Changes to Award Rates at Hundreds of IHG Properties

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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.

InterContinental Sydney Bridge

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.

United States

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.

China

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.

United Kingdom

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

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.

Other Countries

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

Changes to Award Rates at Hundreds of IHG Properties
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Comments

  • The IHG program is making itself less attractive from a loyalty program. I guess the other chains will do the same devaluation scheme soon

    • Michael, what particularly stands out that makes IHG less attractive? Honestly, seems pretty attractive to me still. Sure, award prices have increased at some nice properties but we’ve grown to expect that each year.

      • karen zynger says:

        I have never had a problem finding availability for IHG rewards. This is by far the best hotel loyalty program for my hotel stays which are typically at HIEX.

  • such. another trip ruined!!

    • Ron, where were you looking to cash in that you’re no longer able to?

      • In general Devaluation is not good for redeeming points in the future.

        • Although it’s general trend toward increase of awards price in all chains, it’s a little disappointing when you adding points for some future goal and all at once can’t do it. So I suppose, there is need in strategical changes – I’ll burn points a first opportunity

  • well this really reduces the effectiveness of the IHG.

  • I predict 70k and 80k next year.

  • Devaluation is name of the game. Gotta burn almost as fast as you earn.

  • I’ll definitely check out the list!

  • And just like that, a vacation strategy has to be scrapped and we’ll go in another direction for accommodations.

  • Cathy Krasnianski says:

    The prices may have increased (show me anything that hasn’t), but the IHG card is still a great one to keep for that free night benefit!

  • most IHG properties already costed too much in points. pretty amazing how in many cities an intercontinental or crowne plaza is twice the number of points as a park hyatt or grand hyatt

    • Jacob, keep in mind that no two points have the same exact value. Think of points/miles each as a different currency. 1 US Dollar isn’t worth the same as 1 Euro or 1 Japanese Yen — you can’t compare hotel points 1:1.

  • Jason Logan says:

    Thanks for letting us know about the updates. We are often in China, so that’s very helpful.

  • Even though a lot of hotels increase in points redemption, at least there is a fair share going down.

    Agreed with earn and burn strategy. Can’t fight inflation.

  • Good news for me as I stay in China often and the Holiday inns and holiday inn expresses are way nicer there than in the US.

  • There are less properties with changes in Middle East than I expected. They left all the Dubai properties untouched. The reduction in points requirement in India is a welcome change.

  • Increases are going to be there no matter what happens. Just the way of the world. I still see any points, miles, etc to be a benefit. At least at some point you won’t have to possible pay all or any of a hotel bill. Nothing in life is free all the time and I’m happy it wasn’t more! Thank you for the update. I don’t think I would have seen this on my own til it was time for me to use points. Interesting that China is decreasing. Not surprising that UK and US is going up. But they still do partial right?

  • Jinyoung Park says:

    Thank you for this update!

  • The_Bouncer says:

    I don’t this these changes are all that negative, as I tend to stay at cheaper properties. The increases seem to be mainly at the higher end properties.

  • I would say that the number of points necessary to go to touristic cities are increasing and the number of points necessary to go to less touristic cities are decreasing.
    So a big devalaution from the point of view of a person who spend the miles for tourism: i.e. everybody, also the people who gain many points for business usually spend these points on holidays travelling with the family and/or their friends.

  • Many people keep telling me the IHG credit card is really useful for its free anniversary night certificate.
    Maybe it’s time to get one!

  • There used to be some really good value redemptions a few years ago, but unfortunately IHG have eliminated them. It unfortunately is the way all the schemes seem to be going though. There is speculation of changes coming to Hilton Honors, and I’m sure they won’t be for the better.

  • It sucks to see points devaluations.

  • Thanks for the notice. Most of our local IHG properties here are older, worn-out hotels bought from other brands, so we are more wary of using them as opposed to Mariott, Hyatt & Hilton. If this helps upgrade the hotels we’d be thrilled.

  • Pieter-Jan says:

    I’m surprised to see Intercontinental Dusseldorf going to 55k. That’s quite a lot considering the usual rates there.

  • Some of the Holiday Inn properties that received an increase doesn’t make sense.

  • IHG has taken a deep dive into a very negative PR/awards program. Stopping partnership(s) with certain credit cards as well as Points Break recently has shown properties and cities that are really not “on the map”. Loyalty goes both ways and I don’t feel IHG really cares anymore which is a shame as I will use up the remainder of my points and move to another chain of hotels. Loyalty shown = you get all my business. Loyalty and perks dry up = good-bye and I will find another chain.

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