A Puzzling Email From IHG Rewards Club….

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IHG Rewards Club is seen by some in the ‘travel blogosphere’ as a bit of an ugly duckling, at least compared to more ‘glamorous’ loyalty programmes like Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest.

IHG Rewards Club
An upgrade to a suite with 4 balconies at the Intercontinental Le Grand in Paris (on a stay booked with Points) was more than enough glamour for me!

Some of the criticism is definitely fair – defined benefits in particular are weak, even for members with top-tier status.

That said, and perhaps I’ve just been fortunate, but I’m almost always treated very well despite my lowly ‘Gold’ status (including regular upgrades) and it’s worth pointing out that this was the case long before I started writing for InsideFlyer. Either way, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for IHG Rewards Club.

One thing that does puzzle me a bit sometimes though are the emails IHG frequently sends out, which often seem entirely pointless. This morning’s effort struck me as being particularly redundant, even by IHG’s high standards:

IHG Rewards Club

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t it been the case for a long time now that (officially at least), you’ve had to book direct to earn Points and receive membership/status benefits anyway?

I genuinely don’t understand what the change here is supposed to be.

I wouldn’t normally bother posting about something that I think is a ‘non-change’, but last night ended up being a bit of a late one, and I’m half-thinking that I must be missing something? 


  1. Rob Rixon says

    Hi Joe

    Did you get the follow-up e-mail that ‘clarified’ the original message? For some reason I can’t add a screenshot or an attachment, so here’s the text:

    Dear Rob,
    We recently sent an email about changes to your member benefits that come into effect at the beginning of next year. We’ve realised that some of the details may not have been very clear, and we’re sorry if we caused any confusion. Our intention is always to be transparent with you about our programme. In this instance, we could have been clearer in our message.

    We would like to reassure you that when you book directly with IHG® (IHG.com, the IHG® App, IHG® brand sites, Central Reservations, or Hotel Direct), nothing will change, and this also applies to corporate business bookings made through your company’s travel agency or travel department. You will continue to receive all the wonderful IHG® Rewards Club membership benefits that you enjoy today.

    We truly value your loyalty to IHG® and are committed to doing all that we can to make your experiences with us all that you’ve come to expect from our people and brands.

    I think I am missing something because nothing seems to have changed!

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Rob,

      I certainly did – brilliant stuff!. It’s like they sent out a pointless message, got slated a bit for it online and then, cunningly, decided to deal with this little PR issue by sending out another completely pointless message.

      I was sorely tempted to post an update about it, but decided that I couldn’t really justify two essentially pointless posts – even if it did make me smile!

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