IHG Rewards changes related to the Spire level

Last week, IHG Rewards introduced its new top end elite level – Aspire Elite. This level sits above the previous Platinum level as the highest level in the IHG Rewards program.

While the big news was about the new level, there were also some side effect changes introduced into the program. These, while not that significant, are worth being aware of.

These changes are generally derived from reading the FAQs that are posted on the IHG Rewards site – at present most of  actual Terms and Conditions of the program do not seem to have been updated to reflect the new level (although there are reports on Flyertalk that there was an update that was removed)

The end of Fast track to elite status

This is a change that was already known – the end of the Fast Track. This was part of the program designed to encourage members to stay in all the various brands, and would lower the elite tier requirements for those that stayed at three of four brands during the year.

The adjusted requirements to achieve Gold or Platinum were lowered to the same level as the Fast Track, and the Fast Track seems to have been removed as a consequence.

Rollover Nights

Rollover nights allowed you to apply an excess nights from one year, toward Platinum Elite status in the following year. The provision in the Terms and Conditions are:

Qualifying nights in excess of 50 nights will be counted towards a member’s Elite status qualification for the following calendar year. Elite Rollover Nights are only valid for one calendar year.

While not in the Terms and Conditions, the Rollover Page on the website now distinguishes between Platinum and Spire rollover nights:

Platinum Elite Rollover Nights

All Elite Qualifying Nights accrued toward Platinum status in excess of 40 nights will be applied to a member’s account towards the following calendar year. Elite Rollover Nights are only valid for the next calendar year.

Spire Elite Rollover Nights

All Elite Qualifying Nights accrued toward Spire Elite status in excess of 75 nights will be applied to a member’s account towards the following calendar year. Elite Rollover Nights are only valid for the next calendar year.

On the surface, it would appear that a Spire member would effectively have two counts, with the Platinum Rollover nights for such a member going a long way to renew Platinum in the following year.

IHG Dining Rewards

A featu]re of IHG Dining Rewards is that it provides a one level upgrade when you enrol in the program. The terms and conditions have been updated to exclude being upgraded from Platinum to Spire:

Elite Status. Upon purchase of the Programme: 1) IHG® Rewards Club members at the Club level will be automatically upgraded to Gold Elite; 2) IHG® Rewards Club Gold Elite members will be automatically upgraded to Platinum Elite; and 3) IHG® Rewards Club Platinum Elite members will maintain Platinum Elite status, and will not be eligible for an automatic upgrade to Spire Elite status as a result of their purchase. A non-IHG® Rewards Club member who purchases the Programme will automatically be enrolled in IHG® Rewards Club and be upgraded to Gold Elite.

Royal Ambassador

There don’t appear to have been any changes to qualification for Royal Ambassador Status, although there was apparently a change on the site at one point.
If there are any changes, I will update this post.

So there you have it, a selection of minor changes to the program that reflect the new top level tier. It does appear that to get to Spire, you will pretty much have to earn your way there, as shortcuts seems to being closed off.

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