Kimpton eliminates Inner Circle dining credit

Hotels, Kimpton 4

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Kimpton does a ton to spoil their best guests, so I was surprised to read a recent email detailing upcoming changes to the Kimpton Karma Rewards program for 2017.  So far, not much has changed since IHG acquired Kimpton a couple of years ago.  2017 is the first year that the rewards program has changed as Kimpton eliminates Inner Circle dining credit.


Kimpton Eliminates Inner Circle Dining Credit

For those who don’t know, Kimpton Inner Circle members get a free night shortly after a new property opens.  And during your free stay, you also have a $50 dining credit to use at the on-site property.  It was an awesome benefit because the on-site restaurants at Kimpton hotels have some of the best chefs in the country.

Click here to learn more about the Kimpton Karma Rewards program.

Kimpton eliminates Inner Circle dining credit Tideline dinner

Our family enjoying $50 dining credit at Kimpton Tideline

In an email dated December 22, 2016, Kimpton sent out an email to Kimpton Karma members detailing changes to the program for 2017.  The fifth bullet says it all… or does it?

“Due to limited usage, were retiring the Inner Circle $50 restaurant credit at new restaurants.”


Confirmation & Clarification from Kimpton

I waited to get clarification that Kimpton eliminates Inner Circle dining credit on existing reservations until I was at the Journeyman.  Scarlett and I braved the cold and flew out to Milwaukee for a Daddy-Daughter vacation.  I’m pairing the free Kimpton Journeyman Inner Circle night with a paid Double Credit stay for a fun weekend.  I was really looking forward to spoiling Scarlett (and myself) to a nice dinner at Tre Rivoli during my stay!

Kimpton has an awesome social media team that quickly replies to comments and questions, so I reached out via Twitter to find out if this was for all reservations or only those booked in 2017.  I didn’t like the answer. <<frowny face>>

Sad, but true.

I had hoped that existing reservations made before the notice would be grandfathered under the old rules, but those hopes were dashed.


The Bald Thoughts

The wording is a bit odd that “limited use” would be the reason why you discontinue a benefit.  For example, I’ve never used the spa benefit, but that benefit remains.  Even though we’re spoiled with the excellent benefits in the Kimpton Karma program, it still stings to lose out on a great benefit.  I’ve used it every chance I had.  What’s done is done.  I still love Kimpton way more than the other loyalty programs.  Kimpton is literally the only program I spend cash at.  So let’s focus on the positives, like all the free nights we’re eligible for at the new properties added to the Kimpton portfolio… and all of the others in the pipeline!  Hello, Amsterdam, Paris, and Granada!

The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or endorsed by any company or third-party, unless clearly stated otherwise. The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the advertiser. It is not the advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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About the author / 

Lee Huffman

Lee grew up loving to travel with his parents. Now he explores the world with his wife, Anna and his two children Timothy and Scarlett. He enjoys being spoiled as a Kimpton Inner Circle Member and taking full advantage of Southwest's Companion Pass. Lee wants to teach his readers how to 'Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.' using miles, points, tips and tricks.


  1. Aaron Makinen January 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

    Such a lame response from Kimpton’s Twitter team. Obviously, if they were concerned about so-called underutilization, they could have simply turned to their marketing team and asked them to market it better. And training front-of-house staff to tout it upon check-in would certainly be a step toward ensuring that IC guests make the most of their IC new-hotel nights by actually use the published benefits. Like so many IC benefits, this was almost never mentioned, outside the small print.

    Shame on Kimpton for lying to you.

    But hey, you are IC, just like I am: why not call up the CEO and ask him yourself for the straight dope?

    • Lee Huffman January 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm -  Reply

      You make some good points, Aaron. Most people staying at a Kimpton property would spend well over the $50 dining credit…and may feel inclined to splurge on high-margin products like a bottle of wine, knowing that $50 of their meal was already covered.

      I will definitely be calling the CEO this week to discuss the change in benefits.

  2. Tally April 1, 2017 at 9:02 pm -  Reply

    Any updates on the dining credit benefit? I’m a very disappointed IC member – I never got the memo (no pun intended)

    • Lee Huffman April 2, 2017 at 8:46 am -  Reply

      Tally, you didn’t receive the email from Kimpton back in December? If not, I can forward it to you. Let me know. I’m disappointed in the loss of this awesome benefit too. Because I booked the Journeyman prior to Jan 1, 2017, I did receive the $50 credit. I’m headed to Seafire tonight, so I’ll find out if the $50 credit is on this reservation as well.

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