Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of 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.

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.

  • Brian says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

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

      • Brian says:

        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!

        • DS says:

          You wrote that IC Hong Kong offers the 20,000 points + $90 option, I don’t see that??

          • Rob says:

            There are 2 IC’s. It will be 35k plus $90.

          • DS says:

            I checked ALL the hotels in Hong Kong, for the two ICs there’s only
            two options:
            45,000 Points + $40.00 USD
            40,000 Points + $70.00 USD

          • Rob says:

            You’re right, they seem to have pulled it. Interesting ….

  • Simmo says:

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

  • 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.

  • Ed says:

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

  • 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.

  • David says:

    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.

  • Stuart says:

    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.

  • Ant says:

    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.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.