You Can Now Status Match To IHG’s Top Tier Status Level (But It’s Hard To Care)

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IHG Rewards has launched a publicly available status match offer for all three of its tiers so, if you have any kind of status with another hotel loyalty program, IHG Rewards will match it for 90 days and offer you a challenge to keep your IHG status through to the end of 2020.

The status match offer is only open to residents of the United States and the United Kingdom and IHG is limiting the number of status matches to its top-tier ‘Spire’ status to 2,500….so apply sooner rather than later if this interests you.

Headline Terms & Conditions

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  • You must be an IHG® Rewards Club member to participate in the promotion.
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  • The promotion is valid in the United States & United Kingdom only.
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  • Current Spire Elite members are not eligible for this promotion.
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  • Upon Registration, members will be given the opportunity to match a competitor’s hotel loyalty program status.
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  • You must register for the promotion between June 17, 2019 – June 30, 2019.
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  • By clicking “Match My Status” (on the registration page ) you are registering for the promotion and agreeing to receive IHG Rewards Club marketing communications and the terms and conditions of the promotion and Privacy Statement.
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  • Members will be awarded a status match after completing the requirements of submitting their first name, last name, email address, IHG Rewards Club member number, hotel loyalty program you want us to match, your status with that program, and an attachment showing proof of status.
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  • In order to maintain the status IHG Rewards Club grants you beyond 90 days, you must have two (2) Qualifying nights to maintain Gold Elite, five (5) Qualifying nights to maintain Platinum Elite, and ten (10) Qualifying nights to maintain Spire Elite, in which you will maintain this status through December 31, 2020.
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  • If you do not meet with required nights, you will be eligible for the tier you did qualify for during the Promotion.
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  • Hurdle completion must be completed 90 days after date of registration.
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  • Only 2,500 members will be granted Spire Elite status.
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  • Spire Elite upgrades will not include the Exclusive Choice Benefit.
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  • There is no cap for Gold Elite or Platinum Elite.
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  • Status match is available only once to each member.

Full terms and conditions are available on the promotion page via this link

Thoughts

On the one hand I guess it’s nice that it’s now possible to get another top-tier hotel status through to the end of 2020 after just 10 nights while, on the other hand, I’m finding it really hard to care….and here’s why:

In the grand scheme of things IHG Rewards ‘Spire’ Elite isn’t a very good status at all. In fact, it’s probably the weakest top-tier status of any of the four major hotel chain loyalty programs…and by some distance.

Here’s what all the tiers of IHG Rewards offer in terms of benefits :

Spire Elite doesn’t offer any of the following:

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  • Complimentary breakfast (a benefit that mid-tier Hilton elites get)
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  • Guaranteed late checkout (a benefit that’s even guaranteed for mid-tier Hyatt elites)
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  • Suite upgrades – IHG properties are specifically excluded from having to offer suite upgrades
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  • Upgrades on award nights
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  • Guaranteed benefits at IHG’s top properties (the InterContinental brand)

It’s a remarkably poor offering.

To be able to match to Spire Elite you must currently have top-tier status with another chain so the 10 nights you’ll have to spend at IHG properties will, presumably, come at the expense of 10 nights spent with the chain where you have top-tier status….and I don’t see how most people would benefit from that.

If you have top-tier status with Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt why would you give up the benefits that those chains will offer you (over the course of 10 nights) in exchange for the rather basic offering from IHG?

If you’re fortunate enough to be accepted for a Spire Elite status challenge as a result of having top-tier status with an insignificant hotel program that few have heard of and even fewer use (or if you have no hope of keeping your current top-tier status past this year), I can see why the Spire Elite challenge may be appealing….but for most other people it’s nothing more than a colossal waste of time.

The Gold and Platinum status challenges are just as bad.

These status challenges are only open to people in the US and the UK and,
in both countries, you can get credit cards that offer IHG Platinum Status as one of their benefits….so why would you bother doing a challenge?

In the the Chase IHG Rewards Traveler card costs just $29/year and comes with automatic IHG Gold status while the Chase IHG Rewards Premier Card costs $89/year and comes with automatic Platinum status for as long as the card is held.

In the UK the IHG Rewards Club credit card from Creation comes without an annual fee and offers automatic IHG Gold status while the IHG Rewards Premium credit card (also from Creation) costs £99 and comes with automatic Platinum status.

Bottom Line

There’s always something exciting about hearing that someone, somewhere is offering a status match but, in this case, it doesn’t take much digging to discover that what’s on offer probably isn’t worth the effort for most people.

Yes, some people may well benefit from doing a challenge to IHG Rewards Spire status but if you already hold top-tier status with one of the other major players this is unlikely to be an offer that’s worth your time.