With tomorrow’s Daily Getaways having to do with the sale of IHG points, I thought it would be a good idea to examine whether it is a good idea to buy those points since IHG points are worth less in 2018.
3 Reasons IHG Points Are Worth Less in 2018
To start, the prices for the IHG packages with the Daily Getaways are unchanged from last year (and have gone up in price from a few years ago plus you could use an Amex card then to get a 10% discount as well!). To me, that is a big mistake. IHG points are always one of the last group of packages around with the Daily Getaways and they have even just disappeared because they could not sell out what they had.
I actually did buy a small pack last year because it was a good deal for me with some upcoming IHG PointBreaks stays. But, with the devaluations that have occurred with IHG categories, IHG PointBreaks, and the IHG credit card, IHG points are worth less than before. Let’s break it down.
IHG Category Devaluation
IHG has really been on the move over the last couple/few years in hiking up their categories. While most hotel chains have annual category changes for hotels, IHG actually just keeps adding categories (which they do not actually have) and upping the point requirements for their top tier properties.
This latest round came out in January with the following hotels now costing 70,000 points per night:
- InterContinental the Clement Monterey (Monterey, CA)
- InterContinental San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
- InterContinental The Willard Washington D.C. (Washington, DC)
- InterContinental Boston (Boston, MA)
- InterContinental New York Barclay (New York, NY)
- InterContinental New York Times Square (New York, NY)
- InterContinental London Park Lane (London, UK)
- InterContinental – ANA Manza Beach Resort (Okinawa, Japan)
- InterContinental Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
- InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora)
- InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora (Bora Bora)
- InterContinental Paris – Le Grand (Paris, France)
Yeah, that is a lot of hotels!
How This Changes Value: If you buy IHG points or redeem them for the top tier properties, your points decreased for that use as you now need an extra 10,000 points as of this year.
IHG PointBreaks Devaluation
Next up is the precious IHG PointBreaks list. This list has always been a group of rotating hotels that would cost 5,000 points per night. A few months ago, they changed that and they are now released in 3 tiers – the 5,000 points per night, the 10,000 points per night and the 15,000 points per night PointBreaks hotels.
Obviously, this stinks but it has also placed some properties on the list that were never on a PointBreaks list before. That can be helpful if you don’t mind putting out more than the usual 5,000 points but saving more points than a property regularly goes for.
Still, when it comes the acquiring or purchasing of IHG points, this was a devaluation. Instead of buying points to use for a 3 night stay at a PointBreaks property, you may only have enough now for 1 night (15,000 points). Since we never know which hotels will come up on that list until the weekend before, it will make planning for a certain property difficult since it could cost 5,000 points or 15,000 points.
How This Changes Value: If you buy IHG points or acquire them for PointBreaks stays, you now have the uncertainty of whether 15,000 points will be enough for a single night stay or a 3 night stay. Purchasing 15,000 points for $89 with the Daily Getaways deal tomorrow could be a bad decision for PointBreaks stays since it may only get one night.
IHG Credit Card Rebate Devaluation
There are a lot of things to not like about the new IHG credit cards. One of them is certainly the loss of the 10% rebate. This rebate allowed you to get 10% of your points back on redemptions if you had the IHG credit card. It was just that simple.
However, that rebate is gone and you can no longer figure that into your point usage plans. This was capped at 100,000 points per year but not that many people would hit that cap.
How This Changes Value: You can no longer look at redemptions as costing 90% of what they say they cost.
New Bonus Features with the New IHG Premier Credit Card
One of the features of the new IHG Premier credit card is a 20% discount when buying IHG points. That is nice if you regularly purchase IHG points but it does not help if you are buying points with the Daily Getaways deal so it certainly does not replace the 10% rebate on points used.
The other new bonus feature is the addition of the 4th night free. While that is nice, it is not for everyone and likely not as valuable for most as the 10% rebate since that worked on single nights or any nights.
IHG has managed to devalue three different parts of their program in just a few months – the top tier, the middle/lower tier with promo pricing, and their co-branded credit card features. With that done in just 3 months time, I do not know if I would trust them enough to buy points from the Daily Getaways unless you had a definite plan to use them very soon!
Featured image is the Paris – Le Grande hotel