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On January 15, 2017, award redemption rates at hundreds of IHG properties will change by 5,000 to 15,000 points per night. Of course, most of these changes are increases, but a significant number of properties will see a decrease instead.
IHG has traditionally been one of the chains with the least consistent award pricing; the cost varies from brand to brand and even property to property, meaning there’s no simple award chart in which redemptions fall into a handful of categories and rates. As a result, we need to discuss many of these changes in generalities. If you want to check on a specific property, you can consult IHG’s full list of the changes.
Summary of Changes
Most of the changes are concentrated in four countries: the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Together, these countries account for 536 of the 653 properties that are changing in price.
As we mentioned, the trend is toward increases in price. Of the four countries with the most changes, only China sees more decreases than increases.
By far the majority of the price changes (up or down) are by 5,000 miles. However, there are quite a few outliers, ranging up to 15,000 points. This largest increase only shows up in the US, Saudi Arabia, and Germany; the largest increase we see elsewhere is 10,000 points.
422 out of a total of 653, by our count — are in the United States. The majority of these are increasing in price, unfortunately. This is also where we see most of the largest increases in price, with several properties going up by 15,000 points per night. Only about a third of the US properties with changing rates are going down in cost — and, unfortunately, these decreases are consistently for only 5,000 points.
In China, we see some of the most positive changes among the large countries affected. By our count, 38 of the 49 total properties with changing prices are seeing decreases — and nine of these are going down by 10,000 points instead of the typical 5,000.
Of the 11 properties increasing in price, all are going up only by 5,000 miles. Overall, if you’re planning a trip to China, you may actually benefit from these changes.
In the UK, 34 properties are changing rates. The percentage here is very similar to the US, with 11 (just under a third) of the properties going down in price. All of these reductions are by 5,000 miles. Five of the 23 properties increasing in price are going up by 10,000 points; the rest are increasing by the standard 5,000.
Canada, like the US and the UK, is seeing decreases in cost in about a third of the properties with changes; of its 31 properties with changing rates, 10 are decreasing in cost (all by 5,000 miles). It's 21 properties that are going up in cost will generally increase by 5,000 per night; only three properties are increasing by 10,000 miles per night.
All the other countries involved have only a handful of locations with changing prices. Indonesia, Turkey, and Russia have five involved properties each, all of which are decreasing in price (by 5,000 miles). Australia, too, has five properties involved — but they’re all going up in price. India, with 11 properties all going down in price, sets the record in these changes for the country with the most properties without an increase.
Why Get the IHG Rewards Premier Card?
One of the reasons we love the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is because of one of its benefits, the free anniversary night certificate. The free night is good for one standard room at any property in the program, up to 40,000 points in value. While not as good an offer as the unrestricted free night certificate of old, we still think it offers a huge amount of value.
Source: View from the Wing/Gary Leff
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