Earning IHG’s Top-Tier Spire Elite Status with a Card Sign-Up

Jul 16, 2015

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TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig discusses his experience earning IHG Spire Elite status without completing a single hotel stay.

This morning, I woke up to find a surprise email from IHG welcoming me to the program’s new top tier, Spire Elite. Naturally, I was a bit puzzled by the promotion — I’ve never credited a stay to this account, though the welcome email said “You’ve chosen IHG many times along the way, and we appreciate that more than you know.” Well, no, I haven’t, but you’re welcome?

My welcome to IHG Spire Elite.
My welcome to IHG Spire Elite.

I scrolled down a bit in the email and learned that not only would I receive a 100% bonus on all of my IHG stays, I had also earned a gift: Either 25,000 points or Platinum status to gift to a friend. I headed straight to my IHG account and selected the points option. Assuming this was a mistake, I wanted to accept the gift just in case Intercontinental wised up and rescinded the status.

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Spire Elites can choose a gift every year they qualify.

After doing some digging through my account, I figured out what had happened. The 80,000 points I had earned from a recent IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card sign-up bonus were counted as elite points, bumping me past the 75,000-point qualification level.

I had earned 81, elite-qualifying points without staying a single night.
I had earned 81,417 elite-qualifying points without staying a single night.

It’s unclear whether or not this is a fluke, but if this was intentional on IHG’s part, it’s a very generous way of showing appreciation for credit cardholders. The card normally comes with Platinum status, which is a nice perk, but it’s hard to beat earning top-tier status in a major hotel program without a single qualifying stay.

Did you get a surprise upgrade to Spire Elite?

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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