Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
IHG Platinum status is arguably the easiest mid-high tier hotel status to earn, but what will the benefits of IHG Platinum status really get you?
Don’t expect a whole lot beyond bonus points. While there are lower tiers of IHG Rewards status, Platinum status is so easily earned that many people have it, and IHG has made it, along with the lower Gold status, nearly meaningless. IHG does have higher status levels called Spire and at InterContinental Hotels specifically, Ambassador status.
Here we’re going to go over what you can expect when you have IHG Platinum status as well as how you can earn it.
It’s possible to earn Platinum status with IHG a few different ways:
40,000 Elite Qualifying Points earned at IHG properties within the calendar year (top-tier Spire status requires 75,000 Elite Qualifying Points)
40 eligible nights at IHG properties within the calendar year (top-tier Spire status requires 75 nights)
Holding the IHG Rewards Credit Card issued by Chase
Getting the IHG Rewards Card is, by far, the easiest way to earn Platinum status with IHG.
The card does come with an annual fee of $49, waived the first year, but a benefit of the credit card is a free night certificate for a night at any IHG hotel in the world every year upon paying the annual fee (therefore not the first year).
Because hotels (IHG or otherwise) will almost always cost more than $49 per night, the free night certificate will easily make the annual fee of the credit card a wash and likely then some, as long as you use it. You can get quite a bit of benefit out of this card beyond the annual fee just from the free night certificate, making the fact that you also get Platinum status from the credit card a bonus.
Points don’t expire. If you have any level of elite status with IHG, your points will never expire. This is great if you are taking a break from traveling or are staying at other hotels on your trips as you won’t have to worry about keeping up with account activity.
Priority check-in. When it’s time to check-in for your hotel stay, you have access to a dedicated line so you won’t have to wait as long.
Bonus points. Earn a 50% bonus on your base points for every stay.
Elite rollover nights. If you go over the number of nights you need to qualify for status, any that are beyond 40 will count toward your status for the following year.
Complimentary room upgrades. This is a great benefit in theory, but don’t expect much from IHG. At best, you’ll get a room on a higher floor or with a ‘view.’ If you’re really lucky maybe it will even be a little bit bigger than the standard room.
Guaranteed room availability. If you need to travel at the last minute, you will have guaranteed room availability 72 hours prior to arrival, though this benefit will not be available at times with extraordinary demand (like Times Square on New Year’s Eve). Be prepared to pay a higher room rate than normal if you ever make use of this benefit.
The benefits of IHG Platinum status aren’t really that great.
You might get a minor upgrade to a higher floors or a slightly larger room with a better view, but the upgrades will barely be noticeable as a Platinum. The main reason you will know that you were upgraded is that you will be told upon check in to the hotel. You’ll virtually never be upgraded to a suite – and if you are it’s plain dumb luck.
Typically the 72-hour room guarantee is not useful because the rates tend to be very high and you’ll probably book elsewhere unless the whole city is sold out. If the whole city is sold out, it will probably fall into the category of “extraordinary demand” which is determined at the hotel’s discretion.
If you stay on paid rates at IHG properties, the 50% bonus points is a pretty nice benefit. IHG points are generally on the easy side to earn, and the bonus can really help you rack up points toward a free night very quickly.
It’s not worth it to spend extra to qualify for Platinum status on Elite Qualifying Points or on nights — the benefits just aren’t there and it way too easy to get the status simply by signing up for the IHG Rewards Visa. The status you will get from the credit card is the exact same as the status that it would take you 40 nights or 40,000 Elite Qualifying Points to earn, all for a $49 annual fee.
Depending on how much you stay with IHG, it might be worth getting the credit card for the status – giving you access to the priority check in line, possible minor upgrades, and the 50% bonus points.
The real shining benefit of the credit card, though, is the free night certificate that you will get every year on your cardmember anniversary.
This free night certificate is good at any IHG hotel in the world – including the fancy ones – and the only ‘catch’ is that the credit card costs $49 per year (after the first year) to have.
This basically amounts to paying $49 for one night at a hotel each year, regardless of how nice it is, which is a pretty hard deal to pass up. For this reason alone, we think that the IHG Rewards Visa is worth getting (though not spending much money on) and with that you will automatically also have Platinum status.
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