Chase IHG MasterCard Sign-Up Bonus Counts Toward Spire Elite Status!

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Update 7/13/15: Some peeps are reporting their sign-up bonus is NOT counting toward Spire elite status. I got my Chase IHG MasterCard in February of 2015. If you got the card this year, it’s worth checking to see if the sign-up bonus counts toward Spire status. Also, for some at least, ALL of the spend on the Chase IHG MasterCard counts toward Spire status!

I was all hot-n-heavy for IHG for a second there. I was targeted to receive 80,000 IHG points on the Chase IHG MasterCard and I thought you know what, OK. So I got it, met the minimum spend and then… never used it again.

I logged in today to see how many IHG points I had, and noticed I’d been upgraded? To Spire?

I mean, yeah, that's cool

I mean, yeah, that’s cool, but… how?

Then I dug a little and realized…

The sign-up bonus counts toward Spire

I haven’t stayed at an IHG hotel since the fantastic InterContinental in Sydney.

All I did was get the Chase IHG MasterCard, register for the “Set Your Sights” promo, and meet the minimum spend.

But apparently the 80,000 points I earned from the Chase IHG Visa overqualified me toward Spire, which requires 75 nights at IHG hotels or 75,000 elite qualifying points.

All points earned from the Chase IHG Visa, including the sign-up bonus, counts toward Spire status

All points earned from the Chase IHG Visa, including the sign-up bonus, counts toward Spire status

Here’s literally all of the activity in my IHG this year:


All the Chase IHG MasterCard Activity adds up to all the IHG EQPs I’ve earned this year

And as you can see, after upgrading to Spire, I was given the choice to add 25,000 IHG points to my account -or- gift IHG Platinum status to a friend.

I took the 25,000 IHG points and ran! 



So when you think about it, I actually got over 100,000 IHG points for opening the Chase IHG MasterCard. Because the bonus alone was enough to earn Spire, and then IHG gave me 25,000 more points.

And, I’ll have the status until the end of 2016. IHG says:

Once you have earned the newest membership status in any calendar year, you will maintain such status until the end of the following calendar year.

So that’s kinda… awesome!

Bottom line

The upgrade to Spire makes me want to plan more IHG stays so I can earn 100% bonus points… and see how good the upgrade situation really is and assess elite treatment.

I might go out of my way to stay at more IHG properties this year, if only for the sake of using IHG points. To be continued…

Was anyone else auto-upgraded to Spire? 

Thank you for using my links to get a travel rewards card! Right now, the bonus on the IHG card is 60,000 IHG points after meeting the minimum spending requirement of spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Hey Harlan … I didn’t get Spire status (short 55K) but my Wife did. She got the 80K offer earlier this year. Checked last night and sure enough, she had the 25K offer which was a pleasant surprise.

      • I do not see us using those points anytime soon. We have a 10 night Club Carlson in Grenada this November and an 8 night February Club Carlson in Aruba. I have to book somewhere a Marriott cat 7 hotel & air package in the beginning of 2016 so I can get the Southwest companion pass again. Also have about 10 nights w/ Wyndham and the Wife has 250K IHG points. Don’t have enough time off from work. A side note: We both got the Wyndham card 2 months ago. We each received 45K points for the spend on our 1st statement. On our 2nd statement w/ each received a 15K Barclay promo. Our 1st 2 months we already have 8 nights anywhere in the world from Barclay and almost another 2 nights from spend. Best hotel CC out there right now IMO.

        • Wow! That’s amazing, man!

          Sounds like IHG won’t really fit in any time soon. Well, the points never expire and the status is good until 2016 so hopefully you get to use them eventually.

          I’m gonna look into the Wyndham card soon. Thanks for letting me know about the Barclays promo!

          • If I recall, inactive points now expire in one year w/ IHG since the new update. Having the credit card means you just have to make a charge to re-set the expiration date. We did not expect the 15K Wyndham bonus but it was a great surprise getting two free additional nights. Basically by meeting the spend, we each got 4 free nights in any hotel worldwide.

          • You’re right about the expiration!

            I’ll be fine as long as I make a charge (or stay) before next February. I think I can do it! 😉

            Any ideas about where you’ll use your Wyndham points?

          • Well, we did get a chance to use some IHG points, and boy did it work out splendidly! Wife did get Spire elite w/ the 80K & I think she received a $50 credit. She opted for the 25K point choice so she really got 105K sign-up for the card. I booked a 5 night stay (15K per) @ the Intercontinental, Cancun from 9/3 thru 9/8. Flew Southwest w/ companion pass and just returned home tonight. Because she was Spire, they upgraded us to a 7th floor ocean view room which was nice. We immediately went to the pool and while lounging I had an idea. Had the Wife go to the front desk and ask if she purchased Ambassador status, what would it get her. She was told she would get an upgrade to a 10th floor club level suite, free breakfast, drinks & food from 6 to 8pm, in addition to some other nice features. Wow, for only 27K points (5K rebate), she took it. The suite was really nice, the food was excellent and all for a few K less in points than she got for the sign-up. She now has Ambassador status for a year. We were treated exceptionally. Our biggest expense was tips.

          • OMG, I love stories like this! That’s incredible!

            Sounds like the quintessential points and miles trip: SW Companion Pass, upgrades, status, the works!

            So glad you had a great trip! Bet you’ve got a nice tan now, too. 🙂

            Thank you for sharing! Love it!!!

  2. I’ve qualified for Spire as well due to my signup bonus from my Chase IHG card, but I cannot find where to choose the 25k elite benefit. Where do you go on the website for this?


  3. Thanks Harlan! I am now Spire! Signed up for my card back in February, Think it was the 70K offer plus I had a few stays. My wife signed up for her card last year and didn’t get Spire.

    Gotta love the IHG IT department. They must’ve hired the same folks that did the state health exchange/ObamaCare website.

    Regardless I will take 25K in points any day!

  4. Nice perk, curious if IHG properties will give any decent perks. A couple properties I stayed at in Edinburgh, 1 was an upgraded room and the other was just the basic room I booked.

    • I’m curious, too. I got a nice upgrade at IHG before. They have so many properties. I’d like to stay at at PointBreaks hotel and see what happens.

  5. What about sign up bonuses that will credit in the future? My sister won’t get her 80000 until August at the end f her billing

  6. My gf just got her 80,000 points posted yesterday (70k bonus, 10k courtesy adjustment because we PM’ed Chase about the 80k offer). Only the 11k posted ($1k spend) as elite qualifying. I called in and was told only points earned from reservations should count. May HUCA in a little.

  7. Thanks for the heads up! I show:

    72,567 of 75,000 points for Spire Elite

    Think I may pull that card out of the sock drawer to get the bonus 25000 for Spire (and WHO knows what next year brings?) Was totally not expecting sign up bonus to count!! Mine was 60k plus a 10k bump–back when I was going to do whatever their Spring promo was (how quickly we forget).

  8. I did this: Jul 14, 2015 | Other | ULTIMATE REWARDS PT TRANSFER 3,000 pts.
    (which I found a little painful)

    To get:

    Elite Qualifying Points Earned: 75,567 of 75,000 points for Spire Elite


    Jul 14, 2015 | Redeem | Choice Benefit Redemption 25,000 pts. .

    Thanks again for the heads up!!

  9. I signed up the card several days ago for 60k+$50. If the signup points do count towards spire, could you give me some ideas on how to score another 15k points ?

    Thank you

    • You can transfer Chase UR points to IHG. Or transfer AMEX points to Virgin Atlantic, then to IHG.

      Or you could manufacture some spend since all spend on the IHG MasterCard counts as EQPs.

      You could stay at IHG hotels.

      Finally, and this may be the easiest, you could secure message Chase and ask if they can bump your bonus to 70K. 😉

  10. got the 80k points today , 7 weeks after doing min. spend….Nope NO Spire, looks like 80k points didn’t count for me…

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