IHG Rewards Club have announced several changes to the program. The changes include:
- Introduction of a new elite tear,
- Revision of the requirements for achieving the existing tiers,
- Introduction of a points expiry policy, and
- Changes to some reward redemption point levels.
Introduction of new elite status tier
A new elite status tier has been announced, above the current Platinum level. The, as yet unnamed, tier will be introduced in July, and will require 75 nights, or 75,000 base points to achieve.
On achieving the level, members will be able to make a choice between receiving 25,000 points or gifting Platinum status to a friend. While this choice is locked once chosen, for each year the status is retained the member will be given the choice between the two options.
The only other tier benefit that has so far been annunced is that there will be a 100% bonus on points awarded for each stay.
IHG say that further details on tier benefits will be announced in July, at the same time the name of the tier is announced.
Changes to requirements for elite tier
IHG Rewards will be adjusting the number of points, or the number of nighst required in order to achieve Gold or Platinum status. Briefly:
- Gold status requires 10 nights or 10,000 qualifying points
- Platinum status requires 40 nights or 40,000 qualifying points
As part of the adjustments, the current fast track options are being removed. The current fast track options are in line with the new requirements in terms of the number of nights required. Effectively, the changes remove the brand requirements of the fast track offer.
Changes to Points Expiry Policy
IHG Rewards have also elected to introduce a new points expiration policy. Essentially, the policy will result in accounts with no activity for 12 months having their points expired. This change is effective immediately, although the first points expiry won’t occur for another 12 months.
In order to keep the points alive in an account, there just needs to be eligible earn or redeem activity in the account.
Rewards Redemption Level Changes
Not much detail on this one. On 1 May 2015, IHG Rewards will be adjusting the point requirements for Reward
Nights at approximately 450 hotels.Â Overall, 300 will be increasing by 5-10,000 points, while 150 hotels will be decreasing by 5,000 points.
These changes are being implemented by changes in the various sub-levels that exists for points. The overall scale of between 10,000 and 50,000 points for all Reward Nights is not changing.
To some extent, the changes bring the structure if IHG Rewards into line with other programs. Many other programs are already based on 4 levels, and this introduces the 4th level to IHG Rewards.
Overall however, the levels still offer less elite benefits than some of the other programs. It could be hoped that with the changes still to be announced, IHG can address some of these weaknesses. On the down side, we may be waiting until 2016 for some of these changes to be rolled out.