IHG Rewards status levels: Maximize your hotel experience

Family arriving at the hotel to use IHG Elite status rewardsImage: Family arriving at the hotel to use IHG Elite status rewards
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IHG® Rewards, IHG’s loyalty program, has four elite reward levels beyond the basic Club level: Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Spire Elite and Kimpton Inner Circle.

IHG loyalists also have the chance to earn additional perks as an InterContinental Ambassador. Some of the best benefits with IHG Rewards include welcome amenities that vary by property and elite status with partners like Hertz.



At a glance: IHG Rewards levels

The IHG Rewards program features four elite status levels that you can earn beyond its basic Club membership. Here’s how they compare.

  Late checkout Room upgrades Guaranteed room availability Early check-in
Gold Elite      
Platinum Elite  
Spire Elite
Kimpton Inner Circle

IHG Rewards Gold Elite

What does Gold Elite status get you?

You’ll earn 10% more IHG Rewards points on stays, which translates to up to 11 points per $1 spent with most IHG properties. On top of what you get as a basic member, Gold Elite status comes with a few more perks.

One of the best benefits is that your points don’t expire as a Gold Elite member, although points may expire 12 months after your Elite membership moves to Club level and there is no earn or redeem activity. 

You’ll also get a welcome amenity when you check in, which might include a drink or a snack, the chance to raid the bar at Kimpton hotels or a wellness platter at Six Senses properties.

How do I qualify for Gold Elite status?

To qualify for IHG Rewards Gold Elite status, you need stay a minimum of 10 qualifying nights at IHG hotels during a calendar year or earn 10,000 elite qualifying points.

IHG Rewards Platinum Elite

The second elite status tier, Platinum Elite, offers everything you’d get as a Gold Elite member, plus a few more benefits that can make for a better stay.

What does Platinum Elite status get you?

You’ll earn 50% more points on IHG stays, which means you’ll get up to 15 points per $1 spent with most IHG brands.

As an IHG Platinum Elite member, you’ll also get complimentary room upgrades, as determined by the hotel. Guaranteed room availability is another perk, as long as you book at least 72 hours in advance — though rooms aren’t guaranteed on reward nights.

How do I qualify for Platinum Elite status?

You could either stay a minimum of 40 nights at IHG hotels during a calendar year or earn 40,000 elite qualifying points for IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status.

Alternatively, you could apply for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which offers automatic Platinum Elite status. Another option is to pay $200 annually to join the InterContinental Ambassador program, which offers Platinum Elite status, along with other benefits.

IHG Rewards Spire Elite

The IHG Spire Elite status is more difficult to obtain because there’s no way to get it automatically. But if you qualify, you’ll enjoy a few more top-tier benefits when you stay at IHG hotels.

What does Spire Elite status get you?

Spire Elite members earn 100% more points on IHG stays, so you’ll get up to 20 points per $1 spent at most IHG properties.

In addition to everything you get as a Platinum Elite member, you’ll also get early check-in — as early as 10 a.m. — based on availability.

Also, once you achieve Spire Elite status, you’ll get an exclusive choice benefit. You can choose between an annual bonus of 25,000 points or the chance to gift Platinum Elite status to a family member or friend. You’ll also receive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status, which offers bonus points on car rentals, complimentary upgrades when available and other perks.

How do I qualify for Spire Elite status?

To qualify for IHG Rewards Spire Elite status, you could either stay a minimum of 75 nights at IHG hotels during a calendar year or earn 75,000 elite qualifying points.

IHG Rewards Kimpton Inner Circle

The highest level of loyalty status in the IHG Rewards program is available by invitation only and offers some premium benefits to people who earn it.

What does Kimpton Inner Circle status get you?

As with the Spire Elite status, Kimpton Inner Circle members earn 100% more points on IHG hotel stays, or up to 20 points at most IHG properties.

In addition to the Spire Elite member benefits, you’ll also get a chef’s treat when you dine at Kimpton hotel restaurants, personalized welcome amenities, invitations to exclusive events and more.

Plus, when new Kimpton hotels are opened, you can get a free night to be one of the first to stay.

How do I qualify for Kimpton Inner Circle status?

The Kimpton Inner Circle status level is by invitation only to guests who have achieved IHG Rewards Spire Elite status and regularly stay at Kimpton properties.

IHG Rewards InterContinental Ambassador

The InterContinental Ambassador program isn’t technically an elite status level, but it does come with elite status and other benefits at IHG hotels.

What does an InterContinental Ambassador membership get you?

For starters, you’ll get automatic Platinum Elite status and all of the perks that come with it. You’ll also get a complimentary weekend night’s stay every year, guaranteed extended checkout and room upgrade and a credit of up to $20 at the hotel bar or restaurant for every stay.

How do I qualify for an InterContinental Ambassador membership?

You don’t need to meet any qualifying night or points requirements to be an InterContinental Ambassador. Instead, you just need to pay a $200 fee annually to become a member.

Which IHG Rewards status is right for me?

If you’re loyal to IHG, you could earn a lot more points just by joining as an IHG Rewards Club member. But if you’re wondering whether you should shoot for one of the elite IHG Rewards status levels, you may be wondering which level is best suited for you.

Here are some prompts to help you decide among the IHG Reward levels.

If you would appreciate a room upgrade …

If you like the idea of getting a room on a higher level or with a better view when you travel, earning Platinum Elite status or higher gives you a room upgrade for free, if one is available.

If you like more flexibility with check-in and checkout …

IHG Rewards Spire Elite members not only get an extended checkout but also early check-in — as early as 10 a.m. when it’s available. If you’re a Kimpton Inner Circle member, early check-in is guaranteed. Just make sure you add it as a stay preference when you reserve the room.

Also, note that if you just want extended checkout, all elite members are eligible.

If you want a personalized touch …

As a Kimpton Inner Circle member, you’ll get personalized welcome amenities when you stay at Kimpton properties. You’ll also get a special chef’s taste at Kimpton hotel restaurants and personal invitations to events held by the hotel brand.

IHG Rewards credit cards

The IHG loyalty program currently offers just one credit card to new applicants: the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. With this card, you’ll get automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you’re a cardholder.


About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.