IHG Rewards Club has long been, by far, the worse major hotel scheme when it comes to actually valuing your loyalty. There are no guaranteed benefits at all apart from free internet (and everyone gets that from June 2014 anyway). You are totally at the mercy of the hotel as to whether you get an upgrade or any other sort of amenity.
Loyalty Lobby reports that IHG Rewards Club is making some progress on this front. In an email, they told them:
IHG Rewards Club has been piloting Elite member amenity program in Europe where Gold and Platinum members have been offered extras at the check in.
This program “Surprise and Delight” is rolling to all Crowne Plaza, Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels in Europe by the end of 2013.
The program is expected to roll out in the United States in 2014.
For Platinum member, it seems that the amenity will typically be your choice of 500 IHG Rewards Club points or a ‘complimentary drink or snack voucher’. Given that the points are only worth about £2.50, the latter may be the better option.
(Or perhaps not – Holiday Inn Sheffield has always given a free Kit-Kat, value £verylittle, to elites! Although, to be fair, that is 1 Kit-Kat more than they were obliged to give you!)
Hilton HHonors remains the gold standard for mid-tier hotel recognition. Gold members receive free breakfast, free internet and a guaranteed upgrade. 500 Priority Club points or a Kit-Kat is not going to compete with that.
(Remember to follow our ‘Hotel Promos‘ page for the latest offers for all of the major hotel chains.)