There are speculations that IHG is about to add club lounge access as a permanent benefit for IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite members.
Currently, a member needs to stay a minimum of 40 nights to get an option to choose lounge access as a milestone benefit.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, as members earning Diamond elite status by completing the required nights will qualify for lounge access anyway.
However, given that IHG is the only major hotel loyalty program that doesn’t provide lounge access as a direct benefit to elite members, it can be a disadvantage.
For comparison, Accor and Marriott Platinum members and onwards get complimentary club lounge access. Hilton Diamond members also get lounge access, and so do Hyatt Globalists.
In the case of IHG, adding Club Lounge access to Platinum doesn’t make sense, as it’s too easy to reach Platinum status. You can buy IHG Platinum elite status or get it with a credit card.
However, there is no shortcut to achieve Diamond status apart from spending a lot of money or points.
Members could extend their Diamond status by purchasing IHG Ambassador membership in the past, but that seems to be not working anymore.
Whether or not IHG will actually add lounge access as a benefit for Diamond elite members remains uncertain, but we can only hope that these rumors come true.