Posted by William Charles on January 15, 2018
Hotel Booking

Published on January 15th, 2018 | by William Charles


IHG 2018 Award Changes: 499 Properties Increasing In Price & 192 Hotels Decreasing In Price (New Maximum Now 70,000 Points) – Live January 16th

Update 01/15/18: Today is the last day to book under the old pricing. Book any properties you’re interested that are increasing in pricing now.

Update: 01/06/18. As per Mommy Points these changes will go live on January 16th, 2018. This means you’ll want to book any properties that are increasing in price on or before January 15th to avoid the price increase. Any properties going down in price you’ll want to wait until on or after January 16th, 2018 to make your bookings.

Once a year IHG announces what properties will be changing award category. The full list of properties changing award category can be found here. In addition they are also adding a new award category that will cost 70,000 points a night. Previously the maximum per night was 60,000 points.

Some statistics:

  • 691 properties in total will be changing their award category
    • 499 properties are increasing in price
    • 192 properties decreasing in price
  • 437 properties in the United States are changing category
    • 88 are decreasing in price (all by 5,000 points)
    • 349 are increasing in price
      • 211 by 5,000 points
      • 138 by 10,000 points
  • Last year 650 properties changed award category
  • I suspect these changes will go into effect on or around January 15th, 2018 as they did last year but no official announcement yet

These are some fairly massive changes and this is a significant devaluation. The addition of a new category costing 70,000 points will make properties such as Bora Bora significantly more expensive on points and it looks like most Intercontinental’s in popular locales will fit under the new 70,000 a night category. This also ruins the post I had almost finished on IHG point valuations, but will be interesting to look at the stats pre and post devaluation.

Hat tip to Point Me To The Plane

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IHG points are best to keep for when they have the summer and winter 5K a night special.
Also if you book and and cancel with cash and points you can get 20K points for $115 which sometimes can be a good deal even for regular redemptions.

Damn. The San Francisco ones are going up so much. As a comparison I can see myself paying 60k for the Hilton properties in the city because HH points are so easy to earn but not 50k for Holiday Inns. Even the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins’s standard room is such a disappointment and definitely not worth redeeming points.

Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber has gone up from 35K since I joined the IHG program about two years ago to now 50k.

And now a 70k point. Marriott is becoming more and more attractive to me.

No wonder I haven’t used the 60k sign up bonus from 2016 – can’t find good redemption that’s worth it. Might just redeem for gift cards. I think I can get .25c per point value out of them.

Yeah, even if you compare the price between Hilton and IHG, Hilton is cheaper. I just use the IHG for free night every year, don’t really use the card like that.

Just saved $100 recently too from a free night 😁

hopefully I didn’t kind of jinx it and Hilton devalues as well in February/March right after the release of their new line of credit cards, or for that matter Marriott later in the year.

I agree P, it feels like it’s just best to burn the points ASAP and move on. This throws off my calculations for a weekend in Europe significantly. I didn’t expect them to increase the max points for another few years, but based that on expectations alone.

I was seriously thinking about stockpiling points for a redemption next summer, and they just destroyed that.

In two straight devaluations, they took my two preferred properties from 35,000 to 40,000, and now to 50,000.

Not worth it.

some increases for places I may be staying this year. I’ve got two of them booked already….one is increasing but I don’t have firm dates on it yet…dang it.

places I’ve stayed in the past are increasing. The top end increases don’t affect me much. I would never spend 35,000+ points on a place. 25,000 is my max, and even then I hesitate. 20,000 is the most I’ve ever used for a completed booking. Expensive places, just use the IHG cert.

Good to have a variety of points…Wyndham, Hilton, Club Carlson, Marriott / SPG…..

Only 1 potential place I might stay is going down.

When are they increasing? I checked a couple Intercontinentals and I don’t see the change reflected yet on the site.

On a side note, whats the minimum safest time frame one can NOT use the IHG credit card without risk of deactivation?

Would be interesting to see if the price in hard currency changes/changed as well, or whether this is a true devaluation not related to inflation.

Although with the variable dynamic pricing it’s probably too involving to make two comparisons, since you’d probably have to take measurements two years apart on same days to know the prices for any day of the year are comparable?!

Some locations were routinely underpriced – the Zion Park HIX was one example I saw in my planning. Most weekends it was going for 1 cent a point value, when if all things were fair you should expect rooms to be priced roughly at 0.7 cents per point, corresponding with the cost of Points and Cash.

Funny you should mention that Zion HIE (a recently converted Best Western — and a VERY nice one)….. We stayed there two summers ago, late August — and got upgraded to the palatial Presidential Palace. (when using our annual Free Night….. first and only time any IHG property over the past six years years made us feel really special for using one of the Free Night awards….. — everywhere else, we’re made to feel “lucky” to be with them — to get the double beds with no view, etc, etc.)

Haha also making preliminary bookings for Lake Powell, and Zion in May.

Just noticed this — why is the time on this blog two hours ahead of CT and CST?! Are you still running EDT in the winter?! Or you based in, like, US Virgin Islands, with Atlantic Standard Time, 1h ahead of the EST?! 🙂 Vacation, vacation, vacation!

I’ve always found IHG to have really high point redemptions. The best usage for me is the free annual night from their credit card. And sometimes it’s nice when you can capitalize on some of their promotions, such as a nice Accelerate offer or that crazy one a couple of years ago where you mailed in index cards.

Glad I didn’t bother with IHG. Ouch

IC hotels in Europe can still be good values. Just booked IC Madrid for 40k/night which is better than 1 cpp. For US hotels the new rates are ridiculous. again this shows churn and burn is the only way to go.

Is this restructuring/devaluation going to coincide with Kimpton properties finally being brought under the IHG Rewards program?

Happens we stayed two nights over the Holidays at the HIE Fisherman’s Wharf (SFO), using up two Annual Free nights on our accounts……. Yes, great location and yes, one of the few hotels in that area with breakfast included…. two blocks or so from the wharf…..

But wow, WORST EVER configured hotel we ever stayed in….. They should rename it, “Hotel Alcatraz” — as in never mind the lying, Trump class glossy promotional photos of the place, 95% of the rooms have windows facing out into totally white, bland narrow, courtyards — like you’d see in a prison, with a red floor. (and barely 20 feet to the windows on the other side)…..

Cheerful front-desk person put lipstick on the pig a high end hotel with no views by cheerfully noting that ,”Yeah, everybody asks about that — and we’re told to say they were designed that way for earthquakes….” Nonsense. (but she wasn’t budging from the balderdash)

Every year I use IHG points for Mardi Gras in NOLA—40K points for rooms going for $400 cash.
Also for Crowne Plaza Times Square on NYE.
Key West La Concha is also good in peak season.

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