IHG has a special program that helps small & medium sized business save money on their travel spend. 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, 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 businesses with less than 250 employees and up to $50 million in revenue that spend at least $5,000 with IHG annually.
The program will give them discounted rates at participating hotels across IHG’s portfolio of more than 5,400 properties across 15 brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.
Participating travelers also enjoy the benefits of IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status after completing their first stay.
According to Jonathan Kaplan, IHG V.P. of Global Sales Strategy, Business Edge is “designed for SMEs, by SMEs,”. Benefits, loyalty upgrades, flexible booking, guaranteed access and more are a direct result of IHG speaking to more than 2,000 people at small- and medium-sized businesses about supporting travel policies and processes while developing the program.
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:
- You and your employees receive stay benefits no matter how often you travel with an upgrade to IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status after each individual’s first stay.
- Save your company time and money with a competitive discounts at participating hotels globally—without months of negotiations. (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.)
- Simplify how you manage travel—and your business—with a customized portal powered by compelling content and reporting.
- IHG Business Edge is free to join, with no hidden fees and no minimum annual spend.
IHG Business Edge Portal
Through the customer portal, the corporate administrator can monitor essential travel data including hotel spend, room nights, average daily rate, savings and IHG Rewards Club participation over the previous 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 their 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.