Bits: 1000 free SPG points, IHG Spire problems

News in brief:

1,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for registering (just registering) for SPG Keyless

If you received an email from Starwood Preferred Guest yesterday, entited ‘1,000 Reasons To Use Keyless’, dig it out of your trash!

Starwood is rolling out a new keyless door opening system, using the bluetooth function on your mobile.  I was shown a demo of this recently and it is impressive – you simply hold your phone to the door and it opens.

Of course, there are obvious issues.  Running bluetooth drains the battery of your smartphone – something which is especially troublesome when travelling.  You also need to take your phone with you at all times which may be inconvenient when heading to the pool or gym.

The email yesterday – which appeared targetted – offers 1,000 SPG points for downloading the SPG app and registering for SPG Keyless.  You do NOT have to stay at one of the 135 hotels offering Keyless – just download and register!

I value SPG points at 1.5p, so this is an easy £15 of value for a few minutes work.  If you did not get the email, I recommend holding off – if it is targetted (and I am guessing it is) you won’t get the points and you will be counting yourself out of getting sent this offer in the future.

You can learn more about SPG Keyless here.

Starwood Keyless

IHG hotels failing to recognise the new Spire Elite status

Various reports on Flyertalk suggest that many Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc hotels are failing to recognise the new Spire Elite status which launched two weeks ago.

When I say ‘failing to recognise’, I mean that the hotel sees the guest as having no status at all and treats them accordingly.

This happens because each hotel has to make a coding change to their in-house IT system.  Until this is done, the ‘S’ (for Spire) code which IHG attaches to your reservation information is not understood and is therefore ignored.

Over time, of course, this will work itself out.  At present, there is a risk that you get treated worse as a Spire member, especially if any upgrades have been given out to Platinum members before you arrive to claim yours.

PS.  Oddly, the IHG app still show me as Platinum.  The website shows me as Spire.  I have ordered a replacement card via the IHG website just in case I have any issues going forward.  If I use the app to save my card to Passbook, it loads up a Platinum one …


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  1. Signout and in again on your mobile app and it should show up as spire on your app and passbook.

  2. I have the same issue with the IHG app still showing Platinum Ambassador, instead of Spire Ambassador, despite uninstalling (and clearing the cache, etc.) and re-installing the app. Also ordered a replacement card, not on the regular site, but via the IHG Ambassador contact email address and specifically checked with them that I’d get the Abbassador card, since last time I did this (as Platinum Ambassador) via the regular site, they just sent the Platinum Elite card.

  3. Do you get stay credit and points using their hotel booking service?

    • Yes, you almost certainly will because you are basically booking Best Flex but getting other benefits thrown in. I have had points on Amex FHR bookings before, for example, and I have a Park Hyatt booking this weekend for which I fully expect points.

      • Please report back Raffles, I’m v interested to see if points and eligible nights post for Propeller bookings. I have a ton of SPG nights to book but need to have these qualify me for Platinum this year.

    • Yes, you get all the usual SPG benefits and accrual.

  4. Martin says:

    No issues with the app showing status, still getting recognised as Platinum in hotels but receiving top tier amenities and bonus points

  5. Chris says:

    My app is working fine and so far on the three stays I’ve had I’ve been recognised as Spire on two of them. The third was an HIX so no chance of anything different and it was late so I didn’t query it.

    When the updates to status were done all the NOR1/Estandby options that were showing on reservations have disappeared and are no longer showing which is quite annoying as there was one for CP City for a F&B discount which I normally use. Contacting IHG gets me a rambling email about subject to availability whilst an email to the hotel gets me a rambling email telling me that they have out me down for a complimentary upgrade.

    I had five different reservations in my account, all of them had NOR1s and they all disappeared at exactly the same. Now what are the chances of five different hotels pulling their NOR1s at exactly the same time?

    • irons1980 says:


      • NOR1 is the service whereby you get an email from the hotel (well, from NOR1) offering you the option of a cheap paid upgrade. Basically, you are offered an upgrade to a suite for £50 (for eg) BUT it is not guaranteed. You MUST pay if the upgrade is available at check-in but the hotel does NOT have to offer it.

  6. Jumble Tales says:

    Is anyone else getting “Device not supported” when trying to register their phone for SPG Keyless?
    I’m using a Sony Xperia SP with the latest Android. I’ve emailed their app support address.

  7. Harry Holden says:

    Last night, HIX recognized me as a Platinum and when I corrected them, nobody at the hotel even knew that Spire existed.

    Will Spire members get a more generous welcome gift points allocation or is it planned to be the same as Platinum?

    • This all falls into the ‘more benefits coming in 2016’ category ….

    • As per the above, and Flyertalk comments, it very much looks like this whole change was rushed through somewhat, before being explained fully to many of the IHG group properties/franchisees and without a clear idea of the additional benefits (which are supposed to be added next year), if any. It very much looks like this whole thing will need some time to settle down, but it’s clearly a pain for people who have arrived at properties to find that they are, for example, “downgraded” to Club level.

      • The change from Priority Club to IHG Rewards Club was also done mid-year. This may be a strategy to give the hotels (over which IHG has, in most cases, very little control, especially the franchised ones) time to adjust.

        Apart from the handful of hotels they still own, even an InterContinental is likely to have only one member of staff – the General Manager – directly employed by IHG. Other staff will be employed by the building owner via an operating company it controls.

  8. Louie says:

    Just thought I’d mention for those that collect AAdvantage miles rather than Avios, AA are until 7 August giving a 20% bonus on Starwood points transferred to them. So 20,000 SPG = 30,000 AA.

  9. OT: How long does it take of IHG credit card points to post on your account. My statement was 8th July and nothing is showing yet.

    • Chris says:

      With the exception of April/May due to the bank holidays my CC points have posted exactly a week after the statement date for over a year now.

    • Mine have averaged 2.5 weeks so far.

  10. Anyone know if the IC Park Lane has sorted its Spire Elite recognition yet? I’m currently platinum but expect to become Spire any day now due to card spend. Would be gutted if that led to missing out on upgrades on the 2 reward nights I have booked at the weekend!

    • I have stayed at an IC twice since becoming Spire Elite and wasn’t treated any differently than platinum. When they asked if I had any questions, I literally showed that I was Spire Elite now and asked if it was any different to platinum. They literally just explained that it was the top group haha. No real difference to me so far… other than a stupid name and a bright red card.

    • You don’t get any upgrade guaranteed on a reward night surely?

      • True. But they gave me a double upgrade on my last one for being platinum. They won’t give anything (voluntarily or otherwise) if they can’t interpret S status though!

  11. Haven’t seen this mentioned yet (apologies if I missed it). Accor has a new promo out similar to the one 2 months ago but slightly not as good. Stay 3 x 2 nights get 8000 points (160 Euros). Cashed in on it last time as hotels are dirt cheap in Thailand.

  12. Damn booked with Propeller travel for the W in Washington DC in October a few weeks ago. Should’ve waited.

    • If it is flexible, which I assume it is, ask Daniel to cancel and rebook. I am guessing this incentive is funded by a higher commission from SPG so it may be possible and he’ll want to keep you on side ….!

      • Indeed, I’m sure Daniel will be flexible… It’s about keeping you happy for a long time, not a quick buck.

        Also, Daniel likes referring to himself in the 3rd person.

        Roses are red, Violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I!

  13. . Got two emails back in May about spg keyless but nothing about 1000points offer. Will see if anything comes up.

  14. Simon says:

    Is there a way to the free 1,000 SPG points if you received no such email re the keyless bluetooth gizmo? I’m an SPG member but received no such email, alas. 🙁 Thanks!

  15. Simon says:

    Ah, I see. Thanks, Rob.

  16. RIccati says:

    Earn 1,000 Bonus Starpoints — Register for Your World Rewards — for registering Emirates FFP with SPG.

    These have posted for me.