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Big news: Redeem IHG points at 500 new luxury hotels via a new Mr & Mrs Smith partnership

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There is great news for IHG Rewards Club members this morning, as the company announced a partnership with UK travel brand Mr & Mrs Smith.

Originally launched as a pure booking agent, Mr & Mrs Smith has evolved over the years to become a ‘marketing brand’, in the same way as Design Hotels or Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  Hotels remain fully independent but benefit from being part of a broader marketing consortium.

Recent years have seen Small Luxury Hotels become a Hyatt partner and Design Hotels become a Marriott partner.

This new deal, at a stroke, will double the number of luxury hotels where you can earn and redeem IHG Rewards Club points.  Many will be unique boutique properties.

The key question, of course, is how many points end up being required to redeem at these properties as IHG will be effectively buying your room on your behalf.  That said, I have been pleasantly surprised by the good value of some Hyatt redemptions at Small Luxury Hotels which often easily exceed my 1p per point Hyatt benchmark.

IHG Rewards Club partners Mr and Mrs Smith

More news as we get it.  Here is the press release:

‘IHG  (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, and Mr & Mrs Smith, the world-renowned travel club and boutique hotel specialists, are proud to announce  their exclusive loyalty partnership. 

From early next year, IHG® Rewards Club members will be able to earn and redeem points at over 500 handpicked Mr & Mrs Smith hotels in new and iconic locations, when booking through IHG’s direct channels (including IHG.com and IHG mobile app).

This  exclusive  partnership will more than double the number of luxury and boutique hotels which members can choose from; complementing IHG’s luxury and boutique portfolio  of  hotels and resorts across Six Senses Hotels Resorts & Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental  Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Hotel Indigo.

IHG Rewards Club members will be able to earn and redeem points across hundreds of luxury and boutique hotels around the world, including some of Smith’s most seductive stays, such as Jasper Conran’s self-styled riad hideaway L’Hôtel Marrakech, 18th-century organic Tuscan estate Borgo Pignano, high-in-the-Himalayas retreat The Kumaon and the charming Old Rectory on South Africa’s famed Garden Route. IHG’s most loyal members can expect free room upgrades whenever available and a free gift, called a Smith Extra, on arrival at each Mr & Mrs Smith hotel.

Claire Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer, IHG, commented: “IHG’s exclusive partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith illustrates the truly transformative travel we bring to our IHG Rewards Club members. This loyalty partnership will allow our most loyal guests to discover even more of the world with the most incredible and inspiring luxury rewards.

“By bringing this spectacular collection of award-winning hotels to our direct booking channels, this partnership means members can earn and redeem points in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations – the perfect complement to IHG’s growing luxury and boutique hotel portfolio, which includes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.”

Founded in 2003, Mr & Mrs Smith is a “Travel Club for Hotel Lovers,” offering a carefully curated collection of over 1,200 boutique and luxury properties in over 80 countries. Mr & Mrs Smith’s high-tech, high-touch approach to business enables deep relationships with its boutique hotel partners and onward distribution of its inventory to more travel-savvy guests.

Tamara Lohan MBE, COO & co-founder, Mr & Mrs Smith, commented: “We conceived Mr & Mrs Smith for discerning travellers who want to discover truly extraordinary places with the people they love. We are hugely excited about the opportunity to bring our growing collection of carefully curated boutique and luxury hotels to millions of IHG Rewards Club loyalty members, so they may join our members in experiencing some of the world’s most seductive hotels.”

Demonstrating the promise to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for guests and loyalty members,  IHG’s loyalty  partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith builds on IHG’s expanding luxury portfolio with the recent acquisitions of Regent Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Key highlights of  IHG’s loyalty partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith:

  • From early 2020, IHG Rewards Club members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points during qualified stays at over 500 luxury and boutique Mr & Mrs Smith properties.
  • IHG Rewards Club is one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, with more than 100 million enrolled members.
  • IHG Rewards Club points can be earned and redeemed at participating Mr & Mrs Smith hotels booked through IHG’s direct channels only.
  • The partnership gives IHG’s members more choice in where to go, with the addition of Mr & Mrs Smith properties in 14 countries where IHG doesn’t currently have open hotels.
  • IHG’s most loyal guests, including InterContinental Ambassadors and Kimpton Inner Circle members, will enjoy a free Smith Extra such as a bottle of champagne, picnic hamper or 30-minute massage on arrival at every Mr & Mrs Smith hotel, as well as automatic room upgrades whenever available.
  • Elite IHG Rewards Club members will receive their tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates (10% Gold Elite, 50% Platinum Elite, 100% Spire Elite).

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Why have they described Ambassador members as “most loyal”?! This is a paid for membership scheme, not a measure of loyalty!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I think it should probably be referring to Royal ambassador which is an invite only like Onner circle.

  2. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Could make IHG Ambassador much more attractive – hopefully not much more expensive!

  3. Optimus Prime says:

    Nice! Will we able to use our credit card free night certificates at those properties too?

  4. TGLoyalty says:

    Interesting and positive move.

    Always good having more properties worth staying at to earn and burn points with.

    Guessing it’s 500 rather than all because some are part of other loyalty schemes already.

  5. Rob – do you know what top redemption rate will be?

    • Yes this could be interesting. Aman Tokyo, for example, is £840/night and up, which seems a fair bit higher than any Intercontinental outside of the Maldives.

      • Yes there’s a lot of good news coming out of IHG recently. May have to think our point collecting strategies if it keeps up this way.

  6. Steveo_UK says:

    Is this really ‘big news’? Wonder if there might be another aviation/travel-related thing going on. Are we too Gucci to consider that?

    • If you can think of anything we could add to the million other TC articles out there, let me know. Otherwise we’ll leave it alone.

      It is actually more useful that we push this IHG announcement which is otherwise going to be drowned out. I am surprised the announcement was not pulled, to be honest.

      • Complete speculation from my viewpoint, though hear me out and it may make some semblance of sense.

        Virgin Atlantic came out very recently to talk about serious expansion if Heathrow were to change the way slots are allocated when/if the third runway is built. Both for short and long haul routes.

        A large number of aircraft and slots have pretty much just become available from Thomas Cook which Virgin Atlantic could consider buying up and use from airports in the UK which they want to have as hubs for Flybe/Virgin Connect at Glasgow and Manchester plus a Virgin Atlantic major airport at Gatwick.

        It could be a very quick and relatively cheap way to expand the way they want to without having to buy everything new, though the cabin refits could be pretty expensive if they went down that route.

        Therefore, with the Thomas Cook news, and if Virgin Atlantic wanted to really have their expansion to put pressure on British Airways then there is a potential option for them to make use Thomas Cook’s demise.

        • Only 1 aircraft if owned by Thomas Cook UK. Everything else is going back to the leasing companies.

          • That does partly scupper those thoughts. Though, potentially good terms could be sought from the leasing companies to keep their turnover too.

            I should have checked first on the aircraft ownership before jotting down that idea though.

        • I would put money on the bearded one wanting slots for free, remember the dummy being spit out until he got the BMI slots for free. What ever happened to little red and those slots.

          • He’s not calling the shots anymore though, Delta are (basically). Cheap A330s would probably be hoovered up by VS/DL as the lessors are probably open to almost giving them away. I agree on the slots – I’d be astonished if VS or Connect didn’t go after them.

    • There wasn’t much in the way of reward points with TC.

      Although, my mate has had a panic text from his elderly parents to say that they have $2,500 of Thomas Cook Traveller’s Cheques in a drawer that they’d bought about 10 years ago.

      I’ve no idea what the position is on them. I suspect that they just have TC branding and are in reality issued by someone more secure. They’re either going to have lost $2,500 or be celebrating that the $2500 they bought for £1400 is now worth £2,000

    • TGLoyalty says:

      TC going bust isn’t really going to affect the points game is it? Unfortunate for those affected but there are better sites out there covering money/insurance/s.75 matters.

      • Lady London says:

        It will relieve price pressure on one of two of the more traditional scheduled airlines on a few routes. TC out means capacity reduced. this should lead to ability of the remaining airlines to price higher. TC wasn’t just packages there was some effect on flights as well. Condor in Germany is huge – think that will get snapped up.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Condor hasn’t gone bust though?

          • Shoestring says:
          • Condor is still operating. They are waiting for a federal supported bridge-load. They claim the business is profitable but need the load to “go over the cash issues the TC will cause”. Obviously, Thomas Cook clientes in Germany who booked a hotel+flight with Condor won’t be able to fly on Condor, but outside that paradigma, all tickets are valid.

          • Lady London says:

            Not yet.
            And it will be interesting to see if there are any antics by the German federal government to support them against EU rules, sorry I mean to provide a “bridging loan” that’s as long as the Oresund bridge.

            At least, until they can be brought into the safe harbour of someone else that will own them. Too many unhappy German holidaymakers otherwise as Condor is such a big thing in Germany.

    • Head for POINTS, not Head for TRAVEL /AVIATION

      • Correct

      • so what’s the relationship between sending our kids to a BA work experience and points? or BA reduced seat capacity on 320 neo?

        Rob decides what he wants to publish, and 95% it’s points related, but sometimes there’s no relationship with points – at all. Anyone remember the plastic bottle shorts?

        • If we think it is of interest to our audience, we run it. In general, it is safe to say that 95% of our readers could not tell a Boeing 787 from a Boeing 777 from a photograph and we operate on that basis, with minimal general aviation coverage UNLESS it is about BA or Virgin. Other stuff goes in if we think it is relevant – we’ve done quite a bit on Zipcar, for example, because London professionals find it useful. I also think that any parent interested enough in BA to read HFP would be interested in their kids doing a BA work experience programme.

          • I’m completely in agreement, You are the editor (and owner) of this site and you decide what to publish (or not). You know more than anyone else the readership of your site.

            My point was, despite the site being called Hf Points, there are (sometimes) other industry articles that are not points related.

          • But are they of interest at this time to HFP’s general readership I wonder marcw? Surely our interest kicks in if TC’s aircraft are picked up by a point’s airline, how will they will be configured, any new routes coming? Hate to sound uncaring but that’s how the industry works.

          • @Russ just to clarify. I’m not suggesting Rob should write about TC. I just replied to John saying that HfP does not run always points-articles.

          • Memesweeper says:

            I think you get that about right. There’s other sites for aviation buffs.

          • ankomonkey says:

            @marcw says: 23 September 2019 at 12:29

            One day we might find out that Rob isn’t the owner of HfP and that Rob is just the nom-de-plume of a certain bearded knight who shares the same initials…

            Hasn’t ‘Rob’ been to Necker, too?

          • No, my wife got scared off by that BBC2 series!

    • There is definitely a fair amount of snobbery on this site/blog.

      • The Original David says:

        Just as there is in most Business and First aircraft cabins. I think that’s the target market…

        • Spaghetti Town says:

          I thought people had better things to do..There’s not news on points everyday, it doesn’t move as fast as the stock exchange…. if you don’t like the headline article don’t read it, it’s not compulsory nor do you pay a subscription for this site

      • Lady London says:

        There’s a bit of snobbery for sure. But most of us are here for “aspiration” I think.

  7. Karen Brown says:

    If I see another marketing press release blurb using the phrase “carefully curated”, I’m going to be sick.

    Really, really tired of that overworked, totally empty phrase.

    • Not necessarily disagreeing with you, although I think it’s the case (it certainly used to be) that Mr and Mrs Smith send staff to stay at and vet any property they market so it does have some meaning in this case.

    • Agreed. Along the same lines as “thrice cooked fries” or “pan-fried chips”. They are just effing chips.

      • Quite, and what else would you fry them in if not a pan?!! (Also “hand-cut” chips, like they taste any different!)

    • I have high hopes for this new partnership! We’ve been struggling to spend over half a million IHG points at anywhere decent value.

  8. I see a big devaluation coming next year with Ihg as I think they will use Six senses and Mr and mrs Smith to push points redemptions to new highs . I can see lots of 100k points redemptions coming in and they will then push the intercon rates up at this point .

    This is just my opinion .

    • To me it looks like a revenue based redemption option, the same way as you can pay for flights with IHG points. Mr & Mrs does not own or manage the hotels, so… who is going to pay the bill? Do you honestly believe a 70.000 redemption would pay 850 USD stay in wherever… when IHG has to pay regardless of occupation?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I’m assuming those “handpicked” hotels will be ones that choose to join the IHG scheme.

        Some are already SLH, Marriott and LHW members so will be interesting how many actually end up joining.

      • Not necessarily. The usual model, of rewards nights essentially paying the marginal cost for a room that would otherwise have gone empty, is essentially cost neutral to the hotel. So it’s not implausible that hotels might sign up to this scheme on that basis if they thought it would benefit them overall.

        • Hotel gets the same from Marriott regardless. This is about Marriott ‘managing’ the overall cost of Bonvoy.

  9. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Old Rectory doesn’t seem that high-end – it is showing as only about £100 a night when there are a few nearby at 500+!

  10. NigelthePensioner says:

    I would expect that booking Mr & Mrs Smith’s via IHG will result in less favourable room rates in exchange for the IHG points to be earned. There is still no such thing as a free lunch! We shall see, however…
    The addition of Six Senses was the catapulting into luxury that IHG truly needed; IC properties alone were not enough and some of them of course are not international 5* – Cali (4*), Medellin (4*) any many more that I have not personally tried Im,sure.

  11. There are some Mr and Mrs Smith hotels that around the £700 per night rate, they do RelaisChateaux properties, clivden, tutor glen to name but a few.

    Looking forward to seeing how IHG deal with those.

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