IHG Spire Elite Benefits Guide [2019]

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IHG is one of the biggest hotel groups in the world and their top tier elite status is called Spire Elite. Being a Spire Elite you will get benefits at IHG properties worldwide like room upgrades, late check-out, early check-in, and bonus points.

In the article, I go over in detail the benefits offered for Spire Elites and the lack of benefits offered for Spire Elites. 


What is IHG Spire Elite status?

IHG Spire Elite status is IHG’s highest status tier for its hotel brands that participate in IHG. The status offers bonus points, room upgrades, free internet, late check-out, and early check-in. However, it lacks certain other mainstream benefits like free breakfast and club lounge access.


How to earn IHG Spire Elite status

IHG Spire Elite status is actually harder to reach than other top tier elite status’ offered by competing hotel groups. The following number of elite nights or qualifying points must be earned at participating locations between January 1 and December 31 of any given year:

  • Gold
    • 10 nights
    • 10,000 qualifying points
  • Platinum
    • 40 nights
    • 40,000 qualifying points
  • Spire
    • 75 nights
    • 75,000 qualifying points

What are IHG qualifying points?

You may be familiar with elite nights, but qualifying points are somewhat new. Qualifying points are the base points you earn from each stay. So, if you stay at a property, you will earn a certain amount of points based on the brand you stay at.

Here are the rates that you will earn.

10 IHG Rewards Club base points per eligible $1 USD spent at all:

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels
  • HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
  • Hotel Indigo
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn hotels
  • Holiday Inn Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express hotels
  • avid hotels

5 IHG Rewards Club base points per eligible $1 USD spent at all:

  • Staybridge Suites hotels
  • Candlewood Suites hotels

However, any bonus points earned will not count towards your qualifying points.

Here’s how Spire Elite status compares to other statuses with Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton.

Marriott Bonvoy

  • Silver: 10 to 24 nights
  • Gold: 25 to 49 nights 
  • Platinum: 50 to 74 nights 
  • Titanium: 75 to 99 nights
  • Ambassador: 100 nights +  $20,000 U.S. dollars in qualified annual spend

World of Hyatt

  • Discoverist
    • 10 qualifying nights
    • 25,000 Base Points
    • or holding 3 qualifying meetings/events per year.
  • Explorist
    • 30 qualifying nights
    • 50,000 Base Points
    • or holding 10 qualifying meetings/events per year.
  • Globalist
    • 60 qualifying nights
    • 100,000 Base Points
    • or holding 20 qualifying meetings/events per year.

Hilton Honors

  • Silver
    • 4 stays in a calendar year or
    • 10 nights in a calendar year
  • Gold
    • 20 stays in a calendar year, or
    • 40 nights in a calendar year, or
    • 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year
  • Diamond
    • 30 stays in a calendar year, or
    • 60 nights in a calendar year, or
    • 120,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year

Spire Elite might be the same amount of nights as Titanium status from Marriott, but you might be surprised that the benefits are far different, or in other words, lackluster.


IHG Spire Elite status challenge and match 

Status challenges are wonderful if you wish to fast track your way to elite status. IHG offers both a Platinum and Spire Elite status match challenge.

All you need is another elite status that has qualifying requirements comparable to the number of nights needed to achieve IHG Spire status. Some statuses that could match with Spire Elite would be Marriott Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador; Hilton Diamond; and Hyatt Globalist. 

Once you have matched your competing hotel status to IHG Spire, you will be given Spire Elite status for 90 days. To keep Spire Elite status for longer than 90 days, you have to stay 10 nights during the 90 day period. 

You can register for the status match challenge here.

I personally did the IHG Spire Elite challenge reaching the 10 nights by redeeming points for reward nights. It’s great to redeem reward nights and have them count towards elite nights.

It also helps that reward nights redeemed when you hold the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card are easier to come by as you can get free nights easier.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG credit card offer

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

  • Annual free night certificate
  • 10X for spend at IHG
  • 2X at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status
  • 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
  • 4th night free on award stays
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $89 annual fee

What makes the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card unique is the 4th night free on award stays. Whenever you redeem points for four consecutive nights in a row, you can get one night free.

So, if the property costs 40,000 points per night, you would only redeem 120,000 points for four nights instead of 160,000 points if you didn’t have this card. Having the 4th night free really saves you points on longer stays. 

The card also comes with an annual free night. The annual free night can be useful if you wish to receive a free night every year whenever you renew your card. The free night can be used at many different properties worldwide in places like New York City, Paris, Fiji, and Bali.


What are the benefits of IHG Spire Elite status?

IHG Spire Elite status isn’t the best elite status offered from a hotel chain. It might offer some unique benefits like room upgrades and early check-in, but the way IHG created their program, the benefits are lackluster.

Room upgrades

As an IHG Spire Elite, you are eligible for upgrades based on availability. Upgrades could be premium rooms or suites, but sometimes as minor as a better view.

An example would be booking a base room and being upgraded to a room with a partial ocean view. At another property, you could be upgraded from a base room to a suite. It just all depends on the availability of the nights you are staying.

Upgrades, of course, depend on the property and the upgradeable rooms for Spire Elites. Some properties might even give Spire Elite upgrades to presidential rooms, but that is rarer than a usual occurrence. 

100% bonus earning

Spire Elites are able to earn 100% bonus points on top of base points. That means, whatever you would earn as a non-elite member, you would earn double points.

As I explained above, base points might vary between properties. At the following properties you would earn 10 IHG Rewards Club base points per eligible $1 USD spent at:

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels
  • HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
  • Hotel Indigo
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn hotels
  • Holiday Inn Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express hotels
  • avid hotels

And 5 IHG Rewards Club base points per eligible $1 USD spent at:

  • Staybridge Suites hotels
  • Candlewood Suites hotels

For example, you would earn 20 points at a Kimpton property staying as a Spire Elite accounting for the 100% bonus points. 

How good is that?

Well, if you value IHG points at .7 cents per point, that’s 14% back. That is very good compared to other major hotel loyalty programs and makes IHG one of the most rewarding hotel programs available. When you factor in the additional 10X the points you’d earn with the IHG credit card, you can earn 30 points per dollar spent, which amounts to 21% back on your IHG stays which is very solid.

Tip: Don’t forget, you can earn extra points with the IHG Dining Rewards Program

Late check-out

The time that Spire Elites can have a late check-out is exactly the same as the Platinum Elite check-out, which is 2pm. 

While the standard late check-out time is 2pm, depending on the property, you might be able to push back the check-out time to 4pm.

It’s subject to availability, unlike other program’s elite status late check-out policies that guarantee late check-out. 

Early check-in

As a Spire Elite, you can check-in as early as 10am, subject to availability.

Early check-in can be great if your flight arrives early in the morning and you want to relax in the room instead of waiting for the usual check-in time at 3pm or 4pm. 

I do wish more loyalty programs add early check-in as a benefit for elites. While most properties will allow elites to check-in early, it’s more of a soft rule that the hotel created. Not at every property as some will only offer what the program rules state and nothing more.

Welcome Amenity

Welcome amenities will vary based on the property that you’re staying at, but generally, you can expect to have an option of receiving points (around 500 or so) or a drink voucher at the lobby bar. 

Guaranteed Room Availability

Spire Elite guaranteed room availability require a 72 hours advance notice and for only one guest room for personal use.

To use the guaranteed room availability benefit you will have to call IHG Rewards Club Service Center 72 hours prior to the date of arrival.

As you have to call, it kinda makes the benefit cumbersome to use. You should also note that properties can determine “extraordinary demand” dates, similar to blackout dates. So, you might be declined to use this benefit if the property has “extraordinary demand”.

$30 spa credit

As a Spire Elite, you’ll be able to receive a $30 Spa Credit that can be applied towards the spa menu but only at Kimpton properties.

You’ll probably be paying around $100 to $150 for a 60-minute massage so that’s a pretty decent discount on spa services.

You can click here to review different Kimpton spas.

Three free Amazon Kindle eBooks

As a Spire Elite, you can receive three Amazon Kindle eBooks for free per quarter.

This is a cool perk and you don’t even need a Kindle to take advantage of it. Kindle eBooks are available via the IHG app and can be read on any device.

  1. Download or Update your IHG App
  2. Join IHG® Rewards Club or Sign In
  3. Click on your name in the top right corner to navigate to the Account Management page
  4. Scroll down to Your Extra Benefits: Kindle Singles

Complimentary internet

Probably a super basic benefit that is offered to any elite and non-elite IHG Rewards Club members, but having free internet can still save you $20 a night at some resorts. 


Does IHG Spire Elite get free breakfast and club lounge access?

Sadly no, but then again it all depends on the property.

However, some IHG properties will offer free breakfast and club lounge access to Spire Elites. I have encountered a few properties that do go above and beyond for IHG elites, but then again it all depends on the property.

For example, I have stayed at a number of Holiday Inn properties in China that ended up giving me club lounge access and breakfast. While the properties weren’t my favorite, I will always remember how accommodating they were.

Does it mean every property in China will offer free breakfast and club lounge access to Spire Elites?

No, but the great ones that love elites coming back to their property will offer free breakfast and club lounge access.

Even outside of China, some properties will offer free breakfast and/or club lounge access. Free breakfast and club lounge access all depends on the property you are staying.

Holiday Inn Gajah Mada club lounge – evening cocktail hour

IHG Spire Elite status is just okay

I don’t go out of my way to stay in an IHG property. I do enjoy some of their brands like Kimpton, Indigo, Regent, and soon to be Six Sense.

During my time as a Spire Elite, I have been greatly disappointed in the benefits, or lack of benefits.

I truly value breakfast and club lounge access. While sometimes I will pay for breakfast or club lounge access at an IHG property, I’d rather not as I get free breakfast and club lounge access at other brands.

If there is a competing Marriott, Hilton, or Hyatt property in the location I am staying, I would think of IHG last just because I have top tier status with Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt.


Final word

IHG Spire Elite is valuable if you frequent IHG properties because of your work or the destinations you stay. But when you compared Spire Elite status with Marriott, Hilton, or Hyatt, I would rather stay at one of their properties just because of the loyalty benefits. 

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