If you are a member of IHG Rewards Club, you probably received a slightly odd email from them on Saturday morning.
Entitled ‘Member booking update’ it said this:
We’ve made a change. Effective from 1st January 2017, members must book directly through IHG®(IHG.com, IHG® App, IHG® brand sites, corporate travel sites, Central Reservations, or Hotel direct) and not through other travel booking sites in order to take full advantage of the benefits that come with an IHG® Rewards Club membership. Why? We want to give you the best travel experience—from start to finish—every time. And we can only do that when you book with us directly.
Take a look at what you can get through booking directly with IHG:
• Your Rate* – a special rate that’s just for members
• Points that you can earn, track and redeem for rewarding experiences
• Personalised rewards and offers to help you make the most of every stay
• Reward Nights with no blackout dates
• Complimentary upgrades are always a nice surprise
This is all a little odd.
Because NOTHING has changed.
IHG ALREADY refuses to give you any IHG Rewards Club points on your room rate, or stay credit, if you book via Expedia, hotels.com etc.
It ALREADY states in its terms and conditions that you will not receive status benefits if you book via a third party.
Most members would already know this so I’m not sure what the point of this email is meant to be.
The only reason I can think of is:
Some IHG hotels do still offer status benefits to members who book via a third party. This is basically a goodwill gesture. But is IHG really going to tell hotels that no way – under any scenario – are they to do this? If a hotel was forced to upgrade some guests, would they have to choose non-status members who booked direct over Spire Elite members who – perhaps because their client made the booking – were booked via a ‘third party travel site’?
Off the top of my head, I am struggling to think what else IHG could mean by this email. Let me know if you have any better ideas.
IHG Rewards update – June 2021:
Get bonus points: The current IHG Rewards promotion is ‘Triple Your Points’ – our full article is here. It runs from 15th May to 16th August. You receive double base points on your second stay and triple base points on your third and subsequent stays. You can register on this page of ihg.com.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.