IHG Spire Elites: How to claim 25,000 bonus points or gift Platinum Elite status

Jan 7, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current gift details. It was originally published on Nov. 30, 2018.

One of the benefits of hitting IHG’s top-tier Spire Elite status is a gift of either 25,000 bonus points or the chance to grant Platinum Elite status to a friend or family member. However, as I found from experience, IHG doesn’t make it especially easy to find and claim this reward. But, don’t worry, we will walk you through the steps of claiming all of your elite status bonuses below.

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But first, what is Spire Elite status, and how do you get it? IHG’s top-tier elite status is earned by completing 75 elite-qualifying nights in a calendar year (note that award nights count as elite-qualifying) or by earning 75,000 elite-qualifying points. Elite-qualifying points are earned through:

  • Qualifying Rates paid for hotel stays
  • Spend on IHG Rewards Club credit cards
  • Spend on select partner activity
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points (or miles) Packages
  • Qualified Spend through IHG Business Rewards

My wife and I currently live out of hotels as we travel the world full-time as digital nomads. Plus, IHG is one of the hotel programs I cover for TPG. So, we’ve racked up quite a few nights at the various brands in the IHG family — including 89 nights in IHG hotels in 2019 alone.

The IHG hotel family includes a variety of hotel types — from budget (Holiday Inn Express and Avid) and extended-stay (Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites) to boutique (Hotel Indigo, voco), upscale (Crowne Plaza and Kimpton) and luxury (Six Senses, Regent, InterContinental) hotels.

Once you surpass one of the thresholds to qualify, you’ll get a letter in the mail with your Spire Elite membership card. Inside the somewhat minimal packet, there’s a mention of the Spire Elite gift benefit. “Spire Elite members get the choice of a special benefit every membership year. See your options at ihgrewardsclub.com.”

However, when you go to that website, there’s no mention of the Spire Elite gift — even when clicking through the “redeem rewards” and “enjoy benefits” tabs.

Instead, to find and claim your gift, you need to log into your account and then browse to this page.

Note that this page will look a bit different if you’re a new IHG Spire Elite or an existing elite that hasn’t already linked your IHG account to Hertz:

As I earned status in 2019 for the 2020 elite status year, I have until Dec. 30, 2020 to choose the bonus points or elite status gifting option. However, if you earn IHG Spire Elite status in 2020, your deadline for choosing a reward is at the end of December 2021.

As noted above, there are two reward options:

  • 25,000 bonus points: These will post immediately to your account.
  • Gift of Platinum Elite: Your recipient must be a member of the IHG Rewards Club but can’t currently have Platinum status. You’ll only need to provide the last name and member number of the recipient.

At current TPG valuations, IHG points are worth 0.5 cents per each — which is the purchase rate at which IHG often sells its points. That makes the points option worth $125.

Meanwhile, TPG values IHG Platinum Elite status at $880. However, that comes with a big caveat: It assumes you stay at IHG for 48 nights with this status. All of the benefits are stay-based — including bonus points on paid stays, room upgrades, late check-out and early check-in. One benefit that TPG doesn’t assign a value to: being able to match this elite status to another program. For example, IHG Platinum Elites can match to Hilton Diamond status.

Related: Hotel elite status matches and challenges

On paper, the elite status gift may seem like the obvious choice. However, it’s incredibly easy to get IHG Platinum elite status, even without spending a single night at an IHG property. Instead of completing the required 40 nights or earning the necessary 40,000 points to earn this status the hard way, you can simply sign up for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and enjoy IHG Platinum status for just an $89 annual fee, waived the first year.

In my opinion, this card is a no-brainer even for infrequent travelers. In addition to automatic Platinum status, there’s a solid 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and you get an anniversary night certificate each time you renew. You’ll also automatically get your fourth night free on award stays and earn up to 25x total points on IHG stays when combining credit card earnings with elite bonuses.

Related: Hotel credit cards that come with an annual free night

Since I’ve convinced all of my family and close friends to sign-up for this card — or at least keep the discontinued IHG Rewards Club Select Card (no longer available to new applicants) — I opted to take the 25,000 points:

The confirmation notes that the “points have been deposited into your account”:

Sure enough, the points posted to my account immediately:

Although it’s not clear by the verbiage on the site, you can select Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status in addition to the bonus points or gifted status. Five Star status is typically earned by making just 12 rentals in a calendar year.

The stated benefits aren’t too exciting: you get a one-class upgrade and 25% bonus points. However, in practice, I’ve really enjoyed being able to skip the counter and choose from a lot of cars dedicated to Five Star elites. Plus, since it’s an included perk, it’s worth taking advantage of it.

To do so, just click on Select and it’ll submit a request to Hertz, though it may take up to three weeks to receive a response:

Note that Spire Elites have a deadline of Dec. 30 to make a selection. Considering the elite status option is valued at $880 and the points option is worth $125, it’d be a costly error to miss out on this valuable benefit.

Featured photo by Hero Images/Getty Images.

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