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IHG offers status challenge to its two top status tiers — is it worth it?

May 18, 2022
7 min read
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Chasing top-tier elite status with an airline or a hotel loyalty program can feel like a lot of work. Don't you wish there were an easier way?

Right now, IHG One Rewards is offering a shortcut to its top two levels of elite status. During this promotion, you can earn elite status that will be valid through the rest of this year and 2023.

You're probably wondering if there's a catch, so let's take a look at what's required and whether it's worth it.

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IHG One Rewards status challenge details

Six Senses Shaharut, Israel. (Photo courtesy of IHG One Rewards)

Starting today (May 18) and ending July 31, 2022, you can enroll for a status challenge with the newly-revamped IHG One Rewards. To participate, you must be a member of a competing program:

  • Accor Live Limitless.
  • Best Western Rewards.
  • Choice Privileges.
  • Hilton Honors.
  • Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Radisson Rewards.
  • World of Hyatt.
  • Wyndham Rewards.

You don't need to have elite status with any of these chains, and you don't even need to be a member of IHG One Rewards. Simply visit this page, expand the drop-down of your existing program and then click "Register Now" (for existing IHG members) or "Join and Register" (for non-members).

Once you register for the promotion, you'll automatically receive Platinum Elite status for 120 days. During those 120 days, you need to complete five qualifying nights to retain your Platinum Elite status or 15 qualifying nights to move up to top-tier Diamond Elite status. If you fulfill these requirements, your corresponding elite status will be valid through Dec. 2023.

Platinum Elite typically requires staying 40 nights or earning 60,000 elite-qualifying points. Meanwhile, Diamond Elite status typically requires staying 70 nights or earning 120,000 elite-qualifying points.

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Key terms

Qualifying stays are those booked under a qualifying rate — which exclude complimentary stays and group/corporate rates — and the room rate must be $30 or more (or a local equivalent if staying in another country). Bookings through third-party sites also are not eligible, and you can only earn credit for one room per night, no matter how many rooms you book. Also, if two members check into the same room, only one of them will receive credit for the stay.

Qualifying stays are eligible at any participating IHG hotel or resort or Mr & Mrs Smith property worldwide, except mainland China properties (those are excluded from this promotion). And finally, award redemptions do not count as qualifying stays for the purposes of this promotion.

If you're interested, you can enroll for this status challenge here. Just remember that the 120-day clock starts ticking as soon as you register, so time your registration carefully.

Benefits of elite status tiers

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Since you can attain IHG's top two status tiers through this challenge, let's look at what benefits you receive at those tiers.

With Platinum Elite status, you receive 60% bonus points on stays with IHG. You'll also receive room upgrades at check in, when available, plus a welcome amenity of points or a drink/snack. Members are also eligible for early check in (when available) plus priority check-in lines at hotels.

With top-tier Diamond Elite status, you'll receive 100% bonus points on stays at IHG properties and room upgrades based on availability. Members also receive free breakfast for two guests at full-service properties and points or a drink/snack at limited-service brands. Diamond Elite members also qualify for a dedicated support line and complimentary Five Star status with Hertz Gold Plus Rewards.

Moreover, members have all of the benefits available to Platinum Elite members, including early (and priority) check in as well as reward night discounts.

Related: What is IHG One Rewards elite status worth in 2022?

Is it worth it?

(Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images)

Staying just five nights to attain Platinum Elite status or 15 nights to attain Diamond Elite status sounds fantastic since it's much simpler than the normal requirements. Another great element of this promotion is that the 120 days start from the date you enroll. Thus, you can wait to start the challenge until a time period where you can actually stay at IHG properties (though you do need to register by July 31, 2022).

That said, using this promotion to proactively pursue Platinum Elite status likely isn't worth it. Since a qualifying rate must be at least $30 and you need to stay five nights, you will spend a minimum of $150 (and that doesn't include taxes and fees). If you are under 5/24 with Chase, you could instead open the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card or IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card and get automatic Platinum Elite status as a cardmember perk by paying a $99 annual fee.

Related: IHG’s credit card portfolio gets a major revamp — here are all the changes you need to know

However, it may be a different story with top-tier Diamond status. TPG values IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite status at over $3,000 per year, and since this promotion offers a path this status through the rest of this year and all of next year, that can provide thousands of dollars in perks and benefits. But you'll only get value from those benefits if you will spend enough nights at IHG properties to enjoy them.

In addition, if you're looking for a new hotel loyalty program to shift your allegiance to, this can be a great option. The minimum spending required to attain Diamond Elite status with this promotion is $450 (15 nights of at least $30 per night). If you have some IHG stays coming up anyway, registering for this promotion is a no-brainer.

Additionally, if you can find an inexpensive property to complete the required stays and will enjoy elite status perks on future trips at luxury properties, this promotion could make sense.

If you don't see yourself spending multiple nights at IHG properties over the next year — meaning you won't enjoy the benefits conferred by your status — then the money you'll spend during the status challenge won't be worth it. For people in this situation, consider other status challenges and status matches currently available.

Bottom line

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

This promotion likely comes at a great time for those looking to shift their hotel allegiance.

It's a terrific option for those with upcoming stays at IHG properties, since this status challenge could help you attain Platinum Elite or Diamond Elite status with significantly reduced stay requirements compared to normal thresholds.

Meanwhile, if you might not spend enough nights with IHG over the next year to enjoy the benefits, this challenge probably doesn't make sense. However, if you'll be able to enjoy the perks conferred by your newfound status, then participating in this challenge to elevate your status with IHG One Rewards likely makes sense for you.

You can register through July 31, 2022, but don't be surprised if registration closes early; the terms permit this, and this promotion will likely generate a lot of excitement.

Featured image by (Photo by Clint Henderson/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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

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1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
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The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
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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

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
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  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.