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A sneaky 50% IHG Rewards Club price rise is hopefully not a new trend

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I wrote a few weeks ago about how the new InterContinental at the O2 had been reduced in price from 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night to 45,000.

I thought this was rebalancing – the hotel had just opened, its initial rate forecasts were too optimistic and so cash and reward prices had come down.  Fair enough.

This may be a disturbing trend though.  A reader contacted me yesterday to point out that the InterContinental Koh Samui (officially InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort) had gone up overnight from 35,000 points to 50,000 points.

InterContinental Koh Samui

This sort of behaviour is not acceptable.  You cannot increase the reward points needed for a hotel by almost 50% with no notice especially one which is an ‘aspirational’ redemption.

IHG needs to understand that this sort of behaviour can backfire.  If we no longer trust IHG to keep reward prices steady from one day to the next, the logical thing to do is make lots of speculative bookings ‘just in case’ at places we might want to go.  After all, cancellation is free and instant.

This would make life hard for the hotels, who cannot accurately track forward bookings when they come and go so quickly.  It would also be hard for other IHG Rewards Club members who cannot book they really need because someone else made a speculative booking ‘just in case’ the price went up overnight.

IHG One Rewards update – September 2022:

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

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Comments (37)

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  • Gary says:

    Do you think this change seasonal?

  • m says:

    Same thing happened last year with IC Da Nang.

  • Bob says:

    IC Tokyo Bay also increased from 35 to 50…

  • Sandgrounder says:

    They could always make reward bookings non-refundable to stop people blocking off rooms in this way.

    • John says:

      Some reward bookings already have different cancellation policies (i.e. not always refundable until a cut off time on the day of check in)

  • James67 says:

    It makes even less sense when considering that it is someplace in Asia where competition between hotels is fierce. Why would I even want to spend 50, 000 points per night on this when I can get comparable or better hotels for less money than I value those 50k points? I think IHG is losing the plot somwhat, I have stayed with them only once this year because they are generally offering poor value for money on rates and failing to recognise and reward my spire elite status. It has become so bad that not even acellerate interests me. The best benefit if spire was status matching to diamond with hilton to whom IHG has lost five of my stays already this year. Diamond recognitiin at Hilton has beeb great and with a few new hotels under hilton brand plus a lot of DT, hamptons and garden inn hotels the miserable days of hilton in UK are over. I am about to write hilton to see if they will honour my diamond status through 2018, if they do it is highly unlikely I will be avpayibg customer at IHG again, and they have only themselves to blame. By contrast, Hilton got smart. They realised it made more sense to offer guests food that would otherwise mostly go to waste anyway, and offer them a better room that might otherwise sit emty. I suspect this in cinjunction with their status match has won them a lot of new and potebtially loyal customers in the past year.

    • Neil says:

      Have to agree. Since going Spire, 3 Accelerates in a row have been ridiculous for me.

      I don’t have enough travel to maintain Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond and IHG Spire and it’s a no brainer to drop IHG.

    • Craig says:

      Yep agree…..I’ve ditched ihg too

    • Jon says:

      Hi James67, re Hilton honouring Diamond through 2018 – they did for me. Took me too emails as they initially refused, but then relented after I explained that I was only asking for what I would have been offered had I not already been Diamond (I met the status match requirements). Granted I already had quite a few past and forward bookings, but it sounds like you do too. I echo your sentiments re IHG.

      • Janes67 says:

        Thanks Jon, will show them my 5 IHG cancellations in relating to my Hiton stays as a carrot, ad point out the obvious to them as you did in your second email.

        • Liz says:

          JAmes, I emailed them too telling them I wanted to use them for my Route 66 trip and my Diamond status expired just before we travelled. They extended my status to March 18 within 5 minutes of sending the email!

        • CV3V says:

          If Hilton prove stubborn, just set up a new account and status match. Just watch your points balance in original account.

          Agreed, Spire status of little use and because of this and the useless Accelerate promos i have been given IHG is now used for reward points bookings only. Also, after doing a few Travelodge bookings lately i would chose that over Holiday Inn Express (at least while awaiting the room renovations).

          • James67 says:

            Thanks Liz and CV, I will email them Monday morning. My partner and I stayed in the Travelodgd Perth Centre a coupld of times. Nice old building and homely rooms, not travelidge style at all. Hope they have not changed it with the recent brand makeover. If you are in the area and rates work then consider giving it a go.

  • Danksy says:

    As we speak in making my speculative bookings NOW!

  • Trickster says:

    On the subject of IHG, I have a phantom booking in my account that I definitely didn’t make for the HI in Wembley last night. Award wallet tipped me off in an email, no emails from IHG.

    Currently on hold on the phone trying to get to the bottom of this. Thought I’d post this in case it’s a wider issue.

    • Rob says:

      This happens with typos. No worry, you get the points from someone else’s stay!

      • Trickster says:

        Yep, cleared that up now, unfortunately, shot myself in the foot! Better to be safe than sorry I guess.

      • D says:

        You get the points until the other person who makes the booking realises they didn’t get stay credit/points, contacts customer services, and you get your account closed down because somebody thought you were using your account fraudulently. This happened to me last year. It is a real rigmarole having to get a new account set up as they won’t re-instate your old one.

  • Anthony says:

    I’ve noticed that the IC Miami has increased from 35k to 50k since I made my booking for Nov back in Feb. I didn’t notice the increase mentioned anywhere

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