The Guide to IHG Diamond Elite

With a 37% return on investment, this top-tier elite status is well worth the effort it takes to earn.
Lee Huffman
By Lee Huffman 
Published
Edited by Dawnielle Robinson-Walker

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Top-tier hotel elite status provides premium perks and unparalleled earning power to reward travelers for their loyalty. The highest elite status level within IHG One Rewards is Diamond Elite status.

Members achieve IHG Diamond status based on their points earned, nightly stays or credit card spending each year. IHG Diamond Elite status provides a 100% bonus on paid stays, plus free breakfast, dedicated phone support and numerous other benefits.

To understand if earning IHG Diamond is for you, let’s look at the benefits, how to earn elite status and how much it is worth.

IHG Diamond Elite benefits

When you achieve IHG Diamond Elite status, you'll receive numerous benefits to improve your stay, save money and earn additional points on your hotel bill. Here are some of the most valuable IHG Diamond Elite status benefits:

  • 100% bonus points. All members earn ten base points at most IHG brand hotels. As a Diamond Elite member, you'll receive a 100% bonus for a total of 20 points per dollar on eligible IHG stays.

  • Complimentary upgrades. Enjoy your stay a little more with a complimentary upgrade to a nicer room. Upgrades are subject to availability, so you may not receive one if the hotel is full.

  • Welcome amenity at check-in. Receive a small gift when checking in at participating IHG hotels and resorts. These amenities may include bonus points, a free drink, snacks or bottled water.

  • Free breakfast. Diamond Elite members can choose as their welcome amenity a daily free breakfast for themself and one guest. The free breakfast benefit is available at full-service and select-service brands, like InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and Kimpton.

  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards elite status. Upon receiving IHG Diamond Elite status, you can upgrade to Five Star rental car elite status.

  • Early check-in and late check-out. While all IHG members receive a 2 p.m. late checkout, Diamond Elite members also get early check-in to their room so they can start their vacation sooner.

  • Guaranteed Room Availability. Even if your favorite hotel is sold out, Diamond Elite members are guaranteed a room when they book through customer service at least 72 hours in advance. This benefit is for paid stays and does not apply to award nights.

How to become an IHG Diamond Elite member

To earn IHG Diamond Elite status, you need to complete 70 qualified nights or earn 120,000 qualified points. However, there are many paths to becoming a top-tier member of IHG One Rewards. If you're interested in earning this elite status, here's what you need to do:

Paid stays at IHG properties

Book your IHG hotel room as a paid night, and you'll earn up to ten base points per dollar on your stay toward elite status. Additionally, each eligible night of your reservation provides an elite night credit.

Free night stays at IHG properties

When you book award nights using your points, Points & Cash or free night certificates, those nights count for elite status as well.

Earn Diamond status with an IHG credit card

IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

With the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card and the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, you can earn Diamond Elite status based on your annual spending.

When you spend at least $40,000 in a calendar year, you'll be upgraded to Diamond status through the end of the following year.

Purchase IHG Bonus Points Packages

During the booking process, your hotel may offer Bonus Points Packages, which provide additional points on your reservation.

These packages range from 1,000 to 5,000 bonus points per stay, and they count toward earning or maintaining your elite status.

Spending with IHG Business Rewards

Earn 3x points per dollar when booking accommodations, meetings and events with IHG Business Rewards. You'll receive points toward future vacations and elite qualifying points at nearly 6,000 participating hotels worldwide.

Earn points with partner activities

IHG One Rewards members earn points with qualifying activities with select partners. When you earn points on Hertz car rentals, OpenTable reservations, Grubhub orders and Viator experiences, they count toward earning IHG Diamond Elite status.

How much is IHG elite status worth?

In NerdWallet’s annual analysis of the best hotel elite status programs, we sought to determine how much value the major U.S. hotel loyalty programs deliver to guests. Here's how IHG's elite status program did.

Value of benefits

Cost to earn

Elite earning rate

Silver

$16.

$1,000.

1.6%.

Gold

$173.

$2,920.

6%.

Platinum

$1,765.

$5,840.

30%.

Diamond

$3,959.

$10,220.

39%.

Of course, the value you'll receive varies based on your travel patterns. In general, the more you stay with IHG and use your benefits, the more value you'll receive.

How IHG Diamond Elite compares to its competitors

According to our comparison of hotel loyalty programs, IHG Diamond Elite status offers one of the best values among ultra-level hotel elite statuses. For travelers looking to maximize their rewards and benefits, earning IHG Diamond status offers a good return on the investment.

What else you need to know about IHG Diamond Elite

Take advantage of promotions

IHG runs special promotions throughout the year to earn bonus points on stays. Register for these promotions, even if you don't have immediate travel plans, because there is no charge for signing up. The bonus points earned help you book award travel faster. Plus, they may qualify you to earn Diamond Elite status more quickly.

Earn Milestone Rewards based on your stays

In addition to IHG Diamond status benefits, you'll also earn Milestone Rewards along the way. Starting with your 20th night, you'll choose a reward every 10 nights you stay at IHG, up to 100 nights.

Reward options include bonus points, confirmed suite upgrades, food and beverage rewards, and an annual lounge membership.

You can request a status match

From time to time, IHG offers a status match to members of other hotel loyalty programs. The elite status you receive depends on which status you have with the other hotel. For travelers with top-level status, this is how to get IHG Diamond status quickly without spending a lot of money.

How long does IHG Diamond Elite status last?

IHG elite status expires on December 31 of each year. When you earn IHG Diamond elite status during the year, you'll enjoy it for the remainder of that year, plus all of the following year.

IHG does not offer Lifetime Diamond status

Unlike some other hotel loyalty programs, IHG One Rewards does not allow members to earn lifetime elite status. To maintain your elite status, you'll need to earn it based on your eligible stays, credit card benefits, spending on your IHG credit card or by buying an Ambassador membership.

IHG credit cards and Diamond Elite status

When you have an IHG credit card, you receive automatic elite status based on which card you have.

Cardholders of the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card or the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card receive automatic IHG Platinum status. However, you can earn IHG Diamond Elite status by spending $40,000 or more on either of these cards in a calendar year.

The IHG Diamond Elite phone number

As a Diamond Elite member, you have access to a dedicated phone number to call IHG and avoid the wait that other members may experience. You can call the dedicated Diamond support line at 844-774-7300 to book a reservation or handle hotel-related needs.

If you want to earn IHG Diamond Elite status

For people who travel frequently and prefer to stay at IHG branded hotels, it makes sense to earn IHG Diamond Elite status. Earning top-tier IHG elite status normally requires earning 120,000 points or staying 70 qualified nights each year.

However, you can also receive IHG Diamond status by spending $40,000 on either of the two IHG Premier credit cards. Based on our research, top-tier IHG elite benefits offer one of the best returns on investment for your travel dollars.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Hotel Cards from Our Partners
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-26x

Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

165,000

Earn 165,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-9x

Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

Points

Intro offer

35,000

Earn 35,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent. Offer ends 3/6/2024.

Points
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
4.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-17x

Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

250,000

Limited time offer! Earn 5 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card.

Points
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