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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
Last night, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig completed his first stay as an IHG Spire Elite member. Here’s what you can expect from this new top-tier status.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from IHG welcoming me as a new Spire Elite member, the program’s top-tier status. It’s been years since my last IHG stay, however, so, while I’m happy to take any elite status I can get, I was a biz puzzled at first. As it turns out, I reached that status level simply by earning the 80,000-point sign-up bonus from the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card after spending $1,000 in the first three months. It’s not an advertised perk, so I wouldn’t sign up expecting to earn Spire Elite yourself, though it did work for me.
Fast forward to my current trip to Ireland. After three nights at the Sheraton Athlone, we decided to spend a day in Dublin. And rather than drive an extra two hours round-trip to Athlone and back to DUB airport early in the morning, it seemed to make sense to drop €129 (about $143) on a stay at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport, which also gave me a chance to take Spire Elite for a spin.
I could have booked a room for 30,000 IHG points, but with a value of $210 based on TPG’s monthly valuations, that wouldn’t have been a very good redemption.
A few hours before check-in I took a look at my reservation on IHG’s site and saw that I had already been upgraded to a club-level room, which included slightly improved accommodation and club lounge access, with perks such as an evening cocktail hour (which we missed) and continental breakfast. Club rooms were going for €149 when I booked my stay. We also received a few other perks at check-in, which I’ll outline below, along with the dollar value of each item I received as a Spire Elite.
Club room upgrade ($22.23)
600 bonus points ($4.20)
10x base points* – 1,430 IHG points ($10.01)
10x elite points – 1,430 IHG points ($10.01)
Two drink tickets – ($10, conservatively)
2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points* – 286 ($6)
Total value: $62.45
*Not a benefit of Spire Elite
Considering I received $62.45 in added value on a room I paid $143 for, including taxes. Not bad for saving two hours of driving, a fair amount of (expensive) gas and being able to get an extra hour of sleep before our early-morning flight. Oh, and while I could have gotten an extra 5x IHG points if I had paid with my IHG credit card (715 points, valued at roughly $5), I opted to use Chase Sapphire Preferred instead, because 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable ($6).
The room was quite decent as well (see the photo above).
The view wasn’t spectacular, but also not bad for an airport hotel.
The bathroom was fine.
And there was even a US outlet! The free Wi-Fi, however, was horrid. It was too slow to even run a speed test.
Overall, I’m very happy with my stay, and happy to be an IHG Spire Elite! The Points Guy Assessment: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.