Chase Points Transfers are Earning IHG Rewards Club Status

No Mas Coach points out something I didn’t realize about Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers: apparently they’re counting towards IHG Rewards Club status.

Up through 2012 points from any source counted towards elite status in the program but they changed that, and transferred points were supposed to stop counting.

And I don’t generally transfer points to IHG Rewards Club. Points transfer 1:1 but I value IHG points at just half a cent apiece. So I didn’t notice that points transfers from Chase seem to increase the number of points earned towards status.

You can earn status with IHG either by number of nights stayed at a hotel, or by number of eligible points earned (ostensibly largely through stays). I had 0 of each so far in 2019.

Here’s the full detail:

I transferred over 1000 points from Chase:

And the number of points towards elite status went up by 1000:

Now, IHG’s elite levels aren’t that rewarding. Even at top tier there’s no guarantee of breakfast, club lounge access, suites, or even late check-out and the terms even don’t require hotels to provide all benefits on redemption stays.

Benefit Gold Elite Platinum Elite Spire Elite
Extended Check-Out
Points Don’t Expire 5
Priority Check-In
Welcome Amenity/Minibar (Kimpton)
Bonus Earnings on Top of Base Points 10% 50% 100%
Elite Rollover Nights
Room Upgrades 3
Guaranteed Availability 4
Choice Benefit Upon Receiving Status**
Hertz Five Star Status

Credit: Hotel Palomar, DC

I wouldn’t go transferring over 75,000 points to earn IHG’s top Spire Elite status, since the opportunity cost of those points is quite high. It could make sense to top off an account that has already earned quite a few points in order to get there. And you could use IHG’s status to status match to another hotel chain though bear in mind that Hyatt doesn’t currently match this way.

Since transfers aren’t supposed to count there’s no guarantee they will continue to do so or that status earned this way will be honored into the future of course.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Something to note when you reach Spire is that you can immediately elect a benefit, of which the only good one is 25,000 IHG points. So while still not a great way to transfer, it could be more reasonable for someone on the fence about topping off.

  2. @Gary, this is not new. I have done this twice in the past. Not the full amount, obviously but whatever I needed to reach Spire. The first time was 5 or 6 years ago.

  3. Don’t forget it’s easy to achieve Platinum status through their ambassador program, which is only $150/year and comes with a BOGO weekend night.

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