Much has been made about the pending SPG – Marriott merger. Not to be forgotten is the fact that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) now owns Kimpton Hotels. Speaking from experience, I like Kimpton’s loyalty program, Kimpton Karma just the way it is and I know I am not alone. Kimpton has been pretty quiet since the merger with IHG, and a lot of members were anxious for some news. This morning, an email from Maggie Lang, Kimpton’s Senior Director of Guest Marketing helped assuage some near-term fears.

kimpton, kimpton karma

Here’s the text of the email in its entirety:

Dear MJ,

As we are nearing the end of the year, I want to thank you for being an Inner Circle Member. We’re grateful that you continue to be our most loyal guests and are committed to providing perks that are meaningful to you and will keep you a part of the Kimpton family.

We know things have been a bit quiet on our end. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Our team has also been listening and we know you want more information. We get it. Here’s what you can expect in 2016:

  • Kimpton Karma Rewards will continue to serve as the loyalty program for Kimpton.
  • You’ll receive quarterly updates with details on how things are progressing as it relates to bringing the best of Karma Rewards & IHG Rewards Club together.
  • Your eligible 2016 Kimpton activity will accumulate toward your 2017 tier status, and your activity and any earned rewards will remain active.

So, looking ahead even further – what’s in store in 2017? For one, Kimpton will be going global, so get ready. Of course, we’ll also have more to share as it relates to marrying Kimpton Karma Rewards and IHG Rewards Club. The most important thing for you to know right now is that we’re evaluating everything through the lens of what will give you the absolute best experience and the greatest network of reward redemption.

Our Kimpton elves are busy getting ready for the tiers to reset in January. As such, I want to remind you to please double check your account for any missing stays. If you have any, please submit them. It’s important to note that any missing 2015 stays submitted in 2016 will only count toward your free reward night, and not toward tier progress or Kimpton Journey progress. Click here to submit by December 31, 2015.

That’s all I got for now. I wish you a delightful, eggnog-fueled holiday season and New Year with your loved ones.

My Take on the Future of Kimpton Karma

First, I’m happy to get what appears to be a thoughtful update on the status of the program. I don’t think anyone believes that Kimpton Karma will remain untouched, but I am extremely pleased to see what appears to be a thoughtful approach to moving ahead. Further, the comment about “going global” in 2017 is a very good thing.

Purely rampant speculation on my part, but I expect that in 2017 Kimpton Karma members will move into the IHG Rewards points accrual system. Many predict that Inner Circle status or some variant thereof will remain like InterContinental Ambassador status. That is entirely possible, however, I have speculated here that Kimpton Karma could continue in a manner not unlike the Ritz-Carlton Rewards – Marriott Rewards relationship.

Which way will they go? I truly don’t know, but I am not giving up on Kimpton Karma.

-MJ, December 10, 2015