This morning, major news broke regarding the merger of Kimpton Karma and IHG Rewards. I consider Kimpton Karma to be one of the best loyalty programs around, and Kimpton’s top tier, Inner Circle, was probably the most valuable hotel status (yes, I’m looking at you SPG Platinums and Hyatt Globalists…).
Earlier this year, Kimpton announced a few more details about the merger of the two programs, but nothing was concrete.
Kimpton Karma will officially roll into IHG Rewards in early 2018.
Here’s the breakdown, in a nutshell from the Kimpton website:
- Raid the Bar (Tier 2,3,4)
- $30 spa credit
- Custom stay preferences
- Karma exclusive offers + invitations to special events
- Inner Circle benefits
- No blackout dates on reward nights
- Earn points or airline miles per dollar spent
- Elite bonus points
- Redeem at over 5,200 properties
- Online reward redemption, including partners like rental cars, merchandise, etc.
- IHG® Rewards Club award winning mobile app
- How you earn Free Night Rewards
- Raid the Bar for Tier 1 retires
- The Kimpton Journey Reward retires
- Tier names
If you have status, your status will be merged into the new program, too:
- Tier 1 members will merge to Club status
- Tier 2 members will become Gold elites
- Tier 3 members will become Platinum elites
- Kimpton Inner Circle will become Spire Elite, still maintaining Inner Circle status
Overall, not great news for Inner Circle members as the way the new program will work will require them to earn Spire Elite Status with IHG, and then be invited into Inner Circle without an official way to actually earn Inner Circle. Spire Elite requires 75 nights per year, so needless to say, this will be the last year I’ll be earning Kimpton status, and won’t be maintaining it into 2019. 🙂
Here’s how Kimpton describes the future of Inner Circle:
Our most loyal members will continue enjoying Inner Circle status and all the rich benefits that come with it when staying at any Kimpton hotel. In addition, they also get all the great benefits of Spire Elite when staying at Kimpton as well as any other IHG hotel. Win win! Members who earn, or re-qualify, Inner Circle status by December 31, 2017 will enjoy both Spire Elite + Inner Circle status and benefits through 2018. To qualify for 2019, members will need to:
- Earn Spire Elite status
- Receive an exclusive invitation into Inner Circle
Not the best days for news – I’m going to miss my dear Kimpton. 🙁
To get a free night at any Kimpton or IHG property worldwide, get the IHG Rewards credit card!
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