Has IHG Just Introduced Club Lounge Access for Mid-Tier Elites?

IHG Rewards Club has been a strong rebate program, but hasn’t offered meaningful elite benefits. They have all the right ideas but really haven’t implemented any of them.

  • no guaranteed lounge access.
  • no guaranteed late checkout.
  • no guaranteed upgrade to suites, even when available at check-in.
  • no guaranteed breakfast.

Top tier elites do get Hertz (giveaway level) status.

Otherwise most of what you get on-property from a participating Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, or related brand is the generosity of the individual hotel.

Over the summer I noted that a handful of properties were testing upgrade and club lounge benefits for top tier Spire Elites.

Scott L. shares, though, that a mailing being sent out to co-brand cardholders — who get mid-tier Platinum status just for having the card — says that they receive club lounge access!

This doesn’t appear on any IHG Rewards Club benefits page, or in the program terms and conditions, so I reached out to see what’s going on.

An IHG Americas Spokesperson tells me this mailing is incorrect, “IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Cardmembers do earn Platinum Status as a benefit of cardmembership; however, this does not include Executive Lounge Access (where available).”

So despite telling customers that there were now meaningful elite benefits, IHG Rewards Club hasn’t actually made this change. There must be a source for this confusion, so hopefully this is something they’ll do in the future.

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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Pingbacks

  1. […] Do IHG Platinums Get Lounge Access Now?:  Many rank IHG’s loyalty program towards the bottom due to their lackluster perks.  However, many IHG cardholders have received some flyers in the mail where they mention that Platinum status gets you “Executive Lounge Access (where available)”.  Hold on now, pump the brakes!  Is IHG turning a new leaf?  It’s too soon to tell, but as we get more data points, we’ll get a better idea of what this is all about.  I hope it’s good news! […]

Comments

  1. This is a CHASE BANK issue. They have told us in print we get this perk. I think I will just pay for breakfast with with my IHG card and then demand credit for each one if blocked from the clubs as it was stated clearly and we have the proof. If not, I think CHASE will be getting a class action over this one!

  2. Gary, what’s the point of this article/post?

    “Has IHG Just Introduced Club Lounge Access for Mid-Tier Elites?” is your title, but you clarify and confirm from IHG itself that this is not the case.

    This just smacks of click-bait. You are better than this!

  3. You know as a Spire Ambassador level member with IHG I don’t feel that they have the best elite perks however….I would rather they keep plugging along without many waves. IHG offers some of the best points earning and burning deals on the planet. If they take a long look at the program and overhaul it it could and likely would be for the worse.
    A good example is the 5k points break offers. If your elite and a credit card holder and you redeem for the 5,000 point properties. Sure they are limited but as a card holder you get a 10% rebate or 500 points back plus as an elite most of these offer check-in welcome points in the 500 to 600 range. So for 4,000 points you can get a free night. You might even get a free night at an Intercontinental property for 4k.
    Or how about the free annual night certificate for any hotel. If this was Marriott it would be limited to levels 1-4 or 5 or whatever.
    To me I’d like to have better access to lounges and my Ambassador status which I got cheaply from the Spire bonus points gives me lounge access at many IC hotels. So I say don’t try to fix what isn’t broken even if it could be better. The folks that review this stuff and the devalue fairy can be an evil witch if you wake her up.

  4. I had the following from a Crowne Plaza manager in January

    ‘From February – IHG are changing the welcome amenity whereby the options will include either lounge access, 600 points or a drink and snack at the bar for Platinum or Spire members.’

    So maybe something beneficial will happen for members sometime soon but I was sorry that nothing materialised!

  5. I”m Spire Elite Ambassador and just stayed at the IC in Hong Kong and I had to pay for lounge access. I also have had their credit card for several years now and I have received no such mailing or anything about benefits. Wonder if this is targeted.

  6. I was a really loyal IHG platinum for 6-7 years. Last year Hilton offered a Diamond status match and I grabbed it. Never looked back. Haven’t stayed at an IHG property since I switched. I’ve had some amazing suites at Hilton properties as complimentary upgrades.

  7. Like a previous commentator I too am Spire Ambassador, and have favored IHG hotels for a long time. I am getting very burned out on their program though — the thing that really chaps my hide is, IME, one is only ever offered a standard room to book on points. This has been my experience here in the US, in the UK and in HKG. Thanks to JimA I will look to status match to move to another chain. I have staus at Hilton, Marriott/Starwood and Shangri-La Golden Circle. Does Hilton have the better program? Marriott/Starwood seems to have more coverage?

  8. Just spoke to Chase CS. The rep said that they have just been advised that the mailer was sent out in error…No lounge access for IHG plat cardholders.
    Now I am curious as to how Chase will handle this further…

  9. Jim A is right. What does anyone need IHG for if you can get [and keep] Hilton Diamond status. Their top end hotels are invariably superior to anything IHG has to offer and Hilton status really means something. diamonds get complimentary lounge access and breakfast. Those are benefits that are worth a great deal. That being said I still keep my IHG Chase card and its Platinum status for those places where there is no Hilton. Despite what they oblige themselves to do some IHG properties are actually very generous with upgrades.

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