IHG Rewards Club Top Tier ‘Spire Elite’ Members Finally Get a Benefit

Last year IHG Rewards Club (née Priority Club, the loyalty program for Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and related brands) introduced a new top tier elite level, Spire Elite.


This Photograph Celebrated the Launch of Spire Elite Status

Existing IHG Rewards Club elite levels offered almost nothing: no promise of suites, or club lounge, or breakfast, or even late checkout.

The new level requires 75 nights or 75,000 points earned and still offers none of those things. It does, however, offer a 100% points bonus on paid stays and the ability to either take 25,000 bonus points or gift Platinum (now mid-tier) status to another member.

Historically the program has been very generous with points promotions towards free nights but not very generous with elite status. They have a lot of hotels, many limited service. But the lack of benefits even extending to guaranteed late checkout (and excluding upgrade benefits on award stays) has been pretty appalling.

Their new top tier status doesn’t do much to change that. But they’ve now sent out a new benefit: Hertz Five Star status. They’re sending out an email to Spire Elite members with a link to sign up for or upgrade their Hertz account status (HT: Jim N.):

That’s not a very rich benefit, or a unique one, but it’s a benefit.

A little over a year ago United and Hertz introduced a tie-up. Hertz and its other brands became United’s exclusive car rental partner. United Platinum and higher elites got Hertz Presidents Circle status. Silvers and Golds got Five Star status from Hertz.

But United didn’t become Hertz’s exclusive airline partner. Two months later Delta and Hertz did a tie-in. Delta Platinum and Diamond members got President Circle, and Golds got Five Star.

Presidents Circle is the second-highest level in the Hertz program. It comes with a guaranteed one car class upgrade up to full size only and 25% bonus on points earned.

Five Star gets that one car class upgrade if available and a 10% bonus on points earned. Meh. Though as I’ve said many times, it’s like my grandfather’s saying “better than a hole in the head.” And it is.

IHG’s benefit isn’t as good as Delta’s or United’s (since the airlines give higher tier Hertz status to their top elites).

IHG’s tie-in with Hertz is broader than just elite status for Spire members. They have new point bonuses, for general members and more points for elites as well:

I wouldn’t credit Hertz rentals to IHG Rewards Club, since these aren’t actually a lot of points, I consider an IHG Rewards Club point to be worth 6/10ths of a cent apiece. But more points are better than fewer and some people do credit their rentals to the program so they’ll benefit.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I’ve also been receiving unsolicited 600 “Welcome Amenity Points” on all IHG stays (including ICs). Granted, that’s only worth about $3.50, but it’s better than nothing.

  2. IHG Rewards knows that their typical elite is a business traveler who’s travel policy prohibits nicer hotel chains. Since most of the traveler’s stays are on business, what good would a free breakfast provide if they can expense it anyways? They know that this customer would rather rack up points for a free leisure stay at one of the few swanky properties in their portfolio.

  3. The new top level of IHG rewards club is a total waste as far as I am concerned. My employer allows me to pick what property I can stay with. I travel about 170 days a year. I have top status with Hyatt and they know how to treat the high end business traveler. Usually get upgraded to a suite and always get the club level. IHG is a big joke.

  4. Hertz 5 star is pretty much useless. Somewhat insulting they can’t give a higher status given the number of nights to achieve that status, most members will likely have a higher status anyway from other tie ins.

  5. The Spire benefits are lackluster. But IHG has made it incredibly easy to score Spire elite status by staying only 3-4 nights. Simply choose their upscale hotels where you can book one of those EQ Bonus Points Packages for an extra 20k-30k per stay. Voila!

  6. I have Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status from United Club card. Really, even that PC status is not that worthy of any excitement. The true issue for spire elites like me is to use hotel lounges Complimentarily. And we have been very disappointed so far.

    https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/products/travelproducts/car/pages/hertz-faqs.aspx
    “Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status for primary cardmembers of the United MileagePlus Club and United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Cards who enroll at united.com/HertzChaseBenefit “

  7. I tried booking a rental car with the IHG offer code as 35% discount sounded good. But for all my upcoming rentals it would only discount the rate by 10%. Given the ridiculous pricing of Hertz in the first place (One week for a BMW 3 series or equivalent in MIA $980 with Hertz and $278 with Sixt), I’ll stay with Sixt then 😉

  8. I didn’t get status but got the below with Ambassador status. (I’m plat too)

    As an IHG® Rewards Club member, things just got even better.

    Take advantage of your new and improved Hertz benefits:
    • Save up to 35% off every car rental
    • Earn 1,500 IHG® Rewards Club points per rental when you book directly with IHG

    Plus, earn an additional 500 IHG® Rewards Club points per rental day, only for Elite members like you.

  9. I love some of the properties – such as the IC Toronto Yorkville and the IC Monterey. But I don’t like the program – the points can’t be used towards nicer rooms or suites.

  10. Guys, as a Spire Elite I thought it would allow access to the Lounges, where they have them. But so far no joy. Does anyone know how this works with Spire Elite status?

    Thanks
    Andy

  11. This so called new status really offers you nothing but some extra points toward a points stay. It is worthless to me in my travels. I pretty much stick with Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt hotel when I can find them. Hyatt really knows how to take care of its regular customers with club level upgrades and many time suite upgrades. IHG does have some nice properties but forget having any real status.

  12. I just earned Spire Elite (Ambassador) with IHG but I have to say, this program is definitely not worth it’s salt in rewards for top tier. Honestly, I wish I would have spent the time boosting my Marriott status. I will definitely utilize the Delta/ SPG crossover rewards now that I can also transfer points between Marriott and SPG accounts. IHG is a joke, and totally not worth it. Plus their internet is usually slow anyway lol.

  13. I agree with others and Brian in 100%. If they don’t at least guarantee lounge access with Spire Elite , it is simply making joke of customer and waste of time staying with IHG brands.
    I’m moving to Marriott or Hilton brands immediately to get better benefits and compensate smoothly longer stays on the projects.

  14. I am going to stick with Hyatt. I get the most bang for my buck with their program. Since I usually stay at least 75 days a year or more It is nice to get free club level status along with any other perks they offer. I had Spire Elite in 2016 but after staying a couple of times and getting nothing I switched back to using Hyatt. I like the Hyatt product a tad better anyway.

  15. With the exception of the Intercontinental Group, my experience with this chain is appalling. Not only don’t you get perks for SPIRE status but you routinely experience the most abysmal service of any hotel chain. Right now, I’m at one of their properties, its 5PM, the room isn’t made and the front desk doesn’t give a s**t.

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