IHG Announces Award Category Changes at Over 650 Hotels

Dec 29, 2016

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IHG has a tradition of starting the new year by reviewing its hotels categories and reclassifying those hotels performing well, in addition to those not doing as well. While the last two years have each seen changes at ~400 hotels, early 2017 will see a whopping 653 hotels change categories. And, unfortunately, many of these award rates are going up.

The changes will go into effect for bookings on or after January 15, 2017. So, you might want to review the full list of changes (caution: PDF link) if you’ve got upcoming travel plans. If you’re looking to book a hotel whose category is headed upward, you should make sure to book it before January 15. If you’re already booked at one of the hotels moving downward, you might consider canceling your existing reservation and rebooking at the lower rate. In case you’re wondering, IHG award night cancellations are free.

The InterContinental Sydney is one of the five hotels jumping up to 60,000 points per night. Image courtesy of the hotel.
The InterContinental Sydney is one of the five hotels jumping up to 60,000 points per night. Image courtesy of the property.

Here’s a quick summary of the changes:

  • Over 420 hotels are changing categories in the US. Most of these are increasing.
  • Five US hotels are jumping by 15,000 points per night: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Woodland Hills (Woodland Hills, CA); Holiday Inn Express & Suites Salinas (Salinas, CA); Holiday Inn Express & Suites Santa Clara (Santa Clara, CA); Holiday Inn Orlando SW (Kissimmee, FL); Holiday Inn Louisville Airport (Louisville, KY). So, book these as soon as possible if you’re interested.
  • Five hotels are moving up to the top-tier 60,000 points per night. All are InterContinental properties: Sydney (Sydney, Australia); ANA Manza Beach Resort (Okinawa, Japan); Los Angeles Century City (Los Angeles, CA); The Willard (Washington, D.C.) and Boston (Boston, MA).
  • 29 hotels are dropping to Category 1 (10,000 points per night). Many of these are in China. Only three are in the US: two in Sidney, MT and one in Gonzales, TX.

Bottom Line

While we are disappointed by this broad-based increase in points, we aren’t surprised by this change. IHG has been running multiple lucrative buy point promotions over the last few months. The last three of these promotions have had purchase rates as low as 0.575 cents per point — which is significantly below TPG’s 0.7 cents per point valuation — leading us to wonder if a devaluation was coming.

Featured image courtesy of InterContinental Okinawa — which is one of the hotels jumping from 50,000 points per night to 60,000 points per night on January 15.

H/T: View From The Wing


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