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It’s been a long time coming (almost three years!), but we now have details on the integration of the Kimpton Karma and IHG Rewards Club merger!
Earlier this week, we received an e-mail from IHG, stating that the two loyalty programs would come together in early 2018:
We are very pleased to today share our plans for bringing together IHG Rewards Club and Kimpton Karma Rewards, aligning the best of both programs to deliver increased value to members.
In early 2018, Kimpton Karma Rewards will become part of IHG Rewards Club, offering all members one program with a single reward point system. Kimpton Karma members will be automatically enrolled in IHG Rewards Club, gaining access to an expansive portfolio of nearly 5,300 hotels, including 11 additional IHG brands in almost 100 countries. They’ll enjoy the many benefits that have made IHG Rewards Club an industry-best program, including discounted rates when booking direct, Reward Nights with no blackout dates and the opportunity to redeem with hundreds of partners, among many others.
The personalized perks and recognition that Kimpton Karma members love will continue as part of the Kimpton experience, in addition to exclusive Kimpton offers, invitations to private events and more.
That’s all well and good, but what does that actually mean? Let’s dive into some of the most important details.
One of the first changes will be integrating Kimpton elites into IHG member tiers. This will break down as follows:
- Kimpton Tier 1 –> IHG Club Tier
- Kimpton Tier 2 –> IHG Gold Elite
- Kimpton Tier 3 –> IHG Platinum Elite
- Kimpton Inner Circle –> IHG Spire Elite
What’s also interesting is that Kimpton Inner Circle will still continue to exist as an invite-only status. You can see in the image below what Inner Circle offers over Spire Elite at Kimpton properties.
Earning Free Nights
Under the old Kimpton model, you earned a free night after seven qualifying stays or 20 qualifying nights. Any Kimpton Karma Free Night Rewards earned through December 31, 2017 will carry over and become IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights. You can redeem your new IHG® Rewards Club Nights starting early 2018.
After December 31, 2017, any nights you’ve accrued that don’t make up a complete free night award (e.g. 17 of 20 nights completed) will be converted into IHG Rewards Club points. Here’s how those nights will be converted into IHG points:
- Kimpton Tier 1 –> Each free night will convert to 1,000 IHG Rewards Club points
- Kimpton Tiers 2, 3, and Inner Circle –> Each free night will convert to 2,000 IHG Rewards Club points
Using the example above, those 17 nights towards a free night certificate become either 17,000 or 34,000 IHG points, depending on your status level. That doesn’t sound like a great conversion ratio to me!
It seems like IHG is trying to retain Kimpton elites by continuing to provide them with perks they’ve come to expect. I think the free nights becoming IHG points is a little stingy, but that could just be me. Let us know below how you’re feeling about this loyalty program merger!