IHG Rewards Club doesn’t have a traditional category-based award chart. While IHG hotels have year-round award prices, they don’t belong to a specific category. Instead the cost of an award night is typically tied to what brand a hotel belongs to, and then there’s some variance within each brand.
It’s pretty normal for major hotel loyalty programs to adjust their award costs at some hotels on an annual basis. The logic is that the number of points required for a hotel is based on the average occupancy and average daily rate of the hotel, and there are all kinds of factors that can impact that, both micro and macro. So while not all hotels change category every year, it’s not unusual to see a few percent of hotels change categories.
As I wrote about last week (and as discovered by Lionheart), IHG Rewards Club will be changing award pricing at nearly 700 properties this month. That date is based on when you book and not when you stay, so I know many people were planning on locking in stays today for subsequent dates, since the changes were supposed to kick in on January 14, 2019 (tomorrow).
There’s at least some good news there. It looks like IHG has delayed their award price changes to January 25, 2019, so you now have just under two weeks remaining to book at the old rates.
IHG has about 5,000 hotels around the world, so that represents about 14% of their properties.
The InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort is increasing in cost from 35K to 40K points
About 82% of those properties are going up in price, while about 18% of those properties are going down in price. Of the properties impacted, about 450 are in the US.
The good news, if there is any here, is that IHG isn’t introducing any higher award pricing than already exists. That’s to say that the most expensive properties cost 70,000 points per night, so IHG isn’t introducing anything more expensive than that. Furthermore, no hotels are even moving up to the 70,000 point level this time around.
InterContinental is IHG’s highest end brand, and it looks like the cost of 28 InterContinental properties is changing. The good news, at least, is that no InterContinental is changing in price by more than 5,000 points.
The InterContinental Lhasa Paradise is decreasing in cost from 25K to 20K points
Keep in mind that one way to get more value from your IHG points is to have the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card. Not only does the card offer Platinum for as long as you have it, but it also offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, which you can use an unlimited number of times. In increments of four night stays, that basically gets you a 25% discount on redemptions.
What do you make of these latest IHG changes? Do any property changes in particular impact you?