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Why IHG Rewards ‘bonus points packages’ are an easy way to earn elite status quickly

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If you are looking to earn status in IHG Rewards, one of the easiest ways of doing it is by booking ‘bonus points packages’.

There are other ways to get easy status-qualifying points, as this HfP article explains, but the methods are fewer than they were.

When you are search for hotels on ihg.com, you will often – but not always – come across a situation like this when you select Best Flexible Rate (click to enlarge):

This example is from the Holiday Inn Slough Windsor.

You are paying an extra £17 for 5,000 IHG Rewards points.  This is worth doing just for the points – I value an IHG point at 0.4p, so you are getting £20-worth of bonus points.

Note that, in this example, the 5,000 bonus points are awarded per stay.  This means that it is a poor deal if you book in for more than one night at the higher rate.

These points also qualify for elite status

This is the real reason why you may want to book a ‘bonus points package’.

As well as counting towards booking a free night, the points you earn are ‘elite qualifying’.  This means that they count towards status renewal or promotion.

Do a few of these stays and the current reduced thresholds of 30,000 points for Platinum Elite or 55,000 points for Spire Elite can be well within your grasp.

IHG Rewards bonus points packages

Remember that Spire Elite triggers an additional 25,000 points bonus

One of (few) perks of having top tier IHG Rewards Spire Elite status is that you receive 25,000 bonus points.

There is a second option, which is gifting Platinum Elite status to a friend, but I think most people will take the 25,000 points instead.

If you value 25,000 IHG Rewards points at £100, as we do, then this is an additional incentive to book a few of these packages to get across the 55,000 status points threshold.

Is there an easy way of finding hotels with ‘bonus points packages’?

Yes.

IHG Rewards has a special landing page which will highlight hotels in search results which offer these package.  Click here to see it.

It isn’t totally user friendly, unfortunately.  You need to choose whether you want to see hotels with either 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 or 5,000 bonus points per stay.  There are also multiple variations of each package.  There is no ‘show all’ option, and no option to sort your search results to prioritise the hotels with the rate, but it is a good start.

As you begin to think about whether you will requalify for IHG Rewards status for 2022, assuming that there is no additional rollover, ‘bonus points packages’ could be part of your strategy.


IHG Rewards update – July 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.

New to IHG Rewards?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.

There is a 75% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards points by 13th August.

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.

Comments (36)

  • Prins Polo says:

    I’ve been Spire for over two years and find this to be the most useless status out there.

    • Nick says:

      Agreed! I’ve had Spire since inception and we were promised so much when it started. However, apart from the, frankly, unexciting, Hertz Five Star Upgrade, there is little else to entice you to use IHG properties, when comparing with the likes of HH.

  • ChrisC says:

    I would check the T&Cs when looking for these bonus package offers.

    Most are per night and clearly state that but yes there are some which are per stay and can switch from one to the other depending on how many bonus points you select.

    And if you select the ‘non member rate’ there can be further options.

    I was looking at the IC Times Square on Saturday for a hopeful stay later this year and clicking on the non member rate for the “1000 points package” it’s offering me an additional 4,000 bonus points for £29 extra a night. (But the IC in San Francisco was offering me an extra 4K points for £18 a night on a different stay) These extra 4K points aren’t offered to me as an existing member.

    Looking at the IC NYC the BNPL rate is £ 194 per night, the 1k package is £ 202. So in that case the bonus points will cost me £8 so they may not always be worth it on a strict penny paid per point basis but could in terms of status and the extra (though non qualifying) points you get from that.

    But for the dates I was looking at it was only offered on a king bed superior room and not the more expensive ones such as the King Bed Skyview rooms.

    YMMV when you do the calculations.

    • Phillip says:

      You can see a similar variety even with the example Rob used. If you go for the non member rate at the HI Windsor Slough on certain dates you can see the 5000 bonus points offer is per night.

      • kitten says:

        so silly question…do those nonmember offerings still show up if you then log in and book?

  • Lynn Ayling says:

    I am Spire Elite and stayed at Cardiff North last night. I was refused an upgrade even though they had availability, stating they wanted to keep longer between stays because of Covid is this acceptable. The upgrade at this hotel makes a huge difference as there two rooms joined by a corridor, a bath and a fridge.

    • Matty says:

      Spire Elite too. I booked the CP Gatwick last December. I’d booked a Club room. The Club Lounge was closed because of the pandemic but the bar was open. I was refused a drinks voucher by the manager, in lieu of access to the lounge, because I’d booked “a cheap rate”. I’d booked ‘Best Available’ – £89 for the night.

      • Anna says:

        I might be staying there this summer if my Plan B is enacted! I’ll remember not to expect much. It does seem to vary between hotels though, we had some very nice freebies and upgrades on most of our IHG stays last year.

        • Mark Peterborough says:

          I am a spire and have stayed at the CP Gatwick about a dozen times. I think I have managed to get the Lounge twice in total.

          Much more luck at the CP London City and CP Nottingham.

          • kitten says:

            Why would anyone bother staying, ever, at the IHG Crowne Plaza Gatwick now that we know about this?

            Also a bit worried as there is a handful of Crowne Plaza properties in Europe/UK that I stay in, in preference to other properties whose overall standards are about the same. But the Crowne Plaza has a lounge so I stay there. Seen on here some CP’s appear to be closing their lounges? removing my reason to choose CP within IHG, and quite likely taking my regular stays away from CP.

          • Anna says:

            kitten – 1 night stay and 15 nights’ parking for £111 in August, that’s why!

          • Lady London says:

            Aaaahhh @Anna yes I can see the point of that.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Flip side – suite once and lounge every time here and never even a slightly less shitty room at cp Nottingham (great bar area lousy everything else)

      • Jason says:

        Same thing happened to me at CP Plymouth last summer. I booked a club room and Lounge was closed. When I asked for a voucher or something else I was just simply told the club room rate was discounted already……..typical cheap IHG…..very poor rewards program and customer service.

  • Tom says:

    Am Spire Elite. Totally pointless.

    Doesn’t inspire me to stay with them.

    Only have 100k points but I doubt that I will hold status beyond the end of this year (I assume status goes until 31st December?)

  • Dev says:

    All good and well but why spend extra on getting points for Elite status that is considered useless?

    (I understand that in the article, you are spending £17 for £20 value, but is it really worth it?)

    • John says:

      If you would really spend £18 instead of 5000 points earned elsewhere, then yes

      Look at all the fuss every time there is an opportunity to earn 500 avios

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If it’s November 21 and you need 3000 points to hit 55k

      Then spending a bit more on your stay nets you a 25k bonus!

    • Rob says:

      ‘Useless’ is unfair, especially if you love Jacob’s Club biscuits or Kit-Kats 🙂

      Club access at Crowne Plaza hotels in Europe is now fairly common, for instance. It’s just ‘useless’ compared to guaranteed 4pm check-outs, eligibility for suite upgrades, free breakfast etc.

    • Lady London says:

      one use may be potentially to match it. statusmatcher dot com. please contribute there if you make a match yourself, so they can have as many data points as possible for us to look to.

      It covers airlines and hotels.

  • Andrew says:

    I presume those of us who were rolled over to Spire from last year as an extension due to covid, and recently got the 25k gifted to us, if we hit the 55k threshold this year, we won’t get another 25k will we? Or was that 25k from last year, just paying now?

    • Anna says:

      I qualified for Spire last year, just got the “extra” 25k points this morning, won’t hit Spire for this year till next month so who knows?

    • Lyn says:

      It was “that 25K from last year, just paying now” – for those with the covid status extension anyway.

      So you should get another 25K if you requalify this year via the 55K threshold.

  • Diydegsy says:

    Anyone have a number for ambassador customer services?

  • GERRY says:

    I find IHG decent for earning nights, Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv beach is normally 30k points with cash rate at times 200+

    • Mr. AC says:

      CP Tel Aviv is one of the gems in the program I’d say… Do they still give access to the lounge if you have status?

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