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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
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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?

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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 Assuming this was a mistake, I wanted to accept the gift just in case Intercontinental wised up and rescinded the status.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.

Did you get a surprise upgrade to Spire Elite?

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