And the new IHG top tier is confirmed as ….. Spire!

Well, the waiting is over.  The new IHG Rewards Club tier is to be called Spire.

Don’t ask me why.  Gold, Platinum and, erm, Spire.

With a bright red membership card.

If you ask IHG:

‘Spire’ is derived from the old English word ‘spir’ – a shoot or a stalk of grass standing out amongst the others. It is awe inspiring, exceptional and a symbol of prestige. It conveys a sense of dedication and an aspirational attitude: going above and beyond; the sky is the limit. The name connotes a strong sense of prestige, elevated stature, and worthiness of admiration, along with a sense of dedication and an aspirational attitude, which is in line with how IHG Rewards Club sees its most loyal members who would qualify for this tier.

You will be officially be ‘Spire Elite’, ‘Spire Ambassador’ or ‘Spire Royal Ambassador’ depending on whether you also have status in the separate InterContinental Ambassador scheme.

Spire Elite card

There was nothing in the launch announcement yesterday which we did not already know:

SPire Elite

Spire will require 75,000 base points or 75 nights in a calendar year

You will receive 25,000 bonus points or a free Platinum card for a friend or family member when you qualify for it or achieve Spire renewal (I have already claimed my points, which post instantly)

There are NO additional benefits over and above Platinum (so far?) – although, in theory, top tier members should get first choice of decent upgrades

The rumour of ‘free InterContinental Ambassador status’ seems to have been just that – a rumour.

IHG has made vague promises of additional benefits to come in 2016.  For now, though, there doesn’t seem to be much to get excited about – unless you love bright red.

The net result of all this so far is probably negative for IHG.  A LOT of Platinum members will feel they have been downgraded.  The few who have Spire, including myself, have nothing at all to be excited about – yet.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Once again many thanks to Rob, and indeed all of you for pointing out these opportunities. I regard the 25,000 points as very beneficial although free breakfast as well would have been better obviously!
    Thanks to the credit card I shall achieve this fairly easily without setting foot in an IHG hotel and benefit when I go to Canada in September. If, however, I stayed in lots of IHG hotels but did not make it to Spire level I would not be pleased so the scheme does not appear to be well-designed.

  2. What's the Point says:

    Same here, thanks to HfP I have hit Spire with only 1 stay in an IHG property this year (I can just hear all the grumbles from the big IHG hitters!)

    I appreciated the 25,000 points which are now in my account, and I honestly believe that for the balance of the year and into 2016 I will start using IHG more than Hilton (which is my main hotel chain I use, generally 35+ stays year)

    Free breakfast would be the deal clincher for me, and I would probably swap all my future stays into IHG. Maintaining Spire status is probably going to be very difficult for me without some serious spend on the IHG credit card.

    • AndyGWP says:

      “I have hit Spire with only 1 stay in an IHG property this year”

      I’m intrigued – assume it must’ve been the credit card to get to 60k, but then what happened?

      • I’m going to hit it without staying in an IHG property this year, 60k bonus on credit card and 10k spend which has yet to hit my account.
        I am intending to stay at some IC’s later this year and join their ambassador scheme.

  3. How do you claim the 25k points? I’ve hit Spire, but don’t see anywhere to do this.

    • I found it, it’s under ‘Choice Benefits” on the ‘My Account’ page for anyone else who was struggling.

  4. All academic for me as I rarely feel inSPIREd to stay at IHG hotels.

  5. Mark B says:

    That’s made me even prouder to be a Spireite :-)

  6. Nathan says:

    It would seem the talk of spire being the equivalent to Royal ambassador for existing ambassadors was wrong.
    Strange because 75 nights would get royal status anyway if 20 nights were IC. Never mind, another major let down from IHG

  7. David Salford says:

    I have claimed my points – but it says they expire (interesting connection with similar sounding word) at end of 2016. If I spend points how do I designate these?

  8. Cradders says:

    That’s a truly awful name… I’d put money on that being dreamt up by some kind of external design consultancy. You can imagine the pitch to IHG as you read its utterly absurd explanation! I’m amazed it got signed off…

    • Quite. Dreadful name. Certainly not an aspirational name to encourage me to stay at IHG to strive to reach the top level.

      It concerns me that the IHG top brass are spending more time thinking up duff names than actually concentrating on delivering a decent product in the hotels.

    • Aeronaut says:

      Indeed, the explanatory blurb is a load of utter unmitigated guff.

    • On the subject of ihg and design consultancies, is it just me that thinks their branding is very similar to PwC?

      As regards the crappy name: makes no ids to me whatsoever. They could call it IHG mugs’ club for all I care, if the benefits are worth striving for then I’ll aim for it.

  9. Weird name and without any real benefits zero chance of winning me over from Hilton

  10. Christian says:

    What – that’s it? “Months of consultations with our valued guests…listening to what our customers want” etc. etc. and they come up with this? Who were these people? There is nothing here. It’s the hotel equivalent of “We couldn’t think what to get you for your birthday so we bought you a book token”. Again.

    Where are the “benefits”. Actually, just where’s the imagination? Free breakfast should have been the starting point. That’s at least a tangible benefit worth having. Then there’s so much else – Spire rooms, flunkies to walk you to your room scattering rose petals, a lift just for me that I won’t have to share with anyone else…. Anything would be better than this. It’s just so lazy.

    I have a trip to Atlanta in two weeks I’m about to book hotels for, so let’s see if Spire actually means anything in practice.

    • czechoslovakia says:

      Rob, you need to get a “like” button installed – even if only for this post.

  11. Lady London says:

    Wondering why so many people want free hotel breakfast in mid-range hotels. Mostly unless the hotel is very special I run a mile from hotel breakfasts.

    • Waribai says:

      If you’ve got work to do it saves time. For me it really comes into its own with toddlers in tow. High chairs, suitable buffet items and can get back to the room in a jiffy!

    • I’m with you on this. Free breakfasts are almost an HfP obsession! If I haven’t paid for it I don’t miss it.

      • Free breakfast is one of those things where you think you’re getting loads of value, simply because, if you are stupid enough to pay for it, it costs upwards of thirty pounds for two, in many cases. A bit like thinking that 50,000 points is good value for an Intercontinental simply because if you were stupid enough to pay for it, it would cost upwards of 250 pounds.

  12. testpie says:

    Platinum Members of old – Don’t forget to login to IHG then go to the link below to claim your 25,000 free points:

    https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/us/en/account/choice-benefits

  13. Free breakfast should be standard with Spire, at least it’ll match Hilton Gold.

  14. Geoggy says:

    How have you managed to get Spire then Rob?

    Harking back to your piece on cancelling the IHG credit card, it sounded like you were some way away from qualifying and needed the 60k credit card bonus?

    • Explanation on Tuesday! Only dragged out as I am away (see Instagram!) and need to rework the piece first which cannot happen until Monday.

      This also explains the rather dull article line up tomorrow :-)

  15. AndyGWP says:

    I have 60k points at present (guess how I got exactly that number 😀 lol ) , and even with your info above Raffles, I can’t figure out how much effort would be involved in hitting another 15k. At a point per £, it would need a £15k spend which doesn’t seem worthwhile at all. Am I missing an easy option.

    (I only went for the card initially, as I had two expensive stays at a Holiday Inn coming up @ £100+ p/n, and it was cheaper to use 20k per night points instead and pay the £99 credit card fee :) – love this site, so thanks for helping me start to think that way. It may not be classed as best value but it was for me – loathed the thought of paying that much for a Holiday Inn!)

    • AndyGWP says:

      (I obviously meant £7.5k of spend! 😉 Still not sure it’s worth it when there a more lucrative sign-ups)

      • I got a Virgin card to get 10,00 miles which I transferred to IHG. This was to spend, but it counted towards status, although a transfer from my wife’s IHG account did not. I also got 600 points from e_Rewards and a couple of minor purchases leaving me 4,364 short for Spire with a stay booked on 28 Sept. I think I can do it with 2000 from e_Rewards and the rest on the credit card. Tomorrow Rob is revealing a wheeze but I suspect it may be for people who stay in hotels regularly.

    • Dave R says:

      You could book a couple of stays using the 5k bonus points rate.