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