IHG 2019 Award Chart Devaluation by the Numbers

Jan 7, 2019

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Over the weekend, IHG Rewards revealed that it’s changing the categories on nearly 700 hotels. While you still can’t find any mention of these changes on IHG’s website, a PDF of the changes was discovered online.

First, it’s important to note that these changes haven’t yet gone into effect. You still have until Jan. 24, 2019, to book hotels at current rates. Per the leaked PDF, the award chart changes go into effect on Jan. 25, 2019.

Here’s the nitty-gritty of the changes:

Overall properties changing: 693

Of IHG’s approximately 5,400 properties, just fewer than 700 of them are changing categories. That’s around 13% of worldwide properties that are changing. All category changes are one category.

Properties increasing 1 category: 548

The bad news is that most of the changes are negative — in fact, 78.8% of them. 28 properties are spiking 50% from category 1 (10,000 points per night) to category 2 (15,000 points per night), and 113 properties are jumping 33% from category 2 (15,000 points per night) to category 3 (20,000 points per night). You’re going to want to book awards at these properties as soon as possible.

Here are the 28 properties increasing from 10,000 points per night to 15,000 points per night:

Property Country City
Holiday Inn Express San Jose Forum Costa Rica San Jose
Holiday Inn Lyon – Vaise Tassin La Demi Lune France
Holiday Inn Express Beijing Airport Zone Mainland China Beijing
Holiday Inn Chongqing North Mainland China Chongqing
Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Gongkang Mainland China Shanghai
Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Jinqiao Central Mainland China Shanghai
Holiday Inn Hangzhou Xiaoshan Mainland China Hangzhou
Holiday Inn Birmingham Walsall M6,Jct.10 United Kingdom Walsall
Holiday Inn Fort Myers – Downtown Area United States Fort Myers
Candlewood Suites Boise-Meridian United States Meridian
Holiday Inn Mount Prospect – Chicago United States Mt. Prospect
Candlewood Suites Ofallon, Il – St. Louis Area United States Ofallon
Holiday Inn Express Chicago-Palatine/N Arlngtn Hts United States Palatine
Holiday Inn Rock Island – Quad Cities United States Rock Island
Holiday Inn Rolling Mdws-Schaumburg Area Rolling Meadows United States Rolling Meadows
Candlewood Suites Chicago/Naperville United States Warrenville
Candlewood Suites Flowood, MS United States Flowood
Candlewood Suites Dallas Market Cntr-Love Field United States Dallas
Candlewood Suites El Paso United States El Paso
Candlewood Suites Dallas, Ft Worth/Fossil Creek United States Fort Worth
Candlewood Suites Houston-Westchase United States Houston
Candlewood Suites Houston-Clear Lake United States Houston
Candlewood Suites Houston IAH / Beltway 8 United States Houston
Candlewood Suites Houston I-10 East United States Houston
Candlewood Suites League City United States League City
Candlewood Suites Austin-Round Rock United States Round Rock
Candlewood Suites San Antonio NW Medical United States San Antonio
Holiday Inn Harare Zimbabwe Harare

Properties decreasing 1 category: 145

There are 145 properties that are dropping in value on Jan. 25. However, these aren’t evenly spread around the world. More than 20% of these decreases (30) are in Mexico, and another 11% (16) are in China. 28 properties are dropping by 33% from category 2 (15,000 points per night) to category 1 (10,000 points per night).

US properties changing categories: 448

Of the 693 properties changing in value, almost two-thirds of these properties are in the United States. 387 properties are increasing while just 61 properties are decreasing. That makes the changes to US properties notably worse than the overall worldwide average, and by far the hardest-hit country by this devaluation.

Countries with a net decrease in rates: 11

While these changes are bad news for those hoping to redeem for stays in the US, there are 11 countries that will have a net decrease in award rates. Topping the list is Mexico. Of the 31 changes to hotel categories in Mexico, 30 of these are decreases and there’s just one increase: InterContinental Presidente Mexico City (30,000 to 35,000 points per night).

China also fared generally well with 16 properties decreasing and 10 properties increasing in value. Other countries with net decreases:

  • Turkey (4 decreases)
  • Brazil (3 decreases)
  • Russia (4 decreases, 1 increase)
  • South Africa (2 decreases, 1 increase)
  • Serbia (Holiday Inn Express Belgrade City decrease from 15k to 10k)
  • Argentina (InterContinental Mendoza decrease from 25k to 20k)
  • Laos (Crowne Plaza Vientiane decrease from 25k to 20k)
  • Venezuela (InterContinental Tamanaco Caracas decrease from 30k to 25k)
  • Vietnam (InterContinental Hanoi Landmark decrease from 35k to 30k)

Average points increase per property: 370

Among the 693 properties changing value, the average change is 2,908 points per night. However, when you average the total changes (2,015,000 points across the 693 properties) and average it across the entire IHG portfolio, that’s an average change of around 370 points per property.

Properties no longer eligible for capped free night stay: 38

Both the old IHG Select Credit Card and the new IHG Premier Credit Card offer an anniversary free night. Historically, the Select card offered an uncapped free night, but that benefit was devalued in April 2018 for certificates issued beginning May 1, 2019. Going forward, these free nights are limited to properties that cost 40,000 points per night or fewer. The IHG Premier Credit Card launched with this restricted benefit.

Now there’s 38 hotels that are no longer available for 40,000 points or less per night. And there’s just one hotel that will be newly eligible: the InterContinental OneThousand Island Lake is dropping from 45,000 points per night to 40,000 points per night. Be sure to check out this story on the best free night awards to book before Jan. 25.

High-end properties increasing: 25

There are 25 properties currently available for 45,000 points or more per night that are increasing to 50,000 points or more. While a 5,000-point per night increase is smaller percentage-wise at these properties, this price increase will still sting for those who have been saving up for one of these properties. Here are the 25 that you might want to consider booking before the changes go into effect:

Property Points Before Points After
Crowne Plaza Melbourne 45,000 50,000
InterContinental Montreal 45,000 50,000
InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas 45,000 50,000
InterContinental Dar Al Tawhid Makkah 45,000 50,000
Crowne Plaza Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise 45,000 50,000
Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter 45,000 50,000
Crowne Plaza Lake Placid 45,000 50,000
Crowne Plaza Seattle-Downtown 45,000 50,000
InterContinental Sydney Double Bay 50,000 55,000
Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay 50,000 55,000
InterContinental Dublin 50,000 55,000
InterContinental ANA Tokyo 50,000 55,000
InterContinental Tokyo Bay 50,000 55,000
InterContinental Yokohama Grand 50,000 55,000
Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam 50,000 55,000
Hotel Indigo London – Paddington 50,000 55,000
Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown 50,000 55,000
Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter 50,000 55,000
Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown 50,000 55,000
Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York 50,000 55,000
Hotel Indigo Nashville 50,000 55,000
InterContinental Melbourne 55,000 60,000
InterContinental Düsseldorf 55,000 60,000
InterContinental Sydney 60,000 65,000
InterContinental Los Angeles Century City 60,000 65,000

Bottom Line

This award chart change is certainly a devaluation, and it’s especially hard-hitting for those looking to redeem for award nights in the US. However, all told, it could’ve been worse. This devaluation is creating a net increase at 403 properties (548 increases less 145 decreases) of the approximately 5,400 IHG properties — or about 7.4% of worldwide properties.

This post has been updated since publishing to reference the delayed implementation of the award category changes to January 25, 2019 and a listing of the changes provided by IHG showing that there are 695 hotels changing categories instead of 694 changes. After duplicates were found and removed, the number decreased again to 693.

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