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

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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.

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.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2023:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global bonus points promotion.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th June.

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

Comments (77)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Lochlann says:

    IC Almaty anyone, now only 25k? Sadly the best IC I’ve stayed at, Osaka, is going up from 35k to 40k, and the Willard in DC is also up from 50k to 55k

  • Leon Foster-Hill says:

    Not really sure it is a major devaluation! It looks like popular properties are going up but isn’t that simply supply & demand?

    • Ziggy says:

      I may be missing it but I don’t think Rob called this a “major devaluation” anywhere in the blog post

  • h2d says:

    Rob you may want to adjust the typo in your bolded text below the IC Cannes photo to 55k!

    • Rob says:

      Fixed. We had a boozy 3.5 hour lunch with ‘a senior industry figure’ yesterday which impacted fact checking :-)

      • Genghis says:

        It’s a hard life but someone’s got to do it.

      • James67 says:

        Must have been very boozy then if you were still feeling the effects by the time you got around to this post last night.

      • James67 says:

        As it happened I booked 4 nights for our next London stay at Staybridge Vauxhall at 35k/night in anticipation of devaluation which didn’t happen for this hotel. I passed on the IC, CPs and indigos in favour of this hotel as it seems to get best TA reviews for IHGs in London these days. However, reading about all IC stays here this morning I feel like I’m slumming it, but I think I’ll stick as spire benefits elsewhere might not amount to much. No breakfast to worry about at staybridge but hopefully they will upgrade the studio to a one bedroom suite.I don’t think there is any other recognition I can expect there, even the laundry appears to be free!

  • James says:

    Damnit, how far out can you book reward nights? If it’s a whole year then I might be ok 🙂

    • James says:

      Depends on the hotel. San Francisco Mark Hopkins let me book on points 11 months out, but had to wait until 9.5 months to book the Clement Monterey as the hadn’t loaded any inventory. I found that initially is was showing as no availability, then I could book for cash ($899 a night!) but not points, and then a few weeks later I got the room for Aug 2016 on points that I wanted. So guess it depends on the hotel.

  • Danksy says:

    Bummer. far ahead can one book? A year isn’t it??

  • Liz says:

    I’ve got the hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District already secured at 30k for 4 night – it’s going up to 40k.

  • Fadi says:

    Hope the IC Amsterdam stays at 40k. Wasn’t mentioned on the list so here’s hoping.

  • Nick says:

    The Intercontinental Park Lane is currently still available for New Years Eve this year at 50K points. Get in quick if you’re interested! Most London hotels are, of course, highly priced for that night and some require 2-3 days minimum stays at that time.

    • Jason says:

      Typing this from the IC Park Lane and it is so much nicer than the Hilton Park lane. Although to be fair we’ve been upgraded to a deluxe room and paid for longe access.
      It’s a bit like the New York Times Square hotel in terms of quality but probably better. The lounge is very very good!
      Just off for breakfast. 🙂

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