InterContinental Hotels Group today announces the name of IHG Rewards Club’s new top membership level, Spire Elite, introduced to recognize and reward its most loyal members. To celebrate the launch, world renowned travel photographer Steve McCurry—who is best known for his 1984 photographic portrait “Afghan Girl”—has joined forces with IHG Rewards to capture how a moment of recognition is brought to life through three poignant photographs. Each photograph depicts that unique and treasured moment at which one person recognizes another.
Starting this week, IHG Rewards Club will better reward its most loyal members, with the most relevant benefits, through the launch of Spire Elite. This comes following extensive research into what IHG Rewards Club members want from their loyalty program, which identified the importance of recognition to members who want to feel rewarded for their loyalty. The introduction of Spire Elite now establishes recognition at the heart of the relationship IHG Rewards Club has with its members.
“Photography is about searching for little moments that happen in the blink of an eye but can last a lifetime,” said Steve McCurry, commenting on the photographs he created for IHG Rewards Club. “Each one of these photographs captures how a moment of recognition can do just this. Like a photograph, recognition does not need translation or adaptation; its prominence is understood by everyone, everywhere.”
Susanna Freer Epstein, SVP of customer loyalty at IHG, added, “The feeling that you’re recognized for being special is what IHG Rewards Club aims to deliver to with the launch of Spire Elite. It’s our way of saying thank you to our most loyal members, who from today will benefit from ability to earn 100 percent extra bonus points on all qualifying stays across the IHG hotel portfolio—an industry first. This is just the start of a series of exciting enhancements we will be introducing to continue recognizing and building rewarding relationships with our members.”
The global research revealed that the key ways in which IHG Rewards Club members expect hospitality brands to show them recognition, are: providing the chance to feel part of a special “club”; identifying a guest as someone unique, who is “not just a number”; remembering something about the individual (their likes, dislikes, and preferences); providing a reward, a “thank you” for achieving something.
Spire Elite membership can be reached by earning 75,000 qualifying reward points or staying at an IHG hotel for 75 qualifying nights, over the course of a calendar year. Including the ability to earn 100 percent extra bonus points on qualifying stays, Spire Elite members will also be able to choose between receiving 25,000 points, or upgrading a friend or family member to Platinum.
The qualification requirements for all IHG Rewards Clubmembership levels have also been restructured to make it easier for members to be rewarded for their loyalty. From July, Club members will need to earn 10,000 qualifying points or stay for 10 qualifying nights to be eligible for Gold membership. Gold members will need to earn 40,000 qualifying points or stay for 40 qualifying nights to reach Platinum membership.
As part of the launch of Spire Elite, IHG Rewards Club has relaunched its Rewarding Experiences Digital Hub (ihgrewardsclub.com/rewardingexperiences) to showcase the experiences available to IHG Rewards Club members all over the world and across all four IHG Rewards Club membership tiers.