The IHG Rewards Club devaluation seems to be delayed

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I dropped this article in on Sunday rather than Monday to save readers from any unnecessary booking panic on Sunday night!

IHG Rewards Club was due to change the reward pricing of almost 700 hotels on Monday.  80% of the changes are increases.

IHG Rewards Club 2019 devaluation category changes

The good news is that only about 15% of IHG’s hotels are impacted, and so only about 12% are going up.  The 70,000 point cap remains, and no additional hotels are moving into the 70,000 point category.

The implementation date now seems to be 25th January.  The date on the list of impacted properties has changed and no longer says 14th January.

The list of hotels changing category can be found here.  Examples of hotels changing category can be found in my original article here – the Holiday Inn Express in Wigan, pictured below, is dropping by 5,000 points.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. Almost read as Groupon launching flight to Bali

  2. KBuffett says:

    OT – Does anyone know if front loading/topping up a Barclaycard in advance (thereby spending more than your credit
    limit in any given month) affects your credit rating? My Experian score on Barclaycard/Experian seems to be dropping and I haven’t been doing anything other than this.

    • the_real_a says:

      There is a “velocity” effect, in that spending significantly higher amounts than your personal average does appear to reflect in my score, however your average catches up after a few months.

      You also need to remember that the reporting period to the agencies is not your statement date, its typically the 28th of each month… so if you are in debt at that snapshot then you will appear to have a debt for the next 30 days – regardless if you are clearing your statement balance each month. So ensuring a zero balance on the reporting date is useful, if you are making applications in the subsequent 30 day period.

      In my experience the only thing that materially effects my live credit score is “High % utlisation of available credit”. When taking out credit applications then “% of income Vs usable credit” is also a big factor, but this is not reflected in the experian/credit expert scoring.

      This was a topic that interested me as in my previous employment had significant business expense on personal cards, that was several multiples my salary at the time… and i wanted to maximise my points position.

      • KBuffett says:

        Very useful. Thank you very much for such a detailed response. I don’t actually need the credit, it’s more for accumulating points. But I usually leave it for the whole month before paying it off. So I think I will just pay it off immediately.
        Do you think there is a downside to cycling through my credit limit three or four times in a month paying it off in quick succession to accumulate points?

        • the_real_a says:

          I dont think its the cycling of the credit limit in isolation thats an issue – there are many legitimate reasons for that – its more the type of transactions. If you are making multiple large transactions at a single merchant or making large amounts of “cash-like” transactions to manufacture miles then you will be referred to the compliance department quick as a flash to explain your actions.

    • Lady London says:

      Some cards apparently don;t like you front loading or won’t even let you if you ask them.

      • the_real_a says:

        Whilst true (and you technically lose S75 whilst in credit) – i have never had a proactive issue from the CC company when doing this. I have had an agent notice it and take issue when calling on an unrelated matter however. Its also worth noting that many CC dont allow you to spend more than your credit limit in a single transaction even if in credit.

    • Front loading isn’t going to affect it directly as the credit report doesn’t say that you did this. However it would show the balance at the time and some also show the payments you have made to the account, the payments would be more likely to have an effect.

    • Are you front loading for one massive transaction? If not, why not spend, wait for it to clear and empty the balance?

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this (can confirm I have done it on a Barclaycard and easily spent 5x my credit limit in a month), it doesn’t load your statement balance unduly (I actually pay down to zero the day before my statement is generated) and you don’t run the risk of suspending S75 or breaking the card terms?

      • Clearscore said I’d been flagged by AMEX after something like this. I needed to book £6k worth of flights, already had £4k which I’d be clearing in about a week. Paid down £2k, put the £6k through, paid down another £2k so never incurred interest but I got a message about overly high utilisation of the credit limit.

        I expected my clearscore rating to fall, but it didn’t which was also interesting.

      • Genghis says:

        Some credit institutions report total spend in a month whereas others don’t.

        • So if total spend in a month > credit limit it flags up, although won’t necessarily impact the rating???

        • Genghis says:

          Remember, what the agencies say your “score” is doesn’t matter. The facts are, however, that some credit institutions report total spend and others don’t. What a credit granting institution would then do with that information when they assess your credit report when applying for new credit, who knows.

          FWIW, I’ve spent 3 or 4 times my monthly limit on occasion without any cause for alarm on the supposed “scores”.

        • the_real_a says:

          @Tony – there are no flags as such. There is no red mark, or nasty comment from an AMEX representative, its simply a mathematical algorithm. You can have an excellent score in January, an awful score in February and then back to excellent in March. Its a very liquid measure of affordability but on an averaged basis based on your own history. Technically its recalculated on a daily basis, but it makes more practical sense to consider it on a monthly basis since CC report a snapshot on the 28th usually.

          What i mean by this is that if you have a history of carrying a debt of £5k a month on a £50k credit line and paying this off, a new debt of £10k in a given month will not particularly hit your credit score. However if you have a history of only carrying a debt of £300 a month on a £5k credit line, then a new £5k debt will obliterate your credit score UNTIL the day you pay it off… Note i’m calling debt rather than spend.

          So if you clear your balance before the credit agency reporting date, you never actually record a debt. Yes spend is recorded, but that has never impacted my score nor ability to apply for credit.

          Apologies for commenting so many times.

        • the_real_a says:

          To expand on Genghis comment.

          Credit reference scores via agencies – do not typically look at income. They simply estimate your ability to pay off debt based on your history of paying off debt.

          New applications at financial institutions – Absolutely assess affordability and will consider your income Vs your current debt and open credit lines + any commercial / profitability criteria.

          So a high experian credit score does not necessarily mean acceptance on new applications.

  3. Slightly OT: Does anyone have experience of the Indigo Manchester, particularly Spire on rewards stays?

    • Trickster says:

      It’s only been open for a few weeks, so probably not many people on here who can feed back. I walk past it regularly and the bar/restaurant looks nice.

  4. OT_ AM Error fare from last year

    Did anyone who booked AM error fare last September to various South American destination made the trip successfully?
    I have just been made aware that AM also offers the Chauffeur service to/from Heathrow Airport.
    Any other perks.
    Of course there will be SKY Team lounge access (though I will use Plaza Premium with my Amex Platinum card).

    • I just few black with AM last week (paid full price unfortunately) and I can say it was a good experience, comfertable seats, nice service/food and all on time.
      The only thing I will say is the lounge in Mexico City was pretty boring, a couple of yogurtsin the fridge and thats it, hardly any food or reading material.
      But if you have the Amex Plat there is a great Centurian Lounge right next door that you can access, great bar, showers, massage room (15mins free) and a lesser selection of food for UK plat cardholders.
      (I didnt know about the car service so thats a pain)

    • BlueHorizonUK says:

      My trip is scheduled for May. Couldn’t check the trip online last week (was working ok before) and started to panic that something had gone wrong but it turns out there was a time change and they needed to reconfirm on their side again (I think it was a plane change issue as they went from a 787-8 on the return to a 787-9 so the seats needed to be changed). New emails sent to me and working again online.

      As far as I know the only extra perk is the car service and I have successfully booked it. They use Tristar and send a E-Class for 1 or 2 passengers or a S-Class/V-Class for 3 or more people.

  5. Brighton Belle says:

    Looks like the London hotels have been awarded a 20 to 25% points increase. Which if you value the points at X pence is a swingeing price increase. Not much point in my IHG black card now.

    Shan’t be using IHG anymore. Cash prices at Hotels.com seems far more transparent if IHG choose to devalue points this rate. > 20%

    • Lady London says:

      My feelings exactly. Anything worth staying at in an urban centre seems to have gone up by 25%.

      Only hotels that would appear to likely be struggling, have gone down. Not that that’s unreasonable. It’s just that without any particular announcement 80% of those that have moved, have gone up the 25% or so.

      It will be interesting to see how IHG spin this.

      • A lot of Chinese hotels have dropped by 5k. I don’t think these changes can be considered a 20% devaluation…

        • Brighton Belle says:

          I am not likely to have a gallery weekend in China, London hotels are probably more likely where IHG require 20% more miles but won’t be charging 20% more cash booked through third party agents.

          Points holders are captured clients do why not rip them off?

        • You answered your own question.

  6. I bought 3 Groupon avios packages at the start of December; the 3rd lot have never posted despite the voucher being flagged as redeemed.

  7. OT_ IHG Reward Stay

    I have a booking for three consecutive nights as reward stay.
    I want to cancel one night but looks like I cannot change and drop it by one night.
    What is my best option, there is no availability for rewards night anymore, so unable to make use of split nights.

    Any thoughts!

    • Genghis says:

      Every time I’ve needed to do something similar the nights have gone back into reward inventory. Not sure if I was just lucky. I now book single nights for flexibility (so can swap in AMB nights, mine and wife’s Creation nights etc).

    • Might be worth chatting to hotel or IHG to see if they could amend booking to shorter stay? No personal experience I’m afraid. As Genghis says will likely drop back into reward pool although I’ve always worried that if totally full they might have switched over to make it only fall back into cash – not sure that’s technically feasible for them to do though anyway!

  8. Yawvaar says:

    OT: Just completed an overnight trip to Santander. The outgoing flight on Saturday was light, but on the way back on Sunday, it was full with no empty seats. Iberia must have done some aggressive overbooking to counter the no-shows.
    Those who are in doubt of visiting Santander, it is a nice little spanish town with a beach and promenade. Lots of eating and drinking places, I would recommend Bodega del Riojano (reservation
    recommended)

  9. Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Just did a few bookings for our Sept. road trip 4 places on our route are going up, so pleased to have booked. Thanks for heads up.

  10. Qwerty Bertie says:

    OT: Would be grateful to hear of past experiences please. My wife has just transferred some SPG points to BA – her/our first such transfer – and the email says “allow approximately six weeks”.

    How long did your first such transfer take please, if you recall?

    • The Urbanite says:

      I’ve transferred from SPG to Krisflyer and BAEC. In both cases, the points posted on the same day that the points from Amex dropped into the SPG account.

  11. Rob, you’ve got the Garuda flight going from both Heathrow (in the body text) and Gatwick (in the sub head)? Or is it switching airport here too?

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