IHG Rewards Club, the loyalty program for InterContinental Hotels typically revises its rewards categories for the hotels under its umbrella every year.
In general, IHG hotels do not belong any specific category, unlike Marriott and Starwood hotels. Instead, the cost of award nights is allocated by IHG Rewards Club in multiples of 5,000, where the lowest price for an award night is 5,000 points (only).
IHG Rewards Club Changes coming
It seems the hotel chain has inadvertently let the cat out of the bag this year. In 2018, IHG is planning to hike up the number of points required for some of their most expensive hotels, taking the per night redemption cost up to 70,000 IHG Rewards Club points from the existing requirement of 60,000 points per night so far.
In 2016, the group changed redemption levels for about 400 hotels. In 2018, about 500 hotels (about 10%) across the world will become more expensive for reward stays. The redemptions for 200 hotels has gone down by 5,000 points.
With an offering of over 4900 hotels, the chain will execute reward category changes to 14% of its portfolio. There could be many reasons for these adjustments, but usually, the main one is to ensure that the redemption requirement captures the cost and occupancy of the hotel currently.
9 InterContinental hotels to cost 70,000 points per night
IHG’s top-tier hotels have become increasingly expensive since 2016. Until 2015, the maximum redemption levels were at 50,000 points. In 2016, 2 new redemption categories at 55,000 and 60,000 points were introduced. Now, it goes up further, as 9 InterContinental hotels will cost 70,000 points for a redemption night.
|InterContinental Paris Le Grand||60000||70000|
|InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa||60000||70000|
|InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora||60000||70000|
|Intercontinental ANA- Manza Beach Resort||60000||70000|
|InterContinental London ParkLane||60000||70000|
|InterContinental San Francisco||60000||70000|
|InterContinental Mark Hopkins SFO||60000||70000|
We were lucky to have enjoyed a vacation at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand and The Intercontinental Thalasso Spa in Bora Bora for 50,000 points per night in 2015. It will really pinch me to shell out 70,000 points for these hotels now.
6 IHG Hotels in India adjust point requirements for 2018
IHG will also change the redemption requirements at their Indian hotels as well when these changes go live. 2 hotels are increasing the number of reward points required and another 4 becoming cheaper on points going forward. Here are the ones that change in 2018:
|InterContinental Marine Drive Mumbai||25000||30000|
|Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport||15000||20000|
|Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre||30000||25000|
|Crowne Plaza Mayur Vihar New Delhi||25000||20000|
|Crowne Plaza Jaipur Tonk Road||25000||20000|
|Holiday Inn & Suites Bengaluru Whitefield||20000||15000|
You can still book at old redemption rates
Although IHG Rewards Club has yet not published as to when the changes will apply, taking a cue from last year I’d say they should come into effect a few weeks from now. I checked the redemption rates for InterContinental Paris Le Grand for this June and it is currently bookable for 60k points.
It’s the same with other properties as well when I checked. It seems IHG has still not updated their systems to reflect the new points requirements. Therefore if you are planning to stay at a hotel that is becoming more expensive this year, you should book it right away.
Readjustments to hotel categories are a part of life, and we should make the most of the opportunity presented to us at any point in time. I feel good that I’ve redeemed most of Ajay’s IHG balances over the years 😉 and not sitting on anything big at this point in time.
If you are looking to redeem at a property going up in redemption points price, I would recommend locking in your redemption right away, even if speculatively. If there is a redemption coming up where a property goes down in price, do call them after the revised requirements take effect to get a refund of your points.
What do you think about the upcoming changes to IHG Rewards Club? Love it? Hate it? Forget it?