IHG unceremoniously dumped their Dining Rewards program (notwithstanding I continue to receive reminders to renew my membership to it).
Have they / Will they announce a replacement for it?
It replaced the Priority Privilege program and my assumption is that “Dining rewards” was an odd title for a hotel program in any case. However I did enjoy the perks and it certainly guided my preference in accomodation.
This is one of those mysterious that intrigues me the most. I was a huge fan of priority privilege and, notwithstanding their horrendous call centre staff and dodgy sales techniques, got enormous value from the program each year. I was truly disappointed when they switched to IHG Dining Rewards (which, by the way, previously existed as a program in China only and was then rolled out to Asia-Pacific, which doesn’t really explain the odd name, but at least justifies it a little bit). At least the switch from PP to IHGDR was well communicated and managed and arranged so that there was a seamless transition from one program to the next. I am lucky enough to have a IHGDR membership which doesn’t expire until the end of August but I know of many who have now been without a membership since the start of the year.
The lack of communication from IHG about this is troubling and unusual. I have not even personally been advised that the program has discontinued. I know some have reported that IHG have advised them that a new program will be developed with “enhancements” (which is not in the slightest bit reassuring given IHGs definition of enhancements tends to differ from the average IHG users), but that is the extent of communication that I am aware of.
Separately, during a recent IHG stay, I did overhear a similar conversation taking place between a guest and a concierge. The concierge was trying to promote the Ambassador program as an alternative (which, whilst a great program, offer very different benefits and is hardly a suitable replacement). As such, my suspicion is that IHG will instead try to improve the offering under the Ambassador membership (presumably with some sort of dining discount and 10% off stays) and adjust the price accordingly.
Naturally that is no more than a personal suspicion and not based on anything more. I am confident that they will do SOMETHING to replace IHGDR, but no indication as to what or when that will be.