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IHG One Rewards: IHG Milestone Rewards – Picking the right benefit

IHG Milestone Rewards – Picking the right benefit

IHG recently revamped its loyalty program and launched IHG One Rewards.

The result is a much better loyalty program than the previous one. How good it is in real life? Only time will tell.

Among several changes to the program, one of the most talked about and interesting benefits is the introduction of ‘Milestone Rewards’.

What is ‘IHG Milestone Rewards’

The Milestone Rewards program of IHG provides additional benefits for staying regularly at their properties.

Starting at 20 qualified nights, you’ll get to choose a reward every 10 nights you stay. These rewards are available for up to 100 nights.

These benefits are in addition to the regular elite level benefits.

Such rewards motivate customers to stay more with a particular loyalty program. Guests also feel rewarded for their loyalty.

Unlike an elite status that could be matched, gifted or received via a credit card, there is no shortcut to earn Milestone Rewards. It’s available only to people actually staying at the property.

Types of Milestone Rewards

There are essentially 4 types of milestone rewards being offered by IHG. The type and number of rewards depends on the number of nights stayed.

1. Bonus points reward

You get to pick 5000 or 10,000 bonus points, depending on the milestone achieved. It’s as straightforward as it sounds.

2. Food & Beverage Rewards

IHG One Rewards Members can redeem a Food and Beverage Reward against applicable food and beverage charges during a hotel stay, with a maximum cap of $20 per voucher at participating IHG Hotels & Resorts.

Each Food and Beverage Reward can only be used once, even if the Member’s total applicable charges fall below $20.

You get either 2 or 5 of such vouchers, depending on the milestone achieved.

3. Confirmable Suite Upgrade

Confirmable Suite Upgrades reward gets you one room upgrade to an entry-level suite. If a suite is not available, you can go for an upgrade to a premium room.

One Confirmable Suite Upgrade is valid for one room and one stay only. However, the stay could be of up to 5 nights.

There are some important terms you should be aware of:

  • Confirmable Suite Upgrade can only be applied to stays that are on an eligible rate, e.g., Best Flexible, Member Discount, Government, and select Corporate and package rates
  • Not valid on bookings that require advance payment
  • Confirmable Suite Upgrade must be redeemed by contacting IHG Customer Care
  • Confirmable Suite Upgrade can be made starting 14 days before arrival up to 24hrs before Check-In

4. Annual Lounge Membership

Lounge Membership provides access to the hotel’s Club Lounge and amenities (e.g., library, meeting room, and business station) for the registered Member plus one guest for the duration of their stay or until time of Check-Out.

Even though the member should be staying at the hotel, the guest doesn’t have to. You can probably have a short one-to-one meeting in a lounge.

Lounge Food & Beverage offerings and additional amenities vary by region and by hotel. It generally includes breakfast, tea service and light snacks. Some lounges serve alcohol as well.

Once Annual Lounge Membership is chosen, it will be valid for the remainder of the year and an additional 12 months (e.g., Annual Lounge Membership Milestone chosen June 2022 will be valid until December 31, 2023).

Annual Lounge Membership rewards do not accumulate. You’re only going to need to choose the option of Annual Lounge Membership once (at either 40-night or 70-night Milestone)

Milestone Rewards Eligibility

Let’s have a look at the number of nights required to earn IHG One Milestone Rewards.

20 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 5,000 Bonus Points
  • 2 Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 1 Confirmable Suite Upgrade

30 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 5,000 Bonus Points
  • 2 Food & Beverage Rewards

40 Nights

You can choose TWO of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 1 Confirmable Suite Upgrade (limit 1)
  • Annual Lounge Membership (limit 1)

50 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

60 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

70 Nights

You can choose TWO of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards
  • 2 Confirmable Suite Upgrades (limit 1)
  • Annual Lounge Membership (limit 1)

80 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

90 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

100 Nights

You can choose one of the following:

  • 10,000 Bonus Points
  • 5 Food & Beverage Rewards

At 40 and 70 nights, you can pick 2 benefits instead of 1.

Which milestone reward to pick?

This is a tough question that depends a lot on your travel plan as well. However, here are some tips to help you decide.

Points or F&B credit?

At best, we have been able to redeem IHG points for 0.7 – 0.9 cents lately.

So, when you have to decide between 2 F&B vouchers ($40 total) or 5000 points($35 – $45), there is not much of a value difference.

However, if you are deciding between 5 F&B vouchers and 10,000 points, the equation changes a bit. 5 F&B vouchers are worth $100, whereas, as per our experience, 10,000 points would be between $70 and $90.

Lounge Benefit is the best benefit.

A year or more of lounge access is definitely worth more than a few vouchers or points.

As the benefit is valid until the end of next year, the sooner you earn it, better it is.

In fact, this is the fastest way to free breakfast, if you are not a diamond member yet.

Confirmable Suite Upgrade for longer and family trips

If you have a stay for 5 nights coming up and if you are not traveling alone, ‘Confirmable Suite Upgrade’ is a great benefit.

It’s also a personal choice. Comfortable stay vs money in hand.

Personally, I won’t use this voucher for 1 or 2 night stays. Especially if you are an IHG Platinum or IHG Diamond elite.

Conclusion

IHG One Milestone Rewards are to take effect from early June 2022. These are some nice added perks to stay at IHG properties.

I would be eyeing 40 nights for the lounge benefit. I already have close to 20 nights this year.

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