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Confirmed: IHG Rewards will continue offering reduced elite status requirements in 2022

Jan. 05, 2022
3 min read
Confirmed: IHG Rewards will continue offering reduced elite status requirements in 2022
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information.

Back in December, I began making elite status plans for 2022 for both my husband and myself, including a strategy for reaching our hotel status goals.

We're on track to retain high-tier status for another year with both Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt based on stays we've booked for later this year. However, although we've made reservations for 34 nights at IHG hotels in 2022 so far, I worried about whether we'd requalify for IHG Spire Elite status. After all, this status normally requires staying 75 nights or earning 75,000 qualifying points.

So, I was thrilled when Loyalty Lobby reported seeing decreased IHG Rewards elite qualification requirements for qualifying in 2022. I logged into my IHG Rewards account and noticed that my 2022 elite status tracker indeed shows I only need 55 nights or 55,000 qualifying points to earn Spire Elite status in 2022:

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Likewise, when I click on "View Earning Summary," I also see indications that I'll only need 55 nights or 55,000 elite-qualifying points to earn Spire Elite status:

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

But, I also see conflicting information in the above screenshot. On the one hand, this IHG webpage says I can "reach Spire Elite status with 55,000 more qualifying points or 55 more qualifying nights." Right below this statement, however, the requirements for Spire Elite status are still listed as 75 qualified nights or 75,000 qualifying points.

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I'm sure many readers share my uncertainty and IHG has not issued an official statement for 2022. So, I reached out to an IHG spokesperson yesterday for clarity. Tonight, the spokesperson confirmed that IHG will offer the same reduced elite qualification requirements in 2022 as it did in 2020 and 2021. Seemingly, IHG simply has yet to update some of the text on its webpages.

For reference, here are the decreased qualification thresholds used in 2020 and 2021 (and that we've now confirmed will be used in 2022):

Gold ElitePlatinum EliteSpire Elite
Qualifying points during the calendar year7,000 (typically 10,000)30,000 (typically 40,000)55,000 (typically 75,000)
Qualifying nights during the calendar year7 (typically 10)30 (typically 40)55 (typically 75)

Now, IHG joins Hilton Honors in offering reduced requirements for earning hotel elite status in 2022. Meanwhile, Marriott and Hyatt loyalists should currently plan to meet pre-pandemic stay or qualifying points levels if they wish to earn or retain status this year.

Of course, if you want to hop off the elite status hamster wheel, some hotel credit cards offer automatic elite status as a cardmember perk. For example, the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card provides IHG Platinum Elite status and other valuable perks, including a fourth-night reward each time you redeem IHG points for a stay of three nights or longer and an anniversary free night worth up to 40,000 points each year.

Featured image by (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more