BIG CHANGES: IHG Rewards Club devalues, book by 17th February to beat it

IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza / InterContinental etc scheme, snuck out a list on its website yesterday with the relatively innocent heading of:  “2016 Reward Nights: Some Point Amounts are Changing”.

You can say that again.  Take a look here.

There are 400 hotels on the list.  200 will require more points from 17th February, 200 will require fewer.

The bad news is that, unless you plan to spend a lot of time in China, Brazil or India, you won’t be benefitting from the 200 being reduced in price.

InterContinental Cannes

Two new pricing bands for InterContinental hotels are being introduced – 55,000 points per night and 60,000 points per night.

The number of properties at the 60,000 point level is relatively small, with just 13 hotels.  Unfortunately, they are key properties.   Of the 5,000 IHG hotels in the world, I have probably done 20% of my nights in these nine hotels.

The 60,000 point properties are the IC hotels in Paris (x2), London Park Lane, Cannes (pictured above), Hong Kong, Bora Bora (x2), Monterray, San Francisco (x2), Las Vegas (x2) and New York Times Square.  You can imagine that The Barclay in New York will also be at 60,000 points when it reopens.

There are some surprising rises elsewhere.  Is the Holiday Inn Camden Lock really worth 40,000 points?  Or Kensington Forum, which is badly in need of help and which I paid £29 for in a sale in 2015?!  Is a Holiday Inn Express in Southampton, of all places, really worth 35,000 points?

The two main Crowne Plaza hotels in London (Kensington and The City) go up to 50,000 points.  The Indigo Earls Court jumps 33% to 40,000 points, correcting what was arguably an anomaly – but it remains 10,000 points cheaper than the other two Indigo hotels.

Holiday Inn Wembley remains at 20,000 points which, compared to some other options in London, makes it a good deal if you are short on points.

To be honest, it could have been worse.  In 2013, Hilton increased the cost of its top properties from 50,000 points to as much as 95,000 points in one go.  With IHG dishing out points like confetti in their recent promotions, something had to give.

I am dropping my valuation of IHG points from 0.5p to 0.4p based on these changes.  Perhaps not coincidentally, this is the price you can now buy them at following changes to the ‘cash and points’ scheme.

Remember that you can book until 17th February at the old prices.  It is also worth checking any existing bookings against the new list on the – admittedly remote – chance it has come down in price and should be rebooked.

The full list of changes is here.

PS.  One of the very few hotels going up to 55,000 is the InterContinental in Rome.  It goes up in price on 17th February.  Until 26th March, when it closes for good.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see  our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. wetboy1uk says:

    So 200 hotels going up out of a portfolio of 4000 is only 5%, surely there are other hotels in the same location that you could stay in and therefore avoid any so called ‘devaluation’. Don’t see this as being a major issue myself unless your only looking at it from a ‘snob value’ perspective where you will only stay in the highest quality hotel.

  2. Having just got 4 nights each in Bangkok and Townsville for 5K a night each I’m pretty ambivolant about these changes! I pretty much treat IHG points in 5k increments. Not really that bothered with upgrades or lounge access. Give me a clean room and I’m happy…

    And, yes, I accept that the promotion worked for me this time. Last one didn’t. I just wish they had something @ OSL.

  3. If I make a booking and then change it later, will I be charged the new rate? Going to London for one or two nights in a couple of months and currently I have two nights booked with the plan of changing it to one if necessary.

    Now I’m wondering if I should change it to two one night bookings instead.

  4. Can i use my points to book a room in the US for my husband? I will not be on the trip with him.

    • Jimmyjimmy says:

      Yes, add his name on the booking and follow up with an email ‘ I can no longer join him, can he check in ok’
      I’ve did this a few times.
      J

    • You can but just nominate him as your guest i ve done it many times.

  5. Thanks Rob, both the Boston IC and the Maldives HI I was going to book have increased so will do it this weekend. Has any one found a UK hotel to do the points and cash bookings on to save FX fees?

  6. Raffles, are you saying that the IC Rome will close for good? Is anyone taking over that hotel? It was our honeymoon hotel and we spent a wonderful last night on the terrace!

  7. Do we know whether it will affect the rates for part points and part pay bookings? I am specifically interested in the HI in Vancouver which is currently at 20k pts plus $70 and I’m waiting for accelerate bonus pts to be put on my account before I book it..Would seem disproportionate to increase that by another 5000 pts?