Posted by William Charles on November 20, 2016
Hotel Booking

Published on November 20th, 2016 | by William Charles

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IHG Will Require You To Book Directly To Receive All Membership Benefits

IHG have sent out an e-mail to their members that effective January 1st, 2017 members must book directly through IHG to enjoy all the benefits of IHG Rewards Club membership. Previously you weren’t able to receive points or elite night credits from third party bookings but some IHG properties would recognize your elite status even if you booked with a third party.

It looks like that starting from January 1st, 2017 that will no longer be the case and you’ll need to book directly with IHG to have that elite status recognized. The reason that hotels want you to book directly with them is that third party booking sites such as Booking.com or Agoda charge these hotels high fees (anywhere from 10-25%, although chain hotels can usually negotiate a better rate than independent hotels). If a hotel can get you to book directly, they save themselves a huge amount of money.

Full e-mail can be found below:

ihg-change



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yussuf

Hey DOC, a little off topic here: Whats the easiest way to keep my IHG points from expiring? I dont want to book a hotel until at least another few months yet my balance is set to expire before that. TIA

P
P

Is IHG kidding? I’ve seen no benefit of booing directly versus third party. What elite status benefits?

escot
escot

depends on the property, in my experience, things like room-upgrades, early check in or late check out, free breakfast and/or lounge status (like at some Crowne-Plazas)…. Maybe you’ve not seen or experiences such benefits, yet they are there…. YMMV

escot
escot

That said, I recently booked several IHG/HIE stays out in San Diego area via the new Chase Sapphire UR interface — saved quite a lot, actually. (using combinations of Chase UR points plus some much discounted cash)….

Did received recognition at local property this time around, but in this case, would not have missed the “elite” benefits much. (such as they are)

Ken
Ken

I’m Spire Elite and have gotten lounge access at the LAX Crowne Plaza and the Crowne Plaza in Amsterdam. But neither were anything to write home about. IHG elite status is nearly worthless since nothing is in writing; they don’t have to give you anything.

Karin Melick-Barthelmess

Does third party bookings also involve CashBack sites? Just wondering as presently this was not considered third party booking.

Chris G
Chris G

I’d be curious whether this would include the Citi Prestige Concierge booking for the 4th night free.

Karin M-B

Thanks for your quick reply. For me it is getting somewhat difficult, looking though and retaining the various bonuses and also contradictions of each program. Things change fast.

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