IHG Rewards Introducing Free Internet for All Members — Whether Staying as a Hotel Guest or Not

IHG Rewards, the loyalty program formerly known as Priority Club which includes Intercontinental (for points-earning and redemption), Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and other brands has updated its terms and conditions to include internet access not just for elites but for all members throughout most of the world, and to offer that access for free whether the member is even staying at the hotel or not.

This benefit doesn’t apply in Europe, where only IHG Rewards elite members will receive complimentary internet.

Internet Access for Members: Beginning January 2014, standard internet access will be available to all IHG® Rewards Club members at no additional cost at all IHG hotels located in the Americas, Greater China, Asia, Middle East and Africa with or without a hotel reservation and/or qualifying stay. Furthermore, IHG® Rewards Club Elite members will be provided standard internet access at no additional cost at all IHG hotels in Europe. Internet availability and accessibility in common areas vary by hotel. Internet accessibility, speed, and connectivity in common areas and guest rooms vary by hotel. Details regarding a property’s internet accessibility will be available at the hotel’s registration desk. Please note that The Venetian® and The Palazzo®, an InterContinental Alliance® Resort, do not offer the Free Internet Access benefit, which is instead included in the daily resort fee.

The vast majority of IHG Rewards hotel properties offer complimentary internet now. This extends that benefit to everyone who is a member, so a non-guest will be able to step into a participating property and use their internet for free in the lobby.

I can’t imagine that will cost them very much, or will be much used (or even much known).

Nonetheless, I really like it — it doesn’t quite match but is at least reminiscent of what the predecessor to Club Carlson used to call “Our World, Your Lounge” which was free internet and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for two for elite members in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

What I don’t love is the terms stating that availability will “vary by hotel” which leads me to worry that the implementation won’t be uniform or reliable, but we’ll have to see how this works in practice and how well-understood the benefit becomes across the chain.

I’d sure like a hot chocolate with my free internet, though!

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. This is pretty much a con, in my experience. The basic internet at several hotels I have stayed at, which is free, often cannot load all the images on a web page as it is so slow. Of course, the hotels answer is that there is ‘Premium Internet’ available which is chargeable, and in some cases even that has been awful.

  2. Seems really really really weak. It’s nice to get free internet like it’s nice to have “cold air conditioning”, “Color TV”,”direct dial phones” or other such items but I would expect them for free from a good hotel anyway.

  3. I take the opposite viewpoint. I think it is a fine perk. I see nothing wrong with it. Some chains will charge $10.95+ for this. And the guest doesn’t ever have to “guess” if there is some strange, ambiguous charge for internet. Simply put, IHG = Internet free. No I don’t work for them…

  4. “IHG = Internet free.” Dear IHG – I just saved you 40K on marketing. Please contact Gary L. for my email so you can credit me the many IHG points that never, ever seem to post….blah blah blah…

  5. Just stayed twice for a total of 3 nights at Crowne Plaza Changi at the Singapore Airport. Apparently IHG Rewards Platinum status yields no executive lounge/club access. Think my Marriott Gold or Hilton Gold status will be better used at another Singapore Hotel.

  6. Totally agree with MilesFromBlighty – sadly the speed of this will be so slow as to be unusable. I’ve had a couple of stays at His in Europe and even though it’s only for Gold/Plat yyou’re lucky to be able to have even the Google homepage load in a reasonable time. They’re always happy to up sell you to a faster connection of course…

  7. Such a shame it does not apply in Europe. I was staying in a Holiday Inn in the UK over this weekend and they wanted to charge about £3.95 for 1 hour of access to the internet. Such a shame the hotel chains cannot have a universal policy. Then us travellers will know what to expect when we choose our hotels.

  8. “Simply put, IHG = Internet free”

    Except, of course, for any property in Europe. And any property that doesn’t choose to participate. So simply put IHG=? If you want free internet, forget IHG, and go to Starbucks.

  9. “Upon further review” re: Europe

    “only elite members will receive complimentary internet in Europe”

    Holding the IHG CC gives you Platinum status, which is the highest IHG elite level.

    At least for US residents, there is no reason not to have this card, since the $49 annual fee gets you a free night certificate good at any IHG location, which is good for an entire year.

    So anyone who spends even one night a year at IHG should already be Platinum thru the cc, in which case the Europe exclusion becomes moot.

    The slow speed and non-participating locations are still genuine concerns though…

  10. Wow that’s a pretty sweet deal! We have to spend £99 ($160) for the card plus £10k ($16k) on the card before we get a free night certificate…

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