IHG Spire Elites: Claim Your Elite Status Gift Before It’s Too Late
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One of the benefits of hitting IHG’s top-tier Spire Elite status is a gift of either 25,000 bonus points or the chance to grant Platinum Elite status to a friend or family member. However, as I found from experience, IHG doesn’t make it especially easy to find and claim this reward. And if you qualified for Spire Elite in 2017 and you haven’t claimed your reward yet, time is running out to do so.
Spire Elites have a deadline of Dec. 30 to make a selection. And considering the elite status option is valued at $1,085 and the points option is worth $150, it’d be a costly error to miss out on this valuable benefit. Let’s go through the process on how to find and claim this reward.
But first, what is Spire Elite status, and how do you get it? IHG’s top tier status is earned by completing 75 elite-qualifying nights in a calendar year (award nights do count as elite-qualifying) or by earning 75,000 elite-qualifying points. Elite-qualifying points are earned through:
- Qualifying Rates paid for hotel stays
- Spend on IHG Rewards Club credit cards
- Spend on select partner activity
- IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points (or miles) Packages
- Qualified Spend through IHG Business Rewards
My wife and I currently live out of hotels as we travel the world full-time as digital nomads. Plus, IHG is one of the hotel programs I cover for TPG, so we’ve racked up quite a few nights at the various brands in the IHG family, which includes a variety of hotel types — budget (Holiday Inn Express and Avid), extended-stay (Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites), posh (Hotel Indigo and Kimpton) and luxury (InterContinental and Crowne Plaza) hotels.
In late October, I surpassed 75,000 points on my 74th qualifying night, so I got to go through this reward selection process myself. Once you surpass one of the thresholds to qualify, you’ll get a letter in the mail with your Spire Elite membership card.
Inside the somewhat small packet, there’s a mention of the Spire Elite gift benefit. “Spire Elite members get the choice of a special benefit every membership year. See your options at ihgrewardsclub.com.”
However, when you go to that website, there’s no mention of the Spite Elite gift — even when clicking through the “redeem rewards” and “enjoy benefits” tabs. Instead, to find and claim your gift, you need to log into your account and then browse to this page.
Since I just earned status in 2018 for the 2019 elite status year, I have until Dec. 30, 2019 to choose the bonus points or elite status gifting option. I also have until Dec. 31, 2019 to choose the Hertz elite status option. However, if you earned IHG Spire Elite status in 2017, your deadline for choosing a reward is at the end of Dec. 2018.
As noted above, there are two reward options:
- 25,000 bonus points: These will post immediately to your account.
At current TPG valuations, IHG points are worth 0.6 cents per point. That makes the points option worth $150. That said, IHG points often go on sale for 0.5 cents per point, so if you want to value these points at that rate, the reward is only worth $125.
Meanwhile, TPG values IHG Platinum Elite status at $1,085. However, that comes with a big caveat: it assumes you stay at IHG for 48 nights with this status. All of the benefits are stay-based — including bonus points on paid stays, room upgrades, late check-out and early check-in. That said, there’s the intangible benefit that’s not included in this valuation of being able to match your elite status. For example, IHG Platinum Elites can match to Hilton Diamond status.
Bear in mind too that it’s incredibly easy to get IHG Platinum elite status, even without spending a single night at an IHG property. Instead of completing the required 40 nights or earning the necessary 40,000 points to earn this status the hard way, you can simply sign up for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and enjoy IHG Platinum status for just an $89 annual fee. In my opinion, this card is a no-brainer even for infrequent travelers. In addition to automatic Platinum status, there’s a solid 80,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months plus an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening, and you get a free anniversary night each time you renew. You’ll also automatically get your fourth night free on award stays and earn 10x points on IHG purchases.
Since I’ve convinced all of my family and close friends to sign-up for this card (or at least hang onto the discontinued IHG Rewards Club Select Card) I opted to take the 25,000 points:
As promised, the points posted to my account immediately:
Although it’s not clear by the verbiage on the site, you can select Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status in addition to the bonus points or gifted status. Five Star status is otherwise earned by making just seven reservations in a year, so the benefits aren’t too exciting: you get a one-class upgrade and 10% bonus points. However, since it’s an included perk, it’s worth taking advantage of it.
To do so, just click on Select and it’ll submit a request to Hertz, though it may take up to three weeks to receive a response:
While none of these rewards are incredibly valuable, the bonus points and Hertz elite status are worth taking advantage of by Spire Elites. Make sure to claim your rewards before the year-end deadline.
Featured image by Hero Images via Getty Images
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