IHG Status Match: What You Need to Know

Completing a status match challenge is one way to get IHG status, but it might not be the easiest (or cheapest).
Lee Huffman
By Lee Huffman 
Updated

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For most travelers, earning elite status with IHG requires staying numerous nights in its hotels or earning enough points. A quicker path to IHG elite status is getting a status match. Status matches provide immediate elite status and require meeting certain hurdles to retain status beyond an introductory period.

If you're interested in earning IHG One Rewards elite status through a status match, here's everything you need to know.

IHG One Rewards elite status tiers and benefits

With the revamped loyalty program, IHG One Rewards now has four levels of elite status.

  1. Silver Elite.

  2. Gold Elite.

  3. Platinum Elite.

  4. Diamond Elite.

Depending on your elite status level, you can expect to receive benefits that improve your stays, save money and increase the points you earn at IHG hotels. The following benefits may be available based on your level:

  • Up to 100% bonus points.

  • Rollover nights for next year's status.

  • Exclusive member rates and promotions.

  • Free internet.

  • Complimentary upgrades.

  • Free breakfast.

  • Early check-in and late checkout.

What to know about IHG status matches

Before applying for an IHG status match, it pays to understand the fine print so that you can follow the rules of the promotion.

What is it?

The IHG status match challenge allows you essentially take IHG elite status for a test drive before fully taking the plunge. For example, the last time the challenge was offered — which expired July 31, 2022 — participants in the challenge would automatically be vaulted to IHG One Rewards Platinum status for 120 days.

Once enrolled, you had a small window to earn status with IHG moving forward. Your status would be extended if:

  • If you stayed five qualifying nights within 120 days of registration you would retain Platinum Elite status through December 2023.

  • If you stayed 15 qualifying nights within 120 days of registration your status would be upgraded to Diamond Elite status through December 2023.

It normally takes 40 nights to obtain Platinum Elite status, and 70 nights to earn the highly coveted Diamond Elite status, making this expedited route through a status challenge hard to pass up when it's offered to you.

Status matches are limited-time offers

IHG periodically offers limited-time promotions where members can receive a status match. These offers are available only for a short period of time, and you must meet the "challenge" within a certain number of days. To find out if there are any status match offers available, visit the IHG member offers page or contact customer service. StatusMatcher.com is also a good source that shares recent status match attempts from people within the travel community.

You may not need elite status with another hotel to qualify

Status matches are generally targeted at elite status members of other loyalty programs. However, IHG allows its members to apply, even if they don't have elite status with another loyalty program. This strategy encourages existing members to stay more frequently at IHG properties instead of other hotel brands.

You must register ahead of time

For your IHG stays to count for the status match, you must enroll in a status match challenge before your stay. Most challenges don't count prior stays.

Only qualifying stays count

Not all stays qualify for status match promotions. In most cases, award nights or paid stays under a certain dollar amount are excluded. Additionally, there may be geographic exclusions where stays in certain countries don't count for the challenge.

Milestone Rewards are also earned

After staying 20 nights, IHG One Rewards members can earn Milestone Rewards for each subsequent 10 nights they stay at IHG properties, up to 100 nights. While you may earn IHG elite status through a status match that's equivalent to staying a number of nights, you won't receive the Milestone Rewards until you've actually earned those nights.

Who should consider an IHG status match?

While elite status should be a goal for anyone whose favorite hotel brand is IHG, requesting a status match is a different story. Status matches often require a high number of stays within a short period of time. Because of that, you should request a status match only if you are planning to stay at IHG hotels frequently over the next few months.

Additionally, consider the elite status available through the status match. If you can get the same level of elite status by holding an IHG credit card or buying InterContinental Ambassador status, does it make sense to pay for the required stays to meet the status match challenge?

How to earn IHG One Rewards elite status (the old-fashioned way)

These are the most common methods of earning elite status with IHG One Rewards:

  • Stay at IHG hotels. Whether you're paying cash or booking an award stay, those nights count toward earning elite status.

  • Earn IHG points. Receive elite qualifying points by paying for hotel stays, spending with select partners or booking a bonus points package.

  • Having an IHG credit card. Both the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card and the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card include automatic Platinum Elite status, while the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card includes Silver Elite status.

  • Buying elite status. IHG members can purchase InterContinental Ambassador status for $200 or 40,000 points and receive Platinum Elite status automatically.

  • Getting a status match. Receive elite status based on your status with a competing program or by performing specific activities within a short timeframe.

IHG status matches recapped

Getting a status match is a quick way to achieve elite status before a big trip. You'll receive your upgraded status to start enjoying premier benefits right away. However, you'll need to meet the challenge's requirements in order to keep the status for a longer period of time. If you don't qualify for a status match or can't meet the challenge in time, consider getting an IHG credit card or buying Ambassador status to receive automatic elite status.


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
See more hotel cards
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