InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) acquired Kimpton Hotels in 2014, planning to integrate the small group of boutique hotels into one of the largest hotel companies in the world. Now, that integration is complete and Kimpton hotels Karma loyalty program has been folded into IHG Rewards Club, making it possible to book hotels through IHG’s website, earn and redeem points at the Kimpton Hotels and receive elite status benefits!
The integration of Kimpton wasn’t easy – and most of the Kimpton hotels in San Francisco, home to the company, left IHG in the process. But the integration of the loyalty programs is good news for IHG Rewards Club members for sure! I always liked the Kimpton hotels I stayed at – they are stylish and a long way from standard chain hotels, often in great city locations and the service is friendly, if a little quirky. I’m excited about the participation in IHG Rewards Club and I’m likely to stay more often at Kimpton hotels as a result, like the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco:
Effective January, 2018, you will earn IHG Rewards Club points for every dollar spent at Kimpton hotels and you will also be able to redeem points for free nights at their hotels. The redemption rates have been fit into the range of IHG redemption categories, ranging from 10,000 points to 70,000 points per night – and with many Kimpton Hotels in strategic city locations, they often are at the high end of that range, for example 55,000 points/night at the two San Francisco Kimpton properties:
IHG is also trying to maintain some of the special features of the beloved Kimpton Karma loyalty program. Karma had many, many fans who feared the death of their program ever since the acquisition. IHG has some experience with high-end loyalty programs from their distinct Ambassador program for InterContinental luxury hotels and has taken a similar approach to Kimpton Karma:
IHG Rewards Club elite members will receive additional benefits when staying at Kimpton properties. And similar to the Ambassador program, Kimpton’s top-tier “Inner Circle” members will continue to receive additional perks at Kimpton hotels, above IHG’s top-tier Spire members, for example an Inner Circle Amenity or a complimentary night at new hotels. The Inner Circle level will continue to exist and will be by invitation only, based on stay and spend history at Kimpton hotels. You can see all the elite perks in the table below:
Bottomline: The integration of Kimpton into IHG Rewards Club is great news to IHG RC members like myself, with great hotels to now earn & redeem points and receive elite perks. While I have never been a Karma member, I think this is also good news for Karma fans, extending their benefits to more hotels and still maintaining some of the unique features of the Karma program for the most loyal members. This has gone as well as I think a large, corporate acquisition can go. I’m excited to try out some of the hotels and will keep you posted with my reviews!