A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the IHG devaluation that is coming about where many hotels are changing by 5,000 – 10,000 points. Well, that day is Wednesday, February 17, so the time to book these hotels is now!
Last Chance To Book Many IHG Hotels At Current Rates
In total, there are 400 hotels that will be changing their point requirements. Some will be going up, some down. If you want to book those that are dropping, definitely wait until Wednesday. But if you have had your eyes on hotels that will be going up, book them now.
The “prize” hotels on the list are the high-end properties and they will be going up. The worst part about it is that IHG is taking the ceiling of 50,000 points per night and bringing it up to 60,000 points (remember Club Carlson and Hilton???). If you have been collecting points, you will want to lock those top-tier hotels in now. Having stayed at both the Intercontinental Willard (DC) and the InterContinental Sydney in the last few months, I definitely think you should give them consideration if heading to either of those cities!
Here they are:
New 55,000 Point Hotels (up from 50,000):
- InterContinental Sydney – see a review of this great hotel here
- InterContinental Melbourne
- InterContinental De La Villa Roma (Rome, Italy)
- InterContinental The Willard (Washington, DC) – see a review of this great hotel here
- InterContinental Boston
New 60,000 Point Hotels (up from 50,000):
- InterContinental Carlton Cannes (Cannes, France)
- InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau
- Intercontinental Paris Le Grand
- InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora
- InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
- InterContinental Hong Kong
- InterContinental London Park Lane
- InterContinental The Clement Monterey (CA)
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
- InterContinental San Francisco
- The Venetian (Las Vegas, NV)
- The Palazzo (Las Vegas, NV)
- InterContinental New York Times Square
To see the full list (which includes many properties in the middle categories), check out this link here.
So What Is The “Hope” Part?
The good news is that, unlike many devaluations that occur with hotel chains, IHG has several things going for it which make devaluations like this not hurt quite so much.
Credit Card Annual Free Night
It is still possible to redeem your annual IHG credit card free night at any of these properties, regardless of what changes occur. That means that if you normally redeem your free night for a top-tier property, you can keep doing that and no points are involved.
Points Are Cheap To “Buy”
For a long time, it has been possible to “buy” IHG points for cheap by using points and cash for a room and then cancelling the room. IHG would refund you the points you were techincally buying to make up the difference between the full-points rate and the points and cash rate.
For example, if you search at the Intercontinental Hong Kong (per Gary’s post here at View From the Wing), you will be offered options of 45,000 points + $40, 40,000 points + $75, and 35,000 points + $90. If you select the last option, the 35K points, you will be buying those 15,000 points (an award night is currently 50,000 points) for $90. When you cancel the room, you will receive those 15,000 points back instead of the $90. That makes the points cost only .6 cents each.
IHG Point Breaks
The famous PointBreak hotels are hotels that are refreshed every 2 months to cost only 5,000 points per night. While it has been a while since a high-end property appeared on the list, hotels that are in the mid-range come up all the time so you can still redeem your points easily and cheaply.
Of all the hotel programs, IHG has had the most lucrative promotions over the past couple of years (especially for new account holders). From free nights to mega points, they are easy to get and can be done quite inexpensively for many accounts.
While award devaluations are never pleasant, it is good to know that there are still ways to get great value out of the IHG hotel system. But, if you do know your travel plans, it would be good to lock your room in now under the current rate to avoid having to spend thousands more on Wednesday.