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IHG Platinum Elite status is arguably the easiest mid-high tier hotel status to earn, but that doesn’t mean the benefits you receive will make you feel like a valued loyalty member.
For the most part, you shouldn’t expect a whole lot for your “elite status” beyond bonus points on paid stays. While there are lower tiers of IHG® Rewards status, Platinum Elite status is so easily earned that many people have it. And when a ton of people have status, the perks become so watered down that they hardly even matter.
IHG does have a higher status level called Spire Elite, where members have a choice to either receive 25,000 annual point bonus or to gift Platinum Elite status to a friend or family member. You can also qualify for Ambassador status at InterContinental Hotels, which guarantees upgrades, as well as an annual weekend night reward, late check-out and more, but membership must be purchased.
In this piece, we’re going to go over what you can expect when you have IHG Platinum Elite status. We’ll also go over how you can earn it with paid stays or with a credit card.
In this article:
- How to earn IHG Platinum Elite status
- Which credit cards earn IHG points?
- IHG Platinum Elite benefits
- What is IHG Platinum Elite status worth?
- Should you bother earning IHG Platinum Elite status?
How to earn IHG Platinum Elite status
It’s possible to earn Platinum Elite status with IHG Rewards 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 Club Premier Credit Card issued by Chase
Getting the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is, by far, the easiest way to earn Platinum Elite status with IHG.
The card does come with an annual fee of $0 for the First Year, then $89, but a benefit of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a free night certificate for a stay at any IHG hotel that costs 40,000 points per night or less each year you renew your card.
Because hotels (IHG or otherwise) will almost always cost more than $89 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.
Which credit eards earn IHG points?
If your goal is racking up free nights in IHG properties each year, picking up a co-branded hotel credit card is your best bet. With a credit card that lets you earn points in the IHG Rewards program, you can earn points for each dollar you spend on all your ongoing purchases and regular bills. The following cards are worth considering this year if you don’t have them already:
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: New cardmembers earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. The annual fee on this card is $0 for the First Year, then $89.
- IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card: New cardmembers earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Earn up to 15 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. This card has a $0 annual fee.
In addition to co-branded hotel credit cards from IHG and Chase, you should consider checking out credit cards within the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program as well. Chase Ultimate Rewards lets you transfer points 1:1 to several airline partners and three hotel programs, including IHG Rewards. As a result, any rewards you earn with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card can turn into IHG Rewards points if you decide to transfer them.
Here are all the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that let you transfer points to airline and hotel programs:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You’ll also earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. A $95 annual fee applies, but you can transfer points 1:1 to 10 airline and three hotel programs and you get 25% more value free when you use points to book through the Chase portal.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: New cardmembers earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You’ll also earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. A $550 annual fee applies, but you also get a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, and more. You also get 50% more value when you use points to book through the Chase portal.
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. A $95 annual fee applies.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
$300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. From 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Earn 3x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
IHG Platinum Elite benefits
- Points don’t expire for Elite Members. 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.
- 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, you may get one of the biggest standard rooms available the day you check in.
- 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.
What is IHG Platinum Elite status worth?
The benefits of IHG Platinum elite status aren’t really that notable, and they’re even harder to quantify. You might get a minor upgrade to a higher floor or a slightly larger room with a better view, but the upgrades will barely be noticeable as a Platinum Elite member. 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.
If you stay on paid rates at IHG properties, the 50% bonus points is the biggest benefit you’ll receive from Platinum Elite status. 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.
For the most part, how much you’ll benefit from Platinum Elite status depends on how often you travel, how often you get complimentary upgrades and how many times you pay for stays in IHG brand properties each year.
Should you bother earning IHG Platinum Elite status?
It’s not worth it to spend extra to qualify for Platinum status via paid stays — the benefits just aren’t there and it’s already very easy to get the status simply by opening the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. 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 $0 for the First Year, then $89 annual fee.
Depending on how much you stay with IHG, it might be worth getting the credit card for the status so you can access the priority check-in line and qualify for possible minor upgrades.
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 property in the world that costs 40,000 points per night or less — the only catch is the $0 for the First Year, then $89 annual fee.
This basically amounts to paying $89 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 card’s annual fee is well worth paying if you can take advantage of the free night and IHG Platinum Elite perks.
The information related to these cards Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card have been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.