travel and/or a nice holiday planned for February / March.
Spire by March –> Diamond Until 2024
If you manage to pick up 55,000 Elite Qualifying Points before the changeover (date uncertain), you will be upgraded to (or renew) Spire status. You should then become eligible for the 25,000 bonus points that Spire members receive.
And when Spire becomes Diamond in March or April 2022, your status would be valid for the rest of 2022 and all of 2023.
If you are willing to take a gamble on IHG actually improving the benefits provided to elite status members, then this seemingly minor change (to a promotion’s T&Cs) might provide a great opportunity…
However, if you don’t make it to 55,000 Elite Qualifying Points before the changeover date in March – exact date unknown – then your efforts will be rather wasted. I would certainly be very annoyed if I could only manage 54k EQPs and then ended up needing the whole 120k…
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section…