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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.

IHG Rewards Club

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.

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 – 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.


IHG One Rewards update – November 2022:

Get bonus points: You will earn bonus IHG One Rewards points on stays between 13th October 2022 and 31st December 2022. You can choose between 2,000 points for every two nights or 10,000 points for every four nights (not cumulative). Read this article for full details. You can register here.

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.

You will receive a 100% bonus if you buy IHG One Rewards points by 29th December 2022.

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 (71)

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

  • ee says:

    Made a speculative booking at Kimpton Charlotte Square Edinburgh for a weekend during the Christmas market. Paid 52500 for 2 nights – now 75000 points or £404 for both nights.

    On the other hand the HIX I booked in Central Paris for a week next May has stuck at 17500/night. Cash price is about £103/night so the value is still there at 0.59p/point.

    • Alan S says:

      I’d be surprised if we have a Christmas market this year.

      The Princes St Gardens are not great by way of space already and Underbelly are short of cash after the fringe was cancelled. With the uproar about the markets in 2019 and the fact that they still don’t have planning permission from the scaffolding structures they erected last year, I think it’s at best a 50/50 shot.

      At least point bookings are fully refundable at short notice.

      • Baji Nahid says:

        I do hope its a market ran by scots than the london centric money scheming folk!

        • ee says:

          There is a fair amount of ‘repeating tat‘ but also some more unique stalls. We like the stall run by https://kariceramics.com/ – the lady that makes the pottery is there and we always buy something. When we do our kitchen/diner we may buy her dinner service!

  • Graeme says:

    Just by chance, a day or two before we became aware of this I booked a Friday night in March at voco Dubai for 15k points, which seemed cheap to me and suited us nicely. That’s now 22.5k, so I’m pleased with that.

  • Andrew says:

    And the great thing about points bookings is that they are instantly cancellable, no call centres and long waits for refunds. So I put my 300k of points into bookings for next year at these low rates – hopefully they will go ahead but who knows at the moment, but in a few clicks I’m back to where I started so no loss.

    • Alex Sm says:

      Every cloud has a silver lining! Why can’t all the travel companies be like this. Flight refunds are impossible to get back, especially from Star Alliance airlines. I’m so cross… we thought that Swiss/Germans/Swedes are like a clockwork but they are cons

  • Haz says:

    I made a purchase of points of points last monday to book IC in london when it was 23000 points ..i only got the original amount and not the bonus. After hours on the phone to them they still havent posted my bonus points and today i realise the hotel i wanted to book is no longer 23000. I am beyond p*****d off because the only reason i purchased the points was for this one specific booking.

    • Doug M says:

      See Rob’s comment on previous page and just ask for refund.

      • haz says:

        Thanks Doug – its the only option or i will inform Amex that i have been falsly sold a product and to cancel the payment

      • ChrisC says:

        See also the comment in response to Robs about them possibly not being refundable due to the nature of the purchase.

        • Matt says:

          Haz I realise you’re annoyed at the situation (as would I be), but you haven’t been “falsely” sold a product. Prices change. If you see a great deal book it in there and then. It’s not IHG’s fault that when you saw a great deal you didn’t have enough currency (points) to book it.

          • Haz says:

            True Mat – i think the point broadly is that in the purchase they quoted 24,000 but as of yet i have only received 12,000 points even after much back and forth

  • Paul says:

    I bought some points which arrived instantly and got the IC in Estoril and especially Porto very cheap (effectively £100 per night) admittedly for next month when I’m expecting the hotels to still be empty

    • christian kemp says:

      Both are very lovely hotels, if you havent stayed there before.

      • Peter K says:

        Are they less good if you have been before? Not worth a second visit?

        • Pedro Brayner says:

          I guess that if he had been there already, he would have his own impressions, just that.

  • Peggers says:

    I got the CP Athens for end of October, King Club room for 20,000. It was the same price as their standard room. Went back on a few days later and this had dropped to 17,500 for the Club room. Cancelled and rebooked.
    King Club rooms no longer available on points….surprisingly.

  • Robert says:

    Need a night In Jerusalem Israel early September, so booked CP for 12,500 last week, now gone up to 17,500. Still great value though…

    • Genghis says:

      I stayed there a couple of years ago. A bit rough around the edges but got lounge access (which included breakfast, lunch and dinner – I was off expenses and by myself so wanted to keep things cheap and got up at the crack of dawn for exploring so worked well). Close to the tram line into town.

      • Paul74 says:

        Agreed, good for status. I stayed there in 2017 having IHG Platinum at the time. Got upgraded to a exec room (or something similar) which included breakfast and the room’s mini bar if I remember rightly. Only drawback was that my stay ended on a Friday and they didn’t want to give me late check out as the sabbath was coming that evening and the hotel was fully booked. Overall though, I’d stay there again.

      • Robert says:

        Thanks, yes,, they are pretty generous with Spires. Got upgraded to two bedroom suite and lounge access last time despite being on an award night.

        Good news is hotel was renovated just before it closed due to Covid19 and from photos I’ve seen the Lounge looks a lot better.
        Anyway, we’ll see they actually open on September 1st as they are currently still closed…

    • Paul says:

      Was there last year. Absolutely awful hotel on every level. There was no club lounge and the staff couldn’t care less. Parking was extortionate and couldn’t be added to bill. I have absolutely nothing good to say about it

      To beg honest I didn’t have a great trip Hertz TLV tried to rip me off on arrival and at every turn I just found Israel to be rather unpleasant. My week in Jordan in contrast was superb other than the rather nasty IC experience in Aqaba

      • Robert says:

        There most definitely is a Club lounge with access to Spire members and possibly Platinum, not sure…

        Hotel was in dire need of a refurbishment, and it’s now had one. As for the staff, well I’m afraid that’s Israel for you, service is not a strong point.

        • Paul says:

          I am a Spire and there was no lounge. I repeatedly asked. The place was filthy and our refurbished room would have shamed butlins.

  • Sina says:

    Booked 5 nights at IC Tokyo for 115k points with £1215 value! Good redemption I think!

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