IHG reduces elite status qualifications, extends Ambassador membership


For IHG enthusiasts who missed the detail in yesterday’s post about coronavirus cancellation policy, note that IHG has reduced elite status qualification requirements for earning status in 2020. While these requirements will still be out of reach for many who are (understandably) reducing travel at the moment, it is nonetheless good to see at least one program’s response to make status easier to obtain for those who are still traveling or will still travel down the road. Additionally, Greg received an email stating that his Intercontinental Ambassador membership would be given a complimentary 3 month extension, which I would expect is being given to all Ambassador members.

The Deal

  • IHG Rewards Club has reduced 2020 elite qualification requirements as follows:
    • Gold
      • Normal requirement: 10K points / 10 nights
      • 2020 requirement: 7K points / 7 nights
    • Platinum
      • Normal requirement: 40K points / 40 nights
      • 2020 requirement: 30K points / 30 nights
    • Spire
      • Normal requirement: 75K points / 75 nights
      • 2020 requirement: 55K points / 55 nights
  • Additionally, at least some Intercontinental Ambassador members have received an email indicating that their membership would get a complimentary 3-month extension

Key Terms

  • The reduced requirements refer to 2020 earning only (from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020)

Quick Thoughts

This move obviously reflects the fact that bookings are way down and IHG is trying to incentivize folks to be more likely to choose IHG if and when they need to travel. Note that the reduction is temporary and only expected to apply to those qualifying this year for status (which would give you status through 2021). Here is their chart showing the changes:

Members who reside in greater China are having status automatically extended through the end of 2021, but at this point IHG is only reducing requirements for the rest of us.

Keep in mind that this may yet change as the situation develops. Hilton included a line in their coronavirus information yesterday indicating that there would be updated status requirements for 2020 but that it was too early to say what they would be. If travel bans become more extensive, I could see other chains following suit and reducing 2020 requirements and/or offering additional elite credits for paid stays. Time will tell.

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