IHG offers status challenge to its two top status tiers — is it worth it?

May 24, 2022

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Chasing top-tier elite status with an airline or a hotel loyalty program can feel like a lot of work. Don’t you wish there were an easier way?

Right now, IHG One Rewards is offering a shortcut to its top two levels of elite status. During this promotion, you can earn elite status that will be valid through the rest of this year and 2023.

You’re probably wondering if there’s a catch, so let’s take a look at what’s required and whether it’s worth it.

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IHG One Rewards status challenge details

Six Senses Shaharut, Israel - room has large balcony and glass walls to look out to the mountains
Six Senses Shaharut, Israel. (Photo courtesy of IHG One Rewards)

The promotion started on 18 May and will end on 31 July 2022 and allows you to enrol for a status challenge with the newly-revamped IHG One Rewards. To participate, you must be a member of a competing program:

  • Accor Live Limitless.
  • Best Western Rewards.
  • Choice Privileges.
  • Hilton Honors.
  • Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Radisson Rewards.
  • World of Hyatt.
  • Wyndham Rewards.

You don’t need to have elite status with any of these chains, and you don’t even need to be a member of IHG One Rewards. Simply visit this page, expand the drop-down of your existing program and then click “Register Now” (for existing IHG members) or “Join and Register” (for non-members).

Once you register for the promotion, you’ll automatically receive Platinum Elite status for 120 days. During those 120 days, you need to complete five qualifying nights to retain your Platinum Elite status or 15 qualifying nights to move up to top-tier Diamond Elite status. If you fulfil these requirements, your corresponding elite status will be valid through Dec. 2023.

Platinum Elite typically requires staying 40 nights or earning 60,000 elite-qualifying points. Meanwhile, Diamond Elite status typically requires staying 70 nights or earning 120,000 elite-qualifying points.

Key terms

Qualifying stays are those booked under a qualifying rate — which excludes complimentary stays and group/corporate rates — and the room rate must be £24 ($30) or more (or a local equivalent if staying in another country). Bookings through third-party sites also are not eligible, and you can only earn credit for one room per night, no matter how many rooms you book. Also, if two members check into the same room, only one of them will receive credit for the stay.

Qualifying stays are eligible at any participating IHG hotel or resort or Mr & Mrs Smith property worldwide, except mainland China properties (those are excluded from this promotion). And finally, award redemptions do not count as qualifying stays for the purposes of this promotion.

If you’re interested, you can enrol for this status challenge here. Just remember that the 120-day clock starts ticking as soon as you register, so time your registration carefully.

Benefits of elite status tiers

Breakfast at Atwell Suites Miami
(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Since you can attain IHG’s top two status tiers through this challenge, let’s look at what benefits you receive at those tiers.

With Platinum Elite status, you receive 60% bonus points on stays with IHG. You’ll also receive room upgrades at check in, when available, plus a welcome amenity of points or a drink/snack. Members are also eligible for early check in (when available) plus priority check-in lines at hotels.

With top-tier Diamond Elite status, you’ll receive 100% bonus points on stays at IHG properties and room upgrades based on availability. Members also receive free breakfast for two guests at full-service properties and points or a drink/snack at limited-service brands. Diamond Elite members also qualify for a dedicated support line and complimentary Five Star status with Hertz Gold Plus Rewards.

Moreover, members have all of the benefits available to Platinum Elite members, including early (and priority) check-in as well as reward night discounts.

Related: What is IHG One Rewards elite status worth in 2022?

Is it worth it?

Staying just five nights to attain Platinum Elite status or 15 nights to attain Diamond Elite status sounds fantastic since it’s much simpler than the normal requirements. Another great element of this promotion is that the 120 days start from the date you enrol. Thus, you can wait to start the challenge until a time period where you can actually stay at IHG properties (though you do need to register by 31 July 2022).

That said, using this promotion to proactively pursue Platinum Elite status likely isn’t worth it. Since a qualifying rate must be at least £24 ($30) and you need to stay five nights, you will spend a minimum of £120 ($150) (and that doesn’t include taxes and fees). The good news is that if you are UK-based there are plenty of affordable IHG properties across the country that you could reach these five nights through. These stays won’t be glamorous, but they will allow you to earn the status that brings with it great perks at properties that are luxurious.

Screenshot from IHG

However, it may be a different story with top-tier Diamond status. TPG values IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite status at over £2,406 ($3,000) per year, and since this promotion offers a path to this status through the rest of this year and all of next year, that could potentially provide thousands of pounds in perks and benefits. But you’ll only get value from those benefits if you spend enough nights at IHG properties to enjoy them.

Keep in mind that the status benefits even for Diamond members at lower-end IHG brands like Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are limited (if there are no better rooms there’s nothing to upgrade you to). If you will be staying at high-end IHG properties like Intercontinental and Kimpton then this elite status will be far more valuable and you can expect some great benefits.

In addition, if you’re looking for a new hotel loyalty program to shift your allegiance to, this can be a great option. The minimum spending required to attain Diamond Elite status with this promotion is £361 ($450) (15 nights of at least £24 per night). If you have some IHG stays coming up anyway, registering for this promotion is a no-brainer.

Additionally, if you can find an inexpensive property to complete the required stays and have future trips planned to luxury properties where you might really enjoy elite status perks, this promotion could make sense.

If you don’t see yourself spending multiple nights at IHG properties over the next year — meaning you won’t enjoy the benefits conferred by your status — then the money you’ll spend during the status challenge won’t be worth it.

Bottom line

hotel room with aquarium wall
(Photo courtesy of IHG)

This promotion likely comes at a great time for those looking to shift their hotel allegiance.

It’s a terrific option for those with upcoming stays at IHG properties since this status challenge could help you attain Platinum Elite or Diamond Elite status with significantly reduced stay requirements compared to normal thresholds.

Meanwhile, if you might not spend enough nights with IHG over the next year to enjoy the benefits, this challenge probably doesn’t make sense. However, if you’re able to enjoy the perks conferred by your newfound status, then participating in this challenge to elevate your status with IHG One Rewards likely makes sense for you.

You can register through 31 July 2022, but don’t be surprised if registration closes early; the terms permit this, and this promotion will likely generate a lot of excitement.

Additional reporting by Ben Smithson

Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.