I have gotten pretty decent benefits by being an IHG Platinum Member last year but I was not able to justify driving so many eligible room nights to the program (especially since I do not generally travel for business). While the Platinum Status was the highest membership tier you could achieve then, IHG has introduced a brand new Spire Elite tier (above Platinum) to reward its most loyal members. That being said, it is important to recognise that the IHG manages the IHG Rewards Club and Ambassador memberships separately.
Spire Elite can be attained by spending 75 qualifying nights over the course of a calendar year (that's almost one in four nights!) or by obtaining 75,000 qualifying reward points (so you get there faster if you splurge on suites instead of regular rooms). Apart from the Platinum benefits that you will get, you will also receive the following by attaining this new status:
- 100% bonus points on all qualifying stay (instead of 50% from Platinum)
- A choice between either 25,000 bonus points or gift Platinum Elite status to a friend or family member for a year
It is interesting to see the option to give away a year's worth of Platinum Elite status. This is rather similar to some airlines (e.g. Qantas) where you will be able to give away a year's worth of elite status upon obtaining top-tier status.
The Crowne Plaza Auckland is located on Albert Street in the center of Auckland City. When I travelled down to the City of Sails on Singapore Airlines' Suites Class from Singapore last November, I stayed in The Langham Auckland before moving to the Crowne Plaza Auckland for the weekend - the hotel isn't brand new but moving into a property that is part of a much-larger international chain where benefits are predictable is such a great decision.
Connected to one of the most famous shopping malls in Bugis, the InterContinental Singapore needs no introduction - following a massive refurbishment that officially completed in 2016, the rooms here at this luxurious property have been given a complete makeover. The Heritage Rooms and Heritage Suites were previously redone and were therefore not included in the most recent refresh. Check out my review of the Grand Deluxe Room at the InterContinental Singapore!
IHG Rewards Club points are great because you can use them for decent reward nights and a bunch of other less valuable redemption (that you should not even consider) - they can also be converted into miles (largely at a 1000:200 ratio) which can be quite useful if you are converting to one that is potentially of greater value (e.g. Mileage Plan on Alaska Airlines). While I have previously considered reward nights in Singapore to be of inferior value, certain properties around Singapore (in a 7-8 hour flight radius) can offer pretty great value. For the purpose of comparison, I am using only the Best Flexible Rate which could potentially introduce bias in resort locations (these properties generally have a larger Advance Purchase discount).
One of my challenges in this quarter's Accelerate 2017 (read more about it HERE!) is to book a stay on the Points and Cash rate - this will give me 3,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points. While 3,000 bonus points will not sway my decision at all, it does count towards triggering the major bonus of the Accelerate 2017 promotion. Club members will receive 5% discount on the cash component on Points & Cash bookings while Spire Elite members can save up to 15% off.
From now until 17 February 2017, get double IHG Rewards Club Points when you purchase them online (so long you purchase at least 5,000 points). If you have a DBS Woman's World MasterCard, you can make use of this opportunity to rake up some bonus miles.
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) introduced Business Rewards back in 2015 which allows users and professionals to be rewarded for booking accommodations as well as meeting spaces for others. The Double Play Double Points promotion which is currently running (between 01 January 2017 and 15 April 2017) allows users to earn up to 6 IHG Rewards Club points (instead of 3) per US$1 for events and stays up to 31 August 2017.
Accelerate is back for 2017 and you now have the chance to rake up some IHG Rewards Club points for eligible stays between 01 January 2017 and 15 April 2017 - perfect if you already have plans to stay in participating InterContinental Hotels Group properties in the coming year! As mentioned previously, InterContinental Ambassador members seem to get a set of offers that are tailored towards InterContinental hotels (which means it is generally more expensive to complete these challenges) and my offers for 2017 seem to confirm this.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport added 243 new Business Rooms in a 10-storey extension in a new wing earlier this year. The newly-opened Jewel Wing is home to the brand new Business Rooms which are all put together using Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) techniques (the very first private-sector commercial project in Singapore) and has been designed by the award-winning Singapore-based architectural firm, WOHA. Check out my review of the new Business Rooms here at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has just signed a management agreement with Lao International Development Co. Ltd to open the first InterContinental-branded hotel in Laos. Slated to open in 2021, the InterContinental Vientiane will become the second hotel in the capital city of Laos that is managed by IHG. This new-built luxury hotel will feature over 400 rooms and it will be located near to the upcoming World Trade Centre which is set to become the city's largest commercial hub when it opens.
As 2016 comes to an end, I am once again faced with an interesting problem - the InterContinental Ambassador renewal. While I have not come close to maximising the benefits this year, I have gotten the published benefits (upgrade and late check-out at the InterContinental Singapore) on all my paid stays. The only question now is this: should I renew my InterContinental Ambassador membership with points or by cash?