As more and more hotel loyalty programs extended elite status, travelers could breathe a sigh of relief. When IHG Rewards Club announced the extension of elite status, Kimpton Inner Circle was absent from the press release. Because this elite status is by invitation only, it took longer for the team to process extensions. As of a few days ago, I’m happy to announce that Kimpton Inner Circle elite status is extended to January 2022.
What is Kimpton Inner Circle?
Kimpton Inner Circle is an invite-only elite membership designed for travelers who frequent Kimpton hotels and resorts on a regular basis. This program is a legacy carry-over from Kimpton Hotels after it was acquired by IHG a few years ago.
What are the benefits of Kimpton Inner Circle?
There are many benefits that Kimpton Inner Circle members receive in addition to the benefits of being an IHG Spire Elite member. These benefits include:
- Personalized Welcome Amenity at Kimpton locations
- Complimentary Chef’s Taste when dining at Kimpton on-site restaurants
- Free new hotel night
- Premium internet service
- VIP Phone Line
- Guaranteed one-category upgrade
- Early check-in at 10 am is guaranteed
- Late check-out at 4 pm is guaranteed
- Waived amenity and destination fees (does not include resort fees)
- All benefits included in IHG Rewards Club Spire Elite
Click here to learn more about Kimpton Inner Circle benefits.
How do you earn Kimpton Inner Circle status?
Earning Kimpton Inner Circle status is a bit of a black box. It is an invitation-only membership that is a legacy program that remains from when Kimpton was acquired by IHG.
The first qualification is that you must earn IHG Rewards Club Spire Elite status. To earn Spire Elite status, you’ll need to stay 75 nights or earn 75,000 points in a calendar year.
You may receive an invitation to Kimpton Inner Circle if many of your stays and spend is at Kimpton hotels and resorts. There is not a set number of nights, but 40 is a reasonable estimate to be in the running from what I’ve heard.
When is Kimpton Inner Circle elite status extended to?
Kimpton Inner Circle elite status has been extended to January 2022.
On April 23, 2020, an email was sent to all Kimpton Inner Circle members from Keith Barr, the CEO of IHG. The main part of the email shared:
We continue to monitor the evolving situation and keep our cancellation policy and loyalty program under constant review. With that in mind, we have made the following changes to support you:
- We are extending your Inner Circle status through January 2022.
- This change will be automatically reflected in your account in the coming weeks.
For full details (including IHG Rewards Club changes and our cancellation policy) please visit our website.
For those that didn’t see the email, a message also popped into the IHG app on April 29, 2020, sharing the good news:
What does this mean?
This means that Inner Circle members receive an extra year of elite status, even if they don’t qualify in 2020 for 2021 based on their activity this year. All of the benefits mentioned above will be available to Inner Circle members until January 2022, which is great news. Plus, members will also receive free new hotel nights in both 2020 and 2021.
And I have it on good authority that Kimpton Inner Circle free nights for 2020 will be posted to your IHG account later today. Keep an eye out for that.
Can I still earn Kimpton Inner Circle in 2020?
Yes, you can. Nobody will be downgraded out of Inner Circle due to this year’s travel restrictions. But, if are traveling enough to meet the internal qualifications to receive an invitation, you can receive an upgrade to Kimpton Inner Circle in December for the full year of 2021.
The Bald Thoughts
Although I’m not traveling anytime soon, it is nice to receive this assurance from Kimpton and IHG that my Kimpton Inner Circle elite status has been extended to January 2022. Even when things open up, I’m not sure when our family will start to travel again. Our personal decision to hold off on traveling would make it even harder to earn status for next year.
And, in the grand scheme of things, elite status doesn’t matter much right now with so many people sick, in the hospital, or dying. Plus, many families are dealing with job loss, a reduction of hours, or reduced income. Coronavirus is affecting so many people in negative ways that worrying about elite status is a luxury. Let’s not forget that as people we know and love are hurting.