Act Fast – You Only Have One Week Before These Hotels Will Cost More Points

by joeheg

For the past several years, IHG has made changes to the number of points needed to redeem a free night at their hotels just after the beginning of the new year. While they do publish the list on the IHG Rewards Club website, they don’t make an announcement to members about when the changes will take effect. Thanks to those people who scour the internet to find out this information, we now know the changes (mostly increases) will take effect on January 14, 2019.

It’s important to remember that as long as you make your reservation before that date, you can book rooms at the current rate so this would be a good time to lock in those reservations if the hotel you are looking at is going up in price. There’s not much downside to booking even if you’re not sure about the trip, since you usually can cancel points bookings at IHG hotels with no penalty, but you should always look at the cancellation policy before making any booking (points or cash).

Here’s the breakdown of the changes:

  • 696 hotels will be changing the price required for a free night
  • 570 hotels are going up in price (Mostly in North America)
  • 126 hotels are going down in price
  • 38 hotels are going from 40,000 to 45,000 points (making them ineligible for the free anniversary night from the IHG Premier credit card.)

IHG has about 5,000 hotels worldwide, so that’s about 10% of them going up in price this year.

For comparison, in 2018:

  • 700 hotels changed in price
  • 509 hotels went up in price (184 went up 10,000 points a night)
  • +/- 200 hotels went down in price
  • 70,000 point category was introduced

If you’d like to look at the entire list, here’s a link to the website. While there are more hotels going up in price this year, most of them are only changing by 5,000 points this year. There are no additional hotels being added to the 70,000 point category this year, which I guess is a good thing.

I was curious to see if the hotels that went up in price last year were on this list again this year. I checked the hotels I highlighted in my article about the 2018 increases.

None of the hotels I looked at last year increased in points for 2019. While there were some cities where prices stayed mostly the same, like New York (where the prices were already high), other cities have several hotels getting more expensive.

In London, ten hotels are going up in price:

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The Holiday Inn London – Kensington Forum will now cost 45,000 points a night and you’ll no longer be able to use a free night certificate to stay there, which might not be a bad thing. Looking at their website, it looks like they have finally gotten new televisions for the rooms.


Houston, TX has fourteen hotels getting more expensive:

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Even cities like Kansas City, MO are seeing six hotels go up in price:

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The Holiday Inn in Clark, NJ is even getting more expensive this year:

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Not much of a view but that’s what I expected from a stay in New Jersey 🙂


Final Thoughts

IHG has consistently raised the prices for about 10% of their properties every year around this time. It’s disappointing IHG doesn’t alert members about the changes, allowing them to book rooms at the current rates if they want to.

Fortunately, none of the hotels I usually stay in are on this list this year (after the seemingly personal increases that IHG put into effect last year.) I’d suggest checking the list to see if you want to lock in any award stays at the current pricing. Since the prices are effective January 14th, I’d make sure to complete bookings by Sunday the 13th, just in case.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

h/t: One Mile At A Time

Featured photo by David on Flickr

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