In April 2022, IHG Hotels & Resorts launches its revamped global loyalty programme, IHG One Rewards, which will replace its existing loyalty programme, IHG Rewards Club. The reimagined program connects IHG One Rewards members to IHG Hotels & Resorts’ growing portfolio of 17 brands (from InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Kimpton to Regent and Six Senses) across nearly 6,000 hotels in over 100 countries.
Highlights of the new IHG One Rewards programme include:
- Faster Earn: A new tier and bonus point earning structure will allow members to earn more points faster and gain rewards sooner, with the new Diamond Elite tier replacing the former highest tier, Spire Elite. The new tier and bonus point earning structure starts on April 13, 2022 and will be reflected in all member accounts on or before April 17, 2022.
- Richer Benefits: Further enhancements and member benefits include:
- Free Breakfast for Diamond Elite members as a Welcome Amenity choice
- Exclusive access to Reward Night Discount Promotions for Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members
- More opportunities for Elite members to receive early check-in, late check-out (if available) and room upgrades (to suites, if available, or another premium room type for Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members)
- Milestone Rewards: Starting at just 20 nights stayed, members will be offered a choice from a selection of different milestone rewards every 10 nights, through 100 nights stayed. These Milestone Rewards choices include points, US$20 F&B Rewards, Confirmable Suite Upgrades and Annual Lounge Membership.
In the coming weeks, IHG Hotels & Resorts will also roll out the new IHG One Rewards mobile app, which will power IHG One Rewards and put the loyalty experience in the palm of guests’ hands. The new, modern experience is more personalized, offers streamlined booking and allows members to stay informed, check-in faster, stay connected to the hotel and travel with flexibility. IHG One Rewards members will be prompted to update their app on their device either through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Existing member stays from January 1, 2022 will count toward their new-and-improved status. The new tier and bonus point earning structure starts on April 13, 2022 and will be reflected in all member accounts by April 17, 2022. All member benefits – including the launch of Milestone Rewards – will become available for members in early June 2022.
The new IHG One Rewards programme revamps the group’s previous loyalty programme with new status tiers and updated accompanying benefits, with top-tier Diamond Elite members now able to enjoy complimentary breakfast as well as more substantial room/suite upgrades. Milestone Rewards (which you earn based on the number of nights you stay) now offer access to Confirmable Suite Upgrades and Club Lounge access, privileges which previously eluded even the highest tier Spire Elite members under the former programme. These benefits will come in really handy at a property such as InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, one of IHG’s shining stars in Asia.
What does the introduction of the IHG One Rewards loyalty programme mean for Singapore travellers and IHG loyalty members? As I mentioned in my 2020 Ultimate Guide to Singapore Hotel Loyalty Programmes (which I should get around to updating soon), the lack of complimentary breakfast or club access for even the programme’s highest-tier members was one of the programme’s most significant weaknesses, and I am pleased that IHG One Rewards has taken steps to address it.
To be honest, I am not sure if the portfolio’s club lounge offerings in terms of quality and quantity (e.g. InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Regent) justify the quest to stay 40 nights in IHG properties in order to earn the club lounge membership, at least for Singaporeans whose travel footprints are limited within the Asia-Pacific. To put things into perspective, 30 stays at Hilton properties grants you access to Hilton and Conrad club lounges (and loyalty recognitions at brands such as Waldorf Astoria) while 50 nights at Marriott properties unlocks club access across a variety of visible brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, JW Marriott and Westin (and loyalty recognition at brands such as Edition and The St. Regis).
However, there are some really exciting InterContinental properties in Asia soon to open (for instance, the Bill Bensley-designed InterContinental Khao Yai Resort in Thailand) which I really want to experience as a Diamond Elite member, while emerging brands like Kimpton (I am quite excited for my upcoming stay at the Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok) and voco (fun fact: the voco Orchard Singapore is a rare voco property which operates a club lounge) provide more choices for loyal IHG hotel guests. I have also yet to experience visiting any Six Senses resort since they joined the IHG portfolio years ago, and it would be interesting to find out, given the elevated price point at these ultra-luxurious resorts, whether I enjoy any loyalty benefits as a Diamond Elite.
In summary, it seems that while Singaporean travellers may not necessarily be able to maximise their IHG One Rewards privileges in local properties, there are regional properties both existing as well as in the pipeline (along with the generous InterContinental Ambassador benefits which I understand remain largely intact throughout all these changes) which justify them considering IHG One Rewards as being their loyalty programme of choice.
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