IHG has a special program that helps small & medium-sized businesses save money on their travel spending. The name of the program is “IHG Business Edge” and it offers savings on your nightly rates at IHG plus access to Gold Elite status within the IHG Rewards Program.
Keep reading to learn all about the program, the discounted rates, sign-up requirements, and what you need to stay in the program each year.
What is IHG Business Edge?
IHG Business Edge is a travel program geared toward smaller businesses with less than 250 employees and up to $50 million in revenue. These companies have employees that travel and spend at least $5,000 with IHG each year.
The program will give company employees discounted rates at participating IHG hotels across their portfolio of 5,400 properties across their 15 brands. These brands include InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Kimpton, just to name a few.
Participating employees and travelers will also receive IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status after completing their first stay under the program.
The Benefits, loyalty upgrades, flexible booking, and guaranteed access to the program are the result of IHG representatives talking with over 2,000 people at small and medium-sized businesses about their travel policies and processes.
IHG Business Edge was established in 2018 and had nearly 17,000 corporate accounts in its first 1.5 years in existence.
Benefits of the Business Edge Program
The following are the benefits included in the program:
- Company employees will receive an upgrade to IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status after each individual’s first stay.
- You will get competitive discounts at participating hotels globally without having to negotiate with the hotels individually. (The discount is said to be at least 10%, which is not as good as what you get with the Hyatt Leverage SME program which can offer up to 25% off.)
- The company will have access to a customized Business Edge portal for content and reporting.
- IHG Business Edge is free to join with no minimum annual spend.
IHG Business Edge Portal
With the customer portal, your assigned administrator can review important travel data such as hotel spend, room nights, average nightly rate, savings, and IHG Rewards Club participation over the last 12 months.
With future enhancements, the portal will also serve as the gateway to the IHG Business Edge community where administrators can access a content center with business tools, articles for continuing education, and a forum to connect with fellow SME travel administrators.
How to Apply to the IHG Business Edge Program
To qualify as an IHG Business Edge member, travel administrators can apply at businessedge.ihg.com. The process is quite easy and only takes a couple of minutes. Just provide your IHG Rewards Club number and some basic contact and address information and hit the submit button.
Conclusion – Is IHG Business Edge Worth it?
After signing up for and reviewing the program, it seems a bit underwhelming. The two primary benefits, Gold elite status, and a discount are better via other channels. For example:
- IHG Gold Status – If you apply for and keep the Chase IHG Rewards Premier Card, you’ll get an even higher level of status – IHG Platinum Elite Status.
- 10% Discount – While a 10% discount is nice, you can get better discounts via either an IHG Corporate Code or the IHG Friend and Family Rate (which is open to everyone and can save up to 30%).
If you are a small business, it’s fine to go ahead and sign up for the program, but personally, I would use other avenues for deeper savings and better benefits. The nice thing is that it is free and there is no annual spend minimum so you can sign up at no risk and, who knows, it may pay off with a better rate one day.