IHG Diamond Elite Benefits Guide [2022]

IHG just revamped its rewards program and it’s now known as “IHG One Rewards.”

The program now offers many new perks like milestone rewards which include things like lounge access and confirmed suite upgrades. They also added new benefits like free breakfast and are committed to improving their upgrades.

With the introduction of the new top elite level, IHG Diamond Elite, you will probably be curious about what type of benefits this level will include.

So in this article, I’ll break down all of the IHG Diamond Elite benefits.

What is IHG Diamond Elite status?

IHG Diamond Elite is the new top-tier elite status for IHG.

There are now four main reward levels to the IHG One Rewards program and you can achieve them by staying a certain number of nights or earning a select number of points.

Here are the different elite levels and their requirements:

LevelNightsPoints
Member0N/A
Silver10N/A
Gold2040,000
Platinum4060,000
Diamond70120,000

While there is no direct shortcut to Diamond status via credit cards, you can earn Diamond status each calendar year you make purchases totaling $40,000 or more with the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card.

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with the following features:

  • 10X for spend at IHG
  • 5X on travel and hotels
  • 5X on gas
  • 5X on dining
  • Annual free night certificate at an “eligible hotel”
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status
  • 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
  • 4th night free on award stays
  • Up to $50 United TravelBank Cash each calendar year
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $99 annual fee

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card in my opinion is one of the best all-around hotel credit cards. The problem has always been that the IHG rewards program was pretty weak and so it discouraged use of this card.

Sure, you could earn a lot of points but who wants to dedicate themselves to a program where elite benefits are limited?

But now that the program is being revamped and is offering a lot more value comparable to other major programs, I think this card just got a nice boost in its stock.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Miniature golf at Holiday Inn Express Waikiki.

IHG Milestone rewards

Before jumping into the benefits specific to IHG Diamond Elite status, it’s worth taking a look at the new milestone rewards. That’s because these benefits tend to complement the Diamond Elite benefits.

Just like other programs like Hyatt and Marriott, you can now earn choice awards by hitting certain milestones as you add on more IHG stays. The milestones rewards begin at 20 nights and will be available in increments of 10 nights.

For each milestone, you can choose one reward but at the 40 night and 70 night milestone you can choose TWO rewards.

The type of milestone rewards you’ll be eligible to earn include:

  • IHG Bonus points (5,000 or 10,000)
  • Food and beverage credits
  • Confirmable suite upgrades
  • Annual lounge membership

We’ll probably do a detailed review of each milestone reward and how to maximize them but here are the key things to know right now:

Points

Getting 5,000 points or 10,000 points is a decent little offering but the value really depends on how you utilize your points.

People have different valuations for IHG points but some place value around .5 cents per point which means that you’re basically getting the option of $25 in value or $50.

However, if you’re a little bit more strategic with your redemptions you might be getting closer to .7 cents per point or more.

Food and beverage credits

The food and beverage credits are good for up to $20 off during a stay. To get the full value you’ll need to put these against a $20 or higher charge. Credits expire after 12 months.

Having a clear idea of how much you value IHG points will help you choose smartly between the points or the food and beverage credits.

Suite upgrades

You can choose the confirmable suite upgrades for stays up to 5 nights each and these can be confirmed up to 14 days prior to check-in. Upgrades expire after 12 months.

The 14 day window is big because that gives you plenty of opportunity to cancel bookings if you fail to receive an upgrade.

The biggest knock on these confirmable suite upgrades is that you can only use them on select paid rates. They will not be available on advance purchase rates, third-party bookings, or even awards stays.

Also, something that is a little annoying about these is that you have to redeem them over the phone.

Annual lounge membership

The annual lounge membership will get you and one guest access for the remainder of the year selected and the entirety of the following year. These visits will be available on award stays.

The key with choosing this benefit will be having confidence that you will actually use it.

It’s easy to get excited about lounge access at hotels but it’s not always easy to find hotels that have lounges when it comes time to book your trips. Suite upgrades can be much more practical.

With all of that out of the way, here are the milestone rewards broken down:

20 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 5,000 Bonus Points
  • 2 Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 1 Confirmable Suite Upgrade

30 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 5,000 Bonus Points
  • 2 Food & Beverage Rewards

40 Nights [two rewards]

You can choose TWO of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 1 Confirmable Suite Upgrade (limit 1)
  • Annual Lounge Membership (limit 1)

50 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

60 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

70 Nights [two rewards]

You can choose TWO of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 2 Confirmable Suite Upgrades (limit 1)
  • Annual Lounge Membership (limit 1)

80 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

90 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

100 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards
Intercontinental Times Square.

What are IHG Diamond Elite status benefits?

Okay, now let’s take a look at the specific benefits for IHG Diamond Elite members.

100% Point bonus

As an IHG Diamond Elite member, you will earn a 100% point bonus on your stays. Platinum status offers a 60% bonus so this is a pretty nice step up from the lower elite level.

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card will earn 10X at IHG so if you combined that with IHG Diamond Elite status that is a whopping 30X (some properties may earn fewer points).

Breakfast

One of the breakthrough developments with the new IHG program is that they will offer diamond members free breakfast!

The catch is that this is part of the welcome amenity option so you can choose to have free breakfast, points, or a drink/snack.

Also, this benefit excludes partner brands like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Venetian/Palazzo, and timeshares.

It sounds like the breakfast will go beyond continental breakfast options. So you’ll be able to enjoy a hot breakfast and select a main menu item or partake in the full breakfast buffet. Unlimited non-alcoholic drinks should be available. (Source: VFTW).

Upgrades

Platinum elite members and Diamond members are both eligible for upgrades (subject to availability).

Reportedly, upgrades are set to improve including access to suites for Diamond members.

These will remain at the hotel’s discretion and so suites will not be guaranteed, even if available.

We will just have to see how things play out with the upgrades but with the addition of the confirmed suite upgrades more elites will probably get access to suites that way.

On paper, awards stays did not qualify for elite benefits like upgrades but in practice I almost always received upgrades at IHG properties.

So it will be interesting to see how award redemptions are treated when it comes to upgrades for Diamond members.

Related: Ultimate Hotel Upgrade Guide: 17 Tips

InterContinental Tokyo Bay.

Early check-in

Both Platinum and Diamond members can request early check-in but this will be subject to availability.

Early check-in is virtually impossible to guarantee so having it subject to availability is in line with other programs.

Read: What Time Is Check-In for Hotels?

Late Check-Out

Late check-out is offered until 2 pm for all elite levels and is subject to availability.

This means that IHG will have one of the weakest late check out policies on paper at least.

In my experience, you can still get IHG properties to honor check-out beyond 2 pm but this is something where YMMV.

Reward Night Discounts

Reward Night Discounts are one of the new benefits offered by IHG.

Both Platinum and Diamond members can take advantage of these which will allow you to redeem points for discounted rates. I’ve seen discounted rates at 20% but it seems like these may fluctuate. We’ll have to wait to see how these develop.

Dedicated Diamond Support

As a Diamond member you’ll now have a Dedicated Diamond Support hotline to help you sort out your issues quicker.

Because the suite upgrades have to be booked over the phone, this phone line will come in handy for those trying to redeem those certificates.

Guaranteed Room Availability

Both Platinum members and Diamond members will have 72 hour Guaranteed Room Availability.

Final word

The revamped IHG rewards program looks significantly better than what existed before. It’s now more in line with other programs like Hyatt and Marriott and has a lot more to offer. It will be interesting to see how some of these things develop but I would say they are off to a great start.

6 comments

  1. Very misleading program. “Guaranteed Availability” and “No Blockout Dates” are terms they throw around A LOT. But when you try to use them, there are no available dates. There is an EXTREMELY limited number of rooms that the hotels are forced to use for Rewards Nights, and it is a first-come first serve basis. Sounds a little different than Guaranteed Availability and No Blockout Dates. Very frustrating. Stick with Marriot BonVoy!!!

  2. Agreed! Benefits are only on paper….don’t even happen….going back to Marriott! And also where is this supposed Diamond Elite dedicated phone!

  3. I am Diamond Elite Status member and have been with Priority Club for 20 years. I tried to make a reservation for a specific date and was told it was not available using points and it isn’t a holiday, special time of the year, or special location. The IHG Diamond Elite Benefits Guide (2022) “STATES” Guaranteed Availability and NO Blockout Dates. Very misleading when I tried to book the night I wanted. What happened to honesty and trust? I just wonder if I will get a response from Priority Club.

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