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New Changes to IHG Rewards Club - 1st. July 2015

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dajop

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Among other things, points will expire after 12 months !!!
Not quite accurate. Consistent with several other programs, the points will expire following 12 months of inactivity. [As opposed to points expiring 12 months after earning them, which is an alternative interpretation]

So you need some activity on the account every 12 months to prevent points from expiring.
 

anat0l

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Maybe the top level will actually get you something now - I had a 20% upgrade success rate on a recent trip
Eh, still looks rather soft, although they are scant with details admittedly.

IHG (not considering the Ambassador programme) top tier has always been haphazard upgrades and a gift here or there. The points were rather nice only because it was easy to burn them for useful times when a hotel is absolutely needed, but that's getting a tiny bit harder to do now.

Gold at 10 nights / 10k points is a damn low bar though (aside from getting it free with Ambassador or simply paying US$50 for it). What do Golds get again besides an extra 10% points?
 

burmans

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Not quite accurate. Consistent with several other programs, the points will expire following 12 months of inactivity. [As opposed to points expiring 12 months after earning them, which is an alternative interpretation]

So you need some activity on the account every 12 months to prevent points from expiring.
Yes, no doubt people will be exploring creative avenues to go their activity date extended (buying points, doing surveys, book & cancel). Will be interesting to see the definition of activity!
 

anat0l

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Yes, no doubt people will be exploring creative avenues to go their activity date extended (buying points, doing surveys, book & cancel). Will be interesting to see the definition of activity!
First views just seem to be earn or burn, i.e. if the number of points you have changes within 12 months, that's activity.

Too naive? I suppose someone can just book a stay with points then cancel it for free, and "that counts".....

Hilton have an inactivity clause as well which also is 12 months; for that, buying HHonors points is enough to stave it off.
 

burmans

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First views just seem to be earn or burn, i.e. if the number of points you have changes within 12 months, that's activity.

Too naive? I suppose someone can just book a stay with points then cancel it for free, and "that counts".....

Hilton have an inactivity clause as well which also is 12 months; for that, buying HHonors points is enough to stave it off.
Well given if you points plus pay as is well known you effectively buy points rather than the entire transaction gets cancelled (and you get your points/money back) you have to wonder if this is regarded as activity, I suspect it will be. But would rather not ask on FT, don't want there to be too much exposure.
 

woodborer

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Gold at 10 nights / 10k points is a damn low bar though (aside from getting it free with Ambassador or simply paying US$50 for it). What do Golds get again besides an extra 10% points?
Well, mayne it's a relative thing, but I would argue against other hotel programs the bar for the first rung on the elite ladder was set unusually high for IHG. Remember you get to the first level at a number of programs at the 5 or 10 night level. So, in the scheme of things it's not that 'damn low'. Moving from a system with 2 elite tiers to 3 elite tiers has let them play around a bit, but all things told, it seems ok for what you get at the level. Platinum and the new level probably need a bit of a lift in benefits though....
 

JohnK

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Changes don't look too flash.

40 nights for Platinum and it's not the top tier? :shock:

And 300 hotels will have an increase in points required for award night by 5,000 points and 150 hotels will have a decrease in points required for award nights by 5,000 points.
 

andye

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Changes don't look too flash.

40 nights for Platinum and it's not the top tier? :shock:

And 300 hotels will have an increase in points required for award night by 5,000 points and 150 hotels will have a decrease in points required for award nights by 5,000 points.

No increase for the top tier redemptons though. I was saying benign in context of other programmes' enhancements
 

TheRealTMA

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Not at all impressed with this. Given our bad experiences as IHG WP, we've effectively moved loyalty to Hyatt and Starwood (esp. with double dip via Emirates and Delta). A number of times we had been refused suite upgrades as JHG WP even though there were more than 4 suites available to book online for that night at the same hotel. Plus we only received standard internet access. Were told in no uncertain terms that we should buy an Ambassador member ship if we wanted any privileges such as these. Sheesh.

So rather than improve services for members (WP takes a bit of earning) they seem to be further restricting them.

So what to do with our remaining 235K points now that they will take these off us in a year. Guess we'll have to purchase a 1000 point ebook or $5 Myer gift card once a year.

Even more reasons why IHG will most likely not be getting our loyalty back.
 

anat0l

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Not at all impressed with this. Given our bad experiences as IHG WP, we've effectively moved loyalty to Hyatt and Starwood (esp. with double dip via Emirates and Delta). A number of times we had been refused suite upgrades as JHG WP even though there were more than 4 suites available to book online for that night at the same hotel. Plus we only received standard internet access. Were told in no uncertain terms that we should buy an Ambassador member ship if we wanted any privileges such as these. Sheesh.

So rather than improve services for members (WP takes a bit of earning) they seem to be further restricting them.

So what to do with our remaining 235K points now that they will take these off us in a year. Guess we'll have to purchase a 1000 point ebook or $5 Myer gift card once a year.

Even more reasons why IHG will most likely not be getting our loyalty back.
It is very rare to see an upgrade for a Platinum to a suite; the only time this might work is if you have purchased the highest grade under a suite and you have a lot of repeat business at that particular property. I'm sure it has been done before, but it is very rare.

IHG elite benefits for upgrades hardly stick for Intercontinental hotels - here, Ambassador (or Royal Ambassador) status holds much more weight, granting a 1 or 2 category upgrade almost always without condition.

I have to agree with you that Platinums can't be looking forward to more upgrades from here on in, and will likely be looking at less, unless they modify the upgrade policy (again, perhaps not including Intercontinental hotels) to put a mark of differentiation between upgrades of the Platinum and Black tiers. That's a tough thing to do at Holiday Inns as many only have two categories of room. There's a bit more wiggle room at Crowne Plazas (at least for some of them)...

For your IHG points, you can turn them into airline miles (many choices) or cash credit. The rates aren't fantastic - it's something like 10k IHG for 2k airline miles - but if you just want to jettison the IHG points, that is an idea. Alternatively, if you want to keep the points, you could just purchase the least amount of points per year, that would set you back a few tens of dollars. I'd postulate that purchasing points would be deemed as eligible activity to keep a balance alive.
 
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A very odd announcement from a very odd "loyalty" program is my view. Why announce something without the detail? The only people even remotely interested in these announcements are the very people who want the detail.

So a third tier. Wouldn't it make sense to add it in as a silver tier and adjust the existing gold and plat to suit? As stated many times, plat (or whatever top tier if it is intended to be a "black" etc) needs to attract some genuine benefit before IHG can be taken seriously. IHG status must also be accepted as genuine by their own Intercontinental if they expect others to accept it as a genuine loyalty program. Until that point, it will always be the poor cousin.
 

anat0l

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The blogosphere is actually kind of less concerned about the elite programme and more about which properties will go up (lots of them) and down in rewards points cost.

Of course, we have no lists, no indications, no timeline... and likely no notice.
 

dairyfloss

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I'm wondering if the existing ability to jump a status level via IHG Dining Rewards will still work... might give those already at Platinum a go at the Black/Diamond/Fuscia/Whatever level...
 

codash1099

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Just received notification of these changes today. Am I really that low on the totem pole?*

* Actually, low man on the totem pole is more important, but let's not spoil a good saying.
 
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