A couple of months ago, InterContinental Hotels Groups announced the new top-tier status on their IHG Rewards Club loyalty program - the Spire Elite. This new elite status requires 75 eligible nights in a year (approximately one in five nights). Go one level down and you will find yourself at Platinum Elite which gives the following benefits:
What does Platinum Elite Status in IHG Rewards Club give Me?
Sure, a 50% bonus on top of base points and complimentary room upgrades sound amazing but since it requires 40 eligible nights (or 40,000 elite qualifying points), chances are most of us are never going to hit it (especially if you do not travel for work).
How do I purchase the Platinum Elite Status?
The question on everyone's head is obviously how on earth do you purchase this Platinum Elite status? The way you do this is a combination of two things: the InterContinental Ambassador Programme and the IHG® Dining Rewards. You HAVE TO purchase the InterContinental Ambassador Programme first then the IHG® Dining Rewards in order to get Platinum Elite - if you do it the other way around, you'll end up with just Gold Elite which is pretty ordinary.
How Much does it Cost?
The next crucial question - how much is it going to cost me? The short answer - US$464 (approx. S$660).
Members will receive the following benefits at InterContinental brand hotels:
- Guaranteed room upgrade: enjoy an immediate upgrade to a superior room* (one category higher than purchased) each time you stay.
- Fresh fruit on arrival and mineral water (water replenished daily)
- Complimentary weekend night certificate**: valid at the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property of your choice
- 4pm late checkout
- One complimentary pay TV film per stay
- Complimentary daily newspaper
- In-room welcome gift
- Instant checkout
- A free night at any of IHG's 4,800+ hotels
- 25% off dining and beverages
- Status upgrade in IHG® Rewards Club**
- 25% off IHG's Best Flexible rate (single use)
- 10% off IHG's Best Flexible & Advance Purchase rates
- A generous dining e-Voucher, pre-loaded to your card*
- Premium local offers at individual participating hotels
Is it worth paying S$660 for a Year of Platinum Elite Status?
Possibly, but probably not. You used to be able to get a ton of hotel status matches with just the IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status but this has reduced dramatically over the years. If you do intend to stay a bit in InterContinental Hotels around the world (especially the more expensive ones), this may be money well spent but you definitely do have to weigh your options.
As you may know already, you may now purchase Hyatt Gold Passport Points with up to a 40% bonus as long as you purchase between now and 25 October 2016. These points may be used for free nights at Hyatt Hotels and Hyatt Residence Club stays around the world or you may even utilise them for things like nightly Regency Club and Suite upgrades (or convert them into miles!). Find out some of the sweet spots in redeeming your Hyatt Gold Passport Points here.
Here's how you get 12 Miles or 18 Hilton HHonors Points per dollar each time you book a hotel on Kaligo. Every traveller and staycation lover has got to read this!
Five days ago, I wrote about the new arrangement between Singapore Airlines and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts - the interesting bit is finally out! This brand new partnership will see opportunities in status matching, points and miles conversions as well as double-dipping in both programs every time you make an eligible stay at any participating Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts property around the world. Here's a summary of five things you need to know about this partnership!
Before anyone asks the question, I am going to say this and hopefully only once - you can redeem Virgin America (VX) Elevate Points on Singapore Airlines (SQ) flights (you are however subjected to a smaller inventory and getting Suites on VX Points is actually impossible). With that being said, you may be saving a lot of your precious miles if you use VX points (and money too!) to redeem for short-haul flights. To put things into perspective, consider the differences in points (and miles!) required to get from Singapore to Denpasar (Bali) on Singapore Airlines via the VX Elevate and SQ KrisFlyer programmes.
We all know that the whole Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio has been acquired by Marriott International but we haven't had much visibility about how it is going to impact us until today. With the expansion and takeover of brands, current Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will be able to benefit from the integration of both programs. Here are the top four things you need to know!
When I got an email today notifying me that I am now able to enjoy 'complimentary rides with Citi points', I was interested - I knew it was going to be bad but I clicked on it anyway to find out how bad exactly could it be. If you have been reading all those articles I have written about earning miles, then you should know that it is not difficult to get S$50-100 worth of value from 1,000 Miles. This limited time promotion (until 07 November 2016) allows you to offset your Grab ride with a fixed redemption rate by utilising some of your precious miles and points.
Some people may argue that there is nothing more worrying than being unable to Book the Cook (BTC) on your Singapore Airlines flights (yes I can hear you chanting Lobster Thermidor from where I am at). If you have the following error message that is stopping you from selecting a BTC meal, fret not because here's how you can quickly resolve it!
When I wrote about the possibility to fly on the highly-acclaimed Suites class on Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong for free last week, I received a number questions via emails on what is the best routes to redeem Suites class on. While there is no "best route" per se, here are the cheapest Suite Class redemptions (in ascending order of required miles) that you can do on Singapore Airlines from Singapore at the moment.
During my latest trip to Melbourne, Australia, I have gotten not one, not two but THREE speeding tickets from the State Government of Victoria. Unlike most traffic fines in Singapore, getting out of a ticket in Victoria (or Australia in general) is not that easy and even more importantly, the fines are not at all cheap so think twice before speeding! If you have provided your residential address correctly while you were renting a vehicle, the speeding tickets should get to you in Singapore in about 4-6 weeks. Find out when and how you can appeal for an internal review to get your fines waived.
If you follow The Shutterwhale on Facebook, you should have seen my rant this morning on the changes to the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card's unlimited Airport Lounge benefit that came into effect this morning. One of the last few benefits of this card used to be the unlimited access to Veloce lounges all over the world but now that has been taken away and been replaced with a conditional DragonPass access instead.