The holiday cheers are behind us and the bad news of award program devaluations is upon us. IHG Rewards Club is kicking off the annual award category changes of their hotels and more than 600 hotels are changing with the vast majority, more than 500, going up in price! The changes go into effect on January 14, 2019, so if you are planning an award stay at one of the effected hotels and your travel plans are firm, you might want to book at the old rate now!
Award category changes typically reflect price changes in the hotel market and you can expect popular hotels in expensive destinations to go up – and less popular hotels or destinations to go down.
Roughly 10% of InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) properties are impacted by the changes, similar to last year. The majority of changes appears to be by 1 category (5,000 points). Fortunately, there is no new more expensive category added (as done last year), so the maximum award price per night is still 70,000 points.
I browsed through the full list of changes and that appears to be the case here, too. Hotels in conflict zones or countries with troubled economies are down, while hotels you’d actually want to stay at are going up!
The Holiday Inn Express Libertade in ever more popular Lisbon is one example of hotels going up – and I can understand why. I just booked a return trip in summer at 20,000 points per night when cash rates are $259 – an excellent value on points! Award rates here are going up to 25,000 points, still good value.
So, if you are planning to use your IHG Rewards Club points for a free hotel night this year, check out the full list of hotels changing award categories and book before January 14, 2019, to lock in the old rates!
If you’d like to get more travel related news or deals like this from around the world, please follow me on Twitter – I’m posting news daily, so you can stay up to date on the world of travel with my Twitter updates! Or, for a weekly update, sign up for my newsletter for a Sunday Summary!