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Sharp (50%) cuts in some IHG Rewards points pricing – mistake reversed?

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This is our third article this week about the new IHG Rewards pricing model.

In our first article on Wednesday, we looked at pricing at different London hotels for 22nd July. We found NO FIRM LINK between the cash rate and the points rate.

In our second article yesterday, we looked at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock on every day in July. We found NO FIRM LINK between the cash rate and the points rate.

However …. there have been some substantial (50%) cuts in points pricing at some hotels between Tuesday, when I did our original analysis, and yesterday.

Which hotels have come down in points price?

There are 38 IHG hotels in Central London. This is what has happened between Tuesday and Friday this week, for a stay on 22nd July:

The following hotels have become better value for points in the last 72 hours:

Hotels showing substantial cuts in points pricing:

Unless indicated, there has been no change in cash pricing.

  • Kimpton Fitzroy – down from 99,000 points to 50,000 points
  • Hotel Indigo Kensington – down from 55,000 points to 28,000 points
  • Crowne Plaza London Docklands – down from 48,000 points to 28,000 points
  • Staybridge Suites Stratford City – down from 48,000 points to 25,000 points
  • Holiday Inn London West – down from 34,000 points to 15,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express Southwark – down from 46,000 points to 25,000 points (cash rate down by 20%)
  • Holiday Inn Express Victoria – down from 30,000 points to 25,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express Limehouse – down from 23,000 points to 15,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express Royal Docks – down from 37,000 points to 15,000 points (cash rate down by 33%)

Seven of the 38 hotels have come down by roughly 50%. The cuts are across all segments – high-end, mid-market and budget.

Hotels showing a small 1,000 point cut in points pricing:

The cash rate is unchanged in all cases.

  • InterContinental Park Lane – down from 89,000 points to 88,000 points
  • Crowne Plaza Kings Cross – down from 48,000 points to 47,000 points
  • Hotel Indigo Paddington – down from 50,000 points to 49,000 points
  • Hotel Indigo Tower Hill – down from 26,000 points to 25,000 points
  • InterContinental O2 – down from 33,000 points to 32,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Oxford Circus – down from 50,000 points to 49,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Bloomsbury – down from 46,000 points to 45,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Regent’s Park – down from 57,000 points to 56,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express City – down from 31,000 points to 30,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express Stratford – down from 43,000 points to 42,000 points

Hotels where the cash price has gone UP but the points price is unchanged:

  • Staybridge Suites Vauxhall – still 25,000 points (cash up from £111 to £122)

The following hotels have become worse value for points in the last 72 hours:

Hotels where the cash price is unchanged but the points price has gone up:

  • Holiday Inn Kensington High Street – up from 31,000 points to 39,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express Wandsworth – up from 21,000 points to 25,000 points

Hotels where the cash price has gone DOWN but the points price is worse value:

  • Holiday Inn Camden Lock – was 44,000 points or £117, now 49,000 points or £111
  • Holiday Inn Express Stratford – was 43,000 points or £182, now 42,000 points or £81
IHG Rewards devaluation

How has this changed overall London pricing?

Here is the revised full list of London pricing for 22nd July:

High end:

  • Hotel Indigo Leicester Square – 90,000 – £364 – 0.40p
  • InterContinental Park Lane – 88,000 – £378 – 0.43p
  • Crowne Plaza The City – 34,000 – £183 – 0.54p
  • Kimpton Fitzroy (image above) – 50,000 – £203 – 0.41p
  • Crowne Plaza Kings Cross – 47,000 – £125 – 0.27p
  • Hotel Indigo Paddington – 49,000 – £130 – 0.27p
  • Hotel Indigo Tower Hill – 25,000 – £144 – 0.58p
  • Hotel Indigo Kensington – 28,000 – £142 – 0.51p
  • InterContinental O2 – 33,000 – £137 – 0.43p
  • Crowne Plaza London Docklands – 28,000 – £146 – 0.52p

Average for high end sector – 47,200 points – £195.20 cash – 0.41p per point

Unweighted average of best value 33% – 0.55p per point

IHG Rewards devaluation

Mid-market:

  • Holiday Inn Oxford Circus – 49,000 – £122 – 0.25p
  • Staybridge Suites Vauxhall – 25,000 – £122 – 0.49p
  • Holiday Inn Bloomsbury – 45,000 – £113 – 0.25p
  • Holiday Inn Regent’s Park – 56,000 – £155 – 0.28p
  • Holiday Inn Camden Lock (image above) – 49,000 – £117 – 0.24p
  • Holiday Inn Kensington Forum – 20,000 – £99 – 0.50p
  • Holiday Inn Kensington High Street – 39,000 – £103 – 0.26p
  • Holiday Inn Whitechapel – 34,000 – £94 – 0.28p
  • Staybridge Suites Stratford City – 25,000 – £111 – 0.44p
  • Holiday Inn Stratford City – 25,000 – £99 – 0.40p
  • Holiday Inn London West – 15,000 – £83 – 0.55p
  • Holiday Inn Brent Cross – 14,000 – £91 – 0.65p

Average for mid-market sector – 33,000 points – £109.08 cash – 0.33p per point

Unweighted average of best value 33% – 0.57p per point

IHG Rewards devaluation

Budget:

  • Holiday Inn Express Southwark – 25,000 – £100 – 0.40p
  • Holiday Inn Express Victoria – 25,000 – £154 – 0.62p
  • Holiday Inn Express Nine Elms – 50,000 – £142 – 0.28p
  • Holiday Inn Express City – 30,000 – £94 – 0.31p
  • Holiday Inn Express Earls Court – 20,000 – £93 – 0.47p
  • Holiday Inn Express Limehouse – 15,000 – £86 – 0.57p
  • Holiday Inn Express Swiss Cottage – 20,000 – £90 – 0.45p
  • Holiday Inn Express Wandsworth (image above) – 25,000 – £76 – 0.30p
  • Holiday Inn Express Hammersmith – 20,000 – £100 – 0.50p
  • Holiday Inn Express Stratford – 42,000 – £81 – 0.19p
  • Holiday Inn Express Park Royal – 15,000 – £81 – 0.54p
  • Holiday Inn Express Royal Docks – 15,000 – £99 – 0.66p
  • Holiday Inn Express Greenwich – 20,000 – £128 – 0.64p
  • Holiday Inn Express Wimbledon South – 15,000 – £91 – 0.61p
  • Holiday Inn Express Golders Green – 23,000 – £63 – 0.27p
  • Holiday Inn Express Excel – 27,000 – £152 – 0.56p

Average for budget sector – 24,187 points – £101.88 cash – 0.42p per point

Unweighted average of best value 33% – 0.64p per point

The average value has improved noticeably:

From our analysis on Tuesday:

Average for all of London – 37,921 points – £132.92 cash – 0.35p per point

Unweighted average of best value 33% – 0.52p per point

From our analysis on Friday:

Average for all of London – 33,026 points – £128.70 cash – 0.39p per point

Unweighted average of best value 33% – 0.59p per point

Conclusion

If you want to know what all this means, I don’t know.

Are the sharp cuts at some hotels a result of the IHG algorithm being ‘fixed’, or are 50% cuts (and so 100% increases when it swings the other way) likely to be the norm?

I am more interested in why so many hotels have dropped by 1,000 points. This may be to do with currency movements this week vs the US$. If so, this means that hotels not priced in US$ could be seeing changes as often as daily, but often very small.

This is VERY frustrating for you, since you feel obliged to rebook each time the points price drops down by 1,000 points.

It also means that you need to be checking your reservation every couple of days. IHG Rewards is making your life more difficult, and that is not the job of a loyalty programme.

On the positive side, the average ‘pence per point’ is up to 0.39p which is in line with my long term ‘value ‘ of IHG Rewards points of 0.4p.

As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity – at least on 22nd July – to do up to 50% better than this.


IHG Rewards update – July 2021:

Get bonus points: The current IHG Rewards promotion is ‘Triple Your Points’ – our full article is here. It runs from 15th May to 16th August. You receive double base points on your second stay and triple base points on your third and subsequent stays. You can register on this page of ihg.com.

New to IHG Rewards?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.

There is a 75% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards points by 13th August.

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 (81)

  • Vince says:

    You’ll love this See-Saw:
    I booked HI Brighton for 6 – 8 August a couple of months ago. Used to be 15,000pn but I booked at 30,000pn (There’s a huge event on – dynamic pricing at play). HOWEVER, Today it’s double again to 60,000pn BUT you can choose ANY room from Standard Double bed to King Executive Seaview room – same 60,000pn. I wonder what tomorrow will bring 😉

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