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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 – December 2021:

Get bonus points: You can earn up to triple IHG Rewards base points with IHG’s new Autumn promotion. It runs from 1st October to 31st December. You can register here and our full article on the offer is here.

New to IHG Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG Rewards points worth?’ is here.

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

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)

  • Anna says:

    Perhaps they’ve caved in under the pressure of HFP readers’ “Dynamic Booking” system!

  • Nick says:

    Maybe a month ago I booked three nights in the kimpton Charlotte square in Edinburgh to burn my point stack as I was considering in future to change programs. It cost 29k points per night on 4-7 of December 2021 (so 60k total for three nights). Its now showing 52k points per night ! The cash price seems the same from what I remember.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      29k per night is plainly ludicrous and 20k even more so which may be what you means since 29k a night for three nights is not 60k…

      Plenty to be cross about but tbh 52k points doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable

  • Anna says:

    Still plenty of craziness though – I booked the Ellesmere Port HI recently for a Saturday night in July at 17,500 points (which I though was slightly high for a HI but, you know, it’s Cheshire) – now it’s 44,000 points!

    • Sandgrounder says:

      You could probably buy a house in Ellesmere port for not much more than that 🙂

    • Tw33ty says:

      Get a room overlooking the water, it’s a nice view.
      Staff are nice there too.
      It’s one of the best HI’s I’ve been in in the UK, don’t judge it on the location it’s at, one side is the water and locks, the other is a scrap yard.
      The folk that run it, also run the CP in the centre of Liverpool, and that CP is excellent.

  • Memesweeper says:

    … and the place in Portugal I’ve been looking at that was always 50k/night — which jumped last week to 79k/night — has just dropped to 45k. Go figure.

  • Nick G says:

    The other problem I have with IHG is when booking reward niches for two adults and one child the options are almost zero unless you want to stay in a HIE

    • Anna says:

      Plenty of hotels will put a rollaway bed in the room for you, you just need to contact them after booking and request it. There are a few IHG hotels which release reward rooms for more than 2 people but it doesn’t always show up on a search so it’s best to search for 2 adults then go through all the options for how many people the various rooms accommodate.

  • Jimbob says:

    Just rebooked my O2 IC stay over the summer and saved 60k points, thanks Rob!

  • will says:

    I have 60,000 IHG points and am keen to get out of London for a few days. Any good places to spend it that don’t need a car?

    Was thinking Edinburgh as never been. But pretty open minded. Some countryside would be nice.

    • Anna says:

      Problem is the further you get away from a city, the more you need a car! What about Cardiff? Guests from England are allowed to stay in hotels in Wales from next week and it’s near some very picturesque scenery. Voco and Indigo both taking bookings.
      Scotland hasn’t yet announced when people can travel there – hopefully after the 26th.

    • Sandra says:

      York, plenty to see and good food and also if you want a day trip out plenty of other options by rail from there

      • Aston100 says:

        Definitely York.
        Not sure 60k will get you 3 nights anymore with the pricing instability.

        • Will says:

          York is great – but I have a mate up there so go fairly often. Overwise would probably be top choice.

    • Felix Flyer says:

      How about Norwich? Compact pleasant city. Take the train out to some villages in the broads. Holiday Inn at the Football ground 10 minutes walk from the station and showing at 15000 points for a weekend in June.

      • Rhys says:

        As the signs as you come off from the A11 say, Norwich is “a fine city”!

      • Will says:

        I think Norwich might be a good choice. A day mooching round the city and then trip outside for a day. Will research further!

    • JonD says:

      Chester or Stratford on Avon? Both have Indigos, crowne plazas and His.

      Edinburgh the best if you can get there though.

    • kitten says:

      Bath is quite nice and walkable for a couple of days.

      Trouble is you’d be kicking yourself because there’s lots of countryside around Bath that could keep you happy for a week driving round.

      A little out of Bath there’s Combe Manor highly recommended Rob did a review. A nice hotel/estate will surely have an option to pick you up at my a station, drop you back and might even run you to and from town during your stay

  • Matarredonda says:

    Crazy situation. Booked a stay in Colchester for September on Wednesday and just rebooked saving 8,500 points. Bet the hotel’s will get fed up with constant cancellations and rebookings! Thanks Rob.

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