As many airlines have been forced to reevaluate the benefits of their loyalty programs in the face of dwindling demand, one major player is doubling down on its existing program. IHG announced yesterday that it will be adding new elite perks and tweaking some rules for members who are currently enrolled in The Club Carlson Rewards Program.
The “ihg diamond status” is a new elite program announced yesterday. IHG already has been tweaking their rules to increase the chances of being accepted into this new program.
IHG has already tweaked the rules and is working to improve the new elite program that was announced yesterday.
on April 14, 2022 by Gary Leff
IHG has introduced new elite advantages such as complimentary breakfast for Diamonds, assured suite upgrades (as a choice benefit beginning at only 20 nights! ), and access to the club lounge (another choice benefit).
As a result, the renamed IHG One Rewards program’s advantages are significantly more competitive. It also lends new meaning to member privileges at Intercontinental and Kimpton hotels, which formerly had their own set of incentives (and still do).
There was just one issue that I raised. On award stays, not all advantages apply. To be sure, the program modifications are better for everyone, but not everyone benefits equally. And IHG One Rewards is doing something about it.
As I already said,
- On award stays, or even booked stays, confirmed suites (for up to 5 nights, bookable up to 14 days in advance of check-in with no capacity limitations) are not available.
- On incentive night stays, it didn’t seem like admission to the club lounge was provided. IHG was claiming that lounge access would be included, although this contradicted the program’s advertised rules.
- According to the program’s conditions, diamond breakfast (hot breakfast, not continental!) was not available at any Kimptons.
The small print on prize stays upset me, since they are frequently the stays that count the most. Road Warriors, for example, typically slug it out and earn their reputation on their own, caring primarily about how they’re treated on the rare family vacation they can take.
IHG, on the other hand, assures me that its program terms are already being updated:
- On award evenings, club lounge access will be clearly visible for those members who select the advantage.
- Also, the breakfast exclusion at select Kimptons will not be enforced. (In fact, award stays get a complimentary diamond breakfast.)
On award evenings, confirmed suites are still unavailable. That was even true at Hyatt for 8 years before the World Of Hyatt improvements were implemented. This isn’t unusual, and I’m hoping that it will change in the future. In order to confirm a suite as an upgrade, you must reserve a (non-prepaid) paid rate.
Still, it’s better than I expected. And that’s on top of providing fantastic new advantages to members without taking anything away. IHG still has too many Holiday Inns for my standards, but they also have premium brands, which cater to a wide range of tourists who are now more closely linked via the reward program.
The ability to spend more points for nicer rooms, something I’ve been writing about for more than 15 years, and guaranteed late check-out are still on my wish list. However, they currently boast, second only to Hyatt, the greatest top tier breakfast bonus and the best upgrade benefit of any hotel program.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
Marriott announced a new elite program yesterday. The “marriott travel package refund” is already tweaking the rules to improve on it.
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