IHG One Rewards Launches 15% Discount on Award Stays at New Properties. But Is It a Good Deal? IHG One Rewards Launches 15% Discount on Award Stays at New Properties. But Is It a Good Deal?

IHG One Rewards Launches 15% Discount on Award Stays at New Properties. But Is It a Good Deal?

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I love a good discount. I especially love a good discount on award redemptions. Flying Blue Promo Rewards, Miles & More Mileage Bargains, and Marriott Bonvoy PointSavers are great examples of truly discounted awards.

Initially, I was excited to hear IHG One Rewards announce a new discount for award stays at new properties. At first glance, the offer sounds incredible: Use 15% fewer points when staying at new properties using your points. However, when a program uses dynamic pricing, are you actually getting a 15% discount?

Here's what you should know about this new IHG award discount.

15% Award Discounts at New IHG One Rewards Properties

As of June 12, 2023, IHG is offering a new 15% discount on award stays at new properties. Properties mentioned in the press release include InterContinental Athénée Palace Bucharest, Hotel Indigo Guadalajara Expo, and Yours Truly DC, Vignette Collection. It sounds great: Get a 15% points discount when making an award stay at new IHG properties.

As a quick briefer for those unfamiliar: IHG One Rewards is the award program of IHG Hotels and Resorts, covering 18 hotel brands in more than 6,000 locations. As with most hotel programs, you can redeem points for award stays (free nights) and can redeem a combination of points and payment through cash + points stays.

Testing Out the New IHG Hotel Award Discount

IHG only listed one U.S. property in its press release about this new award discount, so I attempted a booking at the Yours Truly DC. It took several tries and a myriad of dates to find one showing the booking discount.

Yours Truly DC points booking showing the IHG 15% discount
What the booking page looks like when the points discounted is applied.

You'll pay $426 or 34,000 points for the same room. That's a redemption value of 1.26¢ per point — well above the 0.69¢ AwardWallet users typically get from IHG points.

cash price showing IHG member discount at Yours Truly DC

But the per-point value gets even better if you choose a points + cash rate:

  • 19,000 points + $87 = 1.8¢ per point
  • 14,000 points + $113 = 2.2¢ per point
  • 9,000 points + $139 = 3.2¢ per point

My next stop was to Google “new IHG hotels,” and I found this list. Note that there's a separate list for Europe, but we couldn't find a similar list for any part of the Americas. I clicked on the first property at the top of the international list: voco Dubai The Palm. After choosing a random date in August 2023, I saw the award discount clearly highlighted.

screenshot of IHG award pricing with 15% discount since this is a new hotel
This new property wasn't mentioned in the press release but shows the discount.

For a standard award booking (paying for the entire reservation in points), the points price is discounted by exactly 15%. However, discount rates are even higher on the points portion of points + cash stays. While the cash portion is discounted by 15% consistently, the points portion is discounted by up to 32%.

cash price showing IHG member discount at voco the Palm Dubai

IHG members can pay a discounted rate of $126 per night for the same room, rather than paying 16,150 points. That's a redemption rate of 0.78¢ per point. Again, the cash + point rates provide even better value for points:

  • 11,150 points + $29 = 0.87¢ per point
  • 6,150 points + $58 = 1.1¢ per point

From my searches, I found that you may need some patience to go through trial and error before finding an IHG property offering the award discount on a night that works for you. And you won't see the discount if you aren't logged into your IHG account.

You also should consider that IHG doesn't publish award charts. It's impossible to know whether you're really getting 15% off (compared to prices available before this new feature launched) or whether prices were raised and then the discount brought them back to where they were. IHG's dynamic pricing makes it impossible to know.

How To Stock Up on IHG One Rewards Points

Travelers have several options to pad their balance of IHG One Rewards points. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Bilt Rewards points to IHG at a 1:1 ratio. Both transfers should be instant. However, consider carefully if you can get more value through another transfer partner — or even cashing out your points at a higher rate.

You also can earn IHG points from sign-up bonuses and everyday spending on IHG credit cards. These include the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, and IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

Bottom Line

The fact IHG doesn't publish an award chart (using dynamic pricing instead) makes us a bit skeptical. How can we know someone didn't merely raise the points price by 15% and then advertise a sale? It wouldn't be the first time we saw IHG make a customer-unfriendly move.

Related: Opinion: New IHG Terms Are Part of Anti-Consumer Trends With Award Bookings

Since there's no award chart, you'll need to track prices constantly to know what a fair award redemption looks like at IHG properties. And you'll need those details to know whether you're really getting 15% off. If you wind up using fewer points, this can be an awesome feature. Unfortunately, there's no list of eligible hotels, eligible dates, or information that would help you maximize this new feature.

Prices also change regularly, and the discount wasn't available on every date we searched. Close-in bookings seem to have a higher chance of finding a discount.

If you have existing award bookings at new IHG properties, it could be worth re-pricing them to see if you can cancel/rebook at a cheaper price. Also, remember to use the “fourth night free” benefit to maximize the value of your IHG points.

What do you make of this new IHG feature to get a 15% award discount?

3.8 / 5 - (6 votes)
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  • Dynamic reward rates is the worst thing to happen to loyalty programs.

  • “Since there’s no award chart, you’ll need to track prices constantly to know what a fair award redemption looks like at IHG properties” Couldn’t you just compare award prices not only across IHG properties but also with Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Wyndham, Choice award prices for same dates and same general area? Perhaps even compare to redemption rates for credit card points thru Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, Capital One Travel? Even if you are not using transferrable points (which I do) can always comparison shop.

    • Ryan Smith says:

      Stephen, yes, you should always comparison shop. The point is that you won’t really know if you’re getting a 15% discount unless you knew what the price was before this new feature began. How do I know if a hotel really costs 50,000 points with a discount down to 42,500? Maybe the price was 42,500 previously and they just raised it to add “discount” and make me think it was a good deal. Unless I’m tracking the prices meticulously, I won’t know if IHG is really providing a discount or just a discount on paper.