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.
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.
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.
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)?