Last Chance: Redeem IHG Points Before Devaluation

As I first posted about a couple of weeks ago, IHG Rewards Club is making some changes to free night redemption levels at some of their hotels.

IHG-Reward-Changes

These changes kick in for bookings made as of Wednesday, February 17, 2016. This means you have until Tuesday to book at the old award levels.

With these changes, the cost of free night redemptions at ~400 of IHG’s 5,000+ properties will be changing by 5,000-10,000 points. Some properties are going down in price, though most are going up.

Perhaps most significantly, IHG is increasing the cost for redemptions at some of their top hotels. Previously the most expensive hotels cost 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night, while after these changes over a dozen hotels will cost 60,000 points per night, representing an increase of 20%.

See the full list to find out all the properties which are changing category. If you’re planning a stay at a hotel which is changing category, I’d highly recommend booking in the next few days. The price increases are based on when you stay and not when you book, so you can lock in stays at the hotels increasing in price all the way through January 2017.

If you’re short on IHG Rewards Club points, there are ways to indirectly generate them for ~0.6 cents each, which could make a lot of sense if you’re staying at a hotel increasing in price.

IHG-50K
The InterContinental Paris Le Grand can be a great use of points

Also keep in mind that you get a 10% refund on your points redemptions if you have the IHG Rewards Club credit card, which can further reduce the cost of your stays.

Bottom line

As such I don’t have an issue with IHG Rewards Club changing the redemption rates at some of their hotels, given that it represents less than 10% of their properties worldwide. What’s more frustrating is that they’re not just shuffling hotels around, but creating a new category altogether. You can bet that 60,000 points per night will become the new “standard” award cost for the nicer InterContinental properties.

IHG still has some great promotions which are worth taking advantage of, though I don’t consider them to be quite on the same level as some of the other major loyalty programs in terms of their free night redemptions, especially since they have capacity controls on redemptions.

InterContinental-London
Redeem points at the InterContinental London before the price increases

Do you plan on making any IHG redemptions before the category changes in a few days? At which hotel(s)?

Comments

  1. If we book now and have to change the dates of the stay after the 17th will the award reprice or stay the same? This is a super important question given many folks may know where they want to stay but not have exact travel dates locked in.

  2. “Some properties are going down in price, though most are going up.”
    I get that you don’t like IHG, but you don’t need to include information that is factually incorrect. When roughly 200 are going down and 200 are going up, I am pretty sure that is not “most are going up”. I would be willing to bet that if SPG or Hyatt had the same number going down as up, your take would not be that most were going up.

  3. Farnorthtrader —

    I’m an IHG defender, but did you look at what’s going up and what’s going down? All the ones going down are not hotels the average traveler would redeem his points at. Lots of minor properties in China. All the ones going up are indeed hotels the average traveler would redeem at — London, Paris, Rome, New York, San Francisco, etc. So don’t get on Lucky for this.

    However, Lucky’s reluctance to use the word “devaluation” here is puzzling to me. This obviously is one.

  4. The post says that “the price increases are based on when you stay and not when you book . . . .” I think you’ve got this backwards. Doesn’t the price change deadline refer to Feb 17 (a booking date) as the price increase date?

  5. Lucky is wrong when he says “most are going up” – it’s an exact equal number of properties that go up as down.

    But, ever so slightly, he’s right to call it a devaluation – more properties are going up by 10,000 than are going down by 10,000.

    But the negative tone of this article is really stretching it – it’s a pretty balanced revaluation. Indeed some aspirational properties are going up by quite a lot, but there are properties all over the world going down in value. I’ll bet that this reflects the strengthening of the dollar, and the trend of divergence in hotel prices. It’s completely fair for IHG to charge values in points that reflect their costs.

  6. I have the same question Mark has. If we book pre-devaluation and need to change the dates post-devaluation, will we need to pay more points? Does it matter if we try with the hotel directly?

  7. I was pleasantly surprised by this “devaluation”, or whatever you want to call it. There’s a Holiday Inn Express in Houston I have to stay at for seven nights, and I noticed that the points required have gone down from 20,000 a night to 15,000.so instead of 140,000 points, I only have to use 105,000! Hooray!

  8. I have the same question as Mark and Karen above, and haven’t been able to find an answer anywhere, even ft. I booked an award pre devaluation. Post devaluation, I need to change my dates. Am I stuck rebooking at the higher rate, or can ihg move my reservation without the upcharge?

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