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

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

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.)

LAST CHANCE: Book short US domestic redemptions for 4,500 Avios before they go up
20,000 free Avios with a subscription to The Times & The Sunday Times
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
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.


  1. I have 4 night booked at the IC Times Square booked for later in the year and had hoped that the IC The Barclay would become available. Looks like The Barclay were aware of the changes to rates and will hold back inventory till after the 17th. Mind you, $1600 of accommodation in Times Square in return for few nights in £29 Holiday Inns and a the odd mattress run, is still a far better deal than anything you can from the airline request flyer programmes.

    • I am in the same boat – sitting on 2 IC TS nights but wanted to review The Barclay if it opens up.

    • Ha! Exactly my position – 4 nights at the NY TS IC booked but wanted the Barclay…..As one of them is a free cert night I could still be tempted to shell out the extra 30K points – if they ever open up the reward nights.

    • Me too!

  2. When you consider that you can get the points at 0.4p each at any time, thanks to their new points and cash booking deal, it does make sense for IHG to ‘devalue’. What doesn’t make sense for me is the fact that Rob values points at 0.4p – surely you can’t value points at the same price as what you buy them for.

    • Genghis says:

      IMO points should not be valued at what you can buy them for but what you can use them for. For example, if points can be bought for less than the cash equivalent of the product/service when paying in points, then there is a clear arbitrage opportunity.

    • It is nonsense to value them at MORE than you can buy them for.

      • Absolutely. I don’t quite get why you haven’t reduced your valuation, therefore.

      • Peter K says:

        Surely that’s not right. If you can “buy” avios at the right price, say 0.4p each but can use them at 1.0p surely they are more valuable than what you bought them for!

  3. Let’s hope the Virgin-> IHG transfer posts in time!

  4. Noggins says:

    I am glad I already have booked my 5 nights in Honolulu (plus 1 free night) or I would be short by 25k. (travel is ex Dublin next month via many many flights but, oh, the price and the points will surely be worth it..?!)
    But fell out with Barclaycard. Said I didn’t want to pay a 2nd year fee so they sent me the free card – charged me £99 and made a big fuss of refunding the fee – so much so that I felt obliged to say – forget it, cancel the card altogether, which they did without any attempt to persuade me to stay. Many £k’s spent in first year too.
    (er, who’s lost out most…?)

    • RIccati says:

      In this case, you have lost. Not been persistent – if they downgraded, they had to refund the fee. A formal letter to CS and then a complaint to FOS.

  5. Makes using the net 27k points for IC ambassador sign up a more attractive offer, still getting a clear 0.5p a point value

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    • Mohamed says:

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

  10. 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?

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.