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.
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.
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.)