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IHG has quietly released a PDF announcing changes to the categories of nearly 700 of its hotels. It will come as no surprise to any points and miles aficionado that there was no announcement by IHG, and that the bulk of the changes are negative, with most of the properties increasing in price. The revaluation affects nearly 15% of IHG properties and will take effect on January 25, 2019.
Summary Of Changes
Globally, the following changes are happening:
- Total hotels changing category: 694
- Total hotels increasing in price: 547
- Total hotels decreasing in price: 147
U.S.-based IHG properties will be hit especially hard with 448 properties changing category. Only 61 hotels are decreasing in price, while 387 will increase in price.
Effect On The IHG Credit Card Free Night Certificate
Until early 2018, the free-night certificate earned through IHG co-branded credit cards was valid at any property. When Chase released the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, the annual free-night certificate was limited to properties costing 40,000 or fewer points per night.
Sadly, the full list of ineligible hotels has 38 new members with this latest devaluation, as these properties will now cost more than 40,000 points per night. Only 1 hotel has come down in price, from 45,000 to 40,000 points, and is now eligible for award stays using the IHG free night certificate.
We are never happy to see a devaluation—especially when it hits the U.S. so heavily. Although it’s disappointing to see that fewer hotels will be eligible for the free night certificate, the loss of 38 properties out of more than 5,400 isn’t likely to impact nearly as many travel plans as 547 hotels becoming more expensive.
There is limited time to act before this takes effect. Fortunately, IHG allows you to cancel award reservations at most properties up to 24 hours before checking in. (Learn more in our Guide to Award Night Change and Cancellation Policies.) If you know you’ll be visiting a property that will be more expensive on January 25th, you might consider locking in a reservation now, and using the free cancellation if plans change. Just be sure to double-check the cancellation policy for the specific property before you book.
Editors note: We do our best to publish news that affects the value of your points as early as possible. Unfortunately, we didn't see any official news about this from IHG, and we didn't publish a story as early as we would have liked. There are still a few days left to make bookings at the current prices, so hopefully, you can book upcoming travel before the price increase.
Source: The Points Guy
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