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Did IHG Rewards Club make a mistake with dynamic reward pricing?

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Over the last couple of weeks, IHG Rewards Club has rolled out dynamic pricing of reward nights in most countries.

Put simply, they have copied the Hilton Honors model.  The old points price remains the maximum IHG will charge, but on nights where the hotel has cash rates which are below average, the points price is reduced too.

Everyone wins, in theory.  You can still get outsize value by redeeming at top hotels on peak dates because the old points cap remains, but you should no longer find other dates where using points is totally stupid.  At worse, you now have ‘average days’ (around 0.35p per point of value) and great days, but nothing which is laughably poor.

When dynamic pricing launched, there were some excellent deals.  We saw many hotels in the UK and Europe where you could get 0.8p per IHG Rewards Club point.  Given that IHG often sells points for 0.4p each, this looked odd.

It’s not clear if it was a mistake or just a way of getting some good publicity, but a lot of these excessively good deals have been pulled.

IHG Rewards Club dynamic pricing London gets worse

Show me some examples …..

This is the list we published on 13th June, for stays on 13th October in London.  I have deleted all of the hotels which offered under 0.4p per point, which is what I consider my ‘normal’ valuation:

InterContinental Park Lane – 45,000 points (£337, 0.75p per point)

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury – 45,000 points (£226, 0.50p per point)

Kimpton Fitzroy, pictured above – 40,000 points (£285, 0.71p per point)

Holiday Inn Express Victoria – 17,500 points (£143, 0.82p per point)

Holiday Inn Camden Lock, pictured below – 20,000 points (£174, 0.87p per point)

Holiday Inn Kensington High Street – 17,500 points (£137, 0.78p per point)

Holiday Inn Express Earls Court – 17,500 points (£129, 0.74p per point)

Holiday Inn Express Stratford – 15,000 points (£99, 0.66p per point)

Holiday Inn Brent Cross – 12,500 points (£89, 0.71p per point)

Holiday Inn Wembley – 15,000 points (£99, 0.66p per point)

Crowne Plaza Heathrow Terminal 4 – 12,500 points (£85, 0.68p per point)

Staybridge Suites Bath Road – 15,000 points (£99, 0.66p per point)

IHG Rewards Club makes dynamic reward pricing worse

Here is pricing for the same hotels, run yesterday morning for the same night in October.  In all cases, cash prices were unchanged.

InterContinental Park Lane – 45,000 points (£337, 0.75p per point), now 70,000 points (0.48p per point)

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury – 45,000 points (£226, 0.50p per point), no change

Kimpton Fitzroy (the nicest IHG hotel in London) – 40,000 points (£285, 0.71p per point), now 55,000 points (0.52p per point)

Holiday Inn Express Victoria – 17,500 points (£143, 0.82p per point) – not included as cash rate is now £224

Holiday Inn Camden Lock – 20,000 points (£174, 0.87p per point), now 25,000 points (0.69p per point)

Holiday Inn Kensington High Street – 17,500 points (£137, 0.78p per point), now 20,000 points (0.69p per point)

Holiday Inn Express Earls Court – 17,500 points (£129, 0.74p per point), now 20,000 points (0.64p per point)

Holiday Inn Express Stratford – 15,000 points (£99, 0.66p per point), now 17,500 points (0.56p per point)

Holiday Inn Brent Cross – 12,500 points (£89, 0.71p per point), now 15,000 points (0.59p per point)

Holiday Inn Wembley – 15,000 points (£99, 0.66p per point), now 17,500 points (0.56p per point)

Crowne Plaza Heathrow Terminal 4 – 12,500 points (£85, 0.68p per point), now 17,500 points (0.49p per point)

Staybridge Suites Bath Road – 15,000 points (£99, 0.66p per point), now 17,500 points (0.56p per point)

It probably isn’t a coincidence that the only unchanged hotel, from our ‘outsized value’ list, is the cheapest.  Holiday Inn Bloomsbury still gets you 0.5p per point.

Every hotel which offered you more than 0.5p per point has increased in points price whilst the cash price is unchanged.

To be fair, these hotels still offer outsized value.  You are still getting more than my general 0.4p valuation of an IHG Rewards Club, and you would still make a good profit if you bought points last week at 0.4p each.

IHG has clearly decided that 0.7p – 0.8p is TOO generous, however.   There is NOTHING in London from my selection which offers you better than 0.69p per point, and you should now consider a ‘good’ redemption as one that gets you around 0.6p per point.  Your chances of doing a lot better than that are now reduced.

(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.)

Comments (71)

  • Ronald Jeremy says:

    I got 5 nights days staying at the Crowne Plaza Heathrow, the new Crowne Plaza terminal four that is, which is, by all accounts a massive improvement on the one just of the M4.

    I stayed in that one for a weeks conference, several years ago and met Bill Oddie and Chris Packham, though not at the same time, after all that excitement I was hoping for a metaphorical upgrade in terms of TV naturalists perhaps Sir David Attenborough, or maybe even John Craven from Countryfile.

    • Rob says:

      It is a big improvement! The old CP is due a monster refurbishment this year although I imagine it is now delayed.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Are there any IHG hotels on Greek islands – I just see three in Athens

    • Pid says:

      I do not think there are any as never managed to find any. Real shame as I do not think there are many chain hotels.

  • harry hv says:

    You’d think in times when your hotels are sitting half-empty that this would be an opportunity to offer loyal customers something extra (eg Pointsbreaks), rather than trying to make fools out of your best clients and treating them like dirt. You have to pity the poor suckers who prepaid IHG at 0.4p or however much.

  • Andy says:

    To balance the negatives, I have just booked the Kensington HI for 17,500 points for a Wednesday night stay in December so the date chosen is obviously is a key driver and not necessary a reflection of a mistake, might just be supply and demand at work, after all, it is dynamic pricing!