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IHG Encouraging Members to Book Direct by Taking Away Benefits

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In an effort to get customers to pay for their hotel stays directly through the hotel, several chains have taken to offering increased incentives in order to get that business — mainly lower rates. Back in May, IHG announced its member-exclusive rate, which offers savings of about 3% on the nightly rate. Now, the chain is taking booking direct to another level by requiring that IHG members book directly in order to get the full benefits of being an IHG Rewards Club member.

Over the weekend, IHG sent out an email to members noting the new change. In it, IHG detailed that as of January 1, 2017, members must book directly (though IHG.com, IHG App, IHG brand sites, corporate travel sites, Central Reservations or Hotel direct) in order to “take full advantage of the benefits” that come with being a member. IHG says the reasoning for this change is to ensure that members get the best travel experience, which it says can only be ensured when booking direct.

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So what does that mean exactly? According to IHG’s website, benefits of being an IHG Rewards Club member include free internet, reward nights, rollover nights and more. Back in 2014, IHG changed its rules so that members couldn’t earn points on bookings made through third-party sites, so that’s nothing new. Overall, these changes probably won’t have a huge impact on your next stay with IHG, but if you’re worried about certain perks that come with being a Rewards Club member, you’re best off booking direct.

This includes some of the perks you’ll get as a cardholder of the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which is currently offering 60,000 points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months. You’ll get a free night each account anniversary in addition to earning 5x points when you stay at IHG hotels, 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. The card also comes with automatic Platinum Elite status and a $49 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

Featured image courtesy of the InterContinental Bali.

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

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  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Enjoy a free night each year of card membership at over 4,900 hotels worldwide
  • Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
  • Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a credit cardmember
  • $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24% -23.24% Variable $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49 0% Excellent Credit