Skip to content

Earning IHG's Top-Tier Spire Elite Status with a Card Sign-Up

July 16, 2015
2 min read
Earning IHG's Top-Tier Spire Elite Status with a Card Sign-Up
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig discusses his experience earning IHG Spire Elite status without completing a single hotel stay.

This morning, I woke up to find a surprise email from IHG welcoming me to the program's new top tier, Spire Elite. Naturally, I was a bit puzzled by the promotion — I've never credited a stay to this account, though the welcome email said "You’ve chosen IHG many times along the way, and we appreciate that more than you know." Well, no, I haven't, but you're welcome?

My welcome to IHG Spire Elite.

I scrolled down a bit in the email and learned that not only would I receive a 100% bonus on all of my IHG stays, I had also earned a gift: Either 25,000 points or Platinum status to gift to a friend. I headed straight to my IHG account and selected the points option. Assuming this was a mistake, I wanted to accept the gift just in case Intercontinental wised up and rescinded the status.

Spire Elites can choose a gift every year they qualify.

After doing some digging through my account, I figured out what had happened. The 80,000 points I had earned from a recent IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card sign-up bonus were counted as elite points, bumping me past the 75,000-point qualification level.

I had earned 81,417 elite-qualifying points without staying a single night.

It's unclear whether or not this is a fluke, but if this was intentional on IHG's part, it's a very generous way of showing appreciation for credit cardholders. The card normally comes with Platinum status, which is a nice perk, but it's hard to beat earning top-tier status in a major hotel program without a single qualifying stay.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Did you get a surprise upgrade to Spire Elite?

Featured image by Which IHG properties offer you the best value for points?

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers