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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.

  • Leo says:

    It is a pain I agree but my strategy will continue to be to use the IHG visa 10K Free certificate and renew Ambassador status at 24K points. That gives you ! “free” night plus one at 24K points that you can use at any IC – if you also pay for at least one night, which I normally would on a long weekend. I know you have to factor in the £99 fee, but given the difficulties in churning barclaycard I’m resigned to that.

    • Paul says:

      If you are spending enough on the IC barclaycard to get an award night you can almost certainly get them to waive the fee. I just did.

  • Rob says:

    Hi, sorry for dropping an off topic question but I am hoping for some advice.

    I am about to spend a large amount on a credit card and was hoping for some advice as to which one would be best, basically this amount should cover (or could cover with regular spending) a spending target of between 10 and 15k, as some background this is likely to be the only time I could trigger something like this as my normal spending is around 5 – 6k a year.

    From looking around my best choices seem to be the Hilton Hhonors which will get me Gold Status for a year (I have already got this so won’t also be able to get the free night) or the BA Amex to get the companion voucher and 9,000 sign up bonus Avios (although I have about 500k Avios so this isn’t as appealing as it could be) or is there a better bonus I could get?

    Also (last question I promise) if I get Gold status at Hilton, do you think there is a good chance of matching this to other groups and therefore managing to keep my status running longer?

    Thanks and sorry again that it is of topic.

    • Rob says:

      Click on ‘Favourites’ in the top menu. There are a few credit card articles linked there which cover all your questions.

    • John says:

      Do you have a partner? Is Amex allowed?

      I’d go for IHG if no Amex and you have a partner who can apply.

    • Fenny says:

      If you can split the spend, look at what the best options are across 2 or maybe 3 cards. Once you’ve hit the initial spend on some, to trigger any points bonus, focus the rest on a card where you’re going to get the best long term reward.

      I bought a car in September and split the deposit across 2 different cards that had increased the initial sign up bonus (then promptly shifted the balance to a 0% for 33 months card), but my daily ongoing spend is with Virgin to trigger the upgrade voucher.

  • Jumble Tales says:

    Do those of us who have just paid £99 for renewal of the IHG Premium Visa need to have a little word with Barclays?

    • Paul says:

      Yes you do, I just got them to waive my fee and they did so with no hassle at all. I was quite clear, remove the fee or I drop the card. If you are spending enough for free night it is unlikely they will want to lose the business.

      • Leo says:

        Ok I’ll give it a go – who exactly did you speak to?

      • Liz says:

        Wow – mine is up in March so will also give it a try – I had decided to keep mine and pay the fee again so would be great if I could get it waived ! I’ve spent a fair bit over the £10k.

      • Tariq says:

        I rang up and wanted to cancel to avoid the fee (had triggered the £10k spend) and they managed to convince me to switch over to the free card (figured that it was worth holding on to since I also have Hilton Visa given Barclaycard’s policies). They set it up and I’ve still been charged for the annual fee!! Called them today and they are crediting it. Feel like cancelling the card totally now though…

    • Leo says:

      Isn’t the free certificate worth “more” now?

      • Rob says:

        The value of the free night in £ terms is unchanged so it depends how you look at it.

        The free night my Mum got via Accelerate as a new member is holding its value, unlike the points I got!

    • John says:

      It may depend on how much you’ve spent over the last year. I just cancelled mine at the end of the first year. I explained the annual fee was an issue. I had a VERY hard sell to transfer to the fee-free card, but there was no option to simply waive the fee. I had only spent £4K on the card.

  • Concerto says:

    Now we can look forward to a really amazing promotion after Accelerate 2016 to compensate, where you earn loads of near useless points.

    • John says:

      Oh come on, a 20% increase in points for the top end is nothing. With this Accelerate promo most people are getting 1 free night for every 5 paid. If you mainly stay in 10-15K points properties like me then you can get nearly 1 for 1.

  • Concerto says:

    Glad you sent us the list of properties. I see that the IC Geneva is going up, which was a relative bargain at 35,000 points until. That is an anomaly I expected that they would have corrected a long time ago.

  • tony says:

    I’ve just spotted two HIEX’s in Birmingham UK have come down by 5k points, so this does seem pretty well balanced…

    • Brian says:

      Plus the hotel in Kathmandu is down as well, so I don’t see any reason to complain…

  • Peter K says:

    I suspected this would happen middle of last year when they ran yet another “buy points cheap” offer. It’s the way of the world though I suppose.

  • Paul says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

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

    • Leo says:

      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.

    • Simmo says:

      Me too!

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