IHG Rewards Club Elite Status Ultimate Guide [Gold, Platinum, Spire]

The InterContinental Hotel Group (“IHG”) has three elite levels, Gold, Platinum, and Spire that can get you nice benefits at IHG’s more than 5,600 hotels across 100 countries.

You can use your IHG elite staus at their many hotel brands, including Holiday Inn, Kimpton, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, and EVEN Hotels.

IHG also has a unique elite status level applicable at their InterContinetal Hotel brand called the InterContiental Ambassador Program.

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    IHG Club Status

    IHG Club is the base status for anyone who joins the IHG Rewards Club program.

    All you have to do is fill out your information, such as name, address, and email, to create a free account.

    IHG Club Benefits

    IHG Club members have the following benefits at IHG Hotels:

    10 Points Per Dollar– Club members earn 10 points per dollar when staying at IHG Hotels, and 5 points per dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

    Free Internet– Club members and all elite members enjoy free internet when staying at IHG Hotels.

    Holiday Inn
    Photo: IHG

    IHG Gold Elite Status

    The lowest elite tier in the IHG Rewards Club is Gold Elite status.

    Gold Status only requires ten hotel nights per year, but it has minimal benefits that include a 10% points bonus, a welcome amenity, and late checkout.

    How to Earn Gold Elite Status

    You can earn IHG Gold Elite status by staying either 10 nights or earning 10,000 qualifying points during a calendar year.

    IHG revised these requirements for 2020 due to COVID-19 and now require only seven nights or 7,000 qualifying points during a calendar year.

    You could also earn Gold Status by spending $10,000 on the IHG Traveler card.

    But you are much better off opening the IHG Premier card, which automatically gives you Platinum Elite status.

    IHG Gold Elite Benefits

    10% Points Bonus- Gold Elite members earn 11 points per dollar when staying at IHG Hotels, and 5.5 points per dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

    Welcome Amenity- Elite members receive a welcome amenity upon check-in, which varies by hotel. It is typically either the choice of 500-1000 IHG points or a snack bag. But at Kimpton Hotels, you can “Raid the Mini Bar,” which is a $10 credit to the restaurant bar or your mini bar in your room.

    Late Checkout– You can request a late checkout as a Gold Elite member, which is typically 2 p.m.

    Points Don’t Expire– IHG points typically expire 12 months after inactivity, but points will not expire as an elite member.

    Priority Check-In– Gold Elite members receive priority check-in, which can be convenient at hotels during peak times.

    $30 Spa Credit– Elite members enjoy a $30 spa credit at participating Kimpton properties, which you can apply to any 50-80 minute service on the menu. 

    Photo: Hotel Indigo Bangkok

    IHG Platinum Elite Status

    The middle-tier IHG elite status is Platinum Elite. 

    The benefits are good for a mid-tier status, and it is easily obtained via holding the Chase IHG Premier card.

    How to Earn Platinum Elite Status

    You can earn IHG Platinum Elite status by staying either 40 nights or earning 40,000 qualifying points during a calendar year.

    IHG revised these requirements for 2020 due to COVID-19 and now require only 30 nights or 30,000 qualifying points during a calendar year.

    You can also earn Platinum Elite status with the Chase IHG Premier card

    The card has an annual fee of $89 per year, but it worth it because of the free hotel night certificate at any hotel of 40,000 points or less each cardmember anniversary.

    The other way to earn Platinum Elite status is by paying $200 per year for the InterContinental Ambassador Program, which we cover below.

    IHG Platinum Elite Benefits

    50% Points Bonus– Platinum Elite members earn 15 points per dollar when staying at IHG Hotels, and 7.5 points per dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

    Room Upgrades- Platinum elite members are eligible for space-available complimentary room upgrades. Upgrades do not include suites or specialty rooms. Upgrades at most hotels are typically rooms on higher floors or rooms with preferred views.

    Late Checkout– You can request a late checkout as a Platinum Elite member, which is typically 2 p.m.

    Welcome Amenity– Elite members receive a welcome amenity upon check-in, which varies by hotel. It is typically either the choice of 500-1000 IHG points or a snack bag. But at Kimpton Hotels, you can “Raid the Mini Bar,” which is a $10 credit to the restaurant bar or your mini bar in your room.

    Guaranteed Availability- Platinum Elite members are guaranteed one room on paid reservations made at least 72 hours in advance, but hotels cannot ensure this benefit during times of extraordinary demand.

    Points Don’t Expire– IHG points typically expire 12 months after inactivity, but points will not expire as an elite member.

    Priority Check-In– Platinum Elite members get priority check-in, which can be convenient at hotels during peak times.

    $30 Spa Credit– Elite members enjoy a $30 spa credit at participating Kimpton properties that you can apply to any 50-80 minute service on the menu. 

    Kimpton Seafire Resort
    Photo: Kimpton Seafire Resort

    IHG Spire Elite Status

    The top-tier in the IHG Rewards program is Spire Elite status. 

    Compared to other top-tier elite status levels, Spire Elite lacks the higher-end benefits such as Hyatt’s Globalist status or Marriott’s Ambassador Elite status.

    But Spire Elite members earn a 100% points bonus on stays, which is an excellent benefit considering other hotel programs offer only 35-75% points bonus for top-tier elites.

    How to Earn Spire Elite Status

    You can earn IHG Spire Elite status by staying either 75 nights or earning 75,000 qualifying points during a calendar year.

    IHG revised these requirements for 2020 due to COVID-19 and now require only 55 nights or 55,000 qualifying points during a calendar year.

    Points transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards earn qualifying points, so you could transfer 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points to qualify each year. But we advise against it because there are many better uses of Ultimate Rewards points.

    IHG Spire Elite Benefits

    100% Points Bonus– Spire Elite members earn 20 points per dollar when staying at IHG Hotels, and 10 points per dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

    Welcome Amenity– Elite members receive a welcome amenity upon check-in, which varies by hotel. It is typically either the choice of 500-1000 IHG points or a snack bag. But at Kimpton Hotels, you can “Raid the Mini Bar,” which is a $10 credit to the restaurant bar or your mini bar in your room.

    Choice Benefit Upon Qualification- Spire Elite members can choose between 25,000 bonus IHG points or the ability to gift Platinum Elite status to a family member or friend when they qualify for Spire status each year.

    Room Upgrades- Platinum elite members are eligible for space-available complimentary room upgrades. Upgrades do not include suites or specialty rooms. Upgrades at most hotels are typically rooms on higher floors or rooms with preferred views.

    Early and Priority Check-In- Spire Elite members may check-in as early as 10:00 a.m., subject to avaliability by the hotel. Spire members can also utilize the priority check-in line.

    Late Checkout– You can request a late checkout as a Spire Elite member, which is typically 2 p.m., but a hotel may be more flexible consider Spire is the top-tier of elite status.

    Hertz 5 Star Elite Status– Spire Elite members get Hertz Five Star elite status, which gets you 25% more points on rentals and upgrades as available.

    Guaranteed Availability- Spire Elite members are guaranteed one room on paid reservations made at least 72 hours in advance, but hotels cannot ensure this perk during times of extraordinary demand.

    Points Don’t Expire– IHG points typically expire 12 months after inactivity, but points will not expire as an elite member.

    $30 Spa Credit– Elite members enjoy a $30 spa credit at participating Kimpton properties, which you can apply to any 50-80 minute service on the menu. 

    InterContinental Maldives
    Photo: InterContinental Maldives

    InterContinental Ambassador Program

    The InterContinental Ambassador Program is a unique elite program only for InterContinetal Hotels.

    It is a paid program that costs $200 per year or 40,000 IHG points. 

    The Ambassador Program offers excellent benefits and is worth it if you plan to stay at InterContinetal Hotels several times per year.

    InterContinental Ambassador Benefits

    The Ambassador Program offers the following great benefits:

    Free Weekend Night– You can get one free weekend night that is valid on the second night of a paid weekend stay. It is essentially a buy one get one-night free certificate each year.

    Guaranteed Room Upgrade– Ambassadors are guaranteed a room at least one level higher than the category purchased. The other upgrades for IHG elites are “space available” upgrades, so this is a nice perk of the program.

    • If a room upgrade is unavailable, you are entitled to a restaurant or spa credit of $50 or 10,000 IHG points.

    4 p.m. Late Checkout- Ambassadors enjoy a 4:00 p.m. late checkout, which is a very nice perk if you need to freshen up after a meeting or day exploring a city.

    • If late checkout is unavailable, you are entitled to a restaurant or spa credit of $50 or 10,000 IHG points.

    Platinum Elite Status– Ambassadors automatically get IHG Platinum Elite status, which allows you to enjoy elite benefits at all of IHG’s hotels.

    $20 Food and Drink Credit– You can enjoy a $20 restaurant and bar credit each stay.

    Free Mineral Water– Bottled water is costly at hotels, but Ambassadors get free mineral water each day.

    Premium Internet– Ambassadors receive upgraded internet where available, which is great for streaming video or video chatting.

    Dedicated Check-In Area– You can bypass the long check-in lines as and head straight for the Ambassador check-in desk when arriving.

    Hertz 5 Star Elite Status– Ambassadors get Hertz Five Star elite status, which gets you 25% more points on rentals and upgrades as available.

    InterContinental Willard Washington D.C.
    Photo: InterContinental Willard Washington D.C.

    The Verdict

    IHG’s elite status program is fairly solid, but don’t expect any outstanding perks such as free breakfast at hotel restaurants or suite upgrades.

    IHG’s strengths are that elite members earn a lot of points, there will likely be an IHG hotel wherever you go, and it is easy to earn Platinum Elite status with the IHG Premier card.