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IHG rolling out ‘elite member gifts’ on every Holiday Inn etc stay

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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.

IHG Rewards Club

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.)

Comments (16)

  • david flacks says:

    These sort of welcome gifts were very common in pretty much all the HI brands I’ve stayed at in the USA for platinum members (probably in excess of 40 properties). I’d say over 80% gave a goodie bag of some sort on check in.

    UK, not so much although the express in the canal basin always gave a kitkat (on the bed) and a beer voucher. Got 2 beer vouchers in Madrid at the express pyramides at the end of June, and I remember at the Heathrow Ariel last year getting a beer voucher plus a lucky dip draw for extra points.

    So it’s always been done at many properties, it’s just nice that they’ve upped their game.
    Almost never get an upgrade in the UK, but almost always get an upgrade in the USA.

    I get what Raffles is saying about the Hilton standard being better but generally the point redemption rates are higher for Hilton and points harder to come by from stays. IHG points for a free night are generally still much lower and they have many more opportunities for bonus point accrual. Although since their decision to stop bonus points counting towards status, it’s a lot harder to get up there. Black Credit card at £99 would now be the only way for me to stay Platinum for next year.

  • BD701 says:

    I recently stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Liverpool airport and I got two bottles of water. Admittedly I’m Platinum through carrying the IHG black credit card, but its very poor that you’re treated like a regular member. Customers who have earned their Platinum status might wonder why they bother.

  • Volker says:

    HI Edinburgh (beside the zoo) gave me a goodies bag (wine and chocolate) plus a complimentary upgrade at check-in, and I was explicitly told that this was happening in recognition of my gold status. HI Glasgow airport upgraded me on several occasions. All this before the recent changes to the IHG loyalty program.

  • pazza2000 says:

    HI Commercial Road (London) offered me a ‘drink & a snack’ voucher or 500 points as a Plat last week. 2 Kit Kats in the room, which seemed an odd welcome gift.

  • Ian says:

    600 points or a Drink/Snack voucher in Birmingham city centre Crowne Plaza yesterday.