IHG Is Raising Award Prices At Hundreds Of Hotels As Of January 15, 2017

IHG Rewards Club doesn’t have a traditional category-based award chart. While hotels have year-round award prices, they don’t belong to a specific category. Instead the cost of an award night is typically tied to which brand a hotel belongs to, and then there’s some variance within each brand.

On the low end, IHG Rewards Club free night awards cost 10,000 points, while on the high end they cost 60,000 points. Then IHG has PointBreaks hotels, which are available for a limited time for 5,000 points per night.

IHG-PointBreaks

Well, it looks like IHG Rewards Club has just announced some significant hotel award price changes, valid for bookings as of January 15, 2017.

ihg

With these changes we’re seeing the cost of free night awards at over 650 hotels change, and in about 75% of those cases the cost of awards are going up rather than down. A majority of the changes are for properties in the United States, though there are many non-U.S. properties changing price as well. We’re seeing the cost of free nights change anywhere between 5,000 and 15,000 points per night, which is pretty substantial.

IHG has over 5,000 hotels around the world, so we’re seeing the cost of ~13% of hotels changing.

You can find the full list of properties changing category here. We’re seeing the following hotels increase in cost to 60,000 points per night, which is IHG’s highest category:

  • The InterContinental Boston (previously 55,000 points per night)
  • The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City (previously 50,000 points per night)
  • The InterContinental Willard Washington DC (previously 55,000 points per night)
  • The InterContinental Sydney (previously 55,000 points per night)
  • The InterContinental Okinawa (previously 50,000 points per night)

InterContinental-DC
The cost of a free night at the InterContinental Washington DC is increasing from 55K to 60K

This is a pretty rough change, given that just earlier this year IHG altered their award pricing. Previously the most expensive hotels cost 50,000 points per night, while with these changes they raised the cost to 60,000 points per night.

Bottom line

On the plus side, IHG isn’t actually altering the range of points required for stays at specific brands, as they did earlier this year. Instead they’re altering how individual hotels are priced within that system. Net we’re seeing the cost of over 400 hotels increase in price, which is pretty rough.

If you’re thinking of redeeming points for a stay at a hotel that’s going up in price as of January 15, I’d recommend making a booking in the next couple of weeks.

Are there any hotels you’re especially happy/sad to see changing categories?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Thanks for this. Planning to stay at the DC Willard next fall, so booking those 4 nights now will save me 20K points.

  2. I hate how this is sorted. It is by country then hotel brand then by city. I wish all changes for 1 city were together.

  3. Another devaluation of my points. Just the kind of gift I like during the Christmas season.

    More and more I am using my cash-back credit cards. I have set up a separate savings account and when I use the cash-back bonus to cover a bill or I get a check for the cash, I put that amount in my account. Then I can use that money to upgrade a room and sometimes a seat on a plane.

    It’s hard to win a game when the other side can change the rules at will.

  4. Good information! Thank you for this – I hadn’t heard that they were AGAIN inflating their redemption levels. I spend 150 nights per year in hotels and used to be a loyal Inter-Continental guest with Platinum status for over a decade. When they blew up their membership plan, I abandoned them and started directing my business to Marriott and Hyatt. Besides the increase for rewards- there are just too many hoops to jump through now with Priority Club. I’m busy and just want to stay with a property who rewards my loyalty in a clear cut, easy to understand way. A sophisticated organization recognizes it’s much more profitable to reward existing loyalty than to attract new customers to replace my business after it’s lost. Soon a major chain will undoubtedly figure this out. Once they do, they will surely experience a measurable increase in revenue as a result. This will be THE chain to buy stock in, as I know I’m one of tens of thousands who will focus my business to the organization who finally “gets” it.

  5. I’d felt a little hesitation when I spent most of my IHG rewards points for 4 nights in April 2017, but now I’m not feeling bad at all. If I’d hesitated it could’ve cost me 40,000 points. Between that and only needing 1 night of points+cash stay to (in addition to stays I already had planned anyway) meet my next Accelerate goals, I’ve still got some wiggle room.

  6. What good is an award chart if there are never Reward Nights available the properties you want.

    For example, I’ve never seen the Intercontinental Monterey (The Clement) available on the dates I want. Yet they just made a Travelzoo special available (second year in a row), so it’s not like the property is sold out.

  7. Hey don’t complain, the rates at many have been hiked but at least the Crowne Plaza in Minsk has gone from 25000 down to 20000.

  8. Askmrlee I have stayed there 10+ times on points, maybe you are not booking far enough in advance?
    Can you point me to the Travelzoo deal?

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