We missed a trick … the new IHG Rewards ‘double points’ hotel bonus is ELITE QUALIFYING
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Last week we ran an article on the new IHG Rewards ‘double points’ promotion, which starts on 1st February.
When I wrote this up, I missed a key point. The bonus points you earn from this promotion are elite qualifying.
Having the bonus points counting towards elite status is a big deal.
In March 2022, IHG Rewards is relaunching. From the launch date – and we don’t know the exact date – you will need to earn the following for elite status:
- Silver – requires 10 nights
- Gold – requires 20 nights or 40,000 base points
- Platinum – requires 40 nights or 60,000 base points
- Diamond – requires 70 nights or 120,000 base points
However, until March, the current status levels require FAR fewer base points. This is partly because the new scheme makes it harder to earn status, and partly because there is a 25% covid mitigation in place.
You currently need:
- Gold – requires 7 nights or 7,500 base points
- Platinum – requires 30 nights or 30,000 base points
- Spire – requires 55 nights or 55,000 base points
If you could hit the targets above before the new programme launches in March, you would lock in status at the old points requirement and keep it until the end of 2023.
How does the maths work?
Let’s take Platinum Elite.
You currently need 30,000 base points. This require $3,000 of pre-tax hotel spending, so around £2,200 of pre-tax spending.
From 1st February until whenever the new scheme launches in March, this is effectively halved. You’d earn Platinum Elite with around £1,100 of pre-tax spending, because your 100% points bonus is (unusually) elite qualifying.
Even if you already have Spire Elite top tier status, pushing a few expensive stays towards IHG Rewards in February and March – to earn double status points – would soften the blow of the huge jump in base points needed for Diamond in 2023.
Here is a reminder of how the new IHG Rewards promotion works.
How does IHG’s new ‘2x’ promotion work?
This is how it goes:
- You must register in advance via this link
- You earn 2 x base points on every stay during the promotional period after registration
- Your bonus points count towards elite status
- Existing bookings count
- You must complete your stays between 1st February and 31st March
Existing bookings DO count so there is no need to rebook anything. Only one room per stay counts towards the offer, so if you are booking multiple rooms you should put each in a different name.
How many points will I earn?
The standard earning rate in IHG Rewards is 10 points per US$1 (73p) excluding taxes. I value an IHG Rewards point at 0.4p although you can often do better, which means your base return is 4p per 73p spent, ie 5.5%.
Under this offer, a member with no IHG status would receive 11.0% back in points. This isn’t bad, of course, but we’ve seen better.
Of course, most HfP readers will have some sort of IHG Rewards status. This comes with a status bonus (applies to base points only):
- 10% bonus for Gold Elite
- 50% bonus for Platinum Elite
- 100% bonus for Spire Elite
This means that a Spire Elite member will be earning 30 points per $1. This is 12p of points for every 73p spent ex-VAT, or a return of 16.4%.
Now that I know the bonus points from the new IHG Rewards promotion count for elite status, I am more positive about the offer.
That said …. given the HUGE increase in the base points needed for top tier status (120,000 points in 2022 vs 55,000 points in 2021), it is unlikely to make a lot of difference to most people who currently have Spire Elite. They are heading for a downgrade from Diamond Elite next year irrespective of the impact of this new offer.
For some people, however, the ability to run up a lot of status qualifying IHG Rewards points during February and March will be attractive.
Click here to register for IHG’s double points promotion. It kicks in for stays from 1st February.
IHG One Rewards update – May 2023:
Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global bonus points promotion.
New to IHG One Rewards? Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.
IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th June.
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.