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Good news – spend on IHG’s UK hotel credit cards WILL continue to count for status

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Last week we ran a three part series on the new IHG One Rewards loyalty programme.

One change to the scheme, which is made very clear in IHG’s own material, is that points from spending on IHG credit cards will no longer count towards elite status.

I wasn’t surprised to see this go, because IHG was an outlier here. You don’t earn points towards Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors status when you spend on their respective cards. The points you earn are treated as ‘non-base points’ in the same way as earnings from any other partner.

IHG credit card points count for status

That said, it was a smart move which did drive card use. I once qualified for Spire Elite status on the back of IHG spend, back when HMRC accepted UK personal credit cards with low fees.

IHG has been in touch with us, however, to say that there is an exception being made for the UK market.

Spending on the two Creation-issued IHG One Rewards credit cards WILL continue to count towards status.

This is particularly attractive for those with high credit card spending. Anyone putting £60,000 per year through the IHG Premium Mastercard would earn 120,000 points which would qualify you for the new Diamond Elite top tier. This comes with free breakfast at all IHG hotels, along with promises of – for once – meaningful upgrades, including potentially suites.

Don’t forget that Milestone Rewards are where the real benefits are

You need to remember one thing. In the new IHG One Rewards programme, the two best benefits:

  • free club lounge access, and
  • guaranteed, confirmed-in-advance, suite upgrades

…. are triggered by nights stayed and not base points earned. Even if you do spend enough on your IHG credit card to earn Diamond Elite status, you will NOT get the two benefits above. You can only earn these via ‘heads in beds’, which is a radical concept in hotel loyalty these days …..

IHG One Rewards update – July 2024:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global 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.

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 (96)

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  • Ian says:

    Do IHG/Creation cards actually work anyway? Mine didn’t. Their online ‘security’ was utterly awful and meant that after about a month of having the card, every online transaction I attempted was declined. Then, having pointed out to Creation that the card was useless, it took another three months to get them to close the account.

    • Matty says:

      You should have linked it to a Curve card, bought some NS&I bonds and Creation would have closed your account in two months… 🙂

    • RussellH says:

      Never had a problem using either the Marriott or the iHG card. Mostly in shops, but also online – mainly Council Tax + Utilities. In shops it often asks for a PIN only after a few contactless transactions, but I see that as +ve.
      My problem is the credit limit. Just been turned down for an increase from the £3850 limit on the Marriott card, so I could put some home improvements on it. [£3850 is fine for routine spending, obviously.]
      The limit on the iHG card is a bit higher, but I do not want to use that card – we have plenty of IHG points anyway!

      I had long had the impression that Creation did not give large credit limits, but since Rob mentions people putting £60,000 per year through the IHG Premium Mastercard, some people must have got much higher credit limits out of them!

      • marks7389 says:

        I think I had ~£12K on mine, until Creation decided to cancel it. The irony being I could easily have put a lot more through it than I did in everyday spend rather than using other cards. Yet, seemingly because it was linked to Curve, I was deemed to be an unprofitable / undesirable customer.

        It does seem likely that the cards days are numbered for remaining cardholders. I would advise anyone who has one not to bank on Creation honouring any outstanding points or vouchers when they do finally exit.

      • Rui N. says:

        People were putting £60k per week just a few months ago… just need to pay mid-cycle (of course, not very useful for very large purchases)

      • Tim says:

        I found out the other week that apparently Creation suspended credit card limit reviews during the last two years of the pandemic. Now wanting to use the card for more of my spending, I had filled out their online credit limit request form and got the acknowledgment email to say I’d get a decision with 5 working days. I heard no more of course and so called them. The agent did say that they were now thinking of resuming limit reviews over the coming months, and she was able to give me a smaller than requested increase there and then.

    • Tim says:

      If I’m going to have a problem with a credit card, it will undoubtedly be the IHG/Creation one. The retailer won’t be able to connect to them for an authorisation, sometimes it’s taken ages for the necessary security code to be texted, or they’ll decide to decline it out of security concerns, but are in no rush to reach out to you to verify it was a genuine transaction. And the fact they only work office hours means there’s no 24/7 support. Deep down I hope IHG changes its U.K. card partner at some point.

  • Jennifer says:

    From those at the bottom of this pile in terms of status – free IHG card/silver elite status – the worry is that if the UK card(s) are likely to be cancelled at some point, what happens to points built up painfully by the odd stay or bought when the bonus offer was good and there were still some ‘sweet spots’ for points-only bookings? Having sold them to you themselves, surely they can’t just void them/expire them and say you no longer have any status to use them?

    • Rob says:

      Expiry rules are very lenient. They never expire if you have status, and any activity (doesn’t even need to be a stay) once every 12 months protects points for non-status members.

  • @mkcol says:

    Hmmmmm…worth buying 60k Marriott points to see PSB? 🤔

  • Ruralite says:

    Just had latest Creation/IHG statement, which is the first one after the membership status change, and the points have indeed credited my IHG account as elite qualifying

  • ashic says:

    Any news on new IHG cards for the UK? Chase seems to have entered the UK personal card market, and over in the States, they do the IHG cards. They recently announced some changes to go along with the new IHG rewards programme.

  • James W says:

    Interesting on the IHG front given the credit card population has probably halved if not more in the last 12 months and no sign of new custom thanks to Creation pulling all cards from the market.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for clarification on expiring points, Rob – very quick reply and very much appreciated, despite the shameful tardiness of this reply!

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