IHG Rewards Club in ‘no devaluation’ shocker!

IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza / InterContinental etc loyalty scheme, leaked the following the information to a number of US travel sites earlier this week:

More than 100 IHG hotels will require 5,000 less IHG Rewards Club points per Reward Night. We will not be making any increases to our Reward Night pricing during 2014.   These changes to our Reward Night catalog will be effective on April 15. 

IHG Rewards Club

Below are some highlights of the more than 100 properties whose Reward Nights will be decreasing by 5,000 points.

InterContinental Hotel Shanghai-Puxi, China – 35,000 to 30,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Crowne Plaza Geneva, Switzerland – 35,000 to 30,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Hotel Indigo Fort Myers Downtown River District, Florida, U.S. –  30,000 to 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort, Phuket, Thailand – 20,000 to 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Holiday Inn Ciudad De Mexico- Trade Center, Mexico – 15,000 to 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Holiday Inn Express Frankfurt-Messe, Germany –  25,000 to 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Staybridge Suites – San Antonio-Stone Oak, Texas, U.S. – 20,000 to 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Candlewood Suites Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. –  25,000 to 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points

It isn’t exactly clear from the wording if NO hotels are going up in price, or simply that the current category pricing – capped at 50,000 points – will remain unchanged, with some moves up and down.

I am not totally surprised that some hotels are decreasing in points.  Remember that IHG hotels are almost all independently owned, and that reward nights are a key source of revenue for them.  Even if IHG does not pay much for the night (and it doesn’t, unless the hotel is above 95% occupancy, at which point it pays the average rate for that night), the hotel still benefits from the additional food and drink spend from the guest.

If IHG’s reward pricing means your hotel is uncompetitive, you will lose reward business.  Who in their right mind, for example, would pay 30,000 points per night for the Holiday Inn Express Limehouse – a truly depressing hotel in East London directly overlooking a monstrous road – when they could luxuriate in the InterContinental Park Lane for 50,000?!

If anything, I am surprised that only 100 hotels are dropping in price.  And the HIX Limehouse will probably not be amongst them.

(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Credit & Charge Card Reviews (1): American Airlines AAdvantage American Express & Visa
Hilton HHonors in 'very small devaluation' shocker!
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. James67 says:

    Loyaltylobby has clarrified there will be no price increases. Agrre with you on likes of limehouse. Pricing on many city centre hie and older hi need to be decreased, and by at least 10k in many cases.

  2. Is there a list of all the hotels that are dropping in points?

  3. So this should mean the Holiday Inn Wembley will remain at 10,000 points…..

    • Maybe 5000?

      It’s extraordinarily good value. I live in Wembley but rented out my house and stayed at the hotel for a week making quite a bit of cash :p

  4. After collecting points from these big wins, I’m extremely glad that redemptions are going down or staying the same, rather than going up like AA, HH and the likes.

  5. Slightly off topic but I just upgraded to IHG Intercontental Ambassador Status by paying $200 and called the Reservations Line to check my Ambassador status is now linked to my Reward Night IC Westminster booking for this Saturday. They said yes but pointed out that certain Ambassador benefits don’t apply on Rewards Night bookings and referred me to the T&Cs:

    “When staying on Reward Nights, all Ambassador and Royal Ambassador Privileges apply with the exception of upgrades, free Pay TV film per stay, 24 hour guaranteed room availability, 8:00am early check-in and complimentary mini-bar beverages (where a cost for these benefits is applicable).”

    I must say I hadn’t seen this before enrolling and would be a bit disappointed if the above is definitely the case.

    In people’s experience, do you usually get room upgrades and early check-ins even on points bookings or do the hotels strictly enforce the above policy? If they do enforce it, I’m now wondering if paying for the status was worth it since I’m planning on burning my Big Win points bonuses solely at ICs to get the most bang for my buck.

    -M-

    • In general most hotels do give benefits on reward nights but you need to check at reception

    • I am toying with getting Ambassador Status as I am planning to use some of my big win stash on 20 nights at the IC Koh Samui.
      If the above list of benefits is denied what benefits are available? ( Maybe a future post Raffles)
      I will have a re think.

      • Just checked the benefits and cant see a $200 value, was hoping to see a complementary breakfast listed.

      • Sadly this is the major issue with both IHG and IC status, they technically don’t need to provide much on award stays. Many hotels do better than that but they don’t have to. If you’re considering but are not yet committed to a stay it’s probably worth emailing the property to ask in advance what status benefits they will provide on an award stay and make your booking accordingly.

        I’ve got a three night IC stay coming up and only have IHG Plat at present. I’m planning to ask at check in what benefits they’d offer for me singing up to Ambassador there and then as I believe the properties receive a kick back for sign-ups and may therefore be willing to offer more – it it’s a good enough upgrade then I’d take it for that year at least.