Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.)

Comments (33)

  • mark2 says:

    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.

  • 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?

      • Jason says:

        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.

  • Mark says:

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

    • Mark says:

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

  • Max says:

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

  • Mark B says:

    That’s made me even prouder to be a Spireite 🙂

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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…

    • Peter says:

      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.

    • Nick says:

      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.