IHG recently relaunched their loyalty program in the form of IHG One Rewards, and the program is now looking to drum up interest by offering a status challenging to their two highest elite tiers.
Between now and July 31, 2022, anyone can register for a status challenge to automatically enjoy IHG Platinum Elite status for a 120-day period, during which they also have the opportunity of earning Platinum Elite or Diamond Elite status all the way through December 2023.
Register for the IHG One Rewards Status Challenge
The IHG One Rewards status challenge is open to anyone who’s a member of a competing hotel loyalty program.
There’s no requirement to be an elite member of a certain standing – simply having an account with another hotel chain will allow you to take part in IHG’s challenge.
Upon registering on the basis of your membership with a different chain, you’ll be given 120 days of IHG Platinum status for free.
During this time, you’re invited to stay with IHG and take your Platinum Elite status for a spin at their properties to see if the hotel and loyalty experience is the right fit for you.
If you stay five paid nights during the 120-day status challenge period, you’ll automatically retain Platinum status through the end of 2023.
And if you stay 15 paid nights during the 120-day period, you’ll earn top-tier Diamond status through the end of 2023.
Note that the 120-day challenge period begins as soon as you successfully register for the promotion, which you can do anytime before July 31, 2022.
Thus, make sure to time your registration accordingly – if you won’t be able to make any IHG hotel stays until late October, for example, you’ll want to wait until late July to register.
Is It Worth Pursuing IHG Platinum or Diamond Status?
Staying five or 15 nights in a 120-day period to earn IHG Platinum or Diamond status through 2023 is, on paper, a pretty lucrative opportunity.
Platinum and Diamond status typically require staying 40 and 70 nights per year, respectively. Therefore, this status challenge represents a significant reduction from the usual thresholds, and will most likely be a one-time opportunity coinciding with IHG’s relaunch of their loyalty program.
In terms of meaningful status benefits, Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members are both entitled to suite upgrades subject to availability, while Diamond Elite members are given free breakfast in the mornings.
From a Canadian perspective, this promotion is one of the easiest ways to engage with IHG One Rewards and extract some value from the program if you happen to be visiting IHG’s properties in Canada or abroad.
After all, unlike Marriott Bonvoy, IHG One Rewards doesn’t offer a co-branded credit card in Canada, making it challenging for the average traveller to participate in the program when there are better alternatives available.
Ultimately, whether or not it’s worth taking advantage of this status challenge opportunity will depend on your existing hotel status preferences.
If you don’t travel frequently enough to earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status at 50 elite qualifying nights per year, then it definitely makes sense to take advantage of the free 120 days of IHG Platinum status and get a few useful benefits out of it, such as suite upgrades and early check-in, subject to availability.
Plus, for infrequent travellers, staying 15 nights with IHG over the summer or fall may well represent the easiest pathway towards top-tier elite status in any hotel loyalty program – locking in free breakfast, upgrades, and other benefits along their (albeit infrequent) travels through 2023.
(Of course, this assumes that you aren’t in a position to pursue US credit cards, in which case getting the Amex US Hilton Aspire Card for its instant top-tier Hilton Diamond status would be an even more straightforward move.)
On the other hand, if you’re already loyal to Marriott Bonvoy and are planning most of your hotel stays this year with Marriott to earn, retain, and/or reap the benefits of your Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite status, then it might not be worthwhile to divert some of your stays over to IHG.
Still, there’s no harm in registering for the status challenge just in case it pays off down the road – perhaps your travels take you somewhere that’s much better-served by IHG properties than Marriott, and you’d at least have some benefits to fall back on.
IHG One Rewards is offering a lucrative status challenge opportunity to virtually anyone who’s interested in signing up.
Simply by registering, you’ll enjoy IHG Platinum Elite benefits for 120 days, and you can retain that status or upgrade to top-tier Diamond Elite through 2023 by staying five or 15 nights with IHG during the status challenge period, respectively.
The status challenge can be an attractive pathway towards mid- or top-tier status for infrequent travellers, though I don’t think it’ll sway too many existing elite members of other hotel chains into switching their loyalty.